Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In my hotseat - Margarita Felices!

Meow! Today I’m happy to have new writer Margarita Felices in my hotseat! Margarita has a dark paranormal out now, JUDGEMENT OF SOULS, that’s garnering great reviews on Amazon and B&N, so we invited her over to sit in my hotseat!

R: Welcome, Margarita!
M: Thanks, Rocco!

R: Tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer?
M: I live in Cardiff. For all its modernisation, there are still remnants of old Victorian Cardiff. I love the castle in the centre of the city and the fact that you have the sea on one side and the mountains on the other side of Cardiff.  I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.   I’ve always loved to write.  My teachers at school used to limit me to no more than ten pages.  I wrote short stories for magazines, it paid my way through college.

R: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
M:  Supernatural stories, they are fun and you can let your imagination run riot.  I wrote a romantic story once as a screenplay.  I might re-write it as a novel one day, I liked the story.
R: What have you had published to-date? Do you have a favourite of your books or characters?
M:  My first novel Judgement of Souls has just been published as an eBook by www.bookstogonow.com and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads.  I love Rachel, my main character – she’s strong and independent, but I do admit to having a soft spot for Daniel, the club owner.  I had a few short stories published in a few women’s magazines some years ago. I didn’t keep copies of the magazines but I do have the stories saved.  I re-wrote one of them recently and sent it to BTGN as a short story.

R: Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you have any plan to write any eBook-only stories? And do you read eBooks?
M: Yes my novel is available, but only as an eBook.  For now I’m happy with that, it reaches a lot more people and eBooks are the way forward.  That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love to see my story as a paperback some day, but for now I’m happy with this.  I didn’t have much to do with the epublishing process, I left the whole process to BTGN, they knew what to do and I thought I just might mess it up.  I did a lot of editing before we agreed with the finished product, I deleted almost ten thousand words, but the story flows so much better and I couldn’t be happier.  I do read eBooks.  The last one I read was Journey in Time by Chris Karlsen.  I’ve just downloaded the next story in the series.

R: If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
M: Well I have to admit that I did have pictures of who I would love as my leads to help me write them better.  For Max I used Jared Leto, something about his eyes that just matched how I imagined Max’s are perfectly.  For Rachel, perhaps someone who looks a little like Juliet Landau, I saw a picture she posted on my Facebook page and she looked different to the character she played in Buffy. And Daniel, well I used Aidan Turner. The people I write about at the club are actual people!  The club is real, albeit named different, it has a credit at the start of the book, take a look.   I used these actors to help me get a perspective on my characters, but I haven’t a clue to who I would really use. I’ve not thought of my novel going that far. But now you mention it….

R: What are you working on at the moment / next? Do you manage to write every day?
M: I’m writing book two of the Judgement of Souls trilogy.  I’d like to write everyday but it’s not always possible, I have a full-time job so I try and fit writing in when I can.  I carry a Dictaphone so that if I get ideas I can record them for later.

R: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
M: I plot step by step.  Each page has a sub-line of what is meant to go on that page and then I just write that section when I think about it.  I have the beginning written in the next novel, then a few blank pages, then more writing etc etc.  I even have what I’d like for the end!

R: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
M: I form my characters on people I see almost everyday, but with a twist.  The names, well I try not to make them too romantic and unbelievable, I like names that are old but still used today.  But I have made up a few.

R: Some writers like quiet, others the noise of a coffee shop etc., do you listen to music or have noise around you when you write or do you need silence?
M: I write better at home and usually at night.  I have the TV on or I listen to music, I need background noise.

R: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
M: I write in the third person.  Mind you, sometimes I get it mixed up so my editor corrects me.

R: What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
M: How hard it is.  It’s not just sitting down and writing. I had a hard hitting editor who returned my first draft and made it look like a bloodbath!  It was a surprise.  But the end result is something you can’t possible imagine, you’ve brought these people to life and you control their lives. I love it.
And I think the worse is having that great idea and by the time you get to write it down, forgetting it! And marketing.   I’ve never contacted so many people, websites and groups since the book became LIVE on the 27th December 2011.

R: If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or invite three people, hiding the takeaway containers)?
M: I would definitely invite Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Anne Rice.  Can you imagine what kind of conversation we would have around the table?  I’d be frightened to go to sleep that night I can tell you.  But I bet I’d get a great story from it all. I love seafood and pasta, so perhaps that and maybe some Sushi.

R: Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
M: It’s a wrap.  And perhaps, that was your final edit!  I did write a funny section in Judgement of Souls. I howled because I thought it was funny – but my editor decided it didn’t suit the mood and cut the section out!

R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
M: I love taking pictures.  When I’m not doing that I also have three dogs and playtime is a twenty-four hour job. They can play fetch all day!

R: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
M: I’m a Facebook addict.  I’ve targeted every Gothic / Vampire / Writers page on there, plus a few external Vampire / Gothic websites that would be interested in the genre. I’m going to look up a few Romantic websites and see if they’re interested in doing a Vampire Romance review.  I’ve signed on to Twitter (@felicm60) but haven’t come to grips with it yet.  I’m following around 107 people on it and I have around 40 followers.  I will get around to doing a lot more on it soon, but right now I’m a Facebooker!

R: Where can we find out about you and your work?
M: At the moment you can contact me via www.bookstogonow.com 
I’m in the middle of having a website made for me and I’m getting a Book Promo done.

R: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
M: This is a series of 3 books. I started at the end. There isn’t anyone who will be able to tell me why I did that. When these three are finished, I’d like to write some shorter stories about Daniel and Rachel and maybe their quest to find supernatural occult items and somehow tie them in to working for The Righteous.  That should be interesting!

R: Do you have any advice for other writers?
M: Don't give up. If you have a story that is dying to be told, then work hard to tell it. But make sure you are doing your best work and you get an editor that can help you make the most of your manuscript.
Don’t give up even though you may get rejection letters.  If everyone thought like that there’d be no books, no films.  Keep writing, even if its dribble! Then read, re-read and edit.  Try and write a little each day.  One hundred words a day is seven hundred a week, twenty-eight hundred a month and one hundred words a day is so simple!
And carry a Dictaphone or a notebook and pen!

R: And now, JUST FOR FUN!

Movie: Many! Interview with the Vampire, The Crow, Pirates of the                                         Carribean…to name a few.
Author:          Anne Rice and Stephen King!
Book:              Interview with the Vampire (but I love Stephen King, too!)
TV Show:       Criminal Minds, Bones, Dr. Who, Torchwood
Detectives or Demons?  Detective…no Demon…no Detective…Demon…grrr a tie?
Mountain or Lake?   Lake
Sunrise or Sunset:    Sunset. I love the night!
Cat or Dog?               Dog…I have 3…(R: 3 dogs, eh?  Well…okay)

Thank you for sharing with us, Margarita! Folks, hop on over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and check out JUDGEMENT OF SOULS, or check it out at her publisher’s site: www.bookstogonow.com

Coming soon: Charlaine Harris sits in my hotseat! MEOW!
And here's just a brief sampling of who we've got coming up in the coming months:  Q&A's with Queen Betsy, Sarah Dearly and Richard Castle; also Victoria Laurie and Jeaniene Frost; and the return of some of our old friends!

Sci Fi Blogging Cat

And for those of you who missed it, below is my Night Owl Review of Judgement of Souls:

Review – Judgement of Souls - Four Stars

JUDGEMENT OF SOULS is a dark paranormal in the tradition of Anne Rice and Stephen King.  New author Margarita Felices has a way with words that results in characters so vividly drawn, you expect them to leap out of the pages.  The pacing is excellent as well.  As a big fan of Stephen King (the early works) I was drawn to this novel because it brought back memories of the first King book I ever read: Salem’s Lot. Not for the faint of heart. Recommended for those who like their vampires…and their paranormals…dark. – Rocco LoTempio

1 comment:

  1. Another great interview. Love finding new to me authors. I love to read and always looking for new books and authors to check out.