Friday, January 30, 2015

Author Interview with M.J. Fifield

Today M.J. Fifield, the author of Effigy, is visiting and sharing a few interesting stories with us...one includes a sword. Keep reading to be entertained!

Title: Effigy
Author: M.J. Fifield
Series: The Coileáin Chronicles Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 579 pages
Publisher: Favorite Spoon Publishing
Release Date: July 26th 2014

BOOL LINKS:


● Please tell us about your current release, M.J.

My current release also happens to be my debut release—EFFIGY, the story of a young queen named Haleine Coileáin, who finds herself battling evil forces in an attempt to save her people.

1. Is this book part of a series?

Effigy is the first book in a series, The Coileáin Chronicles. The entire series (six titles in all, should things go according to plan) will tell the story of three sisters and the roles each will play in an epic battle between good and evil. Haleine is the eldest sister.

2. If your book had a soundtrack, give us a list of a few songs that would be on it.

All of my WIPs have a soundtrack. It’s actually how I know I’m getting serious about a particular project. Some of Effigy’s key tracks include:

My Skin by Natalie Merchant (If Haleine Coileáin had a theme song, this would be it.)
Overcome by Live
Indifference by Pearl Jam
Do What You Have To Do by Sarah McLachlan

Have I mentioned that I’m a huge fan of 90’s music?


3. I LOVE 90's music! How did you come up with the names for your hero and heroine?

When I went to name my main character, I knew I wanted her name to start with an H. It’s weird, I know, and I don’t know why I was so determined to have that be the case, but that’s what happened. I went through several variation until I finally settled upon Haleine. (rhymes with Elaine)

4. My mom's name is Elaine. ;) What are a few things we would find in or on your desk?

On my desk you would find the following items: Slinky, a super-poseable Aragorn action figure (that’s what the package boasted), three pen holders chock full of various writing instruments, and a little pewter Pegasus who served as the inspiration for one of Effigy’s characters.


5. How old were you when you read your first romance book? What was it?

I believe I was 18 when I read my first real romance novel. It was Jude Deveraux’s Remembrance. My mother had checked it out of the library and left it out on the coffee table. I was looking for something to read and picked it up. I recall enjoying the story...but hating the ending.

6. I started reading Jude Deveraux at a young age also. What is the silliest thing you ever did while writing a story?

I consider myself to be a method writer, so that means I often end up physically acting out scenes. Once, while writing a sword fight, I accidentally killed a lamp and took a chunk out of my desk and the wall with my broadsword. This led my significant other to create the very strict “NO SWORDS AROUND ANY LIVING CREATURES” rule in the house.

7. I do that too! But not with swords. Have you ever experienced something unusual that influenced a story?

I fainted for the first time a couple of summers ago. That made me go back and rewrite a couple of scenes. The following summer, I cracked a rib at my day job. It made me realize just how badly rib injuries hurt. Rewrote some things, then, too.

8. Ouch! First-hand experience certainly helps us though. How long have you been writing?

Since I was very young. I was always writing little stories or poems. In middle school, there was a girl who lived over the river and through the woods from me, and we were each other’s first critique partners. Every morning on the school bus, we would exchange whatever we had written the night before. I started my first novel then, but never did anything with it. I didn’t get serious about writing until halfway through my college career.

9. Do you listen to music while you write?

Yes. I’ll listen to the aforementioned story-specific playlist, as well as a special playlist I call “Mood Music.” It’s mostly comprised of movie soundtracks and other instrumental music—nothing with lyrics. It always puts me in the mood to write.

10. Tell us about your writing process.

Just about everything starts off handwritten in a spiral notebook—or maybe a paper towel if I’m stuck at work. Scenes will generally start off with a few lines of dialogue off of which I build the rest of the scene, going back to layer in everything else. I’m also rather addicted to building storyboards on which I chart where the story’s been and where it’s going. Or might go. The characters very seldom follow my plans, but I’ve learned to go with it.


BIO:

Armed with a deep and lasting love of chocolate, purple pens, and medieval weaponry, M.J. Fifield is nothing if not a uniquely supplied insomniac. When she isn’t writing, she’s on the hunt for oversized baked goods or shiny new daggers. M.J. lives with a variety of furry creatures—mostly pets—in New Hampshire. Effigy is her first novel.

AUTHOR LINKS: 


Thank you for entertaining us, M.J.! I enjoyed your interview.

Please leave a comment for M.J.!


62 comments:

  1. Great interview! That pewter Pegasus is adorable. And 90's music is absolutely awesome, so it only makes sense for it to sneak into playlists! ;)

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  2. This series sounds epic and best of luck to M.J.
    I have the 90s channel plugged into my favorites on my serious XM. Great choice!
    I cracked a rib once when I flew off a tube attached to a boat. Slammed so hard in into the ocean and could barely walk. Those accidents hurt!
    Carrying a notebook is a must. I encourage the students to always have some sort of notebook, no matter how big or small, with them so they can jot down story notes.

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    1. Cracked a rib? OUCH! I've never gone tubing and probably won't because I can't swim. lol

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    2. When I had XM, I used to listen to the 90's channel all the time.

      Your rib-cracking accident sounds much more exciting than mine. Not that it's a competition, but...

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  3. Congratulations to M.J. on her first release!!!

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  4. I bet that lamp had it coming though.
    MJ, I remember when you found that pewter Pegasus.
    Good interview, ladies!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe it was a ninja lamp. ;)

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    2. The lamp absolutely had it coming. It'd been acting shifty all day long. I probably saved our lives by taking it out.

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  5. Paper towel manuscripts! I love it. :) Great interview.

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    1. I probably still have some of those paper towels deep in my files. And no, I definitely didn't get them wet.

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  6. Thank you very much for hosting me today, Chrys! It's much appreciated!

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    1. You're so very welcome, M.J.! I had been waiting for this day. :D I'd love to have you back as a guest anytime, for any of your future publications.

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    2. That would be wonderful. Thanks (again), Chrys.

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  7. From NH--that last photo looks so peaceful and I remember writing in a spiral notebook during my Appalachian Trail hike--especially along the peaks of the White Mountains. Interesting insights in these interviews, Chrys

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed M.J.'s interview, Sage.

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    2. The funny thing is that that particular picture was taken in Acadia National Park in Maine. But the rest of the time, I live in the White Mountains. Love it to death.

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  8. lol the no swords around living creatures sounds like a good rule indeed, poor lamp

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    1. It sound logical, doesn't it? :P

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    2. I don't know if it's a good rule...Well, all right. It is.

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  9. I love that little pewter pegasus, so cute.
    I enjoyed your interview today.

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    1. I love that pegasus, too. (obviously.)

      My favorite junk store find ever.

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  10. Wait, you have an actual sword??? That poor, poor lamp. Great interview!

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    1. I have four actual swords and six actual daggers. I have some other weapons, too, but they're just plastic costume stuff.

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  11. I love 90s music. SO MUCH. great interview :)

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  12. This novel sounds fabulous. I love the Natalie Merchant song. It is Queenly somehow. I love most of her music! Nice to meet you M.J. and congrats on your first novel publication. I'll be adding this to my Goodreads list! Nice interview, Chrys.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Lisa! I can always count on you. :)

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  13. I have MJ's book on my Kindle. Maybe this snowy weekend I'll dive in.

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    1. That sounds like a great weekend. :)

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  14. A lamp is a small price to pay for a realistically written scene!

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    1. You're right, Elizabeth! At least it wasn't someone's arm. ;)

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    2. That's what I told my significant other. I'm not sure he was completely sold on that logic, though.

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  15. And how does the significant other feel about using swords in the house?

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    1. Well, he made a rule that she can't use it around living creatures, so I don't think he liked it very much. Haha!

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    2. He reluctant accepts that I'm going to do that...just so long as all the living creatures are safe in a complete different room of the house.

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  16. I saw in an interview with Vin Diesel that he used to play Dungeons & Dragons as a kid. Him and his friends would get so into it that they'd eventually start becoming their characters and act out all the moves. If the game told him he would strike someone with a sword, he get up and act out a battle with that person.

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    1. I didn't know. That's cool. Maybe that's where his acting skills started. :)

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  17. Wonderful interview. I love Effigy. I highly recommend it!

    Hi Chrys! Have a great weekend. :)

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    1. Hi, Christine! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great weekend too. :)

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    2. Thank you, Christine. You're the best!

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  18. Hi Chrys!! I love MJ and it is so good once again to see two precious blog friends in an interview :)

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    1. Hi Keith! Thanks for your kind words. I was thrilled to be able to host MJ. :)

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  19. Great interview! I loved reading about your process and your start as a writer. :)

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  20. Congrats to M.J. Happy release time to her.

    I love '90s music. All those artists listed here are amazing.

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    1. I happen to agree about the artists. Of course, I'm probably biased.

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  21. Terrific interview! Love the playlist, too. I wish I could listen to music while I write, but I have to have silence.

    Last fall, I took a workshop in method writing during a conference. We all sat around and ate lunch as our characters. Fun AND enlightening. No swords allowed. :)

    Wishing MJ every success with Effigy!

    VR Barkowski

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    1. No swords allowed? Bummer. Otherwise, that sounds like a very cool workshop. I think I might eat lunch like that tomorrow.

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  22. Wonderful and entertaining interview. I have read Effigy and it has me wanting (and waiting impatiently) for the next in the series.....

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    1. I'm waiting pretty impatiently for the next in the series, too. I hope it's done soon.

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  23. Practicing with a real sword? I'll need to remember not to annoy you when you're writing a fight scene. Fun interview!

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    1. It's always best to avoid annoying me any time, but especially important with I have sword in hand. :)

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  24. I love queens who know how to carve up the bad guys. Good for Haleine and good for you, MJ.

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  25. I love your protagonist's name! And most of my work starts off as handwritten notes, too. :)

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    1. My significant other doesn't understand why I'm so old-fashioned with the whole pen and paper thing. Of course, he doesn't understand the swords either.

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Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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