Author Interview: MJ Mallon

It’s been a while since we had an author interview here on The Glorious Outsiders, so it’s a real pleasure to welcome back Marjorie Mallon, who writes under MJ Mallon to celebrate the release of her latest book, Do What You Love. The new book is a wonderful collection of poems, flash fiction and photography and is certain to make you smile. Here is my review, followed by the interview with Marjorie!

“As other reviewers have said, this is an overwhelmingly sweet and positive collection that will not fail to make you smile during these tough times. A well written and thought provoking collection of poetry, flash fiction and photography, this is an inviting read and can be read quickly in one sitting. I loved the conversations with the Fates, as the author reflects on stages of her life. There was a lot I could relate to in this book, and as with her other works, I appreciate the author’s love and appreciation of nature. A wonderful, heart-warming collection.”

1. What inspired you to write this book?

After the pandemic I’ve been keen to share some inspiring and uplifting writing. Life has been hard for us all, and the precious joys of life really matter, like spending time with family, friends, and walking in nature, as well as embracing change and being brave. This change within me happened around that time when a group of authors, poets and bloggers came together to share their thoughts and I released the anthology This Is Lockdown.

2. What came first, the photos or the writing?

Interestingly, in a lot of cases the photos! I’m inspired by art and photography so I suppose that isn’t too surprising. Some of the family and friends poems were inspired by heartfelt experiences, so in that case, writing first.

3.Do you have a favourite type of poetry?

I love autumnal, (autumn is my favourite season,) and nature poetry. I appreciate short forms of poetry like haiku and tanka, in which just a few words can convey so much.

4.It’s a warm and loving book, is that what you had in mind?

Yes! Definitely. I hope that everyone reading Do What You Love will find something relatable within its pages. The poems, photography and narrative within may remind them of a friendship, a difficult time in their lives that may now have been resolved and the many challenges that we face as human beings. And yet, we are strong, we overcome, and we should embrace creativity and do what we love!

5.What are you working on next?

Probably, my YA Fantasy coming of age series The Curse of Time – I’ve written #1 Bloodstone, #2 Golden Healer and now I’ve started work on the next book which is primarily set in the Land of Shadows. A different book… but there are similarities. In this tale, there is also an emphasis on family, and friends, and even though this series has elements of dark fantasy, (with mental health aspects,) there are humourous characters such as Aunt Karissa to lighten the story.

Writing YA Fiction help keeps me young!

Other than that, there are several projects on my hard drive waiting to be fine tuned – time will tell which wins the prize to be finished next.

I tend to be a bit of a mood writer.

6. Do what you love is a wonderfully positive message, is it a mantra you live by?

I try to. I believe that when you open your heart to creativity lots of new opportunities and happiness can come your way.

7. What else do you love?

Mindfulness, walking in nature, trees, travel, art sculptures, the sea, and tai chi. I have been fortunate to find a tai chi class here in Portugal. I spend several months here and the rest of the time in the UK. It has been wonderful doing tai chi outside in the sunshine!

8. What is your writing and creative process like?

Unplanned. It tends to evolve. I like it that way! Perhaps like a painting or a photo, we are never sure how it is going to turn out until it is finished.

Thank you Marjorie and good luck with the new release! Here is the blurb and the links!

Blurb:

Do What You Love Fragility of Your Flame Poems, Photography & Flash Fiction is a personal poetry collection celebrating how the fates may have a part in all that we do. With special poems and short reflective moments inspired by family, flowers and nature, love, scrumptious morsels, places I’ve visited, lived and intend to live in, the friendships and hopes I have for the future. The overarching theme is to live a life well lived… And to do what you love.

float along with me

create clouds of sweetest joy

to do what you love

hold fate’s hand as we venture

near and far on life’s journey

Release Date: 25th November 2022, able to preorder via the following links.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BKLC9DYY/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/What-You-love-Fragility-Photography-ebook/dp/B0BKLC9DYY/

And links to Marjorie’s other books:

Kyrosmagica Publishing

The Hedge Witch And The Musical Poet https://books2read.com/u/mv1OeV

Mr. Sagittarius Poetry and Prose http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

Anthology – This Is Lockdown, (poetry, diaries and flash fiction – kindle) http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Poetry during Lockdown – Lockdown Innit http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

One More Writing Project Won’t Hurt…

If you follow this blog you probably already know how many writing projects I tend to work on at the same time. I used to think working on more than one book at a time was a bad thing, but eventually I came to accept that it’s just always going to be this way. Writing truly has me hooked and I just can’t stick to one thing until its done. I like to have a few things juggling around me!

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Currently, those things are: The Day The Earth Turned series, which is in the process of edits and proofreads and I hope to release book one in May 2023. The Fortune’s Well trilogy I co-wrote with Sim Sansford – we hope to release book two next month. The spin-off from The Boy With The Thorn In His Side series – about half way through first draft. And Black Hare Valley – finished in rough first draft!

As if this wasn’t enough for me, lately I’ve been getting all sorts of small ideas for small pieces, either poetry, flash fiction or short stories. I would be an idiot to ignore these things when they come to me, so of course I have been writing them down, and would you know it, a new story/poetry collection is already emerging. In the spirit of adding to this collection I recently asked my Facebook page followers to suggest writing prompts to me. I have a pinned post and people have made some amazing and enticing suggestions.

I went with one about an ordinary day becoming an endless day and I had so many different ideas for how to do this, that I have the start of a few different stories I may pursue later. One started off as a post-apocalyptic thing but started going off on a tangent that didn’t fit with the endless day theme. The one I went with actually started life last week as a short story about an adult’s memories of the monsters that lurked at the end of her grandmother’s garden. I will finish that one, but parts of that then grew into a different story about an endless day. I am nearly at the end of it and I will publish it here and on my blog at the end of this month before asking for more ideas from people.

It might sound utterly mad to be adding to my writing workload, but I love playing around with different writing formats, genres and ideas, so it’s impossible to say no. I also think that asking my small but lovely group of followers to make suggestions is a great way to connect with them and involve them in the process. It’s basically asking for writing prompts and choosing the best one each month to respond to!

I should have the finished story for you next week, but in the mean time maybe you would like to make some suggestions for my August challenge? Any ideas welcome! Just leave them in the comments. Maybe a story title, a phrase or sentence or piece of dialogue, images, a certain character or even lyrics from a song.

Thank you for reading, see you next week!