Sunday, December 07, 2008
Make-Believe Mondays with Margay Leah Justice
Today on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is Margay Leah Justice.
Margay, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you're working on now.
Margay: I am working on the next book in the Dante Chronicles, a follow-up to Nora's Soul in which Dante takes a more prominent role.
Debra: Ray Bradbury said, "We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Margay: I read a lot, blog a lot, and keep abreast of what is going on around me. You just never know what might tip off a story idea. Plus, my daughters are very creative, as is my mother, so that helps keep my creativity at a high point, too.
Debra: Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Margay: Yeah, that's kind of what happened with Dante. He was only supposed to be a secondary character in Nora's Soul, but long after the first draft of the book was done, he stayed with me. So somewhere along the way, during rewrites and edits, more of his story came out and is spilling over into another book.
Debra: Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?
Margay: No, I haven't had occasion for doing that.
Debra: For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?
Margay: Actually, Nora's Soul is based on two very distinctive dreams I had in one night, which I realized, upon waking, were interconnected. The first was the scene where Nora dances the night away in a night club with a dark, mysterious man (Dante) who isn't all he appears to be and shows his true colors when she turns away from him. The second is of Nora moving into a garage apartment at the house of a widower because she is going to take care of his twins. Both dreams are scenes in the book.
Debra: I have always been fascinated by stories which arrive in our dreams and how to capture them before they fade away in the morning light.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Margay: I read so much as a child (still do!) that it's difficult to pull out just one. Strangely enough, the book that impacted me the most as a child was the Diary of Anne Frank. I was always right there with her in hiding.
Debra: Oh, yes, that book really caught me up with it too.
If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?
Margay: Whoa, that is giving me too much leeway! I think it would have to be some sort of fantasy with action and romance – something for everyone. It would have to be something really epic, something like Star Wars crossed with the Sixth Sense meets Twilight.
Debra: Now that sounds interesting. Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?
Margay: There was a wonderful movie awhile back called The Neverending Story that was a modern day parable. It was actually two stories in one: The story of a boy reading a book and the story in the book itself in which the boy became a part. The character in the book was fighting back something called the Nothingness, which was basically eating up the imagination of children who didn't read anymore and the way to combat it was to become a part of the story. I think that holds true as much today as it did back when it first came out. We are in a state where the imagination of our youth is being devoured by the nothingness of online chatting. That's why I whole-heartedly applaud people like Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling, who are fighting back the Nothingness with their mega-watt storytelling. So my message to readers is to keep on reading and not just that, but to pass on the joy to others. Encourage literacy; it will open up fantastic worlds for everyone.
Debra: The Neverending Story is a wonderful story. It is part of our job as authors to keep stories and story telling alive. When I travel I always hand off the paperback I've been reading to someone, either in the airport or the plane (flight attendants actually love this) or to people I meet. I feel like it's a way to keep them spreading.
Margay, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Margay: Thank you so much for having me here. You can find me at
margayleahjustice.com, where I share excerpts from my book, Nora's Soul, which is now available on Amazon.com. I love reader interaction and always try to answer comments left on my blog, so stop by often if you have a question you want answered.
Debra's News/Debra is watching:
Angela James, executive editor at Samhain Publishing (my publisher) has a contest going where you can win the new Kindle ebook reader. nicemommy-evileditor
This week I'm going to have the Amazon link added to my website, www.debraparmley.com now that my book is available in Kindle form.
And because everyone seems to enjoy photos of my travels, I'm adding more photos to Debra on MySpace which is where you'll find pictures of Scotland. I'm kicking around ideas for a Scottish historical romance. Revising a contemporary romance to prepare it for submission and decorating my house for the holidays.