MuseItUp Author Interview: Margay Leah Justice
Posted by Dianna Gunn
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your book, Sloane Wolf?
Certainly, I am the author of two published books and I live in Massachusetts with my two daughters and our two frisky felines. Sloane Wolf is my second published book and it tells the story of Shiloh Beck, an empath on the run from a nefarious organization, and Micah Sloane, a wolf shifter bound by honor to keep his family’s legend a secret.But when they meet, they soon discover that their lives are bound in ways they couldn’t imagine and they must work together to keep everyone safe from the men of the Institute.
2. When did you know that you wanted to write as more than a hobby?
I have been writing since I knew how to hold a crayon/pencil/pen in my hand, so I don’t think I ever considered it just a hobby. It was always something I did with diligence. At first, it was just for me – and then for my family and close friends who kept begging me to read what I wrote! But I think I was in my mid-teens when I started to think this was what I really wanted to do for a living, but I was so unsure of myself at that time that I didn’t gain the confidence to actively pursue the dream until years later.
3. Who are some of the authors that inspired you to start writing?
As I said, I started writing around the same time I started reading, so I wasn’t inspired by a certain writer to do it myself. I was, however, inspired by writers along the way to keep pursuing it. Whenever I read Jane Austen, Julia Quinn, Marilyn Brant, or Stephenie Meyer, I really get a burst of creative spirit and off I go again!
4. What inspired your book, Sloane Wolf?
There was a contest being held awhile back with the theme of (were)wolves, so I decided to try to enter it because I’d been kicking around this idea for a story ever since I was inspired by a movie I’d seen with this as a sub-theme.At first, it was just a little nugget – a scene or two that kept popping into my head when I was trying to fall asleep at night – but when I saw the call for the contest, I decided to run with it and flesh it out. Unfortunately, I fleshed it out too much for the contest (which was for a novella) and rather than cut my story down to fit the requirements, I went in a different direction as far as publication goes.
5. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you, and how do you make it easier for yourself?
The hardest part is really the first page. I know it probably sounds cliche, but that first page is a real killer because you’re always so conscious of that little rule about hooking the reader from the first line. I really labor over that first line sometimes! But sometimes, I just have to push myself to jump in and say to myself, “You’re not married to it. Just write something down – you can always change it/improve it later. The important thing is to just start writing.” Yes, I do have pep talks with myself sometimes! But I do have to remind myself that First Drafts are for getting words on paper. Revision is for making those words shine.
6. Can you tell us a bit about preparing your submission package for Sloane Wolf?
It’s an interesting story. I had shopped Sloane Wolf around for awhile and had various people show interest in it – it actually won a contest, but the agent never followed through on the request, and one publisher actually sat on it for three years! – but nothing promising came of it until I pitched it at an online writers conference. What’s interesting is that the publisher I was supposed to pitch it to never showed up for the conference, so the woman running the conference – who also had a publishing company – took the pitches for us instead. Well, she loved my pitch from the start and asked me to send the whole manuscript to her and the next thing I knew, I was offered a contract for it. It literally happened within a matter of weeks (the pitch to the contract). And just a few short months later, I was published!
7. What made you decide to go with an ePublisher instead of a print publisher?
Because the ePublisher took a chance on me and loved my idea enough to want to publish it. Besides, I think e-publishing is really the wave of the future. With all the ereaders out there, it’s only a matter of time before that’s how it’s done first, and print books become secondary.
8. What is your ultimate writing dream?
Ultimately, I would love to get a call from Hollywood asking permission to make my book(s) into a movie. That would be incredible!
9. If you could talk to any one dead writer, who would it be and why?
Jane Austen. She’s the one who really paved the way for the modern female writer. Sure, there were other female writers before her, but none had had quite the success that she did with her amazing stories. First, I’d like to thank her for paving the way – and for setting such a high standard for the rest of us – and second, I’d love to find out if Pride and Prejudice had any basis in fact!
10. What are you working on next that readers can look forward to?
I am working on the follow up to Sloane Wolf (so much more story to tell there) and a series about angels, and one about a reluctant ghost hunter who finds herself caught up in a curse/legend that ties her family to that of the hero all the way back to the 1800’s. I also have a handful of YA books I’m working on. So many ideas!
Descended from the same bloodline that spawned the likes of James Russell, Amy and Robert Lowell, Margay Leah Justice was fated to be a writer herself from a young age. But even before she knew that there was a name for what she was doing, she knew one thing: She had a deep and unconditional love for the written word. A love that would challenge her in times of need, abandon her in times of distress, and rediscover her in times of hope. Through her writing, Margay has learned to cope with every curve ball life has thrown her, including the challenges of single parenting, the harsh realities of living in a shelter, coping with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the roller coaster ride of dealing with a child who suffers from bipolar disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome. But along the way she has rediscovered the amazing power of words.
Margay currently lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, two cats, and a myriad of characters who vie for her attention and demand that their own stories be told.
You can buy a copy of Sloane Wolf here.
About Dianna GunnI am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.
Posted on February 1, 2012, in Author Interviews, Reading Related and tagged author interviews, Margay Leah Justice, MuseItUp, MuseItUp Publishing, reading, Sloane Wolf, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.