Today, I have the great privilege of interviewing Madeline Dyer, author of fiction and non fiction works, and a really cool person. We met on Twitter and quickly became one of my favourite tweeps :)
So, let's find out a little more about the person before we get on to the writing.
About Madeline Dyer, fantasy and prehistoric fiction author.
Ever since I was little I have been a keen reader and have wanted to write my own book, that I can display proudly on a shelf in my kitchen. Wherever I am, I always seem to find inspiration, whether it be for a setting, plot or character. Now I try to always carry a notepad to jot down those ideas that come flying at me when I least expect it, (although the ‘notes’ application on my iPod is also very useful!).
The main genres I like to write are of the fantasy category, young adult fiction and prehistoric fiction. As a teenager I was very impressed with Auel’s ‘Earth’s Children’ series and even started planning my own prehistoric series – books which I still haven’t finished.
I am the co-owner of a miniature Shetland pony stud, and the ponies are absolutely adorable. Each has their own personality, making them so individual – something that is important for characters in fiction too!
I am an EzineArticles.com expert author – here I write articles on a variety of topics from Pets to Article Marketing. Check out my articles!
Also don’t forget to have a look at My Blog I try very hard to update it regularly with all the latest writing news, new releases and recommended reads.
When I’m not writing or reading I like to do a spot of photography, drawing and anything to do with arts and crafts. Or of course watching Eastenders on iPlayer.
I get my inspiration for such writing from a variety of sources and places. The initial idea for a story may be sparked by going to an atmospheric place, reading folklore and mythology, listening to songs (with good and meaningful lyrics), seeing a very good t.v program or reading other novels in similar genres that I’m interested in. Alternatively, I’ll just see something in real life and think about what could have caused that to happen, expand on it, build a story behind and there it is – a story waiting to be written.
When I have an idea for a story I’m really excited about I’ll try to ‘hold off’ writing it for as long as possible, so I can develop it in my mind and add new twists to the plot. And when it eventually comes to the actual writing stage I’ll write out a brief outline, add more detail, do research into the background of the story (where’s it is going to be set e.t.c) and then write the scenes that are the most exciting, usually the climax of the plot. And then it’s just the rest of the book to write that’s left. Easy!
On a recent ‘count-up’ I found I had over fifty different story lines written in great detail (both on paper and the computer) but I doubt that all of these will be novels I finish, and even less will be the ones that get published. This is mainly because I lose interest in some of them, or think “I’ll do that one another time.”
Recently I’ve been thinking about maybe writing some non-fiction on animals and animal-narrative-fiction.
I write because “it’s fun creating magical new worlds you can escape into where anything you want to can happen.”
Interview with Madeline
Who's your favourite character from your own writing
My favourite character from my own writing would probably have to be Jadeiani Tayali (aka Jade); she's the narrator of my Spirit Of Fire series, and is one of those characters who's just always 'there' for me. Like, when I encounter strange situations, somehow, I just know what she'd do.
For the character of Jade, I did LOADS of characterisation notes and interviews. She's probably the character that I know most well out of all my books—she's just so full of life and in your face (but not in a bad way!). Also, Spirit Of Fire was the first fantasy novel that I actually managed to finish, so that book's special to me, and so, naturally, Jade is too.
Who's your favourite character from someone else's work
Now, this is a tricky one! I absolutely fell in love with the character of Rose Hathaway in Richelle Mead's 'Vampire Academy', so I'd probably have to say her.
Which of your characters would you most like to have round for dinner and what would the topics of conversation be
With this question, the answer came into my head as soon as I read it: Zaklos Ebern. He's one of the main character from my Forbidden trilogy, and I had so much fun writing him. He's so internally conflicted and full of hatred, yet he has an element of 'properness' to him that would make him the perfect dinner guest. Conversations with Zaklos would likely rotate around politics, imprisonment and his sister.
Which of your characters would most like to have after dinner and why
Okay... I think I'll have to say Jade's twin brother, Jakar Tayali (commonly known as 'Jack'), also from the Spirit Of Fire series. Like Jade, he (and their younger sister Lilivati) were disowned by their parents, and he's been through a tough time; because of this, he has an interesting take on life. He's protective towards his sisters, loyal towards his friends, has no qualms about standing up for what he believes in, but he also knows how to have a good time. Many a time, I have had to 'rescue' him when he's been out doing his crazy stuff... He's not the type to sit down for a formal meal, which is why he'd have to come after dinner, and, most likely, take me out!
if you could look twenty years into the future what would you like to see your characters doing
Okay, so for the Spirit Of Fire series, I'd love to see Jade having been accepted for who she is, and for there to be equality in the world between the two warring species, and their human pawns, (I'm trying not to give away the massive spoiler at the end of the first book here!). As I'm still writing the later books in this series, I can't really say more than that (or which guy Jade will end up with) as I don't want to give too much away for any potential readers!
What's your favourite image or photograph
I have this brilliant photo of my pony, Victor, holding a stick—when he was a foal, he used to engage in a lot of dog-like behaviour, and would actually fetch it for you! So, it would be this photo, that's probably my favourite.
What's your favourite holiday destination. It has to be somewhere you've already been and an anecdote about what you did when you were there would be cool
I love Valldemossa in Mallorca. It's a little village on the island, that's situated kind of between the mountains and the sea. I've so far been there once, and would love to go again.
Hmmm... as for an anecdote.... There are wild goats that roam the mountains and a small herd (with a few kids too) came right up to the hotel's grounds and appeared to be 'joining in' with the table tennis tournament that was taking place!
What's your dream holiday destination, somewhere you haven't been. Which character from your own or anyone else's work would you like to take with you
I'd love to go to Iceland as I've heard that it's sooooo beautiful! And I'd love for Mr Darcy to go with me! ;)
Have you ever laughed out loud or cried in public either when writing your own work or reading someone else's
Well, I don't tend to write in public places, but I've certainly laughed out loud and cried when I was writing in my house. As for reading others' work in public; I remember laughing out loud when I was with a group of friends at lunch one time. I had to read them a small extract of what I'd been reading, and we couldn't stop laughing. I can't remember what the book was though...
Choose a character and tell us, using their voice, why we would want to read about them
This is one of my favourite questions that I have been asked! Okay, this is Jack from the Spirit Of Fire series.
Ya better read about me for these three reasons. If you don't, it's your loss. Not mine.
One. My twin has gone mad. She thinks she's an alien. And she thinks she's in love with this bloke who's just... It's would be too rude to put it here.... He's obviously just using her, but she's too stupid to see through him. And my other sister? She's fifteen and pregnant by a guy who's nine years older.
Two. I've got meself in a bit of trouble, and who doesn't like one of them action chases that you see in them films that are always on? Oh, and the blood too. Always room for a bit of blood and gore.
And three. I'm just so cool. I'm way cooler than anyone else you'll read. If ya don't read about me, ya won't know what you're missing. And, man, are you missing loads. Loads, I tell you. I know just how to have a crazy night and still be functioning the next morning. Ask Jade. She'll tell ya.
Are you ticklish
Nope, I'm not!
Are you allergic to anything
Yes, potato starch. Weird, I know!
Do you have a recurring dream
I have a lot of dreams with reoccurring themes and motifs, but not one particular dream. Often, I'm being chased by animals or people into dark woods... and when I was little I did keep having dreams that would end with the ground folding up into a football, with me in side. Giants would then precede to play a match with this football. And, then, thankfully, I'd wake up.
Do you have any phobias
I can't think of any of the top of my head, (I'm not scared of the usual ones, like spiders or heights), but every single person has some sort of phobia on some sort of level...
What would be the most frightening situation you could imagine yourself being in
I suppose the most frightening situation would be if someone had hurt all my family, or maybe I had to watch someone hurt them? I also wouldn't like to be chased into a dark alleyway either.
Have you, or would you consider, writing about it.
There are elements of both of the above in Forbidden Embrace (Book 2 of the Forbidden trilogy), as Rose is forced to watch those she loves be hurt, and she does get chased at a number of points too.
What do you like to read
I like to read anything that's fantasy or science fiction, particularly if it's aimed at the YA readership, though I do love Richelle Mead's adult novels too. I also like historical romances, mainstream and Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series.
Could you tell us a little bit more about your work, current and future and add any sales links, information etc. You can include an excerpt in you'd like
I'm primarily a fantasy and science fiction writer, though I do delve into other genres and I also write the Mad On Animals non-fiction series. I started off as a short story writer, and still love to write shorts and flash fiction. All my published fiction has been published traditionally, and I self-publish my non-fiction through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing.
Okay, so my current projects; I'm working on Blood Of The Phoenix (Spirit Of Fire #2) and Spirit Of Fire #3 (I haven't yet finalised the title). In terms of word counts, I'm around 40,000 words into Blood Of The Phoenix, and I expect it to be around 130,000 when finished. I'm also working on a new project, The Werewolf's Daughter, which will be the first in a new series, and am currently 35,000 words into the first draft.
Once these are finished, I'll be drafting out an outline for the third Forbidden novel and writing that, then going back over the latest drafts of Blood Of The Phoenix, The Werewolf's Daughter. And then I'll start 'proper work' on the third Spirit Of Fire book.
Along side all this, I'll be finalising the publication of the fifth Mad On Animals novel, writing a few more short stories, and hopefully working on a new sci-fi novel that I've been planning for ages. In terms of an excerpt, I'm going to give you a very short one. This is the opening sentence of my new sci-fi novel:
I'd always known he'd come for me; I just hadn't expected it to be on my wedding day.
You can find Madeline on her website Here
At her Amazon Author page Here
At her Blog Here
Check out her articles Here