My guest is Margay Justice, an eclectic writer, who by her own admission has a myriad of characters running around in her head!
How do you take your coffee, Margay?
MARGAY: Like I say to my daughters, I like it with a pound of sugar and half a cow; in other words - light and sweet!
Ally: No problem. I'll pour. Please show us your bio before we get started on the questions.
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. 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. In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, knitting her way through a stash of yarn that almost rivals her TBR pile!
And something unusual about me: I can read words upside down - I've been doing it since I was two and have the picture (somewhere) to prove it!
MARGAY: Wow, that's an excellent question! Though I don't always plan to write in a certain genre (I don't do strictly paranormal, for instance), I usually do know what genre I'm writing in when I start a book. It comes down to the characters and the story they want to tell me; that's how genre is decided. As for which comes first - that's like the whole chicken and the egg thing, isn't it? I think for me, most of the time, it's the characters that come first, just popping into my head and demanding to have their story told.
Ally: What inspired you to write The Scent of Humanity?
MARGAY: Actually, true life instances. It was inspired by something that actually happened to me and my family. The core element of the story - the attempted kidnapping of Silvie when she was a girl, then the attempted kidnapping of her niece many years later, in the same town (but by different people) - that is actually true. It really did happen to me and one of my nieces.
Ally: Describe what you do on a typical writing day.
MARGAY: My writing days aren't easy to describe because they don't always follow a pattern. Some times, I write at night (I always try to get some words on paper before I go to bed), other times, I write all day. It depends on what kind of distractions I face during the day and how deep I get into the zone once I start. Just the other day, I had a marathon session that started at around eleven in the morning and lasted until about four the next morning - I can't even remember if I stopped to eat during that time!
Ally: What do you hope to accomplish with your writing by January 2016? By January 2020?
MARGAY: I really hope I can build a solid foundation to live on as a writer and just continue with what I'm doing now, not just with my own writing, but with supporting other authors by showcasing them on my blog. Love paying it forward.
Ally: It's time for a few quick answer questions before we show readers your book.
- a. What's the most unusual item in your clothes closet? Hmm, maybe leg warmers that I knit myself.
- b. What kind of car do you drive? What would you like to drive? I don't have a car at the present, but I'd love to drive a mini Cooper.
- c. favorite evening snack: Chips or cookies
- d. favorite clothes accessory: Don't really have one; my tastes are pretty simple these days
- e. a place you'd love to visit: I'd love to visit the places my ancestors hail from like England, Scotland, Ireland and France (specifically, Paris) and trace my ancestry while I'm there!
Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. In theory. But in one small town, in one family, that theory is put to the test.
Growing up in a rural town in Massachusetts was supposed to be safe, but for SILVIE CHILDS, that safety was shattered by a kidnapping attempt that forever changed her life. Now, nearly twenty years later, that sense of safety is challenged again by the kidnapping attempt on her young niece, and Silvie is left struggling with one question: How can something like this happen twice in one family?
It is a dilemma shared by NICK FAHEY, the detective assigned to the case. Arriving on the scene of the abduction attempt, Nick expects to run a routine investigation. Until he meets the victim, the niece of a woman he once considered a dear friend. Unfortunately, these days Silvie Childs can barely stand the sight of him.
Once there was a time when Silvie Childs worshipped Nick Fahey, believing he could do no wrong. Until the accident that nearly killed her brother; the accident that Nick reportedly caused. Coming on the heels of her own near abduction, the accident skewed Silvie’s ability to trust men – especially Nick. But now, with the attempt on her niece’s safety, Silvie finds herself in the untenable position of having to trust Nick to bring the kidnapper to justice.
That trust is severely tested when, after only two months, the case is closed for lack of new evidence. Feeling betrayed by the system in which she works as a paralegal and by Nick, Silvie takes matters into her own hands. Contacting local news stations to generate interest in the case, allowing herself to be filmed hanging sketches of the suspect on telephone poles, she will risk her own safety to protect that of her niece. When her efforts re-open the wounds of her past, she is once again forced to put her trust in the one man who still has the power to hurt her – Nick