Interview with M.J. Scott

, by Kt Clapsadl

I received an early copy of Shadow Kin and I loved it!. Check out my review here. M.J. was gracious enough to spend some time answering some questions for you guys. I hope you enjoy the interview, and make sure you check out her fantastic debut!

M.J will be stopping by periodically to answer your questions, so leave lots of comments :)

Shadow Kin is told in dual first person perspectives, which I love! Was it hard to get inside Simon’s head for the male perspective?

Thanks! Two first person POVs is tricky to do…I’ve written male third person before so it wasn’t so much doing the male perspective but making sure the two of them were really distinct in their thoughts and words. It means lots of editing and paying attention to slang in dialogue. I have a whole section of my world bible devoted to language quirks of characters. But I wanted to have both points of view in these books due to the divided nature of the world.

You really did a good job with keeping their "voices" distinct. How many books do you have planned for this series and can you tell us about what’s in store next?

I’ve sold three books in the Half-Light City series. So that’s what I’m aiming for at the moment. Book 2 – Blood Kin – comes out on 5 June next year and it’s Guy’s book and deals with what starts to happen after the big *can’tsayherespoileralert* thing that happens near the end of Shadow Kin.

Oooo I can't wait! How do you choose your character names?

Usually the main characters arrive with their first names attached. Sometimes their surnames too but sometimes I have to poke around for those. When I do have to pick one, I look at both the meaning and the rhythm of the name. I do the same for minor characters if they don’t tell me their names…look at meanings, look at the naming conventions I’ve set up for the world and go for something that sounds right.

If Shadow Kin were to be made into a movie who would be your top picks for the cast?

I do a collage for my books and my stand in for Simon was Jamie Bamber (Apollo from Battlestar Galactica) Possibly because I was more than a little annoyed about the way Apollo never got his happy ending in BSG. Even though my collage images are more about mood than exact look, Jamie is fairly close to my Simon. Simon is taller though, I think : ). My heroine stand in was Miranda Otto, who’s a red headed Aussie actress but she’s not quite right. Actually whoever the model is they used on the cover is very close to my mental image. I wonder if she can act…

Very good picks! I agree that the cover model seems perfect. There's just something about her that really fits. If you could tell readers one thing about yourself or your books what would that be?

That I had a great time in this weird world that arrived in my head one day and I hope they do too!

What are some of your favorite books in the paranormal genre?

One of my all time favorite paranormal/fantasy/urban fantasy books is Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I have multiple copies and re-read it several times a year. I read a lot, it’s hard to narrow things down to a few. I also love Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Lilith Saintcrow, Keri Arthur, Eileen Wilks, Jacqueline Carey, Guy Gavriel Kay, Sarah Monette, Diana Wynne Jones, Megan Whalen Turner and Lois McMaster Bujold. And I’m a big Terry Pratchett fan.

SunshineMagic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)Moon Called (Mercy Thompson)Night Shift (Jill Kismet, Hunter, Book 1)Full Moon Rising (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 1)Tempting Danger (The World of the Lupi, Book 1)Naamah's Blessing (Kushiel's Legacy)TiganaThe Tempering of MenHowl's Moving CastleThe Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1)Cryoburn (Vorkosigan Adventure)Snuff: A Novel of Discworld

Wow! That is a hefty list. Some of my favorites are there, but some I haven't heard of. Looks like I have some new authors to check out :) Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a lifelong devoted reader, I’m tall, I love cats, coke zero and the color blue. I have a head full of useless trivia (well, maybe not so useless as a writer) and probably regularly make a fool of myself singing in my car.

I'm bad about singing in the car too.. But I'm tone deaf so it's quite scary. What are your passions other than reading or writing?

I knit and sew a bit. I love the colors and textures of yarn and fabric and sewing and knitting are both things that let the mind wander in a way that’s good for story brewing. I love anything that gives me a story fix in another way, so am a big movie/theatre/tv gal.

I completely agree about those being activities to let the mind wander! Although I prefer to crochet.What is the craziest or at least most interesting thing you have ever done?

Well, possibly the most interesting thing that I can confess to on the internet was selling a book (seriously, writers are boring…we stay inside in our pjs a lot, staring at a computer). In terms of non writing things, possibly one of the best things I’ve ever done was be with one of my best friends when she had her babies. That’s an indescribable moment.

Babies are the best! Just for fun. If you were stranded somewhere but had electric, what three things other than basic survival supplies, would you have to have?

My iPod. A laptop with internet and a dvd drive which would cover off work, books and entertainment and ummmmm, electrical devices…not much else. My cat for the third then.

Finish this statement: "You'll like Shadow Kin if.." like fantasy worlds with a bit of twisty intrigue, lots of action and a healthy dollop of romance.

Thanks so much for the interview!

Author Info:

I was born in Melbourne, Australia but grew up in various green and grassy parts of Victoria. I moved back to Melbourne for uni and have stuck here ever since, apart from a brief sojourn in London. My life, apart from the day job, revolves around books, writing, the odd sewing, knitting, spinning or quilting binge and taking orders from my feline overlord.

My two great reading loves have always been fantasy and romance. I grew up reading Tolkien alongside L.M. Montgomery and Susan Cooper, Diana Wynne Jones and David Eddings mixed with Heyer, Austen and all the Harlequin and Loveswept books I could find. So I guess it’s inevitable that I wound up writing books that incorporate both genres.

Find M.J. online: 

Book Info:

On one side, the Night World, rules by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages...

Born a wraith, Lily is a shadow who slips between worlds. Brought up by a Blood Lord and raised to be his assassin, she is little more than a slave. But when Lily meets her match in target Simon DuCaine, the unlikely bond that develops between them threatens to disrupt an already stretched peace in a city on the verge of being torn apart...
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