M.P. Ward - Sam and the Sea Witch
Marion: What was the first book you ever read that really blew your mind, that you couldn’t stop thinking about after you’d finished?
The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
Marion: How do you start thinking about a book? Is it the characters that first pop to mind, or the setting, or the plot? Where do you usually start?
Usually I have a plot then I mind map on paper. For Sam and The Sea Witch, I read about witches living around the English coastline hundreds of years ago selling five strands of weed with three knots in, to the boat captain. Very soon after that, I went to Cornwall, saw this place and the story was born.
Marion: If you could invite five writers, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
John Wyndham, Philip Dick, J K Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Stephen King,
Marion: When was the last time you just had to write, and what inspired that feeling?
I have felt unable to stop since starting Sam and The Sea Witch because it isn’t finished yet.
Marion: When you’re writing, what game do you most often play during “breaks”?
I escape into Call Of Duty Black Ops, which I’m really bad at or read in the bath.
Marion: Have you ever tried to shake up your writing routine? Writing at a different time? Writing in new places? Writing nude? *waggles eyebrows*
I write during the night sometimes or when the house is empty of people. Sometimes I write in the car by the canal. I’ve even wrote some of Sam and The Sea Witch at my sister in law’s house when we stayed with them. I never write in the nude, except when I’m in bed. Often I have to re-read to get the emotion back, before I can continue.
Marion: What is your absolute favorite sentence--just one sentence--from your book?
“For everything good, there’s something bad, and people who have amassed fortunes without the dignity of labour often have dark forces boring deep beneath their surfaces.”
Why? Because this is the message.
Marion: What one scene do you think you spent the most time editing? What was it about it that you couldn’t seem to get right?
When Sam wanted to tell Jenny what had happened. I wanted Jenny to be shocked and surprised with what she heard. My line editor pointed out that this wasn’t the case and it went back and too three times before I felt I had achieved that point.
Marion: What’s your worst writing habit? Something you know you shouldn’t do, but just can’t seem to stop?
I keep using the word “Well” as in “Well, I wonder why I wrote that. I had not noticed until my line editor and content editor both pointed it out.
Marion: What’s the one thing you wish you were good at, but just can’t seem to master?
I wish I could type faster and with all my fingers.
Marion: If you could choose one writing related question you never, ever wanted to hear spoken again, what would it be?
Where do you get your ideas from? Because it is what everyone asks and I can’t often answer.
The Deathly Hallows
Marion: What project are you currently working on?
I am writing the third book in the Sea Witch series. It is called Sam to the Ends of the Earth. Sam and his friends are now sixteen. The witch is more powerful than ever and about to destroy Cornwall, but all Jenny and Johnny can think about is saving Sam’s life.
Marion: About how long does it take you to get from first draft to polished manuscript?
Marion: What does that process look like?
Editor finds flaws and weaknesses in my plot and grammar and I correct them.
Marion: What’s your best book-related memory?
Getting an email from my agent telling me she had a publisher she wanted me to sign up with.
Marion: Your worst?
Getting caught short in our local library. I put my books back and left very quickly.
Marion: What did your “favorite” rejection letter say?
I thought they all said the same thing because I’m sure none of them read it.
Marion: Name a book that, if you find out someone likes it, you know you will get along with that person.
Deathly Hallows because you either love it or hate it.
Marion: Is there a writer whose style or talent you envy? What is it about their writing that draws you in?
I like third person narrative usually and I admire Suzanne Collins for being the only first person writer that captured my attention and I couldn’t stop until I had read all three books.
Marion: Any parting words?
I hope people, young and old, love Sam and The Sea Witch. It’s a rip roaring, sea faring, adventure, filled with myth and legend, in the Cornish setting. If people want to check out my Facebook page that would be great or twitter Sam and The Sea Witch@satswnovel
And if you want to purchase the book or read extracts from it, you can get it now, released as an Ebook from March 15th 2013 at MuseItUp or Smashwords and many other sites. If you prefer paperback it will be available in store from June, not sure exactly what date yet though.
Thanks for dropping by, M.P.!