Enter a realm of magick mirroring Europe in the late 1930s, locked in a repressive government where a girl struggles to see beyond prejudice and aboy has lost faith in humanity.
The era jives with jazz and swing, war divides the land and its people, and the Monarch seeks any with the gifts of magick: the Mages. Fifteen-year-old Claire Royce hates magick, but not as much as her ruthless king’s war. As fate would have it, she ends up stuck in the company of a powerful young Mage, Walter Tully. And when they learn the Monarch is searching for The Sire, the creator of all magick, they know someone must stop him. But are they really up to the task?
TR: Mel, good morning! I am so pleased to finally have you on my site!
MS: Good morning, Thomas…I’m very glad to be here. Thanks so much…
TR: No sense in dawdling around, is there? Tell me, how old were you when you wrote your first piece?
MS: Technically, I was in third grade when I wrote my first full fantasy story, which filled a few composition notebooks. In junior high, however, I wrote a horror story for our grade’s literary magazine. It was required to be at least five pages long, so mine ended up at around 25 or so. But honestly, my first real piece was written when I was 16.
TR: Fair enough So the piece you wrote at 16 – what was it, and in what genre?
MS: It turned out to be a rather long novel – a mix of post-apocalyptic science fiction and mystery, and maybe a little romance. It’s the one book that I’ll probably never publish. I’m keeping that one.
TR: I might ask you if I could read that one privately :). How did you come about writing it?
MS: I was in bed one night, dreading having to get up early for school, and my mind wandered as it always does. I just kept picturing this opening scene of someone (probably me) running down empty city streets in the rain, in the middle of the night, and no lights on anywhere. The image wouldn’t leave me alone, so I just started writing it down.
Before I knew it, this story was growing and evolving beyond my control. I never shared it with anyone for a long time. When I finally showed it to one of my English Professors, he looked at me and said, “You are going to pursue this, right? You do want to be a writer… right?” I’m sure you can guess how I responded.
TR: I can also guess that perhaps you should consider changing your mind about publishing it. Well, you obviously took your professor’s advice. What have you written since then?
MS: I have a number of books taking up space on my computer, in notebooks, and a few still locked away in my brain. Of those that are finished, I’ve set some aside that I would rather have traditionally published. They’re mostly fantasy and science fiction, and a few horror novels. Currently, I have a short story (Nora’s Sun), a novella series (The First Series) available on Amazon.
TR: Sounds as though you took the prof to heart. You’ve been busy. So, what was the inspiration for “The Sire?
MS: It’s kind of funny. I watch what my husband likes to call “cartoons”, but the correct term would actually be anime. My absolute favorite is the work of Hayao Miyazaki, especially Spirited Away. He wrote and directed the animated adaptation of the Diana Wynne Jones novel Howl’s Moving Castle, and it was love at first sight for me. I loved the idea of the world they lived in and so I had to create my own.
TR: Just another case of twisting something into your own, eh? Tell us a little more about it, and where it’s available.
“The Sire” is for teens, but young adults should enjoy it as well. It takes place in a world slightly parallel to that of Europe in the late 1930s, with magick mixed in. You’ll meet Claire, a 15-year-old girl who not only resents the users of magick, the Mages, but also her king and country for persecuting them to the point of war. One night, when she tries to help a poor street kid escape a squad of bullying soldiers, she soon finds she’s the one in need of help. That’s when the boy returns and saves them both with his powers of magick.
Claire’s rather bitter that this street kid she’d tried to save, Walter, isn’t much older than her and is already an incredibly powerful Mage. So, as Walter tries to convince her that Mages are not the enemy, the two are forced to share a journey that ultimately leads them to the truth behind their king’s war. The Monarch, greedy for more power, is searching for the creator of all magick, The Sire. Neither Claire nor Walter wants to know what will become of the world if he succeeds, but there’s no way to be sure they can get along long enough to stop him.
The Sire is available as an ebook on Amazon.
TR: It sounds fascinating! Now, you mentioned getting inspiration watching television, and lying in bed. Is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
MS: I’d love to say sitting on a beach or by a lake or under some swaying willow tree, but no. I usually get my best ideas when I’m trying to go to sleep at night. I just keep a notebook and pencil nearby, and then try to decipher my scribbles the next day.
TR: I recall having some thoughts like that – except I didn’t write them down, and now they’re gone forever. Pooh. Now, you mentioned one day publishing traditionally. What made you choose independent publishing to begin with?
MS: I’d love to traditional publishing one day. That’s actually one of the reasons I decided to independently publish some of my work on Amazon. Going indie has not only helped me start a fan base, but I’ve been meeting tons of great writers, both indie and traditional. I have to say, though, that the best thing I’ve gotten out of all this is the feedback. I learn a lot from the reviews I get for my work, both positive and negative. I want to become a better writer every day.
TR: Sounds like you have a great start on it, and an even better plan. Now, if you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
MS: Having a nice website is pretty important. Your site/blog can really represent who you are, especially since you’re really free to customize it any way you want. But, when you really look at it in terms of notability, social media is our biggest fan. You send out a tweet to your followers, and maybe some of them retweet it to their followers, and maybe some of them… well, you get the idea. I almost fear how powerful social media has become in such a short time, but that doesn’t mean I won’t use it.
TR: It is incredible, isn’t it? Now, to my favorite question – What mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?
MS: After meeting other indie authors and learning about their own journeys, I’m pretty sure I did everything backwards. I mean, I wrote my books first, so that one I did in the right order. But the rest was all wrong. I published my books before I started blogging, before I had an author site, before Facebook, and long before Twitter. I was never into the social media scene, so I never really bothered with it until I decided to publish. If I had started all that stuff while I was still writing, I’m sure I’d be getting more feedback on my work.
TR: That’s a tough lesson to learn, indeed. So, with all the work you have stored up, what’s next from a writing standpoint?
MS: Well, after The Sire, I’m not really sure what I’m going to do next. I have another novella waiting in the wings – a young adult futuristic sci-fi thriller. I’m considering putting that out sometime later this year, but I’m not sure just yet. There are a few other things in my life that I’d like to focus on for a bit. I think it’ll give me the time I need to really commit to some of the stories still stuck in my head.
MS: Thank you so much for having me over today, Thomas. I love what you do for authors, both big and small. It’s a great feeling to know that we don’t all see each other as competition, but rather co-workers – all in this together.
TR: You’re more than welcome, Mel. It was truly my pleasure.
There you have it, folks. A brief glimpse into M.S. Fowle and her work. “The Sire” Is available now on Amazon. Why not swing by and pick up a copy? And if you want to connect with M.S., her links are listed at the bottom of this post.
Tomorrow, my interview is with my brother ‘Big Jim’ Wright and “New Yesterdays”…be there!
M.S. Fowle’s Links
Website – http://msfowle.wordpress.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ms fowle
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/msfowle