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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Author Interview: Margaret A. Millmore

Today I am pleased to present to you all the seventeenth in a series of Author Interviews. Recently I sat down with the multi-edited Margaret A Millmore and our conversation went something like this:

Paul:  Do you have any writing rituals?
Margaret:  Not really, I just write until I drop…

Paul:  What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
Margaret:  I’m a fan of fiction (thrillers, some paranormal, some low grade horror, mysteries and some sci-fi). I’m an avid Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and Dean Koontz fan. I love tons of other authors too; a good book is just that, good!

Paul:  If someone had the power to step into your creative mind what would they see?
Margaret:  I can’t be sure, probably a jumble of thoughts that would seem like nightmares to most, but I often find inspiration in those thoughts.

Paul:  What is a typical day for you?
Margaret:  I’m usually up between 4:30 and 5 a.m., I check emails, respond to them and do some promotional work, then I write and write some more, usually until my eyes go cross-eyed…

Paul:  In all the years you’ve been publishing your work, what is the biggest mistake you made that you could share so others can avoid making it?
Margaret:  I’ve only been published since September 2011 with one novel (I do have a new series coming out in August though). When my book, Doppelganger Experiment came out, the initial reviews were great and I loved that. But a few months down the road I started to receive some bad reviews, all of them focused on bad editing. To be sure, I was quite upset, but after reading those reviews I realized one very important thing: I could blame my publisher for not thoroughly editing the book or I could own those mistakes. I owned them, after all they were mine! I asked my publisher to pull the book and have it re-edited by a seasoned editor and I too made some additional changes. That experience has made me look at everything I write with an entirely new perspective, and hopefully my writing is better for it. Doppelganger was re-released in February 2012.

Paul:  How do you find the time to write?
Margaret:  That can be very difficult as I work outside of the home 2 days a week and more often than not I have a multitude of obligations that take up the weekends. I make myself write at least 3 days a week, all day long, and I also work in the evening and early morning hours.

Paul:  What is one thing you hope I do not tell the readers?
Margaret:  Ha! A loaded question if ever there was. I would hate to hear that you didn’t like my current or future works…

Paul:  Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Margaret:  Generally I run with it until I get stuck, which is usually about a 1/3 into the story. Then I begin to plot out where I want it to go.

Paul:  Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Margaret:  At this stage in my writing career, I think I over-edit, sometimes that pulls away from the story, sometimes that makes it better. I think as time goes by, I’ll develop a better rhythm for that sort of thing and the editing process will smooth out.

Paul:  Do you have to do much research for your stories?
Margaret:  It completely depends on the story. In Doppelganger I did some research. In my upcoming release (which is a series) I had to do quite a bit of research, but I learned so much that it was quite enjoyable.

Paul:  What is your most recent book? Tell us a little about it
Margaret:  Doppelganger Experiment – Sept. 2011 and re-issued Feb. 2012 - After more than four weeks in a coma, Jane woke up to find several things wrong; she didn’t remember the last three years, she was married to a man she didn’t know, and frightening dreams were infiltrating her sleep. But were they dreams or memories? As she struggles to recapture a life she doesn’t remember she discovers clues that lead to flashes of memories and the discovery of horrific experiments that end in murder... and something worse than murder.  A psychological thriller based in San Francisco.

Paul:  What inspired you to write this book?
Margaret:  The idea for Doppelganger had been with me for years, but the story wasn’t going anywhere. Something my father-in-law said inspired the story along and I ran with it. The idea for The Four was based on the dynamics and bonds of friendship between life-long friends; it quickly morphed into one of my favorite sub-genres though: vampires and werewolves.

Paul:  Do you also write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Margaret:  I’ve written some flash fiction, but no poetry or non-fiction.

Paul:  Do you have any pieces of work that will never see the light of day?
Margaret:  I keep a folder with ideas for stories, some of those might turn into something, and some will simply sit there forever.

Paul:  Do you enter competitions? Are there any you could recommend?
Margaret:  None so far.

Paul:  How much marketing do you do for your published works or for your ‘brand’?
Margaret:  I market in some shape or form each and every day.

Paul:  What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Margaret:  My least favorite is the promotional aspect, it has been daunting. I had no idea what was involved and how time consuming it would be. My favorite is a good review, when someone genuinely likes and enjoys my work.

Paul:  What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or party tricks?
Margaret:  I love to travel with my husband and our friends.

Paul:  Well Margaret, thanks for the interview. I wish you every success for the future.

About Margaret A Millmore: I was born and raised in Southern California and moved to San Francisco in 1991. I currently reside there with my husband. I am the grand-niece of Irish author Benedict Kiely and the second cousin of Irish author Sharon Owens. I have one published novel, Doppelganger Experiment and two flash fiction stories for Bay Area artist Kenny Mencher (The Welcome Home and Untitled-Luke N. Goode).

Margaret's Website: Margaret A Millmore
Margaret on Twitter: @MMillmore
Margaret on Facebook: Margaret Millmore
Margaret's latest book: Doppelganger Experiment (Amazon)

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