Today on Wednesday’s Writing & Words, I’m excited to interview Marie Godley and introduce her debut novel, Janalya. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit about your life with us.
Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? Are you married? Any kids? Where do you live?
I live in Christchurch in Dorset, UK. A lovely historical town with ruined castles, an 11th century Priory and an old workhouse that now houses a museum. I only live a mile and half from the beach and about a 15min drive into the New Forest. Sharing this lovely location with me are my husband, teenage son and (for the moment as she’s about to start university) my daughter.
What genre do you write? Why do you like that particular type of story?
I write fantasy stories because (if you listen to my family) I have a weird imagination. I’ve always loved reading, an influence from my youth would definitely be The Chronicles of Narnia (in fact my second children’s book has talking animals alongside elves, a unicorn, a sorceress and other creatures as well as the human protagonist) and although I don’t limit myself to fantasy, I do love the escape of those – and paranormal books. I think that feeling is why I write fantasy – because you can introduce things that don’t have to be real, reality can be rewritten, if only for the length of a book.
What are your fondest memories of writing or reading?
Not sure about fondest memories but some of my earliest memories of reading by myself are reading under the covers by torchlight (something my son used to do, and once he reads this he’s going to be cross that I kept telling him off for doing it) and going to our local mobile library looking for books. My favourite was The Brother’s Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren. I bought this book when my children were the right age for it and read them a chapter a night. Before long my husband was joining the story-telling sessions because he’s never read it.
What are some of your favorite authors and books?
I still love my childhood authors, the previously mentioned C.S Lewis and his Narnia books, as well as Enid Blyton. I find that sometimes you want to read something comforting, without having to concentrate too hard – children’s books that you’re familiar with are perfect for this. As for adult books I’m spoilt for choice, with all of my author friends producing such wonderful stories and I can’t mention them all for fear of taking up too much space but I enjoy paranormal, romance and romance set round police personnel, as well as the more well known authors like Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Rick Riordan and for the classics, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
If you could describe what writing means to you, how would you do so?
Writing still has to take second place to my family, but when I’m writing, the story has to be told. The pictures and dialogue is vivid in my head, whether it translates to the page as well – I don’t know, I guess only readers can tell me that – but it has to be written, I can’t leave my characters without trying.
What is your favorite snack & drink while reading/writing?
Tea. Tea is a must to get me through the day whether I’m writing or not. There’s a great café where I go to write and I sit in the window with my mug of tea – or hot chocolate if I fancy a change and just write. I can get 4 pages of A4 paper filled with my scribble in an hour. My reward snack is M&M’s – chocolate ones. This started because my daughter and I both had stories published in anthologies – her initial is M too, so it seemed an obvious choice.
Which book do you think was best adapted into a movie? Why?
I think the most authentic adaptations are usually the classics because the stories are so well known that they can’t change details in them (except for Pride and Prejudice when they usually lose one of Bingley’s sisters entirely!)
Which book was the least successful adaptation into a movie? Why?
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief is a good movie but if you compare it to the book you’d be disappointed. So many things are changed even the style of the camp that is a big deal in the book is completely different, although it works for the movie. I have to watch the movie without thinking about the series of books and then I can enjoy it.
Write your favorite quote and explain why you picked it?
I like Roald Dahl’s quote – “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” because it’s true but the one that sums up my writing is by John Lennon “I believe in everything until it is disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s just in your mind.”
Any other things you’d like to share?
I’d like to say thanks for having me today and for letting me ramble on. Also just to let everyone know that my first YA novel, Janalya is out on 22nd August 2015. It is available to pre-order.
Janalya is an air elemental, searching for others of her kind.
Katsuo is Shatara, a shape-shifting panther.
History decrees that they are enemies, but fate seems to be handing them different roles. What is Janalya’s true destiny, and is it more complex than even she knew?
If your readers would like to find out more about me, follow my progress, or purchase the book then here are the links: