Writer’s journey – How did it all happen?

Well how did I start writing? It was quite odd really. I used to write as a teenager. At the time I had a ginger tom cat called Chester, Mr. Popularity, everyone loved him. He liked to venture afar and we would often have to rescue him. I remember one occasion in particular, my brother and I ended up trudging through the woods, in Blackhall in Edinburgh, to pick him up from a house in the vicinity. He ended up at the most peculiar places. One time he chose to visit a house with thirteen cats! He is a tom cat with attitude!

I told you he liked company. So it seemed natural to  write about cats,  and I kept a diary. My dad was and still is one of my other great sources of inspiration.  He has travelled extensively to the Far East, and Middle East and is a wonderful raconteur.

As far as my writing is concerned the inevitable happened.  I was the typical teenager. I got distracted. I found boys, discos, parties, and my writing suffered. Somehow I didn’t pick it up again for a very long time. This is a regret. A massive regret. But what can I do? I can’t travel back in time, I don’t have a Tardis. So I just have to accept that the time is right now.  You see, I’m still this young girl at heart, just stuck in an older and maybe wiser body. I have experienced more, travelled more, lived more, so hopefully that will make me a better writer.

Several events came together to ignite my desire to write again. First of all I read a lot.  At the time I was reading Dorian Gray and it was definitely a novel that captured my imagination and set my mind free. Also my eldest daughter was studying GCSE Art and I took a sudden interest in art and photography. I’m not saying that I can paint or draw, though I wish I could. No, I enjoyed watching her artistic development and I enjoyed sharing ideas with her and encouraging her.

All of these influences helped me to write my first book, a children’s/YA fantasy set in Cambridge, which I hope to publish soon. The female protagonist in my novel is a teenage girl who paints a puzzle of art. But it is by no means a novel simply about Art. She expresses her sadness, and discovers her magical powers, through the medium of painting and well the rest you will find out when you read the book. Lets just say that a lot happens and I think that it will keep you entertained!  Well I hope so anyway.

Also I know this sounds crazy but my other source of inspiration was a black cat, a  throw back to Chester.  I had never seen this strange black cat before and suddenly he just started appearing in our garden. There was something different about him. He appeared  like a miniature panther, all glossy and splendid, looking for attention, with his mesmerising eyes, I fell under his spell. He liked to show off, he would disappear into thin air, climb to ridiculous heights, or chase his tail around the garden like a demented clown. He just had to play a part in this book too. Lets just say he has a subsidiary part to a main character, who is male, young and very interesting too, just like him. That was the beginning. Looking back I am amazed that from just a few initial thoughts my idea just seemed to grow and grow. Now my debut novel is nearly ready for the final edit. How did that happen? I couldn’t be happier in fact if I had a tail, I’m sure I would be whizzing around and around chasing it with excitement!

Update: I  released my first book The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone in August 26th 2017 in kindle form via Amazon. The paperback is now released too.

M J Mallon _ YA Author

To buy follow this link:  http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime
Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

“This delightful book will appeal to teens and young adults who love stories filled with magical crystals, dark family curses, and mysteries waiting to be solved around every corner. Each chapter leads you on a journey of discovery where Amelina earns the right to use three wizard stones to reset the balance of time and finally break the curse that holds her family hostage. A captivating tale!” – Colleen M. Chesebro (Editor)

Bye for now, xxxxx

M J Mallon Author – The Curse of Time – Book 1  Bloodstone

My links: 

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
Founder of Facebook – #ABRSC Authors/Bloggers Support Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/
Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

 

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269 thoughts on “Writer’s journey – How did it all happen?

    • How sweet of you to say. The lovely comments that I receive on this blog are so encouraging. This journey is taking a bit longer than I originally anticipated but I shall try my very best to reach my goal! Thank you once again for your kind words. 🙂

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    • Thanks, at the moment seems to be a stack of rejection emails but will hang in there, have no intention of giving up. Nowadays there’s always another way, a new avenue to explore to reach the goal of getting published.

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  1. I loved this post. Your fabulous personality really shines through.
    I’m sure you will get a book deal… just keep going. You’ve got further than some of us…er hum!
    I’ve got everything crossed for you. x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Best of luck. I’m only on my 5th or so rejection so far, and, as my brother (who used to be in publishing on the other side) says, “welcome to the profession!” Everything I’ve read implies I’ve got about 80 more rejections to go before I might get to move on to the next stage! It’s fun times! But, as dawn Rumberg headlined in her blog, A World of Possibilities, “A professional writer is an amateur that didn’t quit.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, ‘welcome to the profession,” sounds about right. I’ve managed to crank up a few more rejections than you but I’m nowhere near the 80 stage yet. I love Dawn Romberg’s excellent quote by the way. Anyway hope you get lucky too. Fingers crossed for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I suppose it was Richard Baum’s quote, but she found it. I thought it nicely condensed the perfect pep talk for this phase. The inspirational quotes that don’t address how grueling the process don’t usually cheer me on so much as irritate me!

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      • Yes, nobody knows quite what it is like until you are in the thick of querying and then you’re at the mercy of the replies, or even worse the lack of replies. Some agents don’t even get back to you unless they’re interested, so you’re left with a guessing game of considering whether they are still considering your work, which seems to me to be particularly harsh.

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      • I don’t know. The official rejection email didn’t make me feel any better, but the ones with no definite time frames are awful. Someone had a two week response time, and I could tick it off after not hearing anything for 2 weeks. That was relatively painless, but the ones who don’t specify or allow for a very nebulous period, then you’re left hanging… And I’m currently waiting on the ones I sent out, because I’ll try to tweak the query before the next round if I get no responses… But sitting on it for over a month feels a bit like giving up. It doesn’t help that started in on my next project… But it’s book 2 of the same characters & world, so not a totally different project. (Although I finally got fairly comfortable with the writing/editing process, so it’s not nearly as painful as the querying)

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      • I’m not sure that I have the stomach to go through so many rounds of potential rejection so I may just end up self publishing. We’ll see. it’s certainly a difficult stage and one that I’m not enjoying so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, not “like”… As they say on Facebook, I wish they had a “dislike” button. Are you in the UK? I’ve heard better things about self-publishing there, though my sources may be outdated.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope the querying goes well! I am wishing you the best there because it is never easy. I am a teenager who writes as well, and I hope I don’t give it up! It’s a shame as you did, but as you said we can’t go back so we should simply look to the future ^^ I am sure your writing is going well now, and it’s good that you came back to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Olivia. Thank you for coming by. The querying is tough, time consuming and in truth could be going better. No luck as yet. Still at least there are other options nowadays, self publishing might be an option for me to consider. By the way I will be putting up some short stories soon on my blog via a short story/photography challenge. Any feedback would be great. 🙂

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  5. Great blog! What a great way to get your writing out there, to bounce your ideas off of others, see where it leads. I, too, started out as a young writer and artist, then became sidetracked…mostly by the need to survive! I used to write and illustrate little books as a kid, and gave them away to family and friends. In high school and junior college, I was a journalism student–I wrote for a campus newspaper, was also the cartoonist, illustrator, and later the art director. Later, I took my writing in a more creative direction and attempted fiction, but I just couldn’t get the knack or find my own voice. So I just did various jobs, and later in life, I became an elementary school teacher. I always kept some kind of journal, and tried to keep writing: Poems, letters, opinion pieces, stuff about personal experiences…that’s when I found blogging.

    As of today, I have 2 blogs, one of which you just visited for the #Cherished blogfest. I still haven’t found my direction, but my passion remains the same, as does yours! I, too, hope to one day be published. First, I must find my voice, and a genre to stick with. I considered children’s books…I’d like to draw for them too, but I found out that that is rarely done these days.

    So, keep going, keep dreaming and keep writing! That seems to be the prescription to staying in the game. Meanwhile, I must keep my day job, too! I will check back on your blog from time to time, to see how you are doing, and possibly see you publish your first book! Great good luck to you.

    BTW, I was in Scotland briefly in 1994. I loved Edinburgh and the Orkney Islands. Oban was pretty cool too. Have you considered travel writing? I would, if i still had the means to do so. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog, and sharing yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment, really appreciate it. Yes stick with your writing keep on going, you never know where it will take you. Glad to hear you enjoyed Scotland, Edinburgh, Orkney and Oban. I have considered doing a travel writing idea and I’m currently working on it but it is taking a while to piece together so who knows when I’ll finish that one! I have too many things on the go, and not enough time to finish them all. Such is life….

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are funny and I really liked your ideas about cats. I’m a huge fan of their free spirit and all the myths about them had made sure I always believe them to be magical.
    Great knowing you and I hope we connect better.
    Your novel sounds exciting, would love to give it a read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this story of how you started writing! It happens so often that we leave things from our youth! I am so glad you found writing again and the story of how it all came to pass is lovely! I hope your book does very well, it has a great story to tell I am sure!! Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, that we all had a Tardis at our disposal! That being said, I think it’s never too late to realise a dream and, maybe, with the benefit of life experience and maturity, the dream might be realised with greater focus and success because you’re really sure it’s what you want to do, having tried lots of other things first. All the best of luck with your book, Marje.

    By the way, have you approached literary agents as well as publishers? Very few publishers are taking books submitted to them direct by authors these days. Literary agents tend to be guardians of the gateway. It’s all very frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment Sarah. Yes a Tardis would be nice! Thanks for the tips about literary agents, yes I have tried a few, but no luck so currently waiting to hear back from a small independent publisher, hope this time my luck will be in, otherwise self-publishing is looming on the horizon……

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  9. So interesting to learn about your writing process, how it all began and what has initially motivated you to write…
    I am also very fond of cats and have two, so it was nice to read about Chester 😺… By the way, one of my favorite writers, Haruki Murakami always includes cats in his books and they play very important roles in the plots… I am sure you’ll enjoy “Kafka on the shore”….
    Well then… Thanks for sharing, a great reading… All the best to you, Aquileana ⭐️💫

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love hearing about how authors began and what inspired them. I too had many years between the dream and actually putting pen to paper – so it goes. All in good time, right? Great luck to you with querying an agent. Your book sounds wonderfully creative. 😀

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    • A long time – I started it over two years ago. I’d recommend that if you are a debut author like myself its worth getting a professional eye to look over it. Wished I’d done that ages ago. I’m pausing the querying to go down the self publishing route sometime in 2016. Thanks for your interest. All the best to you too.

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  11. I stumbled across your blog from a post you made on another. I too am trying to publish this year so this struck a chord. You journey sounds familiar in places, well except for the boys bit! Had to follow you, hope you don’t mind. Good luck with the book.

    Best wishes, Gary

    Liked by 1 person

      • I have a terrible habit of jumping on blogs when I see someone comment on a post by a friend. It usually means like minded person so I just have to look round. If I like what I see I follow and comment 😊 Thanks re my writing…early days yet but have completed one book and in the editing end game now 😱

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      • It is why I call it drediting…(dread editing…some people ask!).. I think it is a vile evil thing destined to turn a book you quite like writing into an entity of cataclysmic loathing after the billionth re-read. 🤔

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      • I wish…I find ironing handkerchiefs more fun and yet…I hear some people live it..it’s where the story takes shape apparently…don’t see that myself..I just see endless grammar rules and sentences become words scrutinised for the sake of, well…bring scrutinised…terrible process and by the end I think it’s proper rubbish I’ve read it so often !! 😱

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      • It rather helps knowing others find it an onerous task. This week will hopefully put the current project to bed and then ask…arty…what do I know about book covers? Publish..who how eh? Self or agent…that said in January I looked at blogs and thought the very same 🙃

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Marje! I wish you all the best on your book as you edit it 🙂 I like that you are keeping us current on your progress! It was fun to read about Chester and how you wrote as a teen. I wrote as well in high school, everything from poetry to short stories. Wishing you a lovely day ❤

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  13. I feel like in time a lot of people can get distracted from writing which is always a shame, but at least you were able to rediscover it as something you love and enjoy when you grew up. And I’m so glad reading was what could you bring back to it as well 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I came across you on Goodreads, so wandered over to check out your blog. I wish you luck with your soon to be published book and have linked with you on Goodreads so I will keep an eye out for it. I am new to reviewing but if I can help just shout.

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  15. Good luck in your publishing adventure. I hope I get a chance to read your novel. I feel badly sometimes that I cannot keep up always in the blogosphere though there are so many great blogs out there including yours! I probably told you at some point that I write too- (unprofessionally) I am fond of legend, history and fantasy sometimes all combined- For me it’s just short stories so far. And as you know I love Edinburgh and all things Scottish. I go over frequently to visit relatives and explore.

    Liked by 1 person

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