A big welcome… (If I dare!) to my next interviewee the intriguing Grasshopper, a fine bug of a creature who features in my soon to be released YA Fantasy – The Curse of Time: Book 1: Bloodstone. I have set a tentative date for the release of my e-book – 26th August, so keep a look out for further details and updates about that.
Today, I am interviewing the Grasshopper using the initials MJ – (my author nickname and tribute to my favourite superhero Spiderman’s Mary Jane!)
MJ: Grasshopper, I’m speechless, is that really you? Have you come to eat me up?
Grasshopper: Of course not dear girl, I don’t eat humans, even though I have pincer sharp teeth.
MJ: I can see that… Oh, what a relief! Tell me all about yourself Mr. Grasshopper.
Grasshopper: I am the world’s largest grasshopper escapement. I’m crafted out of the finest materials, only the very best for me.
MJ: Could you explain a little about the Corpus Christi Chronopage?
Grasshopper: The Chronopage is a large sculptural clock, and my home. It is the brainchild of a team of two hundred talented people including sculptors, engineers, scientists, jewellers, and calligraphers. It includes not one, not two, but six new patented inventions.
MJ: How extraordinary! It is a breath-taking invention and I have always found you phenomenally intriguing Mr. Grasshopper. Not surprisingly, you draw crowds of onlookers and tourists on King’s Parade.
Grasshopper: Oh, yes, no one can resist me. I provoke a reaction, people pause, take photos, respond in horror, or delight. And all the while time marches on, in its cruel, relentless manner.
MJ: Such is life. Hence the spikey teeth?
Grasshopper: Yes, I eat away at your life, your youth, your beauty. Sadly, it is my fate. I am at the mercy of my tragic role in this Chronopage. No one is exempt. I am its wretched servant.
MJ: That is sad. My heart weeps for you.
Grasshopper: Indeed, it is the worse fate. Consider how desperate my life is…. Just one long endless forever of tick tock, tick tock boredom. Well, until my mechanics eventually fail.
MJ: Poor you. I sympathise, but you’re not alone in your suffering, are you? There are many characters in The Curse of Time who suffer great sadness.
Grasshopper: Yes indeed, poor Mark, (Amelina’s father,) really does have a rough ride. Young Esme is a prisoner too, and so many of the characters in The Curse of Time are trapped in a time they wish to escape.
MJ: Indeed they are.
For, a moment we contemplate this thought together in a unified silence.
MJ: Could you tell me a little about the unveiling of the magnificent Chronopage?
Grasshopper: Only the finest mind could unveil such a formidable creature as myself. The Chronopage was officially unveiled to the public on the 19 September 2008 by Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking.
MJ: How amazing. And I believe the originator of the Chronopage is inventor Dr John C Taylor, OBE.
Grasshopper: Yes, Dr Taylor, a former student at Corpus College invested five years and £1 million in the Corpus Clock project.
MJ: Wow, this venture must have meant so much to him. Where is the Corpus Christi Chronopage clock located?
Grasshopper: The Chronopage is situated outside the Taylor Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, in the United Kingdom, at the junction of Benet Street and Trumpington Street, looking out over King’s Parade.
MJ: You couldn’t get a better location.
Grasshopper: No, in my humble opinion it is the most magnificent street in Cambridge. Fit for Kings! One has only to see all the fine colleges close to my home to say that.
MJ: You call the Chronopage your home but how can a home have no means of comfortable exit?
Grasshopper: True, my home is my prison. I am a prisoner of time. The exquisite artistry in my wings showcase the most beautiful part of me – my desperate desire and longing to fly free.
MJ: Where would you go if you had a chance?
Grasshopper: Oh, so many places. I long to explore a quiet place untouched by time. Where every blade of grass holds a heartbeat of beautiful tranquillity.
MJ: Sounds so calm, but can such a place exist in this world of turmoil?
Grasshopper: I wonder… Perhaps I will struggle to find such perfection but I sense one day I will succeed.
MJ: Do you play a considerable role in The Curse of Time Book 1: The Bloodstone?
Grasshopper: Yes and No. I exist in dreams, visions, and peoples’ experiences. These will pique your curiosity, dear readers. But, I promise you that you’ll hear more from me in book two. I am looking forward to stirring up a considerable amount of mischief in the second book in the series.
MJ: Sounds exciting.
Grasshopper: Oh, yes it will be, I promise you. When we are young, (or are writing a fresh new story,) hours can deceive you by ticking by slowly but don’t be fooled. Time will progress at an unnaturally rapid rate towards the end of book two but the wait will be worth it.
MJ: Thank you for your fascinating interview Grasshopper.
Grasshopper: I consider it such an honour dear MJ. I wish you every success with your book launch.
MJ: Thank you, dear Grasshopper, you are too kind.
The Grasshopper bows, opens and closes his eyes and I swear he winks.
Photography Credit: All images courtesy of Dr John C Taylor, OBE.
Isn’t the Grasshopper fabulous? He’s a favourite character of mine. Can’t wait to write more about him.
Please visit my other character interviews to find out more:
Bye for now,
My social media hang outs:
Fellow Administrators of The Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club. #ABRSC, myself
Welcome to my M J Mallon author blog otherwise known as Kyrosmagica.
Today, I am interviewing using the initials MJ – (my author nickname and tribute to my favourite superhero – Spiderman’s Mary Jane.)
I have started doing a series of character interviews. Now it’s your turn Ryder…. Previously, I interviewed my black cat character: Interview with Shadow.
Come out of the shadows, Ryder, and let’s chat about your role in my YA novel The Curse of Time: Book 1 – Bloodstone which I intend to release in August. But, before we begin let’s put out the fire….
MJ: That smoke is troubling me.
Instead of answering Ryder lifts his head and blows smoke in my eyes….
So I resort to another tactic… I ask him about himself.
Today for Colleen’s Weekly #poetry challenge I’m focusing on a short excerpt from my debut novel The Curse of Time – Book 1 – The Bloodstone which I will be releasing this summer, (all the relevant details have been emailed to my book cover designer!) plus a new Tanka I’ve written.
Excerpt: The Curse of Time – Book 1 – the Bloodstone
I felt the need to unravel the mystery of my father’s disappearance. Somehow, I knew it all began with Esme, a captured victim of a curse who lived in the mirrors of our house and kept out a watchful eye. I could see her but Mum couldn’t. As far as I could tell, neither could Dad. That suited me because Esme was my secret.
I remembered seeing Esme shortly after she had vanished from school, when Dad disappeared, two years ago. The memories of that day flooded into me so much that I’d thought I had been hallucinating. Poor Esme. When I saw her reflection staring at me in the mirror, the first thing I did to acknowledge her presence was to grab a flannel and try to wipe her away. Some welcoming! Except, she wasn’t a reflection she existed. When she spoke, I almost fell over in shock.
‘Hey, stop that,’ she scolded, ‘I don’t need a shower, you’re making me all smeary.’ I stepped back and stumbled in surprise. This was crazy. Bizarre. Extraordinary, how could this be happening? At that moment, I felt like I had tumbled into a Dr Who mystery. Who else had such a dysfunctional family – a disappearing Dad, an accomplished vanishing cat, a cranky Mum, and now, a girl who lived in mirrors for a best friend? No one!
© M J Mallon 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Hope you enjoyed the Tanka and that the excerpt piqued your interest.
Here’s an infographic to see the type of themes I’ve explored in my YA debut novel – The Curse of Time. Come, enter the maze….
To join Colleen’s fun challenge follow the link: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/06/27/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-39-mirror-harbor/
Bye for now,
My social media links:
Fellow Administrators of our Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club #ABRSC on Facebook, myself, my good friends Colleen Chesebro and Debby Gies. Click on Colleen’s and Debby’s photos to be directed to their awesome blogs. These ladies rock!
I wonder who that paw belongs to? And that crystal…. I think it’s a Bloodstone… That can only mean that we have a visitor to Kyrosmagica. How exciting!
If you remember I interviewed my black cat character Shadow, (who plays an important role in my soon to be released YA fantasy novel The Curse of Time: The Bloodstone,) recently on Kyrosmagica:
My Interview With Shadow, A Black Cat Character With A Past and dear Shadow (the fictional character in my book,) promised to ask Lily, ( a real cat, and supermodel!!!) over to Kyrosmagica for an interview date!
I know it sounds bonkers… but this is Kyrosmagica, and anything can happen here…. ANYTHING!
So Who is Lily?
Lily comes from a busy household of four cats: Charlie aka Madame La Princesse aka
Princess Charlotte Oddpaw, Lily Bee, Ting Tong Maccadangdang and Tooty
Michonne….Tooty and Lily are both black cats, Ting is Siamese and Charlie is
Marje: Tell us a little about the humans and the other cats that you live with Lily?
Lily: My human family are all right – I wish they’d learn to appreciate the mice and birds I bring them a little more, I put a lot of effort into those hunts!
The other cats are all right, as far as cats go. It’s the 21st century though, and us felines have to adapt to living in a multi-cat household. Not always easy… apparently we also have a budgie that lives with us. I often hear him screaming but I’ve never seen him…hmm…wonder why…
Marje: What is your temperament like? Are you an easy-going kind of feline? Or can you be a bit fierce?
Lily: I may be the smallest cat, but I think I’m the fiercest! And provided things go my way, then I’m wonderful to live with!
Marje: Out of the cat siblings that live with you do you have a favourite? Or do you all get along really well? Tell us about Ting, Charlie, Madame La Princesse, and Tooty.
Lily: Ting and Tooty are sisters and quite a bit younger than me, so I find them a bit immature, to be honest. Nice enough, but a bit dim, the pair of them. I used to get on better with Charlie when we were younger, but she was a bit of a bully, and can still be quite… princess-y… if you know what I mean!
Marje: What do you think of my cat character Shadow? He thinks you’re gorgeous!
Lily: Shadow sounds intriguing…exciting… put it this way, I would definitely add his book to my collection! You may thank him for the compliment, by the way.
Marje: Are you a home buddy or do you like to wander far? Do you have a perfect spot for a nap?
Lily: We have quite a large garden, and a park behind us… sometimes on fine clear nights I wander further than I should and remember our wild ancestors…But mostly, I don’t go too far! The best spots for napping are generally on one of the beds, but I’m not fussy. Hey, I’ll sleep on the ironing board if I have to!
Marje: What are you doing whilst contemplating on this slab?
Lily: Actually I’d just been told off for trying to catch one of the frogs that lives in the pond behind me in the picture… so I suppose you could say I’m sulking…
Marje: Sometimes you look a bit thoughtful. I wonder what’s on your mind?
Lily: Sometimes there are deep mysteries of the Universe that need pondering… sometimes I’m just wondering why Mother doesn’t realise none of us like chicken flavour catfood…
Marje: What were you like as a kitten?
Lily: Totally precious! Aren’t all kittens?
Marje: Are you enjoying modelling? Do your cat siblings get jealous?
Lily: Ha ha! Oh yes, I’m enjoying the extra attention from the modelling! Charlie is always thought of as the “pretty” one of the family, so she’s quite jealous! She complained until our mother created an Instagram account that features lots of her pictures Samantha’s Instagram Account… Ting and Tooty don’t really understand the concept of social media… or blogs… or books.. or cameras… well, you see what I mean.
Marje: Tell us a little about the crystals that your owner Samantha collects. And Buddha you seem to hang out with him sometimes… lol… J
Lily: I quite like the crystals our mother collects. Obsidian is pretty cool, it matches my fur, jade matches my eyes, and she did actually use pyrite to help when I hurt my paw. Yeah, Buddha’s all right – sometimes hanging out with him is the only way to get a decent conversation…
Marje: Who is the most temperamental cat, and/or human in your household?
Lily: Most temperamental cat – without a doubt, Charlie. Definitely. She is such a princess… we have a catflap but she has to have the door opened specially for her, special beds in all the best places and when she’s in a temper she doesn’t care who she has a swipe at! Most temperamental human… we don’t really have any… they tend to know their place. Mother can be annoying, always picking me up… kissing me… brushing me… singing to me… hasn’t tried dressing any of us up yet though.
Marje: What is your favourite pastime?
Lily: Well I do play chess – no! Sleeping, of course!
Marje: Do you care for dogs? I hear your owner Samantha’s mum has a doggie…
Lily: My birth mother lived with three dogs and then my human mother actually had a little dog when I was younger. She’s since gone over the Rainbow Bridge, so yes, dogs, I don’t suppose I mind them. Couldn’t eat a whole one though…
Marje: Are you mischievous, getting your paw prints on everything?
Lily: Not really, I just do what I have to do, and if that includes walking on the clean kitchen work surfaces , sitting in the bath with muddy paws, bringing in mice and birds – then so be it!
A HUGE Thank you to Samantha and her son Alex Marlowe for their wonderful photos of Lily and for answering my questions!
I am so glad that Gary @ Fiction is Food introduced me to Samantha. It has been absolutely wonderful collaborating with her. She is a true gem, just as sparkly and lovely as the crystals she collects. Do pop over to Samantha’s blog to see her beautiful cats and crystals: Samantha Murdoch Blog.
These are especially for Lily:
Next, I will be interviewing my male character Ryder on my blog, (with some stunning photographs taken by my daughter,) so keep an eye out for that.
Bye for now from MJ…. This is my new nickname, and author initials…
My social media hang outs:
My New Facebook club: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
The prompt words from Colleen this week are lead and save which are appropriate for two reasons. First, I lost some of my manuscript! Somehow bl**** word, yes I am swearing profusely, lost three of my chapters which had me in a right old state… I knew something was going on when my word count dropped dramatically. Luckily, I’d backed up a recent copy so it could have been worse. Much worse. Secondly, the prompt words lead and save fit in very nicely with my sharing part of my YA manuscript The Curse of Time – Book 1 – The Bloodstone with you lovely peeps.
I decided to write a prose envelope which is appropriate as the story begins with an invitation.
Though, there is no invitation mentioned in this short excerpt from Chapter 2:
At that moment I heard a rustling in the nearby grass. Mitch let go of me startled by the noise. I turned, still clutching the camera to my side as I observed a young man who appeared out of the shadows near the edge of the path. His appearance caught my attention because he wore black jeans and a faded black tee-shirt washed so often that its original colour had all but vanished. His strange eyes sought me out. I stood gazing into two of the strangest eyes I had ever seen. One shone black as the richest smeared ink while the other glowed green and reminded me of the lushness of a meadow.
I continued to stare and noticed a dark shadow cloud Ryder’s face. I acknowledged this subtle yet powerful moment. When his eyes darkened, I swear they flashed thunderous daggers at the lads. Ryder’s face locked into a fixed expression as if he prepared to battle. His body became rigid, and his muscles tensed. I stepped back as I observed the hard ground beneath his feet crack, extending in a black shadow as he moved towards the boys. My hand went to my mouth, and I screamed.
To join in Colleen’s challenge: https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/05/02/colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-32-lead-save/
Hope you like the short excerpt, and the haibun too. Please leave comments to tell me what you think.
Bye for now,
If you’d like to join Team Awesome, a club for bloggers, bookish souls, and authors do get in touch we hang out on Facebook here:
and we have a general information page here too:
Don’t be shy, join this supportive, friendly club. x
I am having a bit of a break through in terms of my publishing plans:
First I’ve changed the name of my manuscript from The Krystallos Cottage to The Curse of Time. This has had quite an impact on the general direction of the novel, with more emphasis on the dark side of the story. But the theme of light/darkness, and good/evil, still prevails. I have done some extra research into self harm, anxiety, and schizophrenia as one of my characters self harms.
There are still lots of light-hearted aspects in the crystals, storyline, dialogue, etc. So I do hope that this will have something for everyone.
I have had two beta readers working hard to make my manuscript the best it can be. Graeme Cumming author of Ravens Gathering read through the first draft and my bookworm daughter/budding writer Natasha Mallon, has been reading through the final draft, both have done an amazing job and I can’t thank them enough. So the final beta read is now done and I am in the final stages of editing.
At last, it’s nearly there. There will be lots of work to do…. edits of chapters, removal of one chapter, some extra work on dialogue, a few paragraphs here and there that are unnecessary, and I have been working on three short but hopefully powerful chapters to develop the dark aspect of the story.
At the moment it looks as if it is likely that the finished novel will be aimed at the YA market.
In the meantime I’m busy writing my author bio and my blurb…
As well as this I’ve won an month’s advertising in Jenny At Neverland’s blog in November and I’ve decided that would be the ideal time to get everything ready for publishing. Fingers crossed! So, perhaps I may get this book out in time for Christmas….
More news, I’ve contacted the inventor of the Corpus Chronopage, Dr John Taylor OBE, to ask for permission to use an image of this celebrated local clock and tourist attraction on my book cover. My manuscript has been approved by his publicist Tina Fotherby at Famous Publicity. This is great news – now I know that my book cover is going to be pretty striking.
So now I’m getting some ideas together regarding cover photography and Wendy Anne Darling is going to knock it all together for me: https://wendyannedarling.wordpress.com/bookxeedo-book-covers
I am considering the possibility of a domain name for this blog too. I’m fond of Kyrosmagica but wonder whether my author name should appear in my domain. If anyone has any advice do let me know.
Here are some more photos of The Corpus Chronograph courtesy of John C Taylor OBE.
The first is of Dr John C Taylor and his magnificent invention.
This one is the Grasshopper with his shadow… pretty cool! Especially as one of the themes in my book is shadows…
The Corpus Chronophage at dusk
The scary grasshopper in all his close-up glory! EEK!
Do let me know what you think of the Corpus Chronopage images. I am absolutely thrilled with them… So one of these with the right dpi (not all pass the level of dpi required for a book cover,) will be gracing my front and back cover. Decisions, decisions!
Bye for now.
It has been an age since I joined in #BlogBattle and I’ve missed it but I’ve been very busy editing my manuscript so I have a bit of an excuse! Anyway, this week the prompt word just seemed to speak to me: Voice. I have just the story in mind! It’s an idea inspired by my current WIP novel, The Curse of Time, which I’m currently sharing on Wattpad, (Prologue and first few chapters….)
My short story is a YA Fantasy… with a touch of wacky humour. This short story takes a quirky look at what might have happened if the main character in my WIP: Amelina, had her missing dad return as a zombie!
The Knock At The Door – The Buried Voice.
I heard a knocking coming from the front door, a light tapping, but persistent sound. I ran downstairs. Through the frosted glass I saw a hazy silhouette. The knocking stopped. I opened the door a fraction and peered out.
I spied a half dead living body exhibit, a horror museum zombie. I staggered. This thing was gasping for breath, making terrible rasping sounds. His eyes were bleary, sad pools of stagnant misery. I clung to the door frame, seeking support, almost mimicking him. I wanted to run, to escape this visitor, but instead I let him in. I don’t know why I did. Somehow it seemed the right thing to do. One thought gave me comfort; I figured that if this stranger turned nasty I could run faster than he could. He hobbled into the house, each step a slow, painful shuffle. I pulled the dining chair out for him. He didn’t sit, he collapsed. I didn’t know what to do next. I hovered for a moment uncertain. His breathing continued to rattle in his rib cage, so I rushed off to get him a glass of water. When I returned he held the glass with his pinky extended, his hand shaking, the water spilling. He lifted the glass to his lips, drinking in gulps that tugged at my heart.
‘Amelina,’ he croaked, his eyes swimming out to reach mine.
The ocean currents of his sad lost eyes drew us together. The shock pummelled me with a force that I couldn’t begin to describe. His voice couldn’t say the words he longed to say, those syllables were lost on some faraway shore, yet I knew what was in his heart.
He had my name in his heart. Of course he had. I knew who he was, of course I did. That pinky told me before he did. He’d always had trouble bending that finger, ever since he’d broken it, mucking about on a family holiday in Cornwall.
I heard the sound of mum turning the key in the door; she didn’t have a clue what was coming. She was adrift in the sea and had no idea.
She walked into the hallway.
‘Amelina, I’m home,’ she yelled.
I didn’t reply. I couldn’t say a word. That pinky still had me transfixed.
Mum walked in and saw us. She staggered, and swayed.
‘What, the….. who… is….’
He lifted the glass with trembling hands and she saw the truth.
Poor mum. It was all too much for her; she swayed, and then fainted.
Mum was out cold. I didn’t know what to do. Zombie like dad took over; he picked up his glass and waved it in mum’s direction. I got the parental message. Water. That’s when I heard it, this plaintive meowing coming from the patio. A black cat had his nose pressed against the glass. I rushed to get mum the water, passing by the patio door on the way to the kitchen I didn’t stop to think I let the strange cat in.
Before the water even reached mum’s lips, she came to, stirring.
I gave the cat a bowl of milk. It seemed the thing to do. He supped it up as if he was starving. I gave mum the glass of water; she swallowed it down gulping back tears.
By now Mum had clocked dad. This second viewing couldn’t have been a pretty sight, but she braved it. She didn’t cry out. Instead the expression on her face almost hiccupped as if she was swallowing her shock, a bitter watery pill. She must have noticed the cat too but didn’t object. I expect she didn’t have the energy.
Much later that evening mum and dad were getting reacquainted. The reunion, if you could call it that must have been slow and painful. A chat with halting words, a slow shuffling to get to know each other again. I withdrew to my bedroom.
Nothing could quite match that first shock of seeing dad but what happened next came close. I saw a tiny person captured in my bedroom mirror. I thought I was hallucinating. So I tried to wipe her away with a flannel.
‘Hey, stop that,’ she scolded, ‘I don’t need a shower, you’re making me all smeary.’
I stepped back. This was crazy. First dad reappeared, then the cat fell in the door, and now I had a talking girl captured in my bedroom mirror. WTF. I recognised this tiny person; it was Esme, a girl from my school who’d vanished suddenly with no explanation.
I closed my eyes willing her away. I just couldn’t take anymore. Things like this just didn’t happen to an ordinary girl like me.
When I reopened my eyes, she was still there, frowning, as if I’d captured her and put her there, like I made it my habit to be her jailer. She scowled. I ran through the house and checked each mirror. She was in all of them. Every single one. Ugh.
I had scowling Esme on tap.
A dad, who kinda did the, kinda didn’t do the zombie dude scuffle.
And a black cat who craved attention.
Sometimes fate ladles out wicked blows. Our once happy family was a distant memory, and laughter became a cruel joke.
Now we’re an unhappy family of three plus a mirror girl and a strange black cat with a white handkerchief fur necktie. This cat dude knows how to dress. Yeah, he came house hunting in his Sunday best looking for loser owners. Our sad house remembered its past, shrunk, and became a reflection of our sorrow. Nothing was ever going to be the same, but one sad fact remained, the curse wasn’t trapped.
© Marjorie Mallon. 2016. All Rights Reserved.
1000 words max
fictional tale (or true if you really want)
PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
Go for the entertainment value!
State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
#Blogbattle is a wonderful community of short story writers via Rachael Ritchey, do pop over to her blog to find out more:
If you’d like to continue reading The Curse of Time or perhaps would like to read the prologue too here’s the link to my Wattpad page:
Hope you enjoyed my short story. Please do comment about my current WIP – The Curse of Time – here or on Wattpad, I’m looking for feedback – all opinions gratefully received.
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
I have some exciting news for you!!!
I have shared my Prologue of my manuscript on Wattpad:
Second piece of news is I’ve decided to change the title. For ages I’ve been thinking of The Crystal Cottage, Krystallos…. but after much thought and some feedback from friends, family, and my blogging buddies, I’ve decided on – The Curse of Time..
The prologue is a recent development, so I would appreciate it if I could get some feedback – prologues tend to be a bit of a pain in the ***. Comments, positive critiquing, are welcomed so I can make this beginning to the story the best it can be. With that in mind, I’m doing a gentle ask here – if you could please share this post on social media, and reblog. This request is doing the rounds on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ and might even make it to the photographic shores of Instagram!!
I would be so grateful. You can count on lots of shout outs, hugs, and Easter eggs in return. I promise.
Thanks so much,
Happy Easter Sunday…. love ya!!
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx