Margeaux Laurent is an amazing author and an awesome person. Very late last night, I put the call out on twitter for a guest blog and she came through for me in less than 24 hours. I appreciate this so much! I decided to ask her some questions about her writing process and her current book series. Hopefully Book 2 will be out soon, until then, here is the interview!
What is your writing process like? Outlines? Music? Time of day? Where do you write? That type of thing.
My writing process normally begins while I’m exercising. Being on the treadmill or elliptical gives me a chance to think and just let my mind go. Then, after my workout, I move to the computer where I make bulleted outlines, character descriptions, and write down all the basic ideas that I have formed.
I typically have classical music playing while I’m writing (Mozart and Vivaldi are my favorites), but while I’m in the creative process, I listen to lots of different types of music. The music genre I choose depends on the mood of the scene I’m constructing. For example, if I’m writing about Celtic magic, then I’ll play some Loreena Mckennitt, or if it’s an intense battle scene, maybe Apocalyptica’s music will fit the mood.
I’m a night owl, so I typically write from about midnight until four in the morning. At the same time, I’ll spend the majority of the day thinking about the story, researching, and gathering all other information I will need. I guess that for me, writing is an ongoing process. I always joke that the reason I wrote Spellbound was because the story was haunting me and I felt that if I put it down on paper, I might finally get a good night’s sleep.
Where did you get the ideas for your characters and setting?
Well, the main character, Aislin, has been with me since I was young. I have always been interested in witches and when I visited historical Colonial towns (like
), I would often imagine her. walking amongst her townsmen, but holding the secret that she was a witch. With the main character solidly grounded, the setting and story seemed to evolve around her. Williamsburg, Virginia
As far as the side characters go, they just came to me. They aren’t based on real people, although I’m sure aspects of my friends and family have made their way into the characters.
Did you go to college? What did you major in? Yes, I graduated from
with a Bachelors of Science in Applied Biology and with a minor in Applied Psychology. Arizona State University
At what age did you figure out you wanted to be a writer? Is there anything else you want to do besides write?
I suppose that I only came to consider writing as a career after I had written Spellbound and had given it to a few friends to read. I had mainly written the story for myself, but after so many people encouraged me to publish it, I started to seriously consider making a career out of writing. At any rate, I am very glad I did make that choice. It is a wonderful thing to be able to do what I am most passionate about.
I was very fortunate to grow up with two older brothers who told me that I could do anything I set my mind to. They always treated me as an equal and encouraged me to do everything from acting, to dance, to horseback riding to karate, and even play sports with them. So, when I was a child, I wanted to be just about everything because I felt that I had no limitations. I thought about careers ranging from veterinary science (I have always loved animals and grew up with tons of pets), to archeology (I really wanted to be Lara Croft). I considered it all.
Which classics are your favorites, if any? Why?
This is going to be a long list. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorites. The story dealt with social issues that were sometimes difficult to face, but it’s a worth while read. Then there’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Dracula’s Guest (I LOVED this short story), the two quintessential vampire novels that captured my imagination as a child. From Shakespeare, I have always gravitated toward his comedies, like A Midsummer’s Night Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is another great novel and Oscar Wilde’s The Important of Being Earnest always makes me laugh. I’ll be a little bold here and call Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire a classic. This is the book that caught my imagination and made me a passionate reader. The story was so deep and truly explored the ideas of immortality from a humanistic perspective. I think it’s brilliant.
It’s hard to pick just one. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy comes to mind though. The characters are wonderful and the storyline is rich. It’s hard not to love the world that J.RR. Tolkien created, even down to the languages (and no…I don’t speak them). For me, the underlining message that good will always triumph over evil as along as you don’t give up, is such a simple, but powerful statement. The right path is normally not the easy path, but we should never lose hope and never give up.
I like a lot of different kinds of music, but if I had to pick one band, I’d say it’s Evanescence.
Finally talk about your book. Obviously. What was difficult about writing it? Easy? Can you talk about your next project?
Spellbound The Awakening of Aislin Collins tells the story of nineteen-year-old Aislin, a girl with exceptional abilities who lives in a time where religious freedom is nonexistent and she is forced to hide who she is. If the townsmen learned of her powers, she would be tried and executed for witchcraft and her family would be ostracized from the community (if they were lucky). Since learning that she is a witch, she has done well at keeping her secret. It is when a witch hunter comes to town and targets her, that all her secrets are in danger of being revealed and it may cost her everything she holds dear. Meanwhile, a mysterious young man has arrived and has captured Aislin’s attention. He is promising to protect her and she cannot stop herself from falling in love with him, but her mother is suspicious and fears that Aislin is falling into a trap.
The novel addresses many social issues such as women’s rights, human rights, and religious freedom. The hardest of which to write about was slavery. I had learned about slavery in school, but researching it on my own made everything so much more vivid. I had a few moments where I broke down crying after reading about how slaves were treated. It was such a terrible aspect of life in the Colonies and I did struggle to write about it. At the same time, I tried my hardest to portray a realistic depiction of what slaves went through. I felt that softening it would have been an injustice, and I really wanted to tell their story as best I could.
In general, the novel was easy to write, probably because I’ve been thinking of this tale ever since I was a child. It took only three months to get the story written down, but the remainder of the time until it was published was devoted to research and editing. I was fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive team that helped me with the editing process and I did have professional help as well.
I’m working on a few projects simultaneously and they all involve the Spellbound series. The big project is writing book two in the series and my smaller project is Aislin’s diary. Each week, I am adding new diary entries (one my website margeauxlaurent.com and on my Facebook page) that cover Aislin’s life from the time she discovers that she is a witch, up to the beginning of book one (1734). This is my version of a blog, and it provides my readers with some back-stories of the secondary characters of book one.
Thanks for stopping by today with some great answers Margeaux. I really enjoyed reading them. Guys, I did a review for Spellbound a couple of months ago, and the link for it is here: Spellbound Review. I thought it was a great read and I am totally looking forward to the next book.
You can purchase Spellbound from Amazon.com here: Spellbound: The Awakening of Aislin Collins.
And here is her website with pics of her and Aislin’s Diary! http://margeauxlaurent.com/