Welcome Margarita, tell us a little about yourself.
Margarita: I live in Cardiff with my partner and three little mad dogs and I work for a well-known TV broadcasting company. I love living in Cardiff because, for all its modernisation, there are still remnants of an old Victorian city. I love writing and base my stories in Cardiff because it has such character. When I can, I go out to the coast and take photographs, mind you, we have a lovely castle in the city centre and a fairytale one just on the outskirts, so when I feel I can’t write anything, I take a ramble to those locations and it clears my head.
I am Gothic; I love the fashion, the architecture and the music. The club in my novel is real. When I was writing book one, I got all my club material and clientele from here, I wouldn’t have finished that section without it.
Sharon: That's great! Tell us about your books.
JUDGEMENT OF SOULS 3: Kiss at Dawn
…… is a Gothic horror/Paranormal Romance in which a naïve pure-blood Vampire is tossed into the mortal world. Rachel meets Daniel, a nightclub owner and his group of friends and after Daniel’s best friend is murdered by Max, (Rachel’s ex) becomes embroiled in the search for an ancient vampire artifact. Rachel tries to fight off her feelings for Daniel, even siding with her Vampire friend Arun to think again about Daniel’s involvement, but he’s her love and she’s going to protect him, no matter what.
Beryl Parker grew up in the old world of fairgrounds and con artists. After years of wedded bliss with Charlie, they had managed the best con ever! But a year later, Charlie dies, leaving Beryl penniless and in hiding. One day while walking through a local market, she sees a sign for a fortune teller and sits nearby to listen in on what was going on. It was perfect! Such a great scam. It wasn't long before she's set up her own stall and five years later, she's living in a grand Victorian house in the best part of Cardiff. She has money in the bank and takes luxurious holidays. But Beryl should watch out who she reads to, because sometimes they come back for more.
THE STORY OF MY HEART
Do you listen to your head or your heart?
When Megan met Dave, a traveling fairground worker, who knew that she would meet her true love? But Megan was getting married to John soon and he was reliable and had a steady job that meant she could stay in the village. With Dave she’d be traveling around the country like a gypsy and she didn’t think she could do that. But did Megan make the biggest mistake of her life? Now 18 years later he’s back and she’s single, but teaming up with him again might just reveal a surprise.
So now, should she listen to her head or her heart?
Sharon: That sounds lovely. I have a few questions for you, so everyone can get to know you better.Sharon: That sounds lovely. I have a few questions for you, so everyone can get to know you better.
1. Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, who are your favorite artists?
Oh yes, most definitely. I’m such a fan of Within Temptation and Evanescence. There is a particular type of music that can send you straight into your zone. I love to write paranormal stories, vampires are my favourite because you can make them whatever you want them to be like, you don’t have to stick to the conventional type, I tried to steer clear of the stereotypical vampire and their usual story so the music from both these bands helps me achieve that little world that I put myself in to observe my characters. I can’t see to write in complete silence, I just can’t, it’s not possible – I’ve tried it.
I can work with the TV on too, even as background noise. I can put on a DVD (vampires of course) and before I know it, I’m staring at the closing titles and still writing.
2. Tell us a little bit about your newest release. Feel free to include a small excerpt.
The Story of My Heart is my first venture into romance. I wrote the story some time ago and I always wanted to rewrite it and get it published. It’s about lost love and second chances, it’s about the Universe not giving up on you and telling you that you have another go at being happy.
An excerpt: The Story Of My Heart - Released 26th September 2012
Dave paced up and down near their special spot. Even before he’d got her note he’d been thinking about a question he wanted to ask her and he was hoping she’d agree, this was a first for him. He was nervously rubbing his hands together and pacing around the small clearing, practicing how he was going to handle the situation, this was big, and it was going to change his whole life, their whole lives! The rustling of leaves behind him brought him back from his thoughts and there she stood She looked so beautiful in her cropped jeans and flowery top that fitted her body shape. The sun behind her gave her a halo, she certainly was his angel.
“I was getting worried that you weren’t coming” said Dave walking over to her.
“Wedding stuff” replied Megan.
“Yeah, the wedding” said Dave, and before another breath he said quickly. “Don’t do it Meg.”
“Don’t do what? What are you talking about?”
“Don’t go through with it” he faced her, placing his hand on her shoulder, “Come with me, when the carnival leaves come with us, come with me.”
“Please Dave don’t.” Megan pushed his hand from her shoulder and walked away, she couldn’t face him, she was coming to say goodbye. “Don’t ask me again because you won’t like what I’ve come to say to you, and I don’t want to hurt you.”
He turned her around, “You love me. I know you do. I wouldn’t ask you to do this if I didn’t love you, don’t marry him Meg.” He took a deep breath. “Marry me.”
Megan saw the look in his eyes, she couldn’t do this anymore, tears filled her eyes as she said “I can’t Dave, please forgive me, I just can’t.” Turning away from him she began to walk away.
Dave wasn’t going to let her go. Not just like that. He stepped in front of her and held out his arms, almost touching her, willing her to step into them. “I know we haven’t known each other long and I know how hard it will be to leave everything you’ve ever known, it’s going to hurt for a while but we’ll get through it, we belong with each other,” he pointed at the village “you don’t belong there. It’s fate or Karma or whatever it’s called. It brought me here – to you.”
Megan couldn’t speak; tears ran down her face soaking her lips.
“Meg, tell me you don’t want to be with me” he asked.
But before she could answer, Dave kissed her.
Megan pulled away from him, “I don’t want to be with you.”
And walked away from him, not looking back, not seeing the man she loved crumble to the ground, broken.
3. Coffee or tea?
Tea. I’m so British J . I used to drink quite a lot of coffee but it over stimulated me and I found I couldn’t write. I just couldn’t concentrate on what my characters should be doing and I rushed situations. Tea is much more relaxing, although I only have a cup at breakfast and perhaps one in the daytime but I try not to drink too much caffeine.
4. Tell us about your upcoming writing projects.
Well I’m in the middle of writing the second part of the trilogy to JUDGEMENT OF SOULS. I travel back in time and cover a 300 year cycle. Rachel (my lead) has left the safety of the Elysium (the vampire safe haven) and is on the hunt for Max (villain) and the book. She’s joined by Arun (her vampire friend). They travel to several parts of the world in their search. Rachel makes a mortal friend, Arun falls in love, they witness the French revolution and Rachel meets a dashing Count, the Righteous (based on the Knights Templar and the Knights of St John) are more involved in this story too. This book will end where book 3 starts from.
5. What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve often come across this question from other interviews. From a very early age, perhaps eight or nine, I knew that when I grew up I wanted be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty I sent out short stories to various popular women’s magazines and got lots of them printed, but I knew that sooner or later I would settle down and write a book. Who knew it would take me so long to actually settle down with the idea.
I was an eight year old with a vivid imagination. One of my first stories was about me and Donny Osmond (Yes I am that old). I wrote each paragraph in a different coloured pen, I thought it so grown up. I took it to school and my teacher read the story out to the class and they all liked it. I caught the bug from then on. I loved essay writing. It took me on incredible adventures; I made new friends and helped them out of difficult situations.
In secondary school, it took two years to find my feet and get back into writing. I surprised my teachers by writing, and writing, and writing. I used more exercise books that anyone else in the class and although it was my adventures that forced me to keep writing - my teachers were the ones that put a halt to it all. I was taken to the Head Master after I refused to be told what and how much I should write. They wanted him to explain to me why I had to suppress my imagination and write only five to ten pages. He couldn’t convince me either and I sometimes think that the reason he started up the school magazine was to give me something else to write! By year four, I was the Editor and producing a magazine that was very popular. I decided that I wanted to be a journalist, but my background meant that I couldn’t spend the next four or five years studying for that degree, I needed to work. But I never stopped writing. The Psychic and The Story of My Heart were stories I sent to a popular British women’s magazine when I was in college. They brutally edited the stories to fit on the one page – but the essences of the stories were there and it paid very well.
Then for some reason, I took a break - a long break. Although the ideas were always churning about in my head, I did nothing about it until about five years ago when I began JUDGEMENT OF SOULS. Initially just a one-off story, it soon grew and it was only after it was finished that I realized it was more of a trilogy than a stand-alone story. So here I am, trying hard to write in-between all the distractions around me, I’ve got the majority of it done, now I just need to fill in a few blanks, it shouldn’t be too long now.
6. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
I’m such big fan of Anne Rice and Stephen King. I’ve read pretty much everything from them and have done for years. When my novel was first released and I started to receive reviews, I was compared to both of them; I couldn’t stop smiling for a week. Maybe it was reading their books that styled my own writing – at least I can say I had great role models! At the moment I am reading Golden Chariots by Chris Karlsen. Chris is such a great storyteller, I enjoyed her other books, Journey in Time and Heroes Live Forever, even if I did read them in the wrong order!
7. What's next for you?
After JUDGEMENT OF SOULS 2, comes part one. The start of it all. This story will be mostly about Rachel’s parents, how they met, how her father found the book, the Crusades, more on the Righteous. It will cover Rachel’s life up to the part of Max’s arrival and the banishment of her parents.
But I have a few other stories trying to get out of me too. I wrote a screenplay some time back and working for the BBC I submitted it into one of their competitions and came 3rd! Unfortunately 3rd place doesn’t get your screenplay made, but it’s going to make a great book, I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m trying not to dwell too much on it otherwise JOS1 may never see the light of day, or may be written much later than I would like. My aim is to have all JOS finished and it doesn’t matter if you start on Book 1, 2 and 3 and read it in that order or if you start at 3 then 2 and 1, it will still be a story that follows on from each book.
8. What do you enjoy most about writing?
(Smiles) I love the adventures I can have without leaving my house! There’s something satisfying about putting someone else in a dangerous position and working out how to get them away from it as safely as you can. I love learning about different cities and history and I can only do that with research – and in JUDGEMENT OF SOULS 2, I’ve done a lot of it. I love getting reviews from readers who like my stories, if I can bring a smile onto someone’s face, then I’m doing a good job, or if I evoke any sort of reaction I know I’m on the right track. Sharing what I’ve learnt along the way with others and also picking up tips from other authors is a godsend. I’ve met so many wonderful people on my journey and I’m not going to let anything stop me from continuing.
9. Would you consider self publishing?
I did at one point (nods in frustration). When I’d virtually exhausted all the ways possible. I emailed, wrote and spoke to so many agents and publishers, both in the UK and in the US. I had a lot of positive replies from top publishers but they just weren’t interested in investing in new authors. Maybe the money just isn’t there for them to take risks? I kept thinking, ‘well it took J K Rowlings 10 years to publish her first book and look at her now’. So I kept optimistic and battled through rejection after rejection until I contacted Jennifer Conner at Books To Go Now. I’d always wanted to see my stories in print, but then I decided that any format, as long as it was out there would be just as good. I’ve been very lucky, when the first novel was offered as a free promotion one weekend; it made number 4 in the Amazon charts. In the vampire category it’d been number one for months and also in the paranormal romance. I shouldn’t get paranoid about the figures, but I do admit that I regularly check.
10. How many hours a day to you spend writing?
Mmmm (sits back and sighs). Not as much as I should I suppose. But I work, I have a house to maintain, three absolutely boisterous Yorkies and other family commitments, so I only get time to write in the evenings, I’m normally ready to write quite late, it could be after 11pm and depending on how good I’m doing, I finish at around 1.30am on a work night and much later if I have the following day off. But I’m also quite lazy, there are times when I may not write for days and then nothing can stop me when I start up again.
11. What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I’m a storyteller. I would love to think that people thought their investment in me was worthwhile. I try to give them a story that I would like to read. It has to be an easy to read tale, not full of long complicated words. Action from the start, loveable characters, a situation that you might find yourself in or can imagine yourself being in, all tied up neatly so that you can’t wait to know what happens next.
Sharon: You can find Margarita's books and more about here: