Thursday, August 11, 2011
Paranormal Guest Author: M.J. Hearle (Winter's Shadow)
Please welcome today's paranormal guest author M.J. Hearle! M.J. is the author of Winter's Shadow.
EJ: When did you begin writing?
MJ: I've written as long as I could hold a pen. Storytelling fascinated me from a young age, however these early stories were greatly limited by my vocabulary. For example, the narrative rarely extended past 'The cat sat on the mat'. As I learnt new words the stories became more complex, though never ran further than ten or so pages. Originally, I thought I'd exorcise this storytelling impulse of mine through film rather than fiction. Ten frustrating years later, I decided I'd abandon this goal and try writing a novel instead. It would certainly be a lot cheaper than filmmaking and I wouldn't have to rely on anyone but myself (it's tough trying to get people to work for free on a low budget movie). While, it was a little scary at first, the more I wrote the more confident I became and before I knew it I had a finished manuscript, which snagged me an agent and a publishing deal. To say, I was extraordinarily lucky is an understatement.
EJ: What brought you to the paranormal genre?
MJ: I've always been a voracious reader, but the genre I read more than any other was horror. Call me crazy, but I just love being scared. I'm not really a fan of the whole 'paranormal' label. It seems like a marketing term cooked up by booksellers and publishers wary of some stigma carried by the word ‘horror’. I didn’t even know it existed until I started meeting with publishers and found out Winter’s Shadow was a ‘paranormal romance’. I suppose some novels that slip into this genre, might not be overtly horrific, but if a novel has a werewolf or a vampire or some other supernatural creature, and there's a good amount of suspense and bloodshed then it's a horror novel. Even if the central plot line is romantic. You can dress it up and call it something different, but the reason people pick it up is because they’re looking for that illicit thrill. They’re looking to be scared. Otherwise, they’d just buy a bodice ripper. As far as I’m concerned Winter’s Shadow is a horror novel with a strong love story at the centre. Paranormal... It sounds like a psychological condition. Sorry for the digression :)
EJ: If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?
MJ: Immortality. There's a lot I want to get done and not enough time to do it in.
EJ: Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.
MJ: Winter's Shadow is unlike any other novel currently gracing the 'paranormal' section of your local bookstore. No vampires, werewolves, angels, fairies, gods or any of the other various supernatural denizens make an appearance. I've gone to great lengths to create an entirely new mythology, with a new monster(s) for readers to fear and fall in love with. Apart from all the spooky stuff, at its core Winter's Shadow is a love story. I’d tentatively suggest the relationship between Blake and Winter is sketched in a slightly less idealised way than is typical for the genre. Both are a little more broken, a little more real than the characters which generally populate this sort of fiction, which makes their love all the richer.
EJ: If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?
MJ: I think Sophie Turner who stars as Sansa Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones could do a decent job as Winter, though she might be a little bit too beautiful. Winter isn’t supposed to be stunning but most Hollywood actresses are nothing less than jaw dropping. Ultimately, I’d probably go for an unknown actress, with an emphasis on talent over looks. As for Blake, I wish I could go back in time and cast a young Jeremy Sisto because he would be perfect. He played ‘Billy’ in Six Feet Under, which is incidentally one of the greatest shows of all time.
Winter's Shadow by M.J. Hearle
He's all that Winter Adams can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim's Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.
But Blake isn't all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the gathering darkness.
The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger. Himself.
Thank you M.J. for joining us here today at From the Shadows!
To learn more about M.J. Hearle and his books, please visit his website.