M T McGuire enjoys the real world but wouldn’t want to live here full time. That’s why she writes books. She grew up, or at least, got bigger, half way up a windy down in Sussex. Her home was also the first location choice for Hogwarts, in the Harry Potter films, so maybe it’s not so strange that she’s ended up writing spec-fic. Perhaps there’s something in the water up there, apart from chalk. She now lives in Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, with a McOther, a McMini and a selection of very silly cars. She hasn’t found a way to make any of the cars fly, and none of them are fitted with ordinance, but she and her team of evil scientists are working on that.
Despite being 45 now, and supposedly, an adult, M T checks all unfamiliar wardrobes for a gateway to Narnia. She hasn’t found one so far but she lives in hope.
What inspires you to write?
It’s more of a case of failing to stop. There are times when I wish I didn’t write or that I could stop but I am a complete authorholic and unable to do so!
OK, so sensible answer, music. A lot of scenes come to me as I’m listening to music. The plot comes afterwards.
Tell us about your writing process.
The brief here is that I should talk about what I do so other writers can learn from it. In my case, you’re probably better taking it as a lesson in what not to do. I usually find that snatches of dialogue and ideas float into my mind while I’m doing other things. I write them down and gradually, they start to form into an idea. When I have four or five scenes, I start to think about the plot in earnest. Usually it changes but I will probably have worked out the last scene by then. I have one book idea at the moment which is literally three lines of dialogue and a picture of an aeroplane. I’m not sure how this grows into anything. It just does. I’ll have a picture of a space ship in my head, it’s flying fast and it’s damaged. I start asking myself why. Who or what damaged it? Where is it coming from? Is it running or is it the victor rushing home with good news of freedom?
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Not exactly. I eves drop on them. I lie in bed at night watching what they do and in the morning, I write it down.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write a lot. The more you write, the more instinctive your feel for words and the more complex the stories you can tell.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did it myself. Partly because I’d spent an entire career producing print – although that just meant I knew enough to realise how completely greenhorn I was. Mostly, however, because I’d written a humorous science fiction fantasy book with a dash of romance. When I say ‘romance’ I mean old fashioned romance, without the squelchy bits. I finished it in 2008 and I knew I hadn’t much chance of selling it to an agent or gatekeeper in Britain at that time but I believed readers would like it. So… I went ahead and hired an editor, a cover designer and then got some beta readers together, too and self published it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think as the big five, four or is it three, now? As they get bigger, they will have to make more profit on each book to break even. As a result their lists will become far less varied and a lot of smaller more nimble publishing houses will spring up to fill the gap where the middle sized ones used to be – and to publish the writers who are no longer getting published by the big ones. They’re probably there already.
As for the ebook/paper debate, I suspect it’s moot. I’m sure people will still buy paperbacks and hard backs although I can imagine many readers will take a punt on the ebook version of something first and buy the paper book if they enjoy it..
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
fantasy, science fiction, humour, action and adventure, contemporary fantasy and romance but usually all at once.
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, and Audiobook