In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with M.K. Wiseman!
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, M.K. Wiseman! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
@FaublesFables is new to the writing scene but old hat with books (she’s a reformed librarian.) Also a runner, unicyclist, and tamburitzan.
A reformed librarian? I’m sure your friends must hit you up for book recommendations a lot. That must also come in handy when you need to do research for a novel you are working on.
Since you are a reformed librarian, please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
The journey has been . . . unexpected. I actually found my publisher by accident through a Twitter chat. Until that point I’d just dabbled with no real aim. But I knocked a short story together, Xchyler took it, and from there things just kept rolling. The best thing about it? I love books; so much so that I became a librarian. So to be actually adding to libraries with something I made—it’s incredible.
But the worst thing? There are two, really. 1. Seeing how the sausage is made. Wow, making a book can be rough. Accepting edits can be hard. Writing under a deadline can hurt. and 2. I’m painfully shy. Drawing me out just to post on social media or agree to readings has been really hard on my publisher. I’ve had to grow a bit. I really prefer being that invisible author.
That’s the first time I’ve heard of someone finding a publisher via Twitter. What a great story!
And don’t worry, you are not the first author to mention they are shy and prefer to be somewhat invisible.
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it. (And please share pictures of your trip to Croatia, I believe there is a connection with your book!)
The Bookminder is my debut novel. I have been writing it *blush* for over ten years. Yes, I was slow—at the time I hadn’t considered putting it out there, only knowing that something in me really needed to get it down on paper. But it is very near and dear to my heart. There are a few elements that are sort of pulled from real life inspiration.
First, I did work in a collection preservation setting when I was at school for my library science degree. That experience has worked in the background of Bookminder, originally under the working title of Wizard’s Librarian—a fun in-joke/nod to my colleagues. Second, my heritage, my Croatian background, is very important to me. I don’t even think I thought about it, the story just grew into the space in my heart where love of my culture lives. I’ve performed with a local folk group since I was 8 years old—a trip to Croatia in 1997 making magic real for me in a way few other places ever have.
Here are three pictures. The one of me in traditional dress was taken beside the Adriatic SeaᾹright before a seaside performance given by our group. The other two are of a castle close by to where my relatives live (Ozalj, Croatia)…not the same region as Dvigrad and Parentino, but inspiring to the thoughts of those locales.
Thank you for digging through your archives and finding those images, M.K. They are lovely and I can see how that trip was inspiring. I especially love the picture of the castle. It’s a postcard worthy image!
So you have finished your first book, but what do you like to read, as a reformed librarian? 🙂 What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
Oh man, a general book question! *heart leaps in happiness* I really live in the corner between fantasy, steampunk, classics, and Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I get really excited for books that provoke a certain “feeling” in me, like coming home after a long journey. The book equivalent of ‘comfort food’.
Three All Stars that I never hesitate to mention—and sometimes force into unrelated conversations—are:
- The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall (My end-all be-all favourite book ever.)
- A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King (WARNING This is not the first book in her Mary Russell series! But it is, by far, the best one.)
- Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul by the incomparable Douglas Adams
First of all, you force your favorite books into random conversations as well? Me too?!
Second, I’m not sure I’ve feature an author yet who has mentioned the amazing Mary Russell series. I’ve read the first few books on the series and adored them before moving on to something else. Ms. King is a master when it comes to Mary and Sherlock. Have you heard of the Enola Holmes mysteries? Mysteries involving Sherlock’s sister, Enola!
What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
Current obsession: Doctor Who. And it’s not at all a secret. I, in fact, drive a Tardis. 🙂 (Doctor #9, forever!!) Secret obsession:…
WAIT! STOP HOLD YOUR HORSES! A FELLOW WHOVIAN?! *squeals with joy* Before we move on, I have to ask, who is your favorite companion? (And I agree, #9 forever.)
Rose had such a beautiful arc and I always found her a great mix of sweet and kick-a**. But Donna Noble? A riot! Loved her.
Personally, I’m a fan of Martha. I love her attitude, wardrobe and her willingness to jump right in. Donna was great, but it took me awhile to understand her influence on the Doctor’s life. After I figured that out, she grew on me. I do wish the Wilf, Donna’s father, could have had some time in the TARDIS. He would have been a wonderful companion.
Anyway, so you were saying before I so rudely interrupted. Your secret obsession…
Secret obsession: Sailor Moon. And some people I know will say “What? That’s not a secret!” but that’s because they are amongst the few I have clued in. It’s certainly not something I bandy about all that often.
I’ve heard of Sailor Moon, but I have not had the chance to experience. And thank you for being brave enough to share your secret obsession with the world (or at least my small corner of it).
What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t?
What is my favourite place in the whole wide world?
But then I’d hesitate because I am only mostly sure it is New Mexico. (There are others climbing the list—Boston on a warm evening, the Tetons in the summer, and Kauai just about any time.)
I have not been to New Mexico or Boston yet. I’ve been to Philly several times on work trips and NYC twice, but that’s the closest to Boston I’ve been. I do want to go. There’s so much history there and I want to check it all out.
Before we close, do you have any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
At the end of every day, take a good hard look at yourself and see whether you were the best possible version of yourself today. Then do even better tomorrow.
Excellent advice, M.K. Thank you for being In the Spotlight this week. It’s always wonderful to meet a fellow Whovian and I hope you’ll stop back again and tell us about your next book!
Synopsis: Sired by magick and violence, sixteen-year-old Liara is found guilty of witchcraft and banished from her tiny village by the very priest who raised, then betrayed her. However, a mysterious mage steps forward to assume custody of her: Nagarath, the Wizard of Parentino, whose secret spellwork has long protected both Liara and Dvigrad from the ravages of war.
Despite Liara’s best hopes, Nagarath refuses to apprentice her to his craft but tasks her instead with the restoration of his neglected library. Liara gleans what magickal knowledge she can on the sly, determined to learn, come what may. But the first test of her stolen knowledge goes awry and renews an evil wizard’s interest in the people of the Limska Draga valley.
Only by tapping Liara’s inherent magick and joining it with his own can Nagarath protect Parentino from suffering a horrible fate. However, her discovery of his secrets destroys their fragile trust and ignites the darker tendencies of her gift. Now, he must rescue her from the influence of his mortal enemy before their powerful new alliance destroys them all.