Welcome to my stop on Moira McPartlin’s Star of Hope blog tour!
With thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Group Tours for arranging the following interview with Moira McPartlin…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I am a Scottish writer with Irish roots. I started writing twenty years ago. First short stories and poems and then moving onto novels. My first novel The Incomers was published in 2012 and tells the story of a Black West African woman who moves to a Fife (Scottish) mining village in 1966. My next three books are The Sun Song trilogy, a future fiction story set in a divided and broken world in the year 2089.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I take all my ideas from society and what is happening in the world around me. With The Sun Song trilogy the initial story came to me as a dream. I wrote it first as a short story then I began novel Ways of the Doomed but half way through writing it I realised the world I had created for the novel was huge and there was more to tell so the short story became a trilogy.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
I like to think of all my characters as being real and individual but I admit that I do pull out certain traits and behaviours from people I know. It is like one of those Photofit images the police use to find criminals. I take a little piece from here and a little piece from there and create a whole new person.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
Many different ways. Ellie, the character in The Incomers is named after my favourite aunt. In the Sun Song Trilogy, because it is set in the future I wanted the names to be a little different. Sorlie and Ishbel are old Scottish names and I picked them because I loved the sound of them when spoken aloud. Merj and Shasta are stars, Reinya I made up but I wanted something regal. Some names just pop into my head.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
In a nutshell I write my first draft longhand very quickly. I then type it up and start to add layers in the story and deal with any research that needs checked out. Once I have a pretty decent draft I let my early readers read and feedback, then I begin the task of editing. I edit many, many times. I then send my manuscript out to beta readers and once I’ve edited again using their comments I send it to my publisher.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
I find it very hard to pick favourite authors. I know my favourite author is John Steinbeck, some of the others include, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sally Gardner, Philp Pullman and Margaret Atwood.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
If I could meet any author it would be Stephen King. I would ask him how he manages to be such a prolific writer, reader and still manage to have a life outside of books.
Were you a big reader as a child?
I always remember being told that I didn’t read enough but now when I look back I think I must have read a fair bit. As a young girl I read The Chalet Girl series, Enid Blyton (of course) and as a teenager I moved onto more serious authors like George Orwell and Grahame Greene.
When did you start to write?
I was a late starter. I didn’t begin writing until I was in my forties. I worked for a global company and used to spend lots of time in airports and planes. I wrote to pass the time but creating stories soon took over my life and I began to write full time.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
I would change the ending of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I couldn’t believe Charlotte died. I would make her somehow live for ever.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. Standish Treadwell is such a believable character with a totally unique narrative voice. I love everything about this book.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
‘Not there yet and loving every minute’ This is a catch phase I invented for my first website many years ago and it is still true to my feelings about life.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
It would be Wizard Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle and I would take him to the castle I am looking at right now as I write this. That is Stirling Castle. It sits high on a crag and many mornings a mist swirl and lies in the valley and the castle looks as though it is floating in the air. It is most magical.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a series of linked short stories loosely based on the antics my kids got up to when they were teenagers. They are written in broad Scots and very funny. I perform them at events and they are well received.
Tell us about your last release?
My latest release is the last book in the Sun Song Trilogy, Star of Hope. I still can’t believe I’ve written a trilogy. The first two books Ways of the Doomed and Wants of the Silent are dark and evil with the characters fighting for a better world. Star of Hope is what it says in the title; it is a very hopeful book and I’m very proud to have concluded the trilogy in the way I have.
Do you have a new release due?
Star of Hope was released in February 2019
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Because I know people all over Central Scotland I have three launches, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow. I invite all my friends to the launches and we have cake!
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Twitter – @moiramcpartlin
Instagram – @moiramcpartlin
Blog – www.moiramcpartlin.com
FB author page – @theweemcp
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I love to visit schools and colleges and talk to readers. The Scottish Book Trust have funding called Live Literature funding. The link to my author profile on this fund is;
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Moira 🙂
This third and final exciting volume of The Sun Song Trilogy finds Sorlie and Ishbel working together in one last attempt to save Esperaneo. As The Prince’s health deteriorates he hands over leadership of the Star of Hope’s mission to Sorlie and Ishbel. But what is the Star of Hope? All they know is that it will free the native race from slavery. On mainland Esperaneo Major, Ishbel travels north through a hostile artic forest while Sorlie, Reinya and Dawdle head for the southern dry lands. On the way both parties battle extreme weather and betrayal, but it is only when the two missions meet that the frightening truth of their world is revealed. And one final betrayal decides the fate of the mission and their fight for freedom. The Sun Song trilogy explores life in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Britain where society’s norms have broken down and life has to be lived differently.
happy reading 🙂