M.L. Spencer was born in Southern California and grew up on the works of Steven R. Donaldson, Stephen King and Frank Herbert. She wrote her first novel-length manuscript at thirteen.
By day she works as a biology teacher; by night she sweats over a beaten-up keyboard. Her novel Darkmage won the Indie-Reader Discovery Award for Fantasy.
Her favorite authors are Robert Jordan, C.S. Friedman, George R.R. Martin, David Eddings, Patrick Rothfuss, and Terry Goodkind.
1.What is it about your genre that speaks to you?
I love fantasy because the stakes can be so high. I find that high stakes and impossible situations can really bring about character growth. I also love world building, which allows me to explore my fascination with religions and cultures.
2.Without giving any spoilers, what is your favorite thing about this book?
Quin. I adore him. He is utterly flawed and unapologetic. He owns his weaknesses!
3.What character from your book fills you with hope?
Errr….none of them. There is not a lot of hope in Darkstorm. Which is rather what I intended.
4.What character from your work frightens you, makes you feel dirty to write?
Arden Hannah. I literally had to take a bath every time I got too deep into her head. One part of the book made me feel almost physically ill, writing from her point of view. She is a sick creature.
5.Your main character walks into a bar. What happens?
If it’s Braden, he’ll walk back out again more sober than he went in. If it’s Quin, they’d have to close the bar for lack of inventory.
6.What is the most fascinating thing about your main character?
I consider Braden my main character, although he really shares the stage with Merris and Quin. What do I find fascinating about him? His moral rigidity. He is the most morally inflexible person I’ve ever met. There is no compromise at all with this guy!
7.If I were stuck in a room with your main character, what would we be doing?
With Braden, you’d probably end up answering a whole lot of questions about yourself without ever learning much about him. With Quin, you’d probably spend the evening drinking like a lush and playing cards.
8.You have unlimited money to buy a gift for your main character. What would you buy?
Braden: I’d buy him a soul. Quin: I’d buy him a week at the Betty Ford Clinic.
9.When you are writing, tell me about the emotions that are running through you and what it takes to work alongside them.
Writing for me is like getting into character. Whatever a character is feeling, that’s what I’m feeling. I hate being interrupted when I’m deep in character! Because then I have to get back to that again, get all those emotions working again, before I can write another line.
10.How did you find the time to write this book with your busy life? What ideas do you have on how others can make time in their lives?
I actually have a hard time NOT writing. I am obsessive about it, and would spend all day doing nothing else if left to my own devices. So productivity is seldom a problem for me. Now…getting out of my room to do the dishes, stupid things like work, interpersonal relationships…those are hard! I have to actively work toward making time for those things.
11.Everyone has at least one specific challenge that holds them back. What is that challenge in your work and how do you overcome it?
It’s taken me forever to learn about the business of writing. Writing is the easy part. It’s discovering how to promote and market myself effectively that has come slowly to me. I’m still working on it!
12.You’re going to go back and visit yourself when you first started writing, at whatever age it was, and you can give yourself one piece of advice. What would it be?
DON’T GIVE UP EVER.
13.If you could live anywhere other than where you are, where would it be?
Probably somewhere outside the US. I’d love to settle down in some backwater village of India, Turkey, or Jordan. That would be just about my speed.
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