Friday, May 22, 2009

Meet author Margay Leah Justice

Katie: I’m excited to introduce my guest author today. Meet Margay Leah Justice. Descended from the bloodline of James Russell, and Amy and Robert Lowell, Margay will be the first to tell you she was fated to be a writer.

She says that “she had a deep and unconditional love for the written word. A love that would challenge her in times of need, abandon her in times of distress, and rediscover her in times of hope.” Through her writing, Margay has learned to cope with every curve ball life has thrown her, including being a single parent, having lived in a shelter, coping with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the roller coaster ride of living with a child who suffers from both bipolar disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Welcome, Margay to my blog. Would you give us a brief overview of “Nora’s Soul.”

Margay: Nora Kendall believed in angels once, but then her brother died of cancer despite all of her prayers, shattering her faith and illusions. Now, years later, she reaches a turning point in her life where her faith will be tested once again when she becomes embroiled in a battle between an angel of light and an angel of dark where the ultimate prize is Nora's Soul.

Katie: What inspired you to write “Nora’s Soul?”

Margay: Nora’s Soul was inspired by two dreams I had back to back one night that, taken alone, might not have made an impact on me, but together caught my attention. The first was of a woman dancing the night away with a dark and handsome stranger who, when she finally turned away from him, took on some very devilish characteristics. The second dream was of the same woman, though more prim and proper, moving into a garage apartment in preparation for caring for the twins of a widower. I had to know what the dreams meant and why the same woman was in both of them. What was her story? That was how Nora’s Soul was born.

Katie: Is “Nora’s Soul” your first book? If so, do you think you’ll write further novels in the same vein?

Margay: Nora’s Soul is my first published book and it is the first in a series called The Dante Chronicles (Dante is the mysterious man from the first dream). So I will be writing a few more books in the same vein.

Katie: Since you confess you were slated to become a writer, at what age did you begin to write, and what are you earliest successes?

Margay: Good question! I began to “write” the minute I picked up my first pencil. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I drew a bit of attention in school for my writing, won a poetry contest at my local library even though poetry is not my forte, and won a short story contest at college.

Katie: You talk freely about the different medical diagnoses in your life and that of your family. How have these issues shaped your writing?

Margay: They have taught me what true character really is, the good and the bad of it and how those two things are often tightly intertwined. They’ve taught me about compassion, tolerance, frustration and anger. They’ve taught me to always delve further into a situation and not just be satisfied with what is presented on the surface or my first impression of things. You tend to look at situations and people a little differently when you face these kinds of adversities yourself and to not be so quick to jump to conclusions. These are all things I hope to lend to my stories and the characters within them. Let’s just say that these conditions have given me a lot of material to work with for future stories beyond The Dante Chronicles!

Katie: Have you ever written non-fiction? Do you think you will, say perhaps along the lines of an autobiography?

Margay: I haven’t written any nonfiction, even journaling is somewhat daunting to me, so I don’t know if that’s something I will ever explore in the future. You notice how I didn’t say never. I’ve learned that saying “never” is a throw-down that Fate just can’t resist accepting!

Katie: As an author, we all have various people in our corners, cheering us on. Who are the people in your corner, and how has their support affected your writing?

Margay: My mother and my sisters are pretty influential, as are my daughters. Their support has given me the wings to fly without the fear of falling. I know if I fall, one of them (or all of them) will be there to catch me – and cast me back in the air again. They keep me airborne with my dreams, yet grounded with my challenges. They balance me out and make me feel that I am successful at what I do and I am not just referring to writing.

Katie: What author (you can give two!) has most influenced your writing career and why?

Margay: I would have to say my college English professor, Laurie Foos, because she was the first person who read my writing and said “this is easily publishable.” It’s one thing when a teacher says that, but when that teacher is published herself, it gives the phrase a whole new meaning.

Katie: What three words would best describe you as a person? As an author?

Margay: As a person: Resilient, compassionate, empathetic. As an author: Persistent, creative, ever-changing.

Katie: If you had one word of advice to give to other writers, what would that be?

Margay: Persist. If you have a burning desire to tell a story and you believe in that story, don’t give up on it or your desire to be published. If one person doesn’t like it, send it to another. Sooner or later, you will find that person who is not only willing but eager to publish you. If you persist.

Thanks, Margay, for being on my blog today. Margay’s book can be ordered from Amazon, and you can check out her website and blog.


Dianne G. Sagan said...


You are a great example of persistence and facing down those things that happen to us in life. I've been through a few myself and know how difficult it can be. Bravo! You've really peaked my interest to read your book and I love series.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Pat McDermott said...

Congratulations on your first published book, Margay. What an intriguing idea for a story! Best of luck with your Dante Chronicles.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Dianne, thank you so much for your comments! My mother always says that everything happens for a reason and although I couldn't fathom what that reason was in my darkest moments, I can see now what it was: I was meant to show others how to persevere, how to face down adversity and give life a run for its money. There were so many times when it would have been so easy just to quit, but my mother wouldn't let me - and neither would my daughters! - and now I am a published author. So this just proves that, when things get tough and you think you can't go on, you just need to give it one more push and before you know it, you are beyond the circumstance that you never thought you'd survive. When I look back at the last eight years of my life, I am amazed by what I survived.


Margay Leah Justice said...

Pat, thank you. It's nice to know I'm not the only one intrigued by these characters!

Anonymous said...

I figured it out! I enjoyed your post and can't wait to A. Read your Book, and B. meet you at some future Second Wind gathering. Both book and author sound intriguing.

Sherrie Hansen
Night and Day

Unknown said...

great book, great story and fantastasic person

Huge congrats


Margay Leah Justice said...

Sherrie, thank you! I can't wait to meet you, too!

Margay Leah Justice said...

Barry, you know I feel the same about you.

thewriterslife said...

I can believe it about dreams. I had the same thing happen to me before I put the soul mate book together. Dreams are strange, aren't they? Wonderful interview, Margay!

Margay Leah Justice said...

Thank you, Dorothy! It is so true about dreams. The funny thing is, it's not the only book that came about as a result of a literal dream. I've had it happen on a number of occasions. Hm, maybe that's why I love napping so much!

Cheryl said...

Great interview ladies. The way you feel about nonfiction is the way I feel about fiction. But I keep trying, knowing that practice will help.

Best of luck with your book!


Cheryl said...

Great interview ladies. The way you feel about nonfiction is the way I feel about fiction. But I keep trying, knowing that practice will help.

Best of luck with your book!


Margay Leah Justice said...

Thanks, Cheryl!

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

Margay you are such an inspiration! You say you don't do non-fiction, but your story if you ever decide to write about it, would probably make a great book!!

I also think that if you want anything enough you will get it. I am one of those people who is still trying to get my book published. I agree that you just have to keep sending it out.:)

Katie, great interview.:)

Margay Leah Justice said...

lionmother, thank you. I appreciate the wonderful comments. Who knows? Maybe some day I will be able to write about the things I've experienced in my never know. And keep at it. That's the only way you will see your dreams to fruition. Perseverance is key.

Love your screen name, by the way!