Name - M.J. Hearle
Debut - Winter's Shadow ( Goodreads )
Genre - Paranormal Romance
Website - HERE
Twitter - HERE
Aspiring writers generally aren’t the most popular kids in school. There’s a reason why a bookish person holding a notepad isn’t held up as a stereotype of uber-coolness along with the jock and cheerleader. I would love to offer evidence to the contrary, to spin anecdotes about being celebrated by my classmates for my witty writing and startling imagination but, alas, I can’t. My job is to tell stories, not lies.
After school, I spent ten years trying unsuccessfully to be a filmmaker and then decided I might try and be a novelist instead. This turned out to be a much better fit. Winter’s Shadow, my first novel, was scooped up by the publishing house Pan Macmillan and hit bookstores in June. Now I’m a published author you might assume I find it easier to talk to girls. I don’t.
Dream Bachelor Suit - As much as it would be fun for M.J. to pick out a dress, it would be more realistic for him to pick out something he can actually wear :P
Notes from a YA Bachelor
Thank you for inviting me to be a Badass Bookie debutante. I’m absolutely thrilled to be here, especially as it looks like I’m the only man so far. At least I should have no problem finding someone to dance with. Now, I just have to learn how to dance.
Also, thank you for giving me an opportunity to dress like one of my heroes, Mr Roarke from Fantasy Island. Nobody rocks a white suit like Mr Roarke. Or should that be Roarke’s a white suit...? (yeah I know – lucky I don’t write comedies).
Okay, so lets talk about the inspiration behind Winter’s Shadow. I’ve always loved supernatural fiction, so it seemed like a logical step to write something with a spooky element. I also figured the best stories have some kind of romance at the centre. So, it seemed my book should be some kind of spooky romance. The hurdle I had to overcome was Twilight. The series was such a phenomenon that hundreds of authors had flooded bookstores with similarly themed novels featuring sparkly vampires, non-sparkly vampires, werewolves, angels, and fairies. If I was going to contribute a story to this crowded arena then it would have to be something original. Something special.
I finally found my inspiration – or it found me – in a cemetery.
Around the time I turned thirty, I noticed something alarming – my body was no longer trim and taught. It seemed my metabolism, after years of struggling to process a steady diet of pizza, milkshakes and apple pie had finally given up the ghost. Drastic measures were considered – should I change my diet? Not likely. I strongly believe a salad is a side dish and should remain so. The only option available to me, other than buying a new set of pants with elasticised waistbands, was to exercise.
So, I started jogging. I didn’t stick to a set route, I just went wherever my feet led. One day they led me to a cemetery.
Waverley Cemetery to be precise, which overlooks Sydney’s Bronte Beach. It was just on sunset when I entered the gates, and the cemetery was a place of long shadows. Here’s a helpful tip for the reluctant exerciser: run through a cemetery at sunset. You’d be surprised what a good motivator fear is.
As I weaved through the tombstones, I was unnerved to see I wasn’t alone. There was a teenage girl standing a few rows away taking photographs. She was dressed in black and had thick, flowing red hair. Rather than being alarmed by the wild-eyed, sweaty man barrelling towards her, the red-haired girl appeared curiously unperturbed. Raising the camera, she snapped a picture of me as I passed, and then turned her attention back to the graves. Almost immediately, the gears of my imagination began to whir and I started to think what would happen if there was something unusual about the picture the girl had taken.
And so, I began to write Winter’s Shadow. The story was about a teenage girl with red hair, named Winter, who takes a photo of a mysterious stranger in a graveyard during a school assignment. The stranger’s name is Blake and as the two of them grow closer, Winter learns Blake has a secret. A dark and terrible secret, which he is desperate to keep hidden. Blake isn’t a vampire, werewolf, angel, fairy, Frankenstein monster, mummy, or a creature from the Black Lagoon. He’s something else. Something readers have never come across before.
After three months of writing (and several new grey hairs) I had a first draft, which led to me getting an agent, which led to me getting a publishing deal. I still can’t believe how quickly it all happened. Now, I just have to write the sequel.
SO everyone meet our first ever Bachelor, M.J.! I'm not sure if he's eligible but Winter's Shadow definitely is! I just reviewed the book yesterday, so make sure you check out the review, I'll be very heart broken if you don't! :P It's really quite fantastic and I can't make any kidn of connection to Twilight *fist pump* Make sure you come back tomorrow to learn more abotu Winter, her shadow and the awesome Bachelor behind it all! Oh and we're giving away copies.
Badass Bookie xx