Sunday, May 20, 2012

Interview with M.J. Hearle + Giveaway ( Int'l)

Does everyone remember M.J. Hearle? I featured him as my VERY FIRST Bachelor of the Month last year with the release of his paranormal YA Debut - Winter's Shadow! May marks the release date of the highly anticipated sequel - Winter's Light! You can check out my review - HERE. Today I have M on the blog here with me for an interview and an AWESOME giveaway! 

Interview with M. J. Hearle

Quickies - 

Skittles or M&Ms?  M&Ms all the way

Black or white? Black. Stylish and slimming. 

Coffee or Tea? Coffee, the stronger the better.

Print copies or e-books? Print copies. I need to hear the rustle of the pages turn, feel the paper beneath my fingers.

Dog-ear or Bookmark? Bookmark. Dog-earing is abusive. When I see a dog-earred book I feel sad and want to slap the owner on the wrist.

Cats or Dogs? Dogs. Especially fat Labs or mischievous Pugs. ( I LOVE PUGS O_O)

Reading or Writing?
 Reading is more pleasurable; writing is necessary if I wish to keep my sanity.

Vampires or werewolves? Vampires. Werewolves leave hair on the carpet and constantly have to buy new pants.

Have you watched Vampire Diaries? Yeah, I dig it. I've got a crush on 
Nina Dobrev. 

Favourite Harry Potter Novel? Goblet of Fire. When Cedric died, things got real for Harry and co.

Book you most want to see turned into a Movie? Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Hopefully, Henry Selick (Coraline) will take a stab at it.

Favourite day of the week? Friday I'm in love.

Your perfect breakfast consists of - A blueberry muffin, cappuccino, glass of orange juice, yogurt and muesli, and a Tim Tam. Maybe two Tim Tams. 

Five things that make a book "good"  - ( ie fight, strong heroine, good-looking boys, high speed car chase, happy endings)

Only five things? Tricky. A sympathetic and/or fascinating lead character; a fresh twist or point of view; clear, stylish prose; crackling dialogue, chapters that leave you wanting more. 


Team Edward or Team Jacob? Edward's scarily controlling, and Jacob's whiny. I'm Team Alice. At least she has a sense of humour. And she's a babe. ( I give you my respect!)

Long Questions - 

1) Describe Winter's Light in three words?  

Thrilling, melancholy, surprising  

2) How did you come up with the storyline for Winter's story?
I start with a single scene and work from there. In the first book, the image of a girl taking a photograph of a mysterious stranger in a cemetery inspired the story. I started thinking about the girl and the boy – who were they? Why were they in the cemetery – and began to build up the story in my head. The characters come first and then I let the plot evolve around them rather than force a situation. Sometimes I have ideas about where the story is going; sometimes my characters surprise me by taking me some place completely unexpected. In Winter's Light, I pictured Winter on the beach with the lodestone and it beginning to glow. I didn't know what this meant, but felt like it was a way in. It turned out I was right. This event kickstarts Winter's journey, a journey I followed rather than created. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had as a writer because I was discovering the story as I went. It was more like archeology than writing. The story was already there; I just had to dig it up and clean it off. The supernatural aspects of the novel were inspired by boredom. I was so bored with reading about vampires and werewolves and angels and the same old creatures over and over again. I wanted something new; so I created it.   

3) Why did you choose to write YA Paranormal?  

I didn't really have a choice. The story that occurred to me was about a teenage girl who falls in love with a man who isn't human. I've always loved supernatural fiction; Stephen King is the man that inspired me to tell stories in the first place, so it makes sense that I would write something with a paranormal flavour. Also, I wanted to write about teenagers on the cusp of adulthood because it's an incredibly dramatic time in one's life. All emotions are heightened; everything's intense. However, I didn't really know I was writing a YA Paranormal until my publisher told me that's how they were going to market it. 

4) Character you feel you can relate best to? Why?  

Well, I spend the most time in Winter's head, however I probably identify with Jasmine more than anyone else. Despite being frequently terrified by the situations Winter leads her into, she sticks by her friend. That sense of loyalty is one I'd like to think I share.      

5) Is there a story behind the names of characters?  

Actually there is. Originally, Winter Adams was Elodie Winters (my homage to Buffy Summers) and the book wasn't called Winter's Shadow but, Shade. It wasn't until the final draft that my publisher told me I couldn't use the title Shade because another YA paranormal had already laid claim to it. So, I started racking my brains for an alternative title and struck upon Winter's Shadow. It was my publisher who suggested using Elodie's surname as her first name as it would make more sense with the new title. At first I was a little hesitant, but after some consideration decided I kind of liked 'Winter'. It reminded me of 'Scarlett O'Hara' and seemed to suit the melancholy tone of the story. Blake was always Blake – named after the poet William Blake.  

6) Ar you planning to write any other books outside the series? 

Absolutely. Once I wrap up the Winter stories, I'd like to write a children's fantasy novel and a straightforward adult horror novel set in Australia. The sort of career I'd like to emulate is Neil Gaiman's. He moves from adult material to children's books with impressive grace. 

7) Who would play the characters in a movie adaption?  

In a movie adaptation, I'd cast Saoirse Ronan as Winter. She's a talented actress and has a beautifully unique look. For Blake, I wish I could go back in time and cast a young Jeremy Sisto. Or if I have a time machine, maybe Montgomery Clift. If I'm stuck in this reality, then I'm not sure? Most actors currently on TV or in the movies are too blandly handsome. There's no fire or threat of danger about them. Maybe Jared Padalecki could do a good job. Continuing with the Supernatural-casting theme Jensen Ackles would make a great Sam. Ashley Greene would make a suitably beautiful and frightening Claudette. For Winter's Light, I'd cast Helen Mirren as Magdalene. She's extraordinary. in fact, she could probably play a convincing Winter as well. Olga Kurylenko could play Elena.   

8) Can you tell us anything about what to expect in Book #3? 

The scope of the story is epic – think the difference between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings for an indication. Most of the novel will take place in the Dead Lands. The Malfaerie will feature heavily. There will be a massive battle scene towards the end. Lives will be lost and saved. I can't promise a happy ending, but it will be satisfying to those who've taken the journey with Winter over the past two novels. 


Pan Macmillan has kindly donated (1) ONE Signed Copy of Winter's Light and Signed Poster for a giveaway! Since I'll be sending the prize to the winner I'm going to make the giveaway INTERNATIONAL because as Jay Kristoff kindly put it - "it's not like a couple of extra bucks postage is going to bankrupt anyone". So come one! Come all! If you live here or there or no where - enter away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Badass Bookie xx


  1. There is no rafflecopter form?

    1. Thanks! :)
      And thanks for this wonderful interview and giveaway!

  2. bumr i can't entr
    thats book2
    and have not read book1 or have book1

  3. Ha, I love how writing keeps M. J. sane ... I guess that's the case with all writers - write down what the voices tell you ;-)!

  4. Great interview, Lisa! I've always wanted to read this series but Aussie bookstores never have it! or if they do, they have the second and not the first! smh.

  5. I raise my hands up for team Alice as well! I need to start reading this series! It sounds like a good read!

    Great interview! :)

  6. Great interview! I love how for the this or that questions, he answered everything exactly how I would have answered! lol. Esp how he loves fat labs and pugs!! I completely agree! :P haha.

    This story sounds like a great read!

  7. I really love the cover for this book, and it was interesting to learn how the idea for this series first took root. And go M&M's and Vampire Diaries (seriously, not enough people watch this show)!

  8. Fabulous review! I love the cover and the way Winter's hair color contrasts with the almost all white background.

  9. i'm intrigued by the hobbit vs lord of the rings. must be epic indeed!

  10. Yay for M&M's!*grins* Oooohhh.... If Saoirse Ronan would be Winter, count me in! Lol. Awesome interview! :D

  11. I too take a scene and build the story from there. Sometimes really interesting things come out. I really enjoy reading about other writers' writing processes.

  12. Fab interview and awesome giveaway :)

  13. I love that your team Alice!! Thats great!

  14. I'd love Saoirse Ronan as Winter! She is adorable!!!
    Great interview and thanks for the giveaway!

  15. HE's an absolute showman :D I really enjoyed reading his answers for quickes XD made my day!
    thanks for You and him for this awesomenessss!

  16. Thanks for the interview, Lisa. It was a lot of fun. Looking forward to reading the next post!

  17. I've had my eye on this author for some time. Just haven't had the opportunity to read his stuff yet. Sounds really promising. Choosing names is really a pivotal aspect to the entire novel.

  18. ASdFGHjKHff! This interview is made of awesome! M&M's? Yes!
    What he said about GoF=HELL yes and </3
    Werewolves leave hair on the carpet and have to buy new pants: ahahahahahaha!
    And then he had to go and mention The Graveyard Book? Words can't even express... Oh, and Henry Sellick's name IS attached to The Graveyard Book movie (it was optioned by Disney ;D)

  19. I'm looking forward to read a book set in Australia! Thumbs up for the cast you choose! Helen Mirren is one of my fav actress!

  20. Love the interview... Gonna pick the first book soon... :)

  21. Friday, I'm in love? As a Cure fan I approve of your answers. I really enjoyed reading this interview. :) (KateB)

  22. Woot woot! Awesome interview. So, SO looking forward to Winter's Light. Thanks for the giveaway, you guys. ;) I loved his answers for the Quickies section!

  23. Thanks for the great interview!

  24. Completely agree with the casting choices - especially Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles:)

    Great interview and thanks for the giveaway:)

  25. Winter's story seems really interesting! I now picture her like the girl you casted!

  26. I agree that things that make a book good is a fresh twist and chapters that leave you wanting more. I actually think the title "Winter's Shadow" sounds better than "Shade". Mr. M.J. Hearle watches Vampire Diaries too! And he is also Team Alice! :)

  27. Great interview ! Im so happy that Winter's name was changed. I like the name Winter Adams much more than Elodie Winters.
    Thanks for the giveaway !

  28. Thanks for a great interview and giveaway! This book sounds awesome :)

  29. "There will be a massive battle scene towards the end."

    Who doesn't like to read such stuff :D?

  30. I have been wanting to read winter's shadow for a long while now but I can't find it on amazon. If I win it will MAKE me find another way to get my hands on this book!

  31. Great giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity!

  32. Wow! I've enjoyed reading how Winter's story was formed. Looking forward to reading it! :) Thanks for the opportunity.

  33. I think the plot is interesting and it makes me want to learn more. and YES I love the interview, it's pretty cool!

    -Riz B.

  34. Thank you sooo much for this giveaway! FABULOUS INTERVIEW! <3 I really can't wait to read this series!

  35. I loved his requirement of a fascinating lead character! So many authors forget that that is a MUST for books and the characters are left dry, thus the book falls flat. His comment about Team Alice made me smile, too! Cute interview.

  36. Good-looking boys and happy endings? all right by me!!

  37. Great interview, I'm on team vampire too.

  38. I love that a lot of authors mention Stephen King. He is a huge influence on most people that love to read. I, however have never read any of his books but he has a great influence on me and my future writing career because he lives down the street from me. His name and influence are mentioned frequently and it has encouraged me to think about my passion for writing.

  39. Great interview!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  40. "I was so bored with reading about vampires and werewolves and angels and the same old creatures over and over again. I wanted something new; so I created it."

    YES! This, above anything else, has gotten me excited to read Winter's Light. Great interview - and thanks for the awesome giveaway! :D

  41. 'Werewolves leave hair on the carpet' LOL I think there would be no carpet left if a werewolf came into a house:)

  42. Fun interview. I love his kind of perfect breakfast. Sure it is! ;)

  43. I look forward to the adult horror novel. Great interview and thanks for the giveaway :)

  44. Great interview, looking forward to this book :) So excited about this giveaway.