Monday, August 12, 2013
Author Interview - Magnolia Belle
My pen name "Magnolia Belle" came from a dream of one day owning a riverboat that offered dinner, sultry jazz and hot R&B while floating down the Mississippi. Realizing I didn't have the millions it'd take to get that dream off the ground, I took the name to write under. I figured it'd be one hard to forget. Plus, it's as southern as I am.
I live in Texas with my husband and our 'pack' of fuzzy children (aka dogs). Before that, I grew up in a military family and lived all across the US and in the Orient. In 1977, I got married and in 1978 I graduated with a degree in Accounting from Tarleton State University. Yeah, I know. BIG leap from accountant to novelist. As editor of the University paper, I won first place in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Editorial competition in 1977. I was also a member of "Who's Who Among Colleges and Universities" in 1977-78, and graduated with high honors. A singer/songwriter and guitarist, I played with a band in the 1980s that made 3 albums.
I started my company, "Black Wolf Books" in 2005 as a venue to publish and sell my work. The name "Black Wolf" comes from the first series of 5 novels I've written (and am still working on).
My heritage includes at least two Indian nations, one on my mother's side and the Iroquois on my father's. Because of that, I write about American Indians with great respect. I also spend inordinate amounts of time in researching history, facts and personalities in the era they are presented. Historical events and documentation (such as treaties) are cited in my novels, so readers can see what really happened.
My characters become very real to me, and I often find myself not writing, but rather taking dictation as they tell me their stories. That's also why I tend to write in series of novels. My characters are a gabby bunch!
How can we find you?
Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?
I prefer writing historical fiction. I began with Texas history, homesteaders and American Indians. I love researching and writing about the plains tribes. My favorite book is always the latest one. That one, Lady Gwendolyn" is a departure for me, in that I've branched out to write about England and Scotland in the 12th century. And, again, I loved doing the research.
What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?
I am a homebody, and stay quiet. I love watching cooking shows and spoiling my dogs rotten. I used to enjoy dress design and sewing. Favorite TV shows - I really enjoy "Castle".
You'd get along well at my house, then. We're Castle fans, and we watch way too many cooking shows, too. And spoiling the dogs. What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?
I love listening to instrumental music when I write. It needs to suit the time period, though. For Lady Gwendolyn, I listened to Celtic music, and especially enjoyed the CDs by John Mock. "Celtic Portraits" and "Celtic Highlands" are in my player now. When I work on my Black Wolf series (modern day romance/adventure), I listen to R&B.
I'm going to have to check out that Celtic music. I've got a weakness for it. "All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?
I've never had a cat that writes fantasy or speculative fiction. Ha! I have three dogs, though, and can't imagine our home without them.
I keep waiting for my cat to write something intelligible. I might need a cat-language keyboard first, though. What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?
Organizations? Not really. I'd recommend that new authors find forums of other writers. There is so much collective wisdom and experience in them, they can be beneficial.
What writers inspired you to become an author?
I loved "Ivanhoe" when I was a girl. So, Sir Walter Scott comes to mind. I also accidentally discovered Pushkin while rummaging through my high school library. I love his work.
Another Ivanhoe fan? What are the odds. I loved that book, too. Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
I'm trying to book fairs for this fall in north and central Texas, but don't have anything slated right now.
If you could travel to any time in history, when would you visit?
I'd like to visit medieval Europe, on the condition I could bring modern day conveniences (i.e. toilet paper!)
I'd never time travel without a giant room full of toilet paper and chocolate. If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve?
I think it would be Beowyn, English Captain of the Guard for Lord Hampton. (I have a secret crush on him.) What to serve...? Let's see. Probably a big ol' Texas barbeque. He'd be familiar with roasted meat and baked beans. The stuffed jalapenos might be a conversation starter, as in "Gaahhh! Are you trying to kill me? Where's the ale!!"
If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?
I've been all over the US, and, as a military dependent, lived in the Orient a few times, so I think I'd like to cross the Atlantic. Maybe go to Ireland and Scotland to see where some of my ancestors lived.
What color would you wear if you had only one choice?
Rose. It's cheerful and a friendly color.
Describe your dream writing spot.
In front of a huge bay window looking on the Rocky Mountains. Coffee pot close at hand and NO TV anywhere close. Killer stereo system in place, too.