Interview with Australian Author – Margaret R Blake

“Australian Authors” – Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?

Margaret – I began writing as a challenge. I had read a particularly dreadful book and thought … I can do better than that, surely? And so it began. Twenty years later I was offered a contract by a small publishing house in Melbourne for my first completed children’s chapter book, Merlin’s School for Ordinary Children – The Ring of Curses. It was chosen also for the Ditmar award and The Premier’s Reading Challenge. All this might mean nothing to most, but for someone who failed English in high school … it meant a lot.

“Australian Authors” – What made you want to become a writer?

Margaret – For me, the passion of writing developed over several years.I wrote spasmodically at first but then I discovered my voice and there’s been no stopping me since.

“Australian Authors” – Now, the big question, are you working on another book?

Margaret – I’m working on several actually. The third in my Merlin’s School series and a fantasy novel with historical/medieval overtones.

“Australian Authors” – What genres do you prefer to write in?

Margaret – Fantasy. The imagination is allowed to run wild and there are no boundaries.

“Australian Authors” – What do you think about the ebook revolution?

Margaret – Like anything it has its good points but I like to hold a real book, turn real pages and be able to see a real object. Nothing like it.

“Australian Authors” – Do you start a book with a definite plot, or do you just write?

Margaret – I start with a plot/idea in mind, then I allow the characters to tell the story.

“Australian Authors” – Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or are you always in control?

Margaret – Mostly I’m in control, though there are moments where the characters take over. No matter how much I argue they usually win.

“Australian Authors” – Are your characters based on real people or completely imagined?

Margaret – I think there is always something of a real person in a ‘character’. Emotions, actions and personalities belong to the real world so there’s no getting away from it.

“Australian Authors” – Who are your favourite authors?

Margaret – Love JK Rowling,’s creations. It was the lack of continuing Harry Potter books that motivated me to write my own series. Terry Pratchett was fabulous. Neil Giaman. Cornelia Funke. George R. R. Martin. Dan Brown. Stephen King has an amazing take on life. Lately, though it tends to be the book that draws my interest.

“Australian Authors” – What’s your advice to Authors? On writing? Publishing? Marketing?

Margaret – Write and keep on writing if you are serious about it. Publishing can be done online these days and as long as you have a good editor and cover designer, a new author can get out there. As for marketing … create a platform first. Engage and keep it real.

At the end of the day though, have fun otherwise you’ll just create a headache for yourself.

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