It is always good to meet new authors. And especially the one whose work you admire. I am not a big fan of Paranormal fiction but when I read Madhuri Blaylock’s THE GIRL which is the first title under The Sanctum Trilogy, I realized I can cop up with the genre itself. Being least favorite doesn’t mean I should not read. After all, diversity is always necessary in a reader’s life.
I conducted this review in awe of learning something both as a reader and a writer from the author and I can say, I did, quite pleasantly.
Madhuri Blaylock writes paranormal fiction and is enchanted by tattoos, four-inch heels, ice cream, Matt Damon, scotch, and a few more. She is currently working on the third and the last book in the trilogy of The Sanctum “The Prophecy” which is the finale. The trilogy previously restrain the titles: The Girl and The Boy.
Hello Madhuri, and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us, a little about yourself and your background?
I am a Jersey City Heights girl via Snellville, Georgia, who writes paranormal fiction and is slightly infatuated with tattoos, four-inch heels, ice cream, Matt Damon, scotch, Doc Martens, Laini Taylor, photo booths and dancing like a fool. I’m currently working on The Sanctum trilogy and hope one day soon, everyone is walking around with a copy of The Girl in their pocket or on their Kindle. I have dreams of escaping to the countryside and getting a goat and a burro, but since I seem to be stuck in the city for the time being, I’m willing to settle for some chickens.
My parents are from South India, Trivandrum and Calicut to be exact, but no one ever thinks I’m Indian, not even fellow Indians. This has been the case my entire life, I’ve blogged about it, and have opened up quite a fascinating dialogue on race and culture and what it means when you don’t quite fit within the parameters and expectations of others.
I’m the daughter of a surgeon, and would have probably made a damn good doctor myself were it not for the left side of my brain constantly wanting to sing, dance, act or write. I compromised and went to law school instead, a decision I still question to this day.
I have a younger brother and sister, a freaking awesome husband, fabulous step-daughter, and the coolest son ever. Oh! And I just became an aunt. Squee!
What is your area of expertise as a writer?
I don’t know if I have the right to claim any area of expertise as a writer, but I can say that fiction versus non-fiction, I am most definitely a fiction girl. And being even more specific, I love creating and writing paranormal stories, fantastical yarns full of magic and otherworldly creatures.
Do you write every day? Do you follow any writing ritual?
I do write every day and if I’m not able to do so, I feel horrible. It’s become a need of sorts, something I must do, whether it’s writing my books or blogging or reviewing other people’s books. My day is not complete without doing a little writing and no matter how tired I am, I make sure the last thing I do is open my laptop and put down some words.
What motivates you to write?
Right now, my trilogy, The Sanctum. But really, just the need to put down on paper and give voice to the crazy ideas running around in my head and the characters I find myself creating at the most random moments. I can be in a meeting, discussing anti-money laundering policies and a great idea will briefly cross my mind and I’ll jot it down somewhere, returning to it later and turning it into a blog post or a chapter in one of my books. Really, it’s a love of words and how they can flow together to create these beautiful phrases that together form fantastic stories – that’s what motivates me.
What do you prefer: Pen or Computer? And how do you stay organized (any methods, systems, tools you use)?
Computer. Hands down. There is no other way for me because my handwriting is atrocious. I have notebooks full of ideas for The Sanctum trilogy and my handwriting is horrid, so bad that sometimes I can’t read it myself!
When I first started writing THE GIRL, book I in The Sanctum Trilogy, I was incredibly organized, working from this highly detailed, work-of-art outline, but during the early parts of writing that book, I found myself feeling very constrained by the outline, almost as if I had to justify each and every time I wanted to deviate from it. My outline became a beast unto itself, with its very own domineering and controlling personality, and finally I had to put it away, shut it down, and make it stop hindering my creative processes. It was the best decision I made; after putting it away, I felt so free and the words just flowed. I haven’t used one since.
Now, I make sure I know the beginning of the book and the end – the rest will fill itself in as I move through the story.
Do you believe in “writer’s block”? If so, how do you avoid it?
I do believe in “writer’s block”, have suffered from it, and worked around it. It’s very real and a total bitch to conquer, but that said, I have my way of working around it when it raises its ugly head and tries to mess with my writing juju.
It’s super simple: I just keep writing. No matter what. Even if what I produce is total trash and I wind up deleting all of it, I still keep chugging ahead because eventually I will write my way out of the block and get back on track. It’s worked every time and I’m certain will work just as well the next time a little case of writer’s block tries to mess with me.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Write some more. Just kidding. I love spending time with my family and friends, I love going to the beach, bike riding, barbecuing, traveling, and of course, reading.
What are you working at the moment? When can we see your next work?
I’m currently hard at work on book III in The Sanctum Trilogy, The Prophecy. It’s the finale, which I’m finding to be both exciting and quite bittersweet. I hate to say goodbye to Dev, Wyatt, and the gang but am also excited about the finale of their insanely awesome journey. Hopefully, I will have everything ready for publication by the end of this year or early 2015. Fingers crossed…
Any advice for aspiring writers?
I say this all the time: write, write, and write some more. And when you feel like you have nothing left in the tank, pour yourself a shot of tequila and get back at it.
ABOUT HER READING LIFE
Are you a reader?
Oh my god! That’s like asking me is the sky blue. I am a voracious reader, although admittedly, since beginning to write The Sanctum Trilogy my time to read has been greatly diminished. But even so, I love reading and despite being under major deadlines to finish my books, do my best to make time for it as much as possible. There is nothing quite as amazing as getting lost in the magic of a book, exploring a new world, leading a totally different life, forgetting myself in a brilliant story.
What do you prefer while reading: Paperbacks or eBooks?
I fought eBooks for a long time, but now that I’ve given into the trend, I have to say they’re rather amazing. Of course, nothing replaces the majesty of a book, holding it in your hands, feeling its heft, listening to the pages turn, the entire experience. However, I must admit, it was quite brilliant being able to carry around George RR Martin’s A Dance of Dragons on my phone versus that beast of a tome that sits on my bookshelf.
One book that you would read again & again?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Time and time again, I find myself returning to this classic and losing myself in the magic of the Buendia clan. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is another I can read over and over again, enjoying the magic of Middle Earth the tenth time as much as I did the first.
Your favorite authors?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Zora Neale Hurston, Laini Taylor, George RR Martin, and JRR Tolkien.
What book(s) are you reading at present?
I just finished a beta read of Kayti Nika Raet’s third book in her Outsider Chronicles series and it was fabulous. If you haven’t read her books, Niko and Harm, I highly recommend them. They’re so unique. I also finished Rose Montague’s Jade, another unique tale, one full of humor, twists and turns. Next on my list is Christa Wojo’s The Wrong David.
PS: Madhuri likes to have her chatty moments, so feel free to hit her up any time on Twitter at @madhuriblaylock or Facebook at www.facebook.com/thesanctumtrilogy or her blog at www.madhuriblaylock.wordpress.com.
PPS: GIVEAWAYS from the AUTHOR herself!
On the Author’s Request I am happy to give two lucky READERS, two eBook copies of both THE GIRL & THE BOY. To be eligible for this giveaway, you have to comment below.
Two lucky READERS will be announced after a week and that is 9 August 2014.