I recently read the Madly Series, a YA series about a mermaid named Madly James. Here is an interview with M. Leighton, the author!
1. Tell me about yourself and how you first became interested in writing?
I was a nurse before I began writing. I'm not one of those people who has written for years or kept journals, anything like that. I never once considered that I might like to write. Until I read Twilight. I was so devastated when the books were over, I decided I'd write a book of my own, and I could keep the characters alive and with me for as long as I wanted. So I did. I found that I loved it and couldn't stop at just one book. So I didn't. LOL And the rest, as they say, is history.
2. What was the inspiration behind the Madly series?
Fairy tales. I thought it would be so neat to write my own spin on fairy tales, to take elements of them and superimpose them on another world and other creatures. The possibilities are limitless and I think that's one of the many reasons I enjoy the series so much:)
3. Many recently published fantasy novels and series focus on vampires, fairies, and witches. Why did you choose to make Madly a mermaid?
I'd never read a story about a mermaid and, since they're not often spoken of, I thought I'd make them into creatures that could fit in with my fairy tale story. Plus, they're beautiful and mysterious, and I love that about them.
4. Is there any particular writer or book that inspired you, either while growing up or as an adult?
Most recently, as cliche as it sounds, it was definitely Twilight. I consider that series instrumental in where I am today. I'd say many authors could say the same thing. As for my younger inspirations, they would include writers like Johanna Lindsey, Nora Roberts, Janet Dailey and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Lots of great romance authors out there!
5. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don't ever give it up. It would be all too easy to get frustrated or discouraged and just put your keyboard away forever. And if you have to do that for a day or two, fine. But don't give up. There is an incredible feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment in simply finishing a book. That's huge. And I wouldn't want you to miss out on that.
6. What's next for you?
I'm currently writing the first story in a new series and then will write the final book in the Wild Ones series. I'm busy, but I love what I do, so a productive day is a good day for me. And, of course, there's Madly 4 on the horizon... *sigh* Jackson...
7. Who would play Madly in a movie/tv show?
The girl from Pretty Little Liars, Ashley Benson.
8. I have only had a chance to read the Madly series so far, but which of your many series is your favorite and why?
I don't think I could pick just one. There are elements or characters or pieces of everything I've written that I love, love, love. It would be like picking a favorite child.
Thank you so much for having me on! I appreciate your time and hope you enjoy any and all of my books:)