I had the pleasure of taking part in th Blog tour for the upcoming finale to the Colours of Madeline Trioogy, A Tangle of Gold.
Release Date: February 23
Purchase link: http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781743533239
Publisher: PanMacmillan Australia
(I have a review coming for the entire trilogy VERY SOON)
Here is my Q&A with the lovely author:
(This first question was inspired by Jocie, over at YouTube.com/thenameisjocie):
As I am sure you are aware, diversity has been a popular discussion topic lately. Is that something you are consciously aware of when writing? How do you incorporate diversity into your books?
JM: I think if you write an honest account of the real world you can’t avoid diversity. I try to notice what’s going on in my writing, and if all my characters look and sound like me then I know I don’t have my eyes open, and I’m not writing honestly. So I try to open them. At the same time, I’ve always been conscious that I’m not in a position to write about the specific experiences associated with being from a different race or culture or ability or sexuality from my own. When people say that we need more diverse books for young adults, they mean they want to hear diverse voices telling their own stories
When reading the Colours of Madeline trilogy, the books went with me EVERYWHERE. Where do you like to read the most?
JM: like to read everywhere too. On the ferry, in bed, on the couch, in the doctor’s waiting room, in cafes, on the train (but then I miss my station). I think my favourite place to read might be by somewhere by the sea while eating chocolate.
Can you tell us any interesting facts about the Colours of Madeline trilogy? Either from the writing process, crazy coincidences, anything!
JM: One interesting thing was that I liked the idea of famous people from the past having visited the Kingdom of Cello. I thought of a few people and then I read about their lives to see if they might have had a moment to be in Cello. And every person I chose had some mystery surrounding their life: some gap or enigma, which, as far as I could see, could only mean that they had been to Cello.
Also, when I was writing the first book, A Corner of White, I had Madeleine doing an assignment on Isaac Newton, so I decided I’d better find famous historical figures for Madeleine’s friends, Belle and Jack, to research. I chose random names: the poet Byron for Jack, and the mathematician, Charles Babbage, for Belle. Babbage invented an early form of computer, and when I read about him, I became more interested in a woman he worked with, Ada Lovelace. She invented the earliest form of programming. So I had Belle do her assignment on Ada instead, while Jack stayed with Byron. And then, one day, I discovered that Ada was actually Byron’s daughter.
Support for your series has been absolutely massive! As an author, do you ever actively seek out reviews or opinions of readers? If so, does this affect your writing?
JM: Never. When I first started writing I used to google myself sometimes but it always ended in tears. You read twenty nice things about yourself and then you find one mean thing and you burst into tears. The only thing you remember is the mean thing. It’s ridiculous but it seems to be the strange way our self-esteem operates.
I don’t mind reasonable criticism so much, but I’m very, very critical of my own work anyway, and I have readers and editors whose opinions I respect, so I listen to them. You can’t please everybody, and you can’t try to please everybody: reading and writing are both subjective and there’s usually no right answer.
Online criticism is often expressed in a voice of contempt, and it’s the tone that finds its way into your essence. Contempt becomes the voice in your mind. You can’t write with that voice anywhere near you.
For all these reasons, I’ve stopped reading reviews or googling myself. But if someone sends me a letter or a review, I will read it. I love thoughtful, kind, enthusiastic reviews. I’m very keen on praise. I have no troube with praise at all.
With the release of A Tangle of Gold, comes the end of a phenomenal trilogy (pout). What do you think you will miss the most? And do you have any plans, writing wise, for the future?
JM: Thank you so much. I will miss the Kingdom of Cello, all of the characters, reading about science, thinking about colour, and having an excuse to do things like learn to play the cello or get my aura read for research.
At the moment I am working on four different books. One is about a girl whose parents ran away to have adventures with pirates; one is about a woman who joins a self-help course which claims it will teach her to fly; one is a new Ashbury-Brookfield book about Emily’s younger brother; and one is about time travel.
I would like to give a big thanks to PanMacmillan for organising this blog tour and asking me to take part. Xx. Also, a massive thanks to Jaclyn Moriarty for answers my questions.