The Write Side of Life
January 24, 2008 | Interviews
ST: Hi Everyone! We’re back with M.C. Halliday to learn more about her writing. What’s a normal day like for you?
MC: In the winter, I’m up at 6:30 every day and put coffee on to brew as my email accounts load and the dogs spend some time in the back gardens. Once I have coffee in hand, I spend an hour or two answering or sending emails, then I check my calendar and projects list before planning my day according to deadlines. I work until 4:00 or later, and then try to relax or catch up on household duties or errands. In the summer, I begin my day at 5:00 and head outdoors to garden in the early afternoon. My evenings are spent in the gazebo I erected in the far rear gardens, with my digital recorder at hand.
ST: With your busy life how do you find time to write?
MC: Oh, my life is dedicated to writing. I seldom holiday or do much else, I’m happiest when writing or researching or plotting. My tarot sign is Hermit and I think it suits me quite well.
ST: Are there any quirks you have or do before or while you’re writing?
MC: Atop a shelf on my desk, looking out a window to the northeast, stands a large fierce red dragon to ward off bad chi. That’s rather quirky to us in the West, isn’t it.
ST: Who or what encouraged you to write?
MC: Simple desire, compounded over years of suppressed need and I reached a point where it was do or die, literally. I had been suffering from physical ailments that flared most on my face (I looked like monster at one point) and went into a severe depression that worsened when I lost my lifelong Siamese companion, and sat with a bottle of pills asking myself, “What would make you NOT do this?” Immediately, the answer was writing. I quit my job, stopped dating and sought to heal with my deepest desire forefront.
ST: Where do you get the ideas for your novels?
MC: Always, a sudden inspiration comes to me. The words follow as though I hear a whisper as I write the prologue. Next comes the characters, which I seem to know inside and out as I begin. I can see them, hear the tone of their voices and sense their motivation. Then I look to the pivotal point in their life that creates who they are and why they feel/act as they do.
ST: How do you research your books?
MC: Thank heavens for the internet, especially in the last few years as it’s much improved. I can find hundreds of sources for much of what I would like to know before plotting: structure of the society, rights of men and women, clothing styles and fabrics and personal toilet, modes of transport and costs, industry and art, maps for the era and common names of people and places, language and speech patterns, entertainment and amusements, housing and furniture. Any facts or information must be confirmed from at least three other reliable sources. It helps a great deal when I have first hand knowledge of a place, such as London and all southern England.
ST: Who is your support group?
MC: My older sister was my first support. She has encouraged me through the last seven years and remains steadfast. My best friend is also an avid support and reader, she will beta read at any time and give her precious, totally unbiased opinion. Recently, I joined an online writer’s group that has also proved valuable.
ST: Thanks for all your time, M.C. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
MC: You’re welcome and I’ll be here bright and early!
ST: Until then…