Monday, September 23, 2013

A Visit from M.M. Gornell, Author of Cousel of Ravens







Thank you, Marilyn, for asking me over! I’m always honored to visit, especially since you’ve been such an inspiration to me.

For this post, Marilyn so kindly said I could talk about whatever aspect of writing I liked. What fun—and my thoughts eventually landed on “doing a sequel,” then moved on from there to the larger concept of “the winding-road-of-writing.”

As you all know, Marilyn writes TWO series—but for me and my few books, it’s been standalones until my latest. So, I’m talking about only one little sequel, and that may seem like not such a big deal, but for me, it was huge. I didn’t realize how huge until about the middle of writing Counsel of Ravens. I’ve mentioned on blogs before how certain locations seem to reach out, grab me, tell me there’s a story there. And from that initial spark, my mind moves on to characters, plot, etc. Intertwined in that process—I think—is also a liking for dropping in on characters, not only at a particular spot, but in a particular point in their lives. Then drop out. Move on. Leaving all the “what if” possibilities in the rest of their lives unanswered and left to the reader’s imagination.

Well, writing a sequel with Hugh et al., I’d have to deal with what came next, tie up some lose ends, even kick-start the next chapter of his life. At first, and for quite awhile in the writing of Counsel of Ravens, I didn’t want to do that. Doesn’t make much sense, but it’s true.

It was hard making what I’m calling “second-wave” decisions for Hugh. And with that kind of mindset and difficulty, how could I possibly ever write a series, which was one of my initial goals way-back-when? And now, even with Counsel of Ravens published, I’m still not sure I can actually write a continuing series. 

Though, somewhere during the storytelling part of my latest I began to enjoy developing Hugh’s future, and his friend’s futures—including his ravens—who moved in this story from being reticent, to butting-in. And I did very much enjoy tying up the loose ends with a secondary, but one of my favorite characters in Reticence of Ravens—Marsha Portson.

Which leads me to the “winding-road-of-writing.” My love of P.D. James’s style, her books, her protagonist, her approach to writing—led me to start off using M.M., wanting to emulate my rock-star author and because I planned on writing a series with a male protagonist—again, just like P.D.
Things have changed for my characters in several ways (indeed, two of my books have female protagonists)—and for me. My writing-career-plans seem to have their own plan—taking me on a winding road somewhere…

A very wise author once told me, “Enjoy the process,” and I say, “Hear! Hear! I sure better.” So here I am back on the winding road, and what  seems to be next for me is writing a thriller sort of/mystery sort of/mainstream fiction sort of/ novel called Rhodes. It’s a standalone—BUT, I’ve given it a secondary title—The Mojavestone, just in case! (I’m rereading (audio) The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins—wonder if that has something to do with my title?)

Oh, Marilyn, thanks so much for inviting me—loved being here!

Synopsis for Counsel of Ravens:

In the dark of night, murder strikes on Route 66, and once again Hubert James Champion III finds himself having to face realities he’d rather run from. Indeed, within two days, Hugh finds himself embroiled in murder on a national scale, seeking justice for petty-crimes of a local nature—and very close to home, reviving his skills as a psychologist to help people who have become friends. Indeed, his friends need him.
In addition, there are troubling mysteries of the personal kind still tucked away in the recesses of Hugh’s subconscious. He may still be “hiding out” in the desert, but East Coast ties continue to haunt and thwart his building hopes for the future.
Fortunately, he has his ravens to counsel him, and through it all—the Mojave winds continue to blow…



Bio:

Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has five published mystery novels—including PSWA awarding winners Uncle Si’s Secret and Lies of Convenience (also a Hollywood Book Festival honorable Mention), Death of a Perfect Man, and Reticence of Ravens (a finalist for the Eric Hoffer 2011 fiction Prize, the da Vinci Eye for cover art, and the Montaigne Medal for most thought provoking book). Her latest is Counsel of Ravens, her first sequel and a continuation of Hubert Champion’s Mojave saga. She continues to be inspired by historic Route 66, and expects to release in 2014 Rhodes.

Madeline is a lifetime lover of mysteries, and besides reading and writing, she is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave High Desert near the internationally revered Route 66 (Newberry Springs).

Contact and Buy Info:

Madeline’s books http://tinyurl.com/namho8g are available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Smashwords, in paper and e-book formats. You can visit her online at her website http://www.mmgornell.com, or her BLOG http://www.mmgornell.wordpress.com  or email her directly at mmgornell@earthlink.net

Thank you so much, Madeline, for stopping by. I loved, loved, loved Counsel of Ravens and I'm really looking forward to Rhodes

Marilyn 

27 comments:

M.M. Gornell said...

Good morning, Marilyn! So glad to be here today, you know I love visiting...

Madeline

johnmwills said...

Good job ladies! Get your kicks on Route 66.

blog-2 said...

Get your kicks on Route 66. Good job, Ladies!

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

Two of my favorite authors together is a major treat this morning. Very enjoyable post. I began reading Madeline's books with Counsel of Ravens and we share a love of those birds and their antics, so I shall go back and read the original in this series.

M.M. Gornell said...

Thanks, John, for stopping by. It's interesting about Route 66 in that Chicago, along the route, on through the desert, and then Santa Monica are so different in their own ways.

Jackie, your raven story was so fascinating, http://jtzortman.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/ravens-rock/ I've told it to several people--and the raven picture is great. Thanks for stopping by, glad you liked Counsel of Ravens, and sure hope you enjoy Hugh's first Mojave adventure!

Diane Kratz said...

Nice interview ladies. I haven't read any of your books yet Madeline, but you have tickled my curiosity. Anything that has psychology in them, am all in!
Diane

M.M. Gornell said...

You might like Hugh, Diane. He is indeed a psychologist--but to my mind, an unusual one! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! Much appreciated.

marja said...

Well, you do write a series, Madeline, it's just that the main character is Route 66. :) I really enjoy this series and can't wait for your next book.
Marja McGraw

M.M. Gornell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M.M. Gornell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M.M. Gornell said...

You're right, Marja! I just hadn't thought about it that way--Route 66 has been there for three novels now. Thanks for stopping by. By the way, really liked your blood test blog--always thinking about writing...

(PS had to delete first try TWICE of this comment - misspellings, always need an editor!)

paulfahey said...

Loved this post, Madeline. I haven't yet read Counsel of Ravens but have to admit I'm intrigued having spent a large part of my adolescence in the Mojave, even lived on Route 66 in Barstow one time. That said, I hope you'll continue on with your series. I write one as well and like Marilyn previously said in one of her posts, it's fun to find out what the characters are up to, or some such. Sorry, Marilyn if I've misquoted you but the essence is there. The best part of writing my series is reconnecting with the characters and moving them along in space and time. Having a time line to follow, WWII Britain, really helps keep me focused and often suggests story events. Great post and best of luck with "Ravens."

M.M. Gornell said...

Thanks for stopping by Paul, and thanks for your words of "series-wisdom"! And I think with the right attitude--like yours--it might be fun. So, if Hugh "calls" me again, I'll try to pay attention with a positive outlook. I'm on Route 66, not far from Barstow, and it's quite an amazing place for a Chicago and Pacific Northwest transplant. Amazingly, I love it!

Patricia Gligor said...

Madeline,
I completely empathize! Writing a series is a monumental task! I'm in awe of authors like Marilyn, Marja and Lesley Diehl who write two or, in Lesley's case, three mystery series. I can't even imagine!
I've loved the first two books in your series and I can't wait to read the next one! If I can do it - I'm sending the third book in my Malone mystery series to my publisher soon - I absolutely KNOW that you can. :)

M.M. Gornell said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement, Patricia! Looking forward to your latest--yahoo!

Madeline

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