I think one of the hardest parts about being an author is being able to get the words down on paper fast enough. When I write, I am deep in thought and very focused on where the story is going, and what I’m trying to say. As the ideas are coming to me, I’m typing as fast as I can. But, because my mind is several pages to a chapter ahead of where my typing is, I’m struggling to get everything down fast enough. I’ve tried hand writing my manuscripts and then going back to type it, but I can type much faster than I write. Some days are more 1,000-2,000 kind of word days, and that works out okay. But, other days are more like 10,000+ word days, and in that case, ideas are flying, and capturing them before they leave me becomes the biggest challenge. In other words, I think patience may come in to play a little.
2. Can you give us a short synopsis of your book?
Sure! I would love to share Magdalena’s story. Magdalena is celebrating her thirteenth birthday surrounded by friends and family, feeling thankful. But, something in her life is missing, a higher purpose perhaps. She is very intelligent and inquisitive, but bored. Her best friend, Gabriel, is always by her side and Hubert is a close second. Although, secretly he would love to be first in line. Lily Brooke is the town community where they reside and its small-town charm keeps everything nice and cozy, until young teenage curiosity crosses a line.
The trio decides to go for a Saturday morning exploration into the woods behind Hubert’s family barn. What began as another day in small town paradise, brings forth a noticeable anomaly in Hubert’s stallion, an odd fork in a well-traveled path, a chilly crooked trail, a hidden cave that features sacrificial drawings, hidden lanterns, a staged cave wall, and an enormous enchanted treehouse built to withstand the test of time. All this adventure in one day, not to mention the chanting voices and shrill noises beckoning the three friends along the way. For some unknown reason, only Magdalena can hear them.
The exploration produces more questions than answers and the confirmation that something sinister and potentially demonic may be living in Lily Brooke. Perplexed as to why only sweet Magdalena can hear the enchanted voices, the trio decides to meet with their childhood friend group, MALB, otherwise known as the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke. It seems all of Lily Brooke is depending upon them and time is of the essence, even though their club, a secret society, is unknown to anyone but themselves.
Through their quest for answers, many protected secrets are uncovered including a select committee that meets in the hidden dungeon at the town church late at night to discuss the super-natural happenings around town. Witches, wizards, and black magic are all things that come to light in what was meant to be a normal weekend amongst dear childhood friends.
Their lives will forever be changed as they face demons from both the past and present. But, committed to each other and bound in friendship, they push forward no matter the bleak obstacles that lie ahead. Guilt, jealousy, hate, friendship, and love all play a part in this fantasy thriller. Behind the scenes, Magdalena must sort through her emotions for Gabriel. He is just a friend, right?
3. What inspired you to write this book?
Honestly, it has been on my mind for such a long time. I’ve always enjoyed writing ever since I was about age twelve. I have wonderful memories writing during my childhood. My biggest inspiration though, was my youngest daughter, Penelope. She shares my love of reading and is absolutely fascinated by the storyline. Watching the magic in her eyes while I was writing the book kept me going. Each time I would finish a chapter, I would print it for her to read. The excitement was worth gold. She would laugh and sometimes even be scared. I knew when she was in the spookier moments of the book because she would always find wherever I was, and come sit and read beside me. She is nine years old. So, you could say, childhood innocence, that sense of believing in magic, believing in the inherent good in people no matter their walk in life, and having faith, pushed me to write this story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have truly enjoyed writing it.
4. How many hours per day do you spend writing?
This really varies to be honest. I was struggling in the beginning because I had this pre-conceived notion that I needed to be writing six to eight hours a day, every day. Thinking about putting eighty thousand words on paper was slightly overwhelming at first. Then, I happened to be at a book store one day flipping through books that discussed writing in general, and I saw a quote that stayed with me. I wish I could remember the exact book where I saw it, but the gist was like this: Don’t focus on how much you write at any given time, just focus on writing every single day. If you are having one of those days where writer’s block tends to be an issue, or maybe one of those days when you aren’t home near the computer, just take thirty minutes and write at some point during that day. Even if you don’t accomplish a lot on the book, keep your mind active and go through the motions. So, for me, I write at least thirty minutes every day, in some capacity. Other days, I may write for ten to twelve hours. I don’t push myself if the words aren’t flowing. I approach writing as an art. If the art isn’t happening that day, just go through the formalities so you don’t create the habit of not writing. Otherwise, several months later, you find yourself disappointed.
5. Name your top five favorite books.
Oh goodness, I love to read but haven’t been able to lately. I’m having withdrawals! Some that stand out in my mind are all the Dan Brown books of the series Inferno, Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, Digital Fortress. I enjoy the entire series of the John Corey books written by Nelson DeMille. I’m absolutely waiting on the edge of my seat for him to write the next book. Radiant Angel was written in 2015 so I’m waiting! I also really like the series “in death” written under Nora Robert’s pen name, J.D. Robb. I tend to cluster read. When I find a book by an author that excites me on a level that I don’t want to put the book down, I read the entire series!
6. What are you working on now?
I am working on the second book of the Magdalena series titled, Magdalena Gottschalk: The Slippery Slope. It is set to be released by November 17th or somewhere there about. The book picks up a few months later from the end of The Crooked Trail and the Christmas holiday season is in full bloom. Winter has arrived in Lily Brooke and Magdalena has been keeping to herself ever since the end of book #1. I don’t want to give any spoiler alerts so I will have to stop there. But, expect The Slippery Slope to be as fun and captivating as The Crooked Trail. Book #3 should launch sometime late February to early March 2018.
Title: Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail
Author: M. Gail Grant
Genre: YA Fantasy
The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.
Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies. Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters.
Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer’s camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood.
The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.
For author signed paperback and hardcover editions: http://www.MelindaGailBooks.com