Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meet Margaret Fieland, author of Relocated...

Welcome  to my blog Margaret. Thanks for being here today. In 2012 you are to release your Science Fiction novel RELOCATED for young tween readers through Museitup Publishing. 

When fourteen-year-old Keth's Dad is transferred to planet Aleyne, he doesn't know what to expect. Certainly not that Dad grew up here and that he studied and work with Ardaval, a noted Aleyni scholar. Keth discovers he's developped psi, illegal in the Terran Federation,  and he flees to Ardaval, only to learn later that the Aleyni is his grandfather. When Keth's friend's father, Mazos, is kidnapped by the terrorists, Keth tries to free him but is captured himself. Will he succeed in freeing them both and catching the terrorists, and what will be the cost if he does?

Congratulations! The planet of Aleyne sounds like an amazing place.
Other than ‘author’ what are three words you would use to describe yourself?
Musician, reader, messy, compulsive – and yes, that's more than three words. I'm not always great at following rules.

Do they influence you as a writer? Or the genre you write?
Everything influences me as a writer, because it's all part of who I am. The musician has had a huge effect on my ear, especially my ear as a poet – I have a good feel for meter, and the reading has influenced my vocabulary. Because I started out writing poetry, I am aware of the importance of the correct word choice. I love

What is it about science fiction that fires up your muse?
You know, that's funny. I started reading science fiction as a kid, and by age 10 was already a devoted  fan – I selected Robert A. Heinlein's “Farmer in the Sky” for my 10th birthday. But I wrote for years without going near science fiction. My first novel, which won't be published until 2013, after “Relocated,” is a kid's chapter book. I had sort of a phobia about writing science fiction, in fact, so last year for NaNoWriMo I decided to write a sci fi novel – for kids, of course, in order to “get over” my phobia.
 That's a great way to get over a obviously worked a treat!

You are about to be published with Museitup, what inspired this story?
As I said, I wanted to write a sci fi story, and to me the most daunting part of that was the world building, so that (and the characters) were where I put most of my pre-NaNo planning. I tell myself stories in my head all the time, and I'd been thinking about a society based on mutual responsibility, rather than on law, for a long time. I liked the idea of the psi, because making the aliens have psi – and not the Terrans – and having psi illegal for Terrans made for a ready source of conflict.  Then, too, the idea of relationships with more than two people had been rattling around in my head for some time, also. I made my aliens dark-skinned for a couple of reasons – I wanted to make them distinctive looking, I was really, really tired of the good guys always being the fair-skinned ones,  and it allowed me to play against type.

Do you have a regime when writing? A special place, time, mood or do you snatch opportunities to pen ideas or write a few lines?
I don't have a set regime – other than that I'm committed to writing every day. I'm a member of a poetry writing group, so that I have weekly commitments there, and I recently joined another writing critique group for fiction. I keep paper and pen handy everywhere, but I keep “master” copies of my work online in Google documents. I do this for a couple of reasons: they have to back up the data, and since it's their business, they take it seriously, and the stuff is accessible from any computer. Plus I can share it. Having my writing organized and accessible is a huge reason for my ability to progress as a writer.

Does your Muse follow rules and plot lines or does she offer ideas on a whim?
She spews out idea. I''ve started to keep notes – I have a file for each of a number of book ideas. Right now I'm working on a successor to “Relocated,” where my main character, Keth, is four years older. I've noted a couple of more ideas in that universe as well. Anything can spark an idea.

What are the most dramatic changes you have made to a story you have written? What prompted the change?
Yikes. The first book I wrote, I wrote in a weekend. It was 5000 words. Then I spent the next couple of years learning enough about fiction to rewrite it and really make it into a good story. There were major changes in what happened, in the characters, in where I started the story. And that was prompted by my having learned enough about writing to see what I had to do. It ended up about 11,000, and it went through at least 3 major revisions.

Has there been one event in your life that changed/inspired your writing career? For example, meeting an author, finding a publisher, joining a critique group?
It was a couple of things. I'd complained to one of my sons one weekend that I wanted to work on a poem, but the latest copy was on another computer. He told me about Yahoo Briefcase (I've since switched to Google Documents), and so I put copies of all my poems up. Then, since I knew what I had, I could start to progress in my writing. I entered a contest (only possible because I had my poems handy and knew what I had), entered a contest, and was a finalist. I was psyched, so I joined an online community and started working on my poetry.

Then , through someone in the community, I found out about the Muse Online Writers Conference. I hooked up with Linda Barnett Johnson, and joined her writing forums. At the time, I was writing only poetry, but Linda insisted that everyone write fiction also. I was lucky enough to get my first story accepted to a  website. I got hooked on fiction, and I now write both fiction and poetry. I started writing for kids for a couple of reasons – I love kids fiction, and read it constantly, I have three sons, a stepson, and a stepdaughter, and the shorter length made it less intimidating. Little did I know that in lots of ways, children's fiction is more difficult than writing for adults. But I got hooked on writing it, and here I am.

Would you like to tell us about the main character of your book and/or the villain? Or would you like to share an excerpt? Either or both… we are keen to learn more about the story. The whole idea of four person relationships sounds intriguing and makes me want to know more. Psi is always interesting and a great draw card to grab my attention.
Well, I wrote 30 poems while writing the book, by an ancestor of one of the characters in the book – and my main character's namesake. I'll share a couple that doesn't appear in the book.

 Who Will Play Music?
Who remains to play the  music, now musician’s dead?
Which lips set bright brasses blowing? The man’s cold in his bed.
Whose hand renders strings a strumming now the fiiddler’s gone?
Whose hand genders drums a drumming as night turns to dawn?

Our hands start the drums a drumming as dawn turns to day,
ours the fingers on strings, strumming,. We’ll sit down to play.
Our lips put to brasses blowing, knowing he will hear.
We will keep his music going, from us to his ear.

The Choice
The hour has come to make our choice,
listen to the still, small voice,

choosing values to uphold,
the way of love, the way of gold,

empire with hands across the sky,
riders in a desert dry,

those who love the outer shell
or those who honor inner selves,

the way of dark, the way of light.
Our feet upon our path this night.

Who is publishing your story?
MuseItUp publishing division, MuseItYoung. It will be available in July, 2012.
Where can we get this book?
You can't, yet.
We must be patient a little longer...  So in the meantime, how can we follow your career?
Check out my website and blog,

Thanks for participating Margaret, 'Relocate' sounds amazing and your poetry is wonderful. What a talented writer you are! I am so glad you decided to take up writing Science Fiction.


Margaret Fieland said...

Rosalie, thanks for having me on your blog today.

Margaret Fieland

Michelle said...

Your excerpt sounds great. Your muse and mine must be sisters. Mine just spews out idea after idea, too. And sometimes if isn't about the WIP, so I keep a file with all her little tidbits.

I also have a sci/fi novel coming out in July 2012 through Muse.

Good luck!
Author of Concilium, available July 2012
Concilium: The Departure, November 2012

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Rosealie, thanks for running this post. Margaret is a fave of mine!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Excited about the new edition (Updated! Expanded! and now an Award-winner!) of The Frugal Book Promoter,

Rosalie Skinner said...

Hi Margaret and Carolyn, it's wonderful to have you here and to have you drop in Carolyn.
I am looking forward to reading Relocated. It sounds like my kind of book.

L. K. Below said...

Congrats on the contract, Margaret. It sounds like Relocated is a great book. :)

Rosalie Skinner said...

Thanks for dropping in Lindsay. I love science fiction and reading about Relocated just makes me want to settle down and read a good sci fi story... Will be patient and look forward to Relocated's release.

Good to see you here, and at Wendy's book launch party.
Everything is a little foggy... I think the party is taking its toll already. :)