Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Review, Synopsis, and Author Interview

The Wailing by M.R. Graham

The WailingMy rating on a 100-point scale: 95

My thoughts: 
   A great read! A well-written and intriguing novel/la that kept me interested until the very end. Though there were a couple places where I found myself accurately predicting what was going to happen, I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes paranormal mystery and adventure.

My short synopsis: 
   A man under an unknown compulsion to higher authorities is told to kill another of his kind. He carries out his mission and along the way gains the aid of a wizard who seems to have a personal vendetta against his target. His intentions and goals are clear, but his companions' are not.

I do not suggest this read for anyone less than twelve years of age. 

My interview with the author: 
   Welcome! Are you ready to share a little about you, the person and the writer?  
   How long have you been a writer? What inspired you to do what you do?
   Many thanks, Faye! 
   I've been writing crummy little stories since I could hold a pen, and I wrote my first novel around (the)* second grade (and it was atrocious). I really decided to put effort into it in high school, which is when I began what is now In the Shadow of the Mountains, the second book in my Lost Knowledge series.
   I actually started writing because, as a small child, I had a very hard time telling the difference between a story and a lie. I didn't get in trouble for telling stories on paper, so writing became my favorite form of communication. I always had stories to tell.

   What are your favorite things to read? Who are your favorite authors, and have they inspired you? If so, in what ways?
   My go-to, bad-day-pick-me-up read is The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. I grew up desperately wanting to be her main character, Mary Russell. She was the first genuinely strong female protagonist I ever read, and as an awkward geeky kid, I had never considered that a girl could be smart and able to kick butt and not have her physical appearance be a major plot point. I think it's mentioned a few times that she's pretty, but after all the "Once upon a time, a beautiful princess sat around waiting for someone to save her" stuff, it was really, really refreshing to find a "Once upon a time, this amazingly intelligent young woman did really cool stuff with Sherlock Holmes."
   I have my own Holmesian pastiche in the works, and if it hadn't been for Laurie King, it probably would have been a comedy. Fortunately, I no longer feel the need to temper a smart female character with humor.

   Cool, I'll have to check that out, since I've never even heard of it before. It's sounds like a good read. 
   What would you say to someone who approached you on the street or in the grocery store and told you one of your books was their all-time favorite?
   I'd give them a reading list. I enjoyed writing my books, and I'd love to know that someone else enjoyed reading them, but there's much better material out there for the all-time favorite category.

   That's very humble of you. I wonder what all would be on that list.
   Tell us a little about The Wailing. What inspired the story and how long did it take from conception to published novel/la?
   The Wailing was actually supposed to remain back-story material for Daniel, the main character. I had plans to write some of his history and some of his current exploits, but the events of The Wailing were (initially)* supposed to stay firmly in my notes. Then I watched every episode of Foyle's War one weekend and couldn't stop thinking about what Daniel was doing during the Blitz until I wrote it down. The story had been in my head and in bare-bones outline form in my notes for some years - because it is very important later on that he is already familiar with one of the other characters - but the actual writing took me only about a month and a half. It's a short work. I edited intensively for another few weeks, sent it around to readers, edited again, and published. 
   It's actually not the complete story, though. There are several more wee novelettes on the way. 

   What is the most exciting part about being an author for you? What's the most annoying part, and why?
   The whole thing? To both questions?
   Actually, I posted my stories on DeviantArt for a while, and was kind of thrilled and amazed when a couple of people sketched up characters and scenes for me. 
   (What is)* Annoying is trying to think of something to say when people I've just met ask what my books are about. A conversationalist, I am not. 

   I feel you. That's how I am when people ask me what my book's about - though I am a talker, I just don't know how to respond to that one question.
   Are the characters in The Wailing based on real people? If so, would you care to share with us who they are based upon?
   Not based on, exactly, but Daniel and Rowan would probably be my ideal roommates. Generally speaking, I don't like people. I like being left alone. I don't like being touched. Parks is based on my mother, who has an uncanny knack for being right there when you turn around.

   Who is your favorite character from The Wailing and why?
   Despite the fact that Daniel is my protagonist, I definitely like Rowan best. I enjoy writing her and her snark. I'm looking forward to writing her again.

   I really liked Rowan, too. 
   What can we expect from the rest of the series - how long will it be and will the same characters star and/or will other main characters be introduced?
   The rest of the series will be extremely diverse. The Wailing takes place in London during the Blitz. In the Shadow of the Mountains takes place in Colorado in 2003-4. There will be more like The Wailing, but first, I'm working on the main body of the series - the sub-series is called Liminality, and I'm estimating four or five books. Daniel does show up more, and I may tackle his full story eventually, but Liminality will revolve around a new (or mostly new) set of characters. It's not entirely a vampire series. I'm delving into Slavic and Hispanic folklore, as well.

   Very interesting. You're sounding more and more like me. Ha ha. 
   Where can we find you online and keep up with your work?
   My personal site can be found at The series site is at I'm also on Facebook, Deviantart, Twitter, and Goodreads

   Cool site! And I love your book covers.
   Is there anything you'd like to add?
   I can bend my fingers backward about a hundred and twenty degrees. 

   How random. Ha ha. Well, that's all the questions I have for today. Thank you for joining us! 

*Note: I have added to the words of the author. These things are in parentheses and followed by a star. 

To readers: Thank you for stopping by! Leave a comment to let us know you were here. Have you read The Wailing? What did you think and who was your favorite character? If you haven't read it yet, are you planning to now? Why or why not?