Welcome to my Q & A today where I’m featuring author/poet and one of my Sisters of the Fey – Marjorie Mallon. Besides her love for writing poetry and flash fiction, Marje writes in the YA and paranormal genres. You can also find some of Marje’s other contributions to several anthologies. Marje has been busy on an extensive blog tour promoting her new release – Mr. Sagittarius, and she’s going to share a bit about her book with us here today.
I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, Horror/Ghost short stories and multi-genre flash fiction as well as micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I share book reviews, poetry, flash fiction, photography and inspirational details of my writing journey at my lovely blog home: https://mjmallon.com/
I’m a member of two professional writing groups: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators and Cambridge Writers
As well as this I run a supportive group with fellow Administrator D G Kaye on Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club
I work as a Receptionist/Event organiser for an international sixth form and live in Cambridge, England.
Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. It features a variety of my photos including: trees, a robin and a dragonfly! As well as this there are several stories, and even some Halloween poems!
I doubt I would have created Mr. Sagittarius if it wasn’t for these two amazing ladies: Colleen Chesebro (for her weekly poetry challenges and Charli Mills – Carrot Ranch (flash fiction challenges.) Both ladies have been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement.
Mr. Sagittarius is a magical celebration of the natural world, a story about the circle of life, with an emphasis on the changing seasons of the year and sibling relationships.
Huge thanks to my amazing cover designer and formatter: Rachael Ritchey who has done an amazing job creating the ebook, paperback cover and graphics.
Twin brothers Harold and William love the magic of the natural world.
When Harold dies he leaves a simple memorial request.
Will his brother William and his sister Annette honour it?
Or, will the garden work its magic to ensure that they do.
A magical story expressed via an original compilation of poetry and prose with photographic images.
Mr. Sagittarius is the tale of two very different brothers and their only sister, told in poetry and prose inspired by the natural beauty of the botanical gardens in Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Montreal. The accompanying photographs compliment the story adding to the beauty of the author’s words.
We begin with William, who is mourning the loss of his brother Harold. However, he isn’t the only one feeling the pain of bereavement. Annette, the sister, also laments Harold’s passing. This loss forces the two remaining members of the family to come to grips with their grief in a most extraordinary way.
This is a charming poetic journey inspired by the author’s chance meeting with a dragonfly and a robin, sure to delight all readers. Yet, there is more than one magical tale spilling from this collection. By the time you reach the finale, Mr. Sagittarius reveals the wisdom of a life richly lived.
THE GOLDEN WEEPING WILLOW
William walked through the snow-laden bamboo archway towards the icy water. He
knew where he was going and that thought alone brought an enormous lump to his
throat. The lump grew into a bulb that threatened to burst. He willed it down, he
couldn’t cry, not here in public.
The bench was situated where he and his brother Harold had often sat under the
golden weeping willow tree, right by the water’s edge. The branches and leaves of
the tree created a lengthy curtain which twinkled with filaments of spell-binding snow.
Inscribed on the bench were the words:
For Harold, who loved the garden’s seasons, the rainbows, and the distant
twinkling lights. The trees, the birds, and flowers and most of all the beautiful
dragonflies who bring an aura of magic with their short lives.
Red, devil’s needle,
Or luck bringer with kind eyes?
Ancient, sweet fellow,
Sacred magic bestower,
Change tumbling on fragile wings.
William sat down on the bench, the lump in his throat burst and a dam of tears
flowed from the well of his soul. The weeping willow tree bent its snow encrusted
branches towards him, and little jewels of snow fell upon him. He glanced to his left
and saw a dragonfly sitting next to him. How extraordinary to see a dragonfly in
winter! He remembered he’d seen a dragonfly the last time that Harold had been here with him. It had hovered above a kahili ginger lily. The weather had been sunny
Today’s dragonfly was red with two black dots on its tail. Its crystalline wings
were delicate, and each had brown frosty markings highlighting it. The dragonfly
didn’t move, so William put his hand just above it. It didn’t flutter away. It stayed
motionless, as if the freezing temperatures were exhausting the creature. William put
his hand next to it and again the dragonfly remained.
William was alone, so he chatted to the dragonfly. It wasn’t something he would
normally do, but this wasn’t a normal day. He had heard that dragonflies were lucky,
and some people even believed they denoted the potential for change. Surely that
had to be promising?
‘Hi, Mr. dragonfly,’ he whispered. ‘I guess you’re a Mr.? It’s good to see you. I’m
glad you’re here. It gets cold in winter for us old ones, don’t feel bad for resting a
The dragonfly lifted off the bench for a second and landed near William’s
shoulder. It stared at him with its perceptive eyes as if it was listening.
‘I’m glad to see you’re not too worn out, or frozen to fly. You, and your insect
friends the butterflies have such a short but sweet life. Ah, life is too short. I miss my
twin brother Harold so much. It’s like I’ve lost myself and I can’t get back to being me
without him by my side.’
The dragonfly flew up and floated above William’s head and whizzed about as if
trying to say something.
William knew what the dragonfly meant. It didn’t have to speak, William just
knew. It was like they were two ancient creatures sharing a silent chinwag.
He got up slowly, as his poor old limbs had forgotten how to get up fast. He had
to buy something, or make something, that would connect him to Harold. The
dragonfly’s momentary visit gave him the wisdom to understand this.
Now, let’s get to know a little bit more about Marje.
What are your writing goals for this year?
My writing goals for this year are to:
Publish my first poetry/prose and photography collection which released on February 16 th : Mr. Sagittarius – Poetry and Prose with photography. I also plan to start drafting a second book of poetry/prose and photography with the following themes: family, places I love and inspiration. My biggest challenge this year will be to finish my second book in the YA fantasy series The Curse of Time Book 2 Golden Healer. This is currently with my greatest critic: my eldest daughter who is doing the final beta read.
D.G. – Sounds like you’re a busy gal. Good for you Marje, we need to keep busy.
How has writing changed your life?
I’d say it has changed me enormously and given me much more confidence! Also, it’s made me a much more fulfilled and happy person. I’m different! It has changed me in a fundamental way, and I doubt there is any going back! I observe the world in a more
perceptive, interested way.
D.G. – Mark of an observant writer. 🙂
Did you have a passion to write as a child? Do you remember the first thing you wrote?
Yes, as a child I wrote a book about my ginger tom cat, Chester, who was such a friendly, adventurous fellow. He enjoyed getting up to all sorts of mischief! My brother Donald and I would rescue him from strange households. One day we hiked through our local forest to collect him from a house with 13 other cats! Sadly, even though he had a lot of adventures his life was cut short. He was knocked down by a car. I was distraught. He was a very handsome ginger tom cat, we’d had from a kitten and I loved him to bits. So, its not surprising that one of the characters in my YA fantasy The Curse of Time is a cat: Shadow – a black cat – and in Mr. Sagittarius, a ginger tom cat plays a magical part, and there’s also a poem entitled: Life Lessons From Cats.
D.G. – It’s always interesting to learn tidbits about how characters were developed for our books.
Where do you believe your passion for storytelling originated from?
My passion for storytelling originated from my parents. Both of whom are fascinating
individuals. My father had an adventurous spirit and travelled all over the world. His life story is so interesting that I recorded various aspects of his travelling stories which I have compiled together. My mother had a very unusual childhood in Malaysia, climbing trees, being free to do pretty much as she wished. Her mother disappeared when she was very young, (during the Japanese occupation,) and there is speculation about what happened to her. Certain shocking facts have come to light which would make an intriguing story. So, I’ve masses of material for future stories…
D.G. – Wow, surely your mother would have some incredible stories to share. I hope you do come out with a book of your parents’ memoirs.
Which author friends of yours inspire you by being supportive to your writing?
So many! Authors are such giving people. I’ve been very lucky in that respect. From the
wonderful SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators,) group to ‘online’ author friends: yourself, Colleen, Charli, Sally Cronin, Ritu, Ghostly Writers, and anthology pals, everyone on the blog tour for Mr. Sagittarius… all my beta readers, blogging and Bloggers Bash friends and of course the Spiritual Sisters, (or Sisters of The Fey.) You’re all so amazing. ♥
A shout out goes to all the dedicated authors and bloggers who host weekly poetry/writing and photography prompts to encourage writers to write and be creative: Colleen Chesebro, Charli Mills, Diana Wallace Peach, Rachael Ritchey, Hugh Roberts, Sue Vincent, and Ronovan Hester and many more besides. I am in awe of the time and enthusiasm that they give to enthuse and motivate others.
D.G. – That is so wonderful Marje. Thank you for including me. But I know well, like most things to succeed, it does take a village.
It was fun introducing Marje and her work here today. I hope you all enjoyed and will check out Marje’s books. You will find all her books on her Amazon Author Page.
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