Thursday, 26 April 2012

Blog Interview: M.J Hearle on Winter's Light

Hey guys! I'm back with another interview with M.J Hearle, author of Winter's Shadow and the upcoming sequel, Winter's Light. I interviewed M.J earlier this year about Winter's Shadow and now, I interviewed M.J about Winter's Light, the sequel! You can read my review of Winter's Shadow here and Winter's Light here! I'd also like to thank Charlotte from Pan Macmillan for giving me the opportunity to interview M.J again!

      1. Please describe Winter's Light in one sentence.

A young woman undertakes a perilous journey to save the soul of the man she loves.

2. When you wrote Winter's Shadow, did you knew what was going to happen in Winter's Light?

The clever answer would be ‘Yes. The entire story was planned out from the beginning.’ Most readers like to know they’re in safe hands with an author. Unfortunately, the honest answer is ‘No.’ The chance of getting one book published was so slim I didn’t dare entertain the possibility of writing a sequel. Of course, when my publisher asked if I had any ideas for the further adventures of Winter and Co I waffled on with great confidence about having a J.K Rowling style overarching plan for a multi-book series. In truth, I had only the vaguest of story notions. Some scattered scenes and a few interesting character beats I could throw in. For the most part, I discovered the story while I was writing it, which made for a terrifying and exhilarating experience. A little like writing on a crumbling cliff top. Only blind faith in my characters kept me from tumbling over the edge.
3. Which new characters in Winter's Light did you enjoy writing about most?

Sam was an intriguing character. When I introduced him in Winter’s Shadow I had a feeling he had a larger part to play in Winter’s story and it turns out I was right. He’s a major character in the sequel. Magdalene (Caleb’s sister) was also a lot of fun to write. Villainous characters usually are.

4. Which was your favourite scene in the book?

That’s a tricky question to answer without going into spoiler territory so I’ll be purposefully vague. Probably, the scene in the cemetery is my favourite. It was fun ramping up the tension and playing around with the various Bane magical paraphernalia I’d introduced. It’s probably the most intensely scary scene in the book and the one I could actually imagine enjoying as a reader – a perspective I rarely have while I’m writing. Most of the time I’m too hunkered down in the trenches for that level of awareness.

5. What do you think of Winter's Light cover?

It’s beautiful. I think it’s a bold design choice to deviate from the colour scheme of Winter’s Shadow but the end result works completely. I love Winter’s posture against the forbidding starkness of the woods.

6. Are you currently working on the third book in the series?
At the moment I’m finishing a short story about Claudette (Blake’s sister in Winter’s Shadow) which will be a digital only download for e-readers. She’s a character that seems to have gripped many readers imagination so I’m grateful for the opportunity to explore more of her backstory. Once I finish Claudette’s tale it’s straight on to the third book. The scope of what I have in mind is a little intimidating. If I pull off only half of it than I say – without an ounce of hyperbole – this will probably be the most epic paranormal novel of all time.

Quick Questions:

1. Books or movies?
I love them both but ultimately it always comes back to books.

2. Cats or dogs? Dogs. No argument.

3. Paris or Sydney? Tricky. Paris is the romantic answer but having been there a couple of times, I think I prefer Sydney. Less dog poo on the pavement and we make better coffee. It’s as simple as that. 

Hehe, considering how there were so many cats in Winter's Shadow and Winter's Light, it's very interesting that M.J loves dogs more than cats. And ooo, M.J prefers Sydney because of coffee! Coffee addicts unite! Also, I didn't know M.J is writing a short story of Claudette. Absolutely can't wait to read it! It'll be a great story to read before the third book comes out next year. Thank you so much for the time to answer my Q&A, M.J!

Add the book:
Where to buy? 
Find M.J Hearle at:


  1. Thanks Celine for the interview. I had a lot of fun answering your questions and look forward to reading your next post.

  2. Yay! Awesome interview! I cannot wait to continue the series and refamiliarise myself with all the characters! :) I also found the cat/dog thing a bit funny, considering he prefers dogs but included cats in his book.

  3. Great interview, I hope to start reading Winter's Shadow next week, it sounds like a great series so far!

  4. I love how he answered the second question, how the story kind of unfolded naturally, rather than being carefully plotted. Although that idea freaks me out, I cannot function without a plan!

    Claudette short story? YES PLEASE.

    And oh, I am REALLY intrigued by what he said about book 3. Especially with how things ended in Winter's Light, I am SO excited to see what happens next. And maybe a little terrified haha.

    Love the interview, both fantastic questions and answers!

  5. Hehehe.... is it awful that I didn't know MJ was a guy until last week? ...I kind of think so, huh?

    FAB interview, Celine! Eeee, he had great answers.... hehhe, I'm with Brodie, about the overarching story arc and what not :D

  6. EEpp I cant wait to read this one. Great interview! I always thought MJ is cute. hahaha. OK seriously cant wait to read WL Celine<3. :)



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