MJ Glenn Interview
The Indie Book Butler Interview.
Indie Book Butler: Let’s start things off with an introduction. Tell us a little about yourself for those not already aware of you and your work.
MJ Glenn: My name is Maddy Glenn (MJ Glenn is my author name). I grew up in the muddy English countryside and, at age 7, decided I wanted to be an author. It took another 20 years to actually read that goal, but in November 2020, I held my printed novel for the first time and self-published it that December. On the Edge is the first in a series of fantasy novels about a highwaywoman called Ebony Wick seeking revenge and answers. It doesn’t involve much magic or ‘high fantasy’ concepts, though it does include fae.
I’m also a professional editor. I run Softwood Self-Publishing, which helps authors through the writing and self-publishing process.
IBB: You’ve got twenty words to entice us to read your book(s). What would you say?
MJG: Ebony Wick is an outlaw and highwaywoman. While seeking answers and revenge, she discovers a secret that changes her world.
IBB: Where do you like to write?
MJG: Anywhere that is indoors and quiet. Preferably on my sofa.
IBB: Is there anything you must have in order to write?
MJG: I have to have instrumental music playing. I listen to a variety of soundtracks, such as The Hunger Games, Interstellar, Inception … anything that suits the mood of the setting and scene, really.
I often write using a mixture of handwriting and typing, so I always need at least one notepad nearby and a selection of red, blue, and black pens.
IBB: Which books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?
MJG: As an author, I was very influenced by The Hunger Games books. I love the themes and mood of the book, especially the survival aspect. As a teenager, I was hugely influenced by The Perks of Being a Wallflower (film and book). It taught me a lot about self-confidence and belonging.
IBB: What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?
MJG: A university professor taught me the art of structuring a plot. It has been invaluable to me as an editor and author.
IBB: What do you want to achieve most from your writing?
MJG: I would love readers to enjoy my fantasy world and characters as much as I do.
IBB: Have you received a favorite review of your work?
MJG: “Always up for a story led by a feisty girl overcoming the odds in a dangerous world influenced by fairies! MJGlenn’s first novel delivers all this and more.”
IBB: Were there any particular parts of the writing/publishing process that you struggled with?
MJG: To be honest, not much of it was particularly difficult. I worked with brilliant beta readers and editors, a fabulous cover designer, and a very professional and prompt printer. I guess the most difficult aspect was formatting for ebook and setting up my KDP profile. Working that out taught me a lot about how ebooks work.
IBB: Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?
MJG: I don’t focus on the small details until the second or third draft. This includes character and setting names, some more particular descriptions, and some scenes I know I will struggle with. I recently skipped over a fight scene I was battling with (no pun intended!), knowing that I could spend more time on it later. I just wrote a note to myself along the lines of “make this better!”.
This gives me the brain space to work on the bigger picture or and use more complex writing techniques in the first draft.
IBB: What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?
MJG: When both editor and author can accept criticism and use it to help them develop. An author that really listens to an editor but knows when to stand their ground (and has good reason to), alongside an editor who can accept when the author disagrees with them.
IBB: If you had a direct line to someone who loves or hates your writing, what would you say?
MJG: Why? Tell me in detail …
I like to know what I have done right but also what I could work on.
IBB: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
MJG: Write what you want to write. Ignore all the naysayers.
IBB: What does your writing future hold for you?
MJG: I plan to finish this trilogy I have embarked on and possibly write spin-offs of varying lengths within the same timeline. There is a vague plan for another trilogy in the same world… but I also have a few other completely different ideas to tick of the bucket list.
IBB: How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?
MJG: I have a good working relationship with Booksmith Design, my cover artist. She is prompt, well-priced, and, from my barely formed scraps of ideas, came up with a cover I loved. I’ll stick with her!
IBB: How often do you read? What genre?
MJG: I’d love to be able to read more than I do, but three stepchildren, a business, and a fiancé take up a lot of my time! When I do get to read, I read fantasy, ‘classic’ literature (e.g., Dickens, Austen, etc.), YA … whatever floats my boat.
IBB: Before we let you escape, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
MJG: Check out T.C. Emerys (Insta: tcemerys.writer) and her amazing collection of short stories, The Weight of Rain. She’s lovely and a great writer.
For more on Maddy and her writing, please visit:
Click here for more On the Edge: https://www.swspublishing.com/ontheedge