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09 January 2013

Interview with M.J. Hearle

Winter's Shadow (Winter Saga #1)

 Blake Duchamp...

He's all that Winter Adams can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim's Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.

But Blake isn't all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the gathering darkness.

The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger. Himself.

Winter's Light (Winter Saga #2) 

 Blake is gone.

He sacrificed himself to save Winter, leaving her alone, unprotected... hunted.

An ancient enemy is rising, but Winter is no longer the innocent girl who was fated to die at Pilgrim's Lament. She will not wait to be saved. She will do what she must to survive, even accept an unsavoury alliance with those who destroyed her love.

In the gathering darkness, the enemy of an enemy is not always a friend, and Winter must find the strength to stand alone and fight for the one she loves. For she is the key to unlocking the secrets beyond the veil of shadows.

And she is Blake's only hope.


1) How and why have you started to write? Were there something or someone that gave you an impulse?

When I was very young I discovered I could tell stories. I remember my Year 3 teacher asking me to read one of my stories aloud to the class and the great sense of pride that accompanied this. Curiously, though I never thought of myself as a writer. Instead, I wanted to become a filmmaker and followed this path until my late twenties when I finally decided to try writing fiction again. The first draft of my first book (Winter's Shadow) netted me an agent and a publishing deal which was much more success than I'd ever achieved as a struggling filmmaker. Sometimes the path you're supposed to be on finds you instead of the other way round.  

2) Tell me something about you and your book Winter's Shadow.

Okay, something about me...well, I'm the only male author in Australia writing Paranormal fiction. If there are other ones out there I'd be happy to meet them but at the moment I think it's just me. I'm also not the biggest fan of the term 'Paranormal'. It sounds far too clinical. I prefer to think of the books I write as 'Dark Fantasy.' The fact that I'm a male gives my writing a slightly different flavour than other Paranormal (Dark Fantasy) books out there which are largely written by female writers. The romance in my books is a little less idealised, a little more realistic and the supernatural elements have a much harder edge to them. 

My first novel, Winter's Shadow tells the story of Winter Adams, a troubled 17 year-old with a unique gift. She has the power to open doorways to other worlds. Because of this gift she is being hunted by two warring factions – the Demori, magical, terrifying beings that crave human souls and The Bane, a group of crusaders who desire Winter for their own wicked purposes. The only person that can protect Winter is a mysterious young man named Blake Duchamp who has his own dark secrets to contend with. Secrets that could prove more of a threat to Winter than either the Demori or the Bane. 

Winter's Light is the sequel to Winter's Shadow and continues the story of Winter Adams. The mythology of the Demori and The Bane is expanded upon and Winter learns more about herself and her gifts. It's a novel about growing up and taking on the responsibilities of an adult. It's also about sacrifice and the lengths we're willing to go for the ones we love. Oh, and there's lots of monsters and magic.    

3) While youre writing, have you discovered a character that you where developing feelings of love for? And was there a character that gave you headaches?

Like a proud father, I love all my characters. Even the wicked ones. In terms of developing romantic feelings for my characters, I have a special place in my heart for Jasmine – Winter's best friend. She's very fiery and full of personality, but all that bluster hides a startling sensitivity. Jasmine is the most loyal friend you could ever ask for which is an incredibly attractive quality. Winter is too similar to me. Too full of insecurity and doubt. She'll eventually blossom into a strong confident young woman but when we meet her she's still finding herself. As most of us are when we're 17.  

4) How have you done your research for this novel?

Luckily, writing about magic and monsters means I don't have to do much research as they exist only in my own head. The novel does contain flashbacks to Europe in the 1800's though and for these chapters I did have to jump on Wikipedia to make sure I was describing the cities and the time period accurately. Most of the time my research is just procrastination.  

5) Is there a book that inspired your writings?

Not any one book, though I guess I was inspired to write the Winter novels because I was so uninspired by what was out there in the Paranormal genre. Everything seemed to be a Twilight knock-off. There were no new ideas. I felt like readers deserved a new mythology to explore and a new monster to fall in love with. So, I created one. Specific writers that have influenced my style and sensibilities (in no particular order) are probably Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, Susanna Clarke and Stephen King. King more than anyone is responsible for my journey as a writer. He showed me the potential of storytelling to transport, enchant and terrify. For this I owe him my gratitude. 

6) In the end, would you like say some words to your fans from Romania?

Well, firstly a big thank you to all my Romanian readers. I appreciate every single one of you. For those who haven't read the Winter books yet but would like to you can find them on Amazon or iTunes. Or you can visit the store on my blog which has links that offer free international shipping. In other news, I've just started the third Winter novel which will hopefully be published next year. The title I'm toying with is Winter's End. In the meantime, I've nearly finished a short story about Claudette (Blake's sister) which will be available in December for digital download. Please feel free to visit my blog ( to shoot me an email or comment as I love hearing from readers and chatting about monsters, magic and all other things, supernatural. 

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