Today’s author interview is with Markie Madden, a nonfiction author, novelist, and leukemia survivor.
Marguerite (Markie) Madden was born in 1975 in Midland, Texas; she moved to Flushing, Michigan when she was ten. In high school, she received a National Quill and Scroll Society award for a photograph on the front page of the school newspaper. She also began writing what later became her first book, Once Upon a Western Way. She’s a wife and mother of two teenage daughters. She also has three rescue dogs, and a horse she raised and trained myself. That horse is featured on the cover of Keeping a Backyard Horse. She currently lives in the small farm town of Fisk, Missouri (population 326, no joke!), and she continues to work.
What do you write? I have a fiction novel in the romance/fantasy/paranormal category (Once Upon a Western Way), a non-fiction guide to horse care (Keeping a Backyard Horse), and a non-fiction memoir about my battle with cancer and how I got published (My Butterfly Cancer).
What’s your newest work? All three were published in Sept 2014. But currently, I have My Butterfly Cancer in production as an audiobook. I’m hoping to release it in December (edited to add: it’s now available here). Basically, it’s the shockingly harsh story about my battle against leukemia, just last year. I use the theory of the butterfly effect to explain how cancer was a good thing in my life…one thing led to another and I got published!
I see you have a series coming up. What was your inspiration for this work, and when did you know it would be a series of books rather than a standalone novel? Ah, Fang and Claw, book one in the Undead Unit series. Yes, I’m excited about this one. My favorite TV show is Supernatural, and I also have a sense of justice and enjoy crime shows. I was very nearly asleep one night when this idea popped into my head. Why not create a world where creatures like vampires, zombies, and werewolves lived and worked among humans? Maybe not “socially accepted”, but tolerated. So I put the main character, a vampire, in the Dallas police department, in a unit that specializes in crimes against the Undead. Good thing I keep post-its on the night table! Because of the near-limitless range of possible characters (though I plan to keep them within our known lore/mythology), I knew it would make for a series!
Many authors have themes they return to, book after book. Do you have any such themes – if so, what is it about that topic (or those topics) which fire your imagination? I guess crime and/or paranormal would be my theme. There’s a hint of paranormal in Western Way, and there’s crime in both my new novels, Triple Heist and Fang and Claw.
What’s your process? Do you outline everything, or do your characters surprise you when you sit down to write? I’m not much of an outliner, often because my brain works (worked) faster than I could organize thoughts on paper. Since chemotherapy, though, my brain is much slower than it used to be. Often, I’ll be in the middle of a phrase and have to go ask my family “what do you call it when (fill-in-the-blank)?” I often can’t remember minor characters’ names. So lately, I’ve been making more and more notes. My high school English teacher would roll over in her grave, though, if I ever called my scratchpad notes an “outline”!
Where can readers find your work? Do you have an online presence you’re willing to share with us?
Books (these will link correctly to the proper Amazon store i.e. US/UK/JA):
Once Upon a Western Way http://geni.us/26Fb
Keeping a Backyard Horse http://geni.us/47ot
My Butterfly Cancer http://geni.us/3Xdr
I’m listed under Marguerite Madden at LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.