Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Different Kind of Romance with Margaret West

Lucky me, my Virtual Book Tour authors are becoming more interesting with every post. Please say hi to my tenth guest, paranormal romance writer Margaret West.

Born in Croydon, Surrey, Margaret is married with two children. She has always found writing to be a creative as well as a cathartic process, especially during difficult periods in her life. She found her true writing voice after becoming a spiritualist. Her love for literature extends from writing to reading and she is always willing to embrace new ideas and philosophies. She likes nothing better than to sit with a good book in the quiet realms of the countryside, with her dogs, Milo and Chester. A true animal lover, Margaret’s warmth and sensitivity are reflected in her writing.

Let's find out more about Margaret and her genre of writing.

For those not in the know, what exactly is 'paranormal romance?' Does the hero/ine have special powers or rather a spirituality that sets them apart from ordinary people?

The paranormal romances are those that contain elements of the supernatural. It can be anything from the characters having certain gifts or the story containing ghosts, demons etc. In one of my paranormal romances, Abigail Cottage, that’s being looked at by a publisher as we speak, the paranormal elements are a demon and a shadow queen who rules the shadows of the physical world. The romance is between the characters that exist on the earth plane. So here you have a combination of two elements, paranormal and romance. My other paranormal romance, Spirit Intervention, which is also being considered by a different publisher, is about a woman who sees spirit people. One of these spirits is her dead mother, who tries very hard to fix her up with a husband. It’s a comedy romance, with paranormal elements i.e. the dead mother.

You only discovered your writing talents and urges later in your career. What was the spark that inspired you to suddenly say, "Today I am going to write my paranormal romance?"

I wrote Abigail Cottage when I was in my twenties (many moons ago!) It's a dark paranormal. So really, I've always leaned more to the supernatural side of things as it’s always been an influence in my life. My mother, grandmother and great grandmother were all mediums of some degree. I wrote the book because the characters were always rumbling around it my head to some extent. It was as if they needed to be brought alive. Hence the book.

You have your own spiritual talents - parapsychologist and angel therapist. What does this mean for persons not in the know; and a) how do you use these skills in your writing and b) how do you incorporate these aspects into your characters?

I am a person who likes to know the ins and out of everything. Because I had such an interest in the unknown I did a degree in parapsychology. That deals with everything from, the big bang, UFOs to ghosts etc. But it still wasn't enough for me. So afterwards I took more mind, body and spirit courses. I became a crystal therapist because I'm fascinated how crystals work. Angel Therapy, is working with angels for healing purposes. I'm hoping to do a course on becoming an Angel Reiki Master. Reiki is healing and the angels are the healing guides. I use my knowledge and understanding of the spirit world to mould my characters. But they grow and develop as the story does.

There are many paranormal writers around - why are you different? What sets you apart from the others?

I feel I'm a bit different, because I don't write about vampires or werewolves or mythical beings etc. I write about a place that really exists, that I have knowledge and understanding about from people who are on the other side of life. I feel that sets me apart from other paranormal writers.

What can people expect to discover or take away from your writing? What messages do you convey in your books?

Apart from one book, Abigail Cottage, all my books have an inspirational message. The Heart of a Warrior leaves the thought that nothing is insurmountable, even if it seems so at the time. In Two Faces One Life, the message is that a disability can be life changing, but never life ending. I hope readers take away those thoughts, rather than a memory of a story.

Well, I have learned a lot today from my guest. Thanks, Margaret, for visiting my blog. Margaret has a great website with loads of information for authors as well as readers.
 
Readers can purchase The Heart of a Warrior at Eternal Press.
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