Interview with Margay Leah Justice: 'Write the story you're compelled to tell'

Descended from the same bloodline that spawned the likes of James Russell, Amy and Robert Lowell, Margay Leah Justice was fated to be a writer herself from a young age. But even before she knew that there was a name for what she was doing, she knew one thing: She had a deep and unconditional love for the written word. A love that would challenge her in times of need, abandon her in times of distress, and rediscover her in times of hope. Through her writing, Margay has learned to cope with every curve ball life has thrown her, including the challenges of single parenting, the harsh realities of living in a shelter, coping with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the roller coaster ride of dealing with a child who suffers from bipolar disorder. But along the way she has rediscovered the amazing power of words. 
Margay currently lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, two cats, and a myriad of characters who vie for her attention and demand that their own stories be told. In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, knitting her way through a stash of yarn that almost rivals her tbr pile!
Her latest book is the romantic suspense/women’s fiction, The Scent of Humanity.
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About the Book:

Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. In theory. But in one small town, in one family, that theory is put to the test. 

Growing up in a rural town in
Massachusetts was supposed to be safe, but for SILVIE CHILDS, that safety was shattered by a kidnapping attempt that forever changed her life. Now, nearly twenty years later, that sense of safety is challenged again by the kidnapping attempt on her young niece, and Silvie is left struggling with one question: How can something like this happen twice in one family? 

It is a dilemma shared by NICK FAHEY, the detective assigned to the case. Arriving on the scene of the abduction attempt, Nick expects to run a routine investigation. Until he meets the victim, the niece of a woman he once considered a dear friend. Unfortunately, these days Silvie Childs can barely stand the sight of him. 

Once there was a time when Silvie Childs worshipped Nick Fahey, believing he could do no wrong. Until the accident that nearly killed her brother; the accident that Nick reportedly caused. Coming on the heels of her own near abduction, the accident skewed Silvie’s ability to trust men – especially Nick. But now, with the attempt on her niece’s safety, Silvie finds herself in the untenable position of having to trust Nick to bring the kidnapper to justice. 

That trust is severely tested when, after only two months, the case is closed for lack of new evidence. Feeling betrayed by the system in which she works as a paralegal and by Nick, Silvie takes matters into her own hands. Contacting local news stations to generate interest in the case, allowing herself to be filmed hanging sketches of the suspect on telephone poles, she will risk her own safety to protect that of her niece. When her efforts re-open the wounds of her past, she is once again forced to put her trust in the one man who still has the power to hurt her – Nick 

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The core of the book about the attempted kidnappings is based loosely on actual events. I was nearly kidnapped when I was a kid and then, several years later, it happened to one of my nieces, too. That spurred me to write this book.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Since I never wrote a book like this before, it was kind of hard trying to balance all of the elements and still maintain a good story line (which I hope I did). It was also hard to write about the incidents that sparked the story idea, but the rest was fine. As far as advice goes, write the story you feel compelled to tell; if you don’t feel passionately about it, it’ll show.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published this book.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

This is actually my third book published (my first two were published by small presses). As far as surprises, I don’t think there really were any because I had researched the industry enough over the years to have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I have two other books out currently, Sloane Wolf (which was published through a small press) and Nora’s Soul (which was originally published through a small press but has recently been re-released via self-publishing). Currently, I’m working on a new adult series about two people who are forever linked by one event (her father was murdered – his father pulled the trigger) and what happens when they meet again nine years later.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I have to admit I’m kind of addicted to Facebook.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I guess to just always be aware of your surroundings and what’s happening around you as they can effect what happens to you. Stay safe and never stop asking for answers.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you so much for having me here today. It has been my pleasure.

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