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May 04

Get To Know Margaret Fieland

photo1Please welcome author Margaret Fieland.

Where were you born, Margaret? 

I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan. I didn’t learn to drive until after my kids’ father and I moved to Massachusetts. Even then, it took me several tries to pass my driver’s test. The last time I took it, it turned out my driving instructor (he came with me for the test) knew the tester guy. The conversation when something like this:

Tester Guy (to me): Turn on the car, pull out, and go straight down the street. (To instructor) So, Bob, what did you think of the game last night.
Bob: Lousy. We lost.
Instructor: Yeah, it makes you wonder about the coaching staff, doesn’t it. (To me) Turn left.
And so it went. Since they weren’t focused on me, I relaxed enough to pass the test.

Hilarious! Any school/high school/college memories you’d like to share? 

I am a compulsive reader, and in order to study for exams, I would forgo trips to the library. Then I would suffer from book deprivation, so I would reread Alice in Wonderland. I had a copy of The Annotated Alice. I also taught myself to write backwards and to wiggle my ears. This impressed my sons when they were little, when I would write backwards on the blackboard at Bertucci’s when we took the kids out to eat. I also taught my middle son to wiggle his ears when he was in middle school. He and his classmates were vastly entertained, his teacher much less so.

LOL! What’s your pet peeve? 

Writing wise, poor grammar. My father was a real stickler for proper grammar, to the point where he corrected me and my sister every time we were foolish enough to say, It’s me. Here is a typical conversation:

Dad (to me, as I come in the door around 7 PM to find him already home): Who is that?
Me: It’s me.
Dad: It’s not, It’s me. It’s It’s I.
Me: I know, but nobody says that.
Dad: You don’t know, or you wouldn’t be saying that.
Me: {grinds teeth}.

I once made the mistake of responding that C’est moi is proper in French. I was then treated to a lecture on the difference in pronoun usage in the two languages. I can still repeat this in both languages to this day.

Do you like animals?

We had a cat growing up. I wanted a dog badly, but we lived on the thirteenth floor in a high rise, and my mother couldn’t cope with taking a dog down the elevator to go out. We ended up with a tom cat we named Thunder. He was a real escape artist. We would lock him in a small bedroom off the kitchen, but he’d sit on the bed and bat open the door knob. Then somehow he’d escape out the back door and go down to the basement to wander around. In the morning he’d reappear at the back door and meow to be let back in.

What do you enjoy least about being a published author?

Publicizing my work is my least favorite part of being a writer. I’d much rather be writing.

I echo that. How do you deal with writer’s block? 

I rarely suffer from writer’s block. I’m not a detailed planner, and I generally work out the next few scenes of a work in progress by visualizing the scenes in my head, kind of like a movie that is unrolling on my mental movie screen. After that, I write it down and make notes for future scenes. If there’s something that is not right, needs research, or for some other reason I don’t want to/can’t manage to write right then, I mark it in the manuscript with FIXME. This makes it easy to find when it comes time to revise it.

Sounds similar to my way of working. Where do you find inspiration for your stories? 

{grin} I’ve been asked this before, and here is how I answer: My characters wake me in the middle of the night whispering until I give in, take notes, and agree to write the book.

We are kindred souls! Tell us about your latest release. 

Robs Rebellion 333x500It’s titled Rob’s Rebellion. Here’s the blurb: Colonel Rob Walker always his duty. So when he’s ordered to bring the treaty negotiations between the Terran Federation and the Aleyni to a successful conclusion, he’s determined to do just that, even when both sides would rather he fail. Can Rob pull off a miracle and avoid a war, one where both sides could be destroyed?

Is it part of a series? If so do you enjoy writing series? 

It is part of a series. It’s number four in the Novels of Aleyne. I’m very careful when writing the books to provide enough background so that a reader can pick up any one of the novels and not be lost as to the background and characters.

I never planned to write a series. I wrote the first novel in the series, Relocated, for 2010 NaNo (National Novel writing month, which takes place every November). Up until then I’d never written any science fiction, although I am a huge sci fi fan and had read reams of the stuff for years. That year, in order to overcome my phobia, I decided to write a sci fi novel. After it was completed, I discovered an editing workshop online and signed up. I spent the next several months revising the novel, and after that I submitted it to a publisher. The first one I submitted to turned it down, but the second accepted it.

Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lRxFdOJp6Q
Buy Links:

Rob’s Rebellion on publisher’s website:

Rob’s Rebellion on Amazon:

sandcartoon

Digital art landscape of Aleyne

Excerpt

“Laura? Carol? Where is everybody?” Rob drew in a deep breath.

Footsteps clattered on the fake wood floors. “Carol took the children to Fellowship. I didn’t want to go.” Tear streaks marked the dust accumulated on Laura’s face. “I want to go home. I don’t want to live in this dump.”

“This is home,” Rob grumbled. “I’m commander of this base. This is my posting. Why would you expect me to take us back to New Oregon?”

“You might have refused the posting.” Laura’s mouth formed a straight line in her oval face. “You can resign from the Federation Guard.”

“Resign? What would I do then? Come on, Laura, be realistic. I’ve got two wives and four children to support. We wouldn’t even have the price of tickets home for us on a commercial star ship” What the blazes would become of his career if he quit? His father’s sneering face rose in his mind. His father continued to predict Rob’s career would crash and burn. He clenched his fist. He’d do anything to prove his father wrong.

“Surely you can find other work.” Laura swiped a hand across her eyes. “Everyone here hates us.”

“For God’s sake, Laurie, I’m a fifty year old career colonel. The Guard is my life. My career. What else would I do?” Rob stomped into the living area and over to a small section devoted to cooking. “What the hell is there to eat around here?”

Laura shrugged and dropped into a chair at a small table. “Check for yourself.” She glared at Rob, her arms crossed over her chest. “You can starve for all I care.”

Rob pulled out another chair and sat opposite her. “We’re not going home, er, back to New Oregon, and that’s final. Relations between the base and the Aleyni are touchy enough. They liked Reynolds, and I arrested him for treason. The treaty with the Federation is up for renegotiation. If the Guard sent the wrong officer, the Aleyni could refuse negotiation altogether. I’m not going to be the one who is responsible for starting a war.” He was sick of defending himself for doing his duty. He was a soldier, blast it. He might not be much of a commander, but no one was going to fault him for shirking his duty.

“You’re being melodramatic,” Laura protested.

“Maybe, but we’re staying here.” Rob stood and jerked open the cold store, which held nothing but some juice. “Come on, we’re going to the market. We’ll find someplace to eat.” He extended a hand to Laura and pulled her to her feet.

“There’s nothing here and nowhere to go.”

“Not on the base, but in Aleyne City.” Rob pulled out his pocket comp and began searching for Restaurants, Aleyne City.

“Not until I wash up.” Laura glared at him and stumped off down the hall.

Rob sighed and lowered himself into a chair to wait

 

 

4 comments

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  1. Margaret Fieland

    Anna, thanks for hosting me today

  2. Jacqueline Seewald

    This sounds like a very interesting book. Congrats! I enjoyed reading the interview as well.

    1. Margaret Fieland

      Jacqueline, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the interview, and do check out the book.

  3. Carol Ann Erhardt

    Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed the interview and your wonderful sense of humor. Best of luck with the new book in the series.

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