This Girl Loves Books had the pleasure of interviewing M.J. Rigel :)
Describe your writing style in three words…….
Informative, relatable, imaginative…or at least I hope it is!
Which is your favourite chapter that you have written and why?
It would have to be chapter five. There are several “moving parts” in chapter five. The protagonist, Margarites, has broken her parents’ rules by leaving her home and venturing into the city of Athens. Although she is reunited with her sister, tragedy awaits them both in this chapter. In addition, Margarites meets her one true love, Nikolaos, for the first time. Their romance (in this setting) begins here and definitely ‘heats up’ later in the novella. Star-crossed lovers who can’t seem to get it quite right.
What has been your toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been your best compliment?
I worked hard to write my epilogue in “The Mystery of Maggy”, however, I was told that it just did not ‘fit’ the novella. Although disappointed at first, it made sense, and I rewrote the epilogue. Now I am more satisfied. It does ‘fit’ better with the plot. Best compliment? An amazing author that I greatly respect shared with me that she actually cried when reading my novella. As a new author, to have someone actually feel what I had written, now that was the greatest compliment!
Is there a message in your novel/novels that you want your reader to grasp?
Love conquers all – whether in this life or for eternity. Never waver from your beliefs. Be courageous regardless the circumstance. Don’t let others control your destiny…
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Make it happen! Believe in yourself and find at least one other person who believes in your work (to build confidence). My imagination has run wild for many years, and for so long I would say, “I’m going to write fiction” based on these ideas. However, I still did not commit to writing – a short story, novella, novel - nothing. Perhaps it was a fear of failure or rejection, thinking that my writing was not good enough for others to read. And although I continued to
write my songs and even recorded a full album, I still would not just “make it happen”! Finally, after two years, I completed my novella “The Mystery of Maggy” and am already 10,000 words into my next project (Young Adult novel). Now, I share my work with trusted family, friends, and other authors for feedback. Voila – progress! All this said, a special “thank you” to the very talented Sabrina Samples/TNT Samples for believing in and supporting my work!
If you were a superhero, what would you want your powers to be?
Well, as a child, I desperately wanted to be Wonder Woman and possess all of her powers! Now, I would just settle for shapeshifting – or flying. Heat vision would be awesome too; it would definitely decrease my time in the kitchen!
If you could meet one of your own characters who would it be and why?
Nikolaos (Nick). He’s ruggedly handsome, sensitive, and compassionate during a period of time in which that was not the ‘norm’. Of course, this is what sets him a part from other Greek men and captures Margarites’ interest – and heart. I plan to write sequels to “The Mystery of Maggy: A Novella”. The next novellas will be in first person from Nick’s point of view and then in third person omniscient to capture both Maggy and Nick’s thoughts and feelings. I am excited about the possibilities! My husband and I have been married for almost eighteen years, so here’s hoping I’ll be able to portray an accurate, realistic male persona.
What’s your idea of happiness?
Happiness is what you make it. It’s a choice. Let me explain, I thank God for my blessings regularly. My family, friends, students, co-teachers, administration, clergy, the list goes on and on...Happiness is also about being comfortable in your own skin and focusing on the positive. Not being afraid to take risks. Pursuing your dreams, even when they seem like hobbies. What is happiness? The Zac Brown Band answered it well in their song, “Homegrown”. The bridge reminds us “It’s the weight that you carry from the things you think you want.” Yes, happiness is definitely a choice.
What question have you always wanted to be asked? How would you answer it?
This abstract question is a long-time favorite…If you were stranded on a deserted island, what five things would you have and why? Yea, I will always be a “Lost” fan. Okay, the question reads “things”, so let’s assume my family is
also with me (because we would have traveled together for a long-distance trip), and they would each have their own five things. I’m sure the hubby alone would have at least two or three more practical things for either our survival or rescue; he’s the realist in our relationship!
Maybe I’m already overthinking this question…hahaha!
Although I would give anything to have my MacBook Air and its charger, it would be pointless since there would be no electricity. So, (1) several college-lined notebooks (yea, that still counts as one thing!), (2) a gargantuan box of sharpened pencils, (3) my cream-colored Washburn (late 80’s style in remembrance of George Harrison) guitar, (4) a copy of “Pride and Prejudice”, and (5) sunscreen (okay, so one practical item) to refrain from transforming into a blistered lobster. I’m living it up until the rescue – rest and relaxation!
Hard or Soft? Soft. I’m such a “softy” and try hard not to wear my heart on my sleeve.
Early bird or Night owl? Early bird. After a long day, I could fall asleep anywhere, even sitting up!
Coffee or Tea? Tea. McDonald’s sweet iced tea. Need I say more??
Right handed or Left handed? I’m right-handed. I truly envy my husband for being left-handed and a part of, like what (?), ten percent of the population. It’s awesome to be different!
Cake or Cookies? Cake. There is a local bakery that makes the most amazing chocolate cake with their specialty icing. Yum-m-my!
Thank you, Claire Richards of This Girl Loves Books, for the interview opportunity. I greatly appreciate your time and consideration!
Links to novella
If you are interested in listening to the music (Mindy Jo Rigel):
Social media links