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Corfu, Greece
Liana Metal lives in Greece, on the island of Corfu. She is an EFL teacher(MAEd -Applied Linguistics), book reviewer and freelance writer. Liana is also an artist. Her drawings/paintings can be found both online at www.aggelia-online.gr and at several shops in Corfu town. To contact the artist visit http://LianaMetal.tripod.com or her blog at http://LianasKerkyra.blogspot.com Η Ηλιάνα Μεταλληνού διδάσκει Αγγλικά στην Κέρκυρα, γράφει άρθρα και ιστορίες για έντυπες και ηλεκτρονικές εκδόσεις σε όλο τον κόσμο και ζωγραφίζει. Μπορείτε να την επισκεφθείτε στην ηλεκτρονική διεύθυνση http://toasprosaligari.blogspot.com και http://www.coffeetimecorfu.com


A book for kids/ 3 stories in English

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Here's Magdalena Ball!

This month, we are going to read about a special author, Magdalena Ball!
Enjoy her interview!

Interview with Magdalena Ball , the author of

Repulsion Thrust

Tell us about yourself first.

That's rather an open ended question! I could define myself any number of ways, but I'll focus on my publications here -- I run the website The Compulsive Reader (www.compulsivereader.com), and am also the author of the poetry book Repulsion Thrust, the novel Sleep Before Evening, a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment: How to Review Anything and three other poetry chapbooks Quark Soup, and, in collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Cherished Pulse and She Wore Emerald Then. She also runs a radio show, The Compulsive Reader Talks. Of course I'm other things too! I'm a mother to 3 gorgeous children, I'm a wife, I'm an information manager for a big company, I'm doing a Masters degree in Marketing, I'm working on another novel and a few other poetry books. I'll stop there, although I could probably keep going!

When did you start writing?

Around about the same time I started reading -- somewhere between 3 and 4. Writing is something that has always been with me. I think I wrote my first story when I was little and just kept doing it. I only really began to get quite serious and send out work when I was an older teen and then stopped for some time under the spell of academia. I picked it up again seriously just after my first child was born, some 13 years ago, when I decided that bits and pieces wouldn't satisfy me -- I needed full scale books in hand.

What genres have you written?

I tend to write in lots of different genres, but definitely prefer literary fiction (as a reader as well as a writer) when I'm writing fiction, and poetry will always be my first love (there are those who have classed my poetry as 'sci-fi' poetry, and although I think that's probably not true, there is plenty of science in my work, and I welcome all readers and all promotional opportunities, so am happy enough with the classification. For nonfiction, I probably would be comfortable writing in any genre at all.

Is Repulsion Thrust your first book?

Repulsion Thrust is my first full length book of poetry. I've had other chapbooks (short poetry books) published, and a novel and nonfiction book (see "tell us about yourself" above), but I have to admit, it's always exciting to hold a full length, traditionally published book in the hand.

Tell us about your book. What is it about?

Repulsion Thrust is a poetry book that tends to tackle big subjects not often the fodder of poetry: quantum physics, astronomy, time travel, ecological destruction, and technological singularity, viewed through the lens of the human condition. It's poetry about the universe and about the way we (that's humans) fit with it - I've tried to be fairly large in my scope, reasonably topical, and to say something comprehensive about what it means to be alive (to me anyway) in the 21st Century.

What inspired you to write this book?

I've always wanted to write a full length poetry collection. I was inspired by the success of my novel Sleep Before Evening, and felt it was time to plot out a full scale poetry book, but each individual poem was inspired by all sorts of things, from the news, to a plethora of great books I'd read, to New Scientist. I think the biggest influences/sources of inspiration were, aside from emotional responses, the work of Stephen Hawking, the work of Richard Dawkins, the work of Ray Kurzweil, and the work of Charles Darwin. I thanked all of these people in my acknowledgements, and Kurzweil even endorsed the book (much to my delight), but there were many other sources of inspiration, including, of course, my own family.

How long did it take you to write it?

About a year, which is relatively quick for me. I take much longer (about 3 years) for fiction.
Who is the publisher of your book?

Bewrite Books at www.bewrite.net They're utterly wonderful and also published my novel Sleep Before Evening.

Where is it on sale?

Good bookstores everywhere! But those reading this can go directly to Amazon: www.budurl.com/RepulsionThrust or to Smashbooks at:

Tell us about your other books/work.

Sleep Before Evening is a coming of age novel about a teenager teetering at the edge of reason. A death in the family sends her brilliant academic career and promising future spiraling out of control until resentment towards those who shaped her past leads her on a wild and desperate search for the truth about herself. On the seedy side of New York, she meets Miles, a hip musician busking the streets and playing low-rent venues in a muddled bid to make his own dreams come true. In her new life, she finds anarchic squalor, home grown music and poetry, booze, drugs, sex, violence, love, loss … and, above all, exhilarating freedom on her troubled journey from sleep to awakening.

Quark Soup is also poetry, which, as the title suggests, has a strong astrophysical theme.

The Art of Assessment is a guide to book reviewing.

The Celebration Series of chapbooks is my collaboration with Carolyn Howard-Johnson that looks at specific holidays and provides chapbooks designed to replace a greeting card - providing real poetic sentiment. More can be found at my website: www.magdalenaball.com

What are the major challenges that you have faced in your career? Time is always an issue for me. I try to squeeze so much into each day, but it isn't always possible to get to everything on my list! Making time for the big, longer term projects amidst the everyday urgencies is definitely my biggest challenge.

Has the Internet helped you in your writing career?

I really cannot imagine working without the Internet anymore. It colours everything I do, from providing me with an accessible, global, working community of readers and writers, to providing promotional platforms, social networking, writing challenges, and even changing the notion of the way a book works (with multimedia, electronics, and so on). Of course great words haven't changed a bit since the pen and ink (or quill) days, but the ability to work in a global, rather than a small scale regional venue is wonderful.

What do you advise new writers to do?

To keep writing of course (BOS - bum on seat), but also to read a lot of what you want to write, to keep raising the bar on yourself, and to continue to grow as a writer, trying new things and working to find the words to say what you want to. Never be satisfied with the easy cliche - always go deeper.

Thank you!




Tour with VBT-Writers on the Move through February. New and famous authors, plus useful information http://tinyurl.com/yhkt7v8



Vivian Zabel said...

Thank you for introducing Magdalena, Liana.

Magdalena, can you tell me what the difference is between literary writing and other writing?


madcapmaggie said...

Liana, thanks for the informative interview. Maggie, always nice to learn more about you. Your poetry has an impressive scope .. do you have a science background?


kathy stemke said...

Great interview with Magdalena. I love poetry with a different slant like yours.

Nancy Famolari said...

Great interview. Writing poetry about serious scientific subjects is a challenge. Your book sounds great.

Enjoyed the interview, Liana. Good questions.

Katie Hines said...

I'm always intrigued by authors who are so prolific in writing poetry. Although I've had some poems published myself, I cannot imagine writing enough good ones to fill a book.

Magdalena Ball said...

Thanks for all the kind comments. I'm not sure there's a difference between literary writing and other writing Vivian, but literary fiction is (at least where publishers are concerned)a genre classification, that usually denotes, firstly, that the book doesn't fall clearly into some other category like sci fi, romance, thriller, etc -- eg there's no genre formula being followed, and secondly, and this is fuzzy, that it's character driven and relatively complex in terms of language and structure. That doesn't mean inaccessible or hard to read (though some authors like John Banville have that reputation), but it does mean 'substantial' in scope and experience.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Ah, Maggie, I beat you. I began writing in my mom's womb. GRIN!

Love the cover and write up of your new book. However, the link to SMashwords was missing but found it on AMazon.

Magdalena Ball said...

Peggy, I have a liberal arts background in terms of my university training, but I'm a closet scientist. I work (dayjob) with real scientists in an Research department, and often find myself working a science model or clarifying hypotheses and science reports, and take home science magazines to read, so you could say I have a lot of science in my life! To be honest though, there's probably as much psychology/human relationship stuff in Repulsion Thrust as there is science. In a way, for me, science is a safe haven place (metaphorically speaking) for dealing, in a literary sense, with the most intense of human emotions.

Magdalena Ball said...

What a prodigy you are, Lea. Here's the Smashwords link:

madcapmaggie said...

Maggie, that's interesting. As you may know, I've written a collection of poems about mathematics -- and they pretty much really are about math -- it was my undergraduate major -- my grad degree is in computer science and day job is computer software engineer .. still, it's a subject I never really thought much writing about, until I randomly wrote one based a memory of a discussion in a college class in, I think, differential equations, and Barbara Ehrentreu kind of challenged me to write more.

When I write about emotions, they pretty much really are about emotions {smile} -- kind of, I think, reflecting a math/science kind of way of looking at things. I start reading most books at the beginning and look for movies in the video store starting with the A's (or I did until I realized I never got to the later letters, and started alternating from the back..)

Dana Donovan said...

A more interesting person, I can hardly imagine. Smart, beautiful, talented....Do you and Steve Tremp ever compare notes. I can imagine a fascinating collaboration there somewhere. You inspire and ignite my imagination. Best of luck to you. Thanks Liana for that wonderful interview!

Debra Eckerling said...

Great interview, Liana.

Maggie - "BOS" - love it!!! Great getting to know you through this interview. Best of luck with everything!


Debra Eckerling

Mayra Calvani said...

Great interview! I read Sleep Before Evening--it is awesome!

Martha said...

Wow, you are one busy lady. I think it most impressive you can find the time to write such wonderful poetry. And what an interesting subject for poetry. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
Martha Swirzinski

Liana said...

Maggie, thank you for being here! I wish you all the best!

Thank you all for visiting, we are an awesome group!


Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Wonderful interview! I enjoyed learning about your writing.

Dallas said...

What a great interview! I'm excited to check out your books! The cover of Repulsion Thrust is stunning.

Dianne G. Sagan said...

Wow!Magdalena you are amazing and I applaud your ability to balance family, career, classes, home, and writing. This was a great interview. Thanks to Liana.

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Repulsion Thrust sound interesting. Hey, Dana, that's what I was going to ask - Stephen seems to be on the same playing field.

Great interview,

Karen Cioffi

Darcía Helle said...

Magdalena, I love that your interests are all over the place. Not many authors tackle poetry, literary fiction, and nonfiction. You offer something for every reader!