The story behind the story – Thunder Moon


My visitor in the coffee shop today is Joanne Mallory who’s here to tell us where she got the idea for her debut novel Thunder Moon which will be published tomorrow – and there’s a chance to win a free copy!

Processed with Snapseed.JM Hey Katy, thanks for inviting me in, I love the smell in coffee shops. Although I have to admit that I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to coffee; I like a very frothy latte, and it has to be decaf. (No-one wants to be putting-up with hyperactive-me when I’ve been drinking the hard stuff, that’s for sure.)
KJ Here you go! How is 2017 treating you so far?

JM So it’s pretty grey down on the south coast, and as far as Januarys go I’m already off to a weird start.
Normally at this time of year I’m having serious words with myself about how I’m going to put better food into my body. I plan to walk oodles of miles, and somewhere in there I often decide that if I taught myself to use a dictation program then I could ‘write’ while I walk.

I plan to be super productive and healthy, I tell myself this will be the year when I get my act together. Then I fail miserably. Usually because I’ve procrastinated myself into oblivion.
But this year I can’t do any of those things.
Just before Christmas Himself and I decided that we should move house. My troops are at schools that are all over the place, and as of September this year they’re all going to be at the same place. (I’m counting down the days, I tell you!)
So we want to move to a village about twenty miles up the road. Which all sounds okay. In theory.
So we’ve found a house, and it has that starry eyed feeling of perfection, you know how it is, before you actually move in and discover the bath leaks, and the boiler is temperamental, and there’s bats in the attic. (Don’t laugh, we had a squirrel nesting in the attic of where we live now.)
But the potential new house needs a wee extension. Which means that for eight to ten months I won’t have a study.
Now I know that this is wickedly precious of me to worry about. But there’s himself, three troops and two creatures roaming around my house.

I tend to shut myself in my study to write, and I have ear defenders to try and dampen oldest son’s (constant) drum practice, barking pooches, flute recitals ~ the list is endless.

So I haven’t had time this January to create resolutions that I never keep, because I’m too busy trying to work out if I can squeeze myself into a drafty attic, with the bats, to get some peace to write some words.

And I have to write the words, because to add to the weirdness I have a book coming out this month. (I cannot tell you how mad it feels to say that.)
My debut novel is due for release on the 17th of January, and i’m just a teeny-tiny bit nervous about it.
In January 2015 I started writing Thunder Moon, and I’m still struggling to believe that just two short years later I’m letting my story loose on the world.
(Life’s crazy isn’t it?)
KJ What’s the story about and how did you get the idea?

JM Thunder Moon started out as a short story about a witch fleeing an angry crowd, and I just couldn’t let her go.

It’s the first full-length piece of fiction that I’ve written, and it’s been an experience trying to learn how to grow the story.
In the bay where the book is based is a ruin of an old castle. It has one tower remaining, and the story has grown from that landscape.

The story of the ancient witch, Sarah, came first. Even though TM is a contemporary romance, Sarah is the linchpin of the magic that travels through her family’s line. I love stories that intertwine, so my heroine, Thea, naturally has a sister and brother whose stories I get to tell next.
And I love the possibility that magic can exist all around us, so I wanted to make sure the book was based in ‘the now’ with witches and healers (and who knows what else) living life like we do.
I’ve been able to write about all the things I love, and other than some hysterical late night editing, I’ve loved every minute of it.

KJ It sounds great – where can we find out more?
All my links are on my website ~
For Thunder Moon got to ~

Oh, and I forgot. I’m running a little giveaway over on Goodreads if you’d like the chance to win one of 5 signed copies.

Thanks Jo – what a great opportunity! How do we enter?

Here is the link:

Fantastic – good luck with the launch tomorrow. Can’t wait to read your book!


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