Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Interview and Giveaway The Curse of Malenfer Manor by Iain McChesney

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

Hi, and thanks for having me on your blog. The Curse of Malenfer Manor is a ghost story, a war story, a story of revenge, and a story of greed. Those weren’t my words, by the way – a reviewer said that – but I would have to agree. The book is a gothic novel. It is set at the end of WW1, and a powerful family suffers with its secrets, which our hero tries to resolve. There is a bit of romance going on too, and there is a mystery to solve.

Are you a parent?

I have two sons, a cat, and a dog. It varies from day to day which one of them is the cleanest, or which one’s litter tray needs scooping, or which one could most benefit from obedience classes, or who is the noisiest. I draw the line at doing the cat’s homework. You know your life is in balance when the kids are outgrowing their shoes only as fast as the dog chews them. I can’t imagine life any other way.

If yes, do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

Eeeee. This is one of those yes and no answers. There is no doubt that having a family fills your time – I mean, it is all consuming; it is who you are. But that being said, writing is something you just need to make time for. You schedule it in like driving to soccer or visiting the teacher. I am fortunate that my job – my paying job – allows me time off when the children are at school. Writing would be a lot tougher if it weren’t for that. I’d still be on chapter one.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

I get asked this often, and I’ve seen the replies that other authors have given. I am surprised when they say no. My answer is, of course, yes! I just can’t imagine how you would think up a character any other way. Sure, you have your archetypes, but to make them real you have to dress them up with the tics and personalities of the living. I haven’t cloned anyone, but the characters’ habits each have a bit of DNA from someone I’ve seen, known, or met. This can lead to some interesting conversations. You’d be amazed who wants to be a hero and who fancies themselves a villain.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

I wanted the book to be interesting. I wanted a book whose pages turn easily. However, I didn’t want it to be entirely vacuous, either. I like to think that the book is entertaining, but that it also conveys a sense of the passing of history, a movement of ages, even while people stay the same. The Malenfers represent a way of living, an ordering of society, that the first World War brought an end to. I think novels set in history have a way of letting you experience that world. People are the same. Fashions and technologies change.

Which romance book or series do you wish you had written?

Are you kidding? I was born in Scotland. What was her name? The time traveller lady?  Outlander. That was it. Diana Gabaldon. She of the mazillion bucks and the twelve book trilogy. “Oh, Jamie!” “Och, Claire! Ya Yankee hussy! Ma kilt is fair stirrin’ with passion!”
I used to play in a bagpipe band. I can understand it.

What book are you reading now?

I picked up the first Game of Thrones book by George Martin when I was recently stuck at an airport. To be honest, I prefer the TV show – sorry, George (not that he cares) – but I am truly amazed at how he keeps all his names together. He must have a crazy-sized cork board going on somewhere, all covered in notes. Before the flight I had gotten a Gabriel García Márquez book – I was on my way to Colombia. The novel was physically small and one hundred pages, tops! Big font, too! I blew through it in around two hours. I’m not saying the book wasn’t good, but that’s a perk about winning the Nobel Prize they don’t tell the public about.

The Curse of Malenfer Manor
Book One
Iain McChesney

Genre: historical mystery / paranormal

Publisher: Wayzgoose Press

Date of Publication:  October 1

ISBN: 978-1-938757-10-5

Number of pages:
Word Count: 85,000

Cover Artist: DJ Rogers


Book Description:

Those in line to the Malenfer estate are succumbing to terrible ends –is a supernatural legacy at work, or something entirely more human?

Young Irish mercenary Dermot Ward retreats to Paris at the close of World War I where he drinks to forget his experiences, especially the death of his comrade, Arthur Malenfer. But Arthur has not forgotten Dermot. Dead but not departed, Arthur has unfinished business and needs the help of the living.

Upon his arrival at Malenfer Manor, Dermot finds himself embroiled in a mystery of murder, succession, and ambition. Dermot falls in love with the youngest Malenfer, the beautiful fey Simonne, but in his way are Simonne’s mismatched fiancé, her own connections to the spirit world, Dermot’s guilt over the circumstances of Arthur’s death… and the curse.

About the Author:

Iain is a writer of gothic mysteries.

He was born and raised in Scotland. He studied History and Geography at the University of Glasgow.

The World Wars left Iain’s family with generations of widows. As a result, Iain has always been interested in the tangible effects of history on family dynamics and in the power of narrative to awaken those long dead. For the characters in The Curse of Malenfer Manor, he drew on childhood reminiscences and verbal family history—though he hastens to add that his family had barely a penny, far less a manor, and any ghosts dwell only in memory.

He lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his wife and two children.

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