Featured Friday! Magali A. Fréchette
Magali A. Fréchette writes the darker side of stories. Paranormal, dark fantasy, and mystery/thriller, but always with romance – she’s an extremist and loves both dark and cute things. All her stories are either set in Canada, or in alternate worlds (makes sense since she’s Canadian, right?). She is always writing and enjoys freelancing as a book cover designer.
Magali wrote her first story when she was 12 years old (and she’ll never speak of it again!), but started taking her writing seriously three years later. Since then, she always writes. It’s always been a dream to be a published author, and she can happily say she’s reached that first goal and plans on continuing writing and publishing for the rest of her days.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
Just the freedom to be able to write whatever I like – there are no limits when it comes to storytelling, and there’s something liberating about that. Day to day, there are rules to follow; we’re constricted in a certain sense, and writing allows me to break out of that. It gives me the chance to create, and build something from scratch, and make it as real and relatable as I can.
What made you start writing?
I had always wanted to write from an early age. I started reading when I was three years old because I desperately wanted to know more about animals. As time went by, the more I read, the more I’d imagine the stories I’d like the read. I’d spend countless hours at the public library, reading everything in stock, and always disappointed I couldn’t find certain books. Then, when I was twelve years old, I decided to write my first story. There weren’t many pages, and it was all written by hand, but at the time, I was quite proud. Even had two of my best friends read it. After that, I focused back on reading more, but at fifteen, I outlined a book series that would span to around seven books. From there, spin offs happened, all connecting to that original outline I’d written all those years ago. In total, there are three series in that universe, and already four of them are written, and one is published.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
I grew up in the Harry Potter era. I was eleven years old when I started reading those books, and I felt like I was attending Hogwarts with the trio we came to know and love. J.K. Rowling is definitely an inspiration. Diana Gabaldon, Jeaniene Frost, and many manga writers as well. Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favorite storytellers―there’s something always so unique and breath-taking about his stories.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
It’s a long road that never really ends. You write, and fight to edit. You edit, and fight to find beta readers, then need to learn to take and pick critique. From there, you write your query and synopsis, and those aren’t ever perfect, but you get them as polished as you can. Rejection after rejection piles on. You don’t get picked in writing contests. Then you finally get published, and realize, it’s not the end. You keep writing―you rinse and repeat, start everything over. Write because it’s what you love to do. Find people who support and care about you, and your writing.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I only read adult books, and I lean toward dark and romantic. If there’s no romance, I probably won’t enjoy it as much. I love the supernatural so anything in the genre of fantasy, paranormal, etc. I’ll gobble up. I also love historical romances! The latter is the only one I don’t write in since I don’t have the patience to research everything I’d need to be historically correct, and it would drive me nuts―I bow down to authors who write historical! I mainly focus on paranormal, dark fantasy, and mystery/thriller when it comes to writing.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
Oh, boy. Well, there are a few I’d love to spend time with, but considering who and what they are, I’m pretty sure I’d need a police swat to back me up just in case they’d get frisky…and even that wouldn’t help! All in all, I think I’d like to spend some time with Varek. He’s from the main series called Storm Owl, and was the first character I created in this whole universe of stories. He’s crude, perverted, and more than a bit inappropriate, but deep down, he’s just a terrible monster…? Well, he has a kind heart when he feels like it, and does protect those he love, just not always in the best ways. Still, he’d be fun to have a chat with!
Which book do you consider a must-read?
Just one?! Radiance by Grace Draven is the first one that comes to mind.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
I finished My Soul to Give back in 2014, and it’s changed drastically since the day I wrote ‘The End’ now that it’s published. The hardest edit was when my best writer friend suggested I add chapters to add the male protagonist/antagonist’s point of view. By then, I felt like I’d edited and modified this story so much, it wasn’t my own anymore. Yet, the word count was low (around 60,000 words), and after sleeping on it for a week or so, I decided I’d write one chapter with his point of view and see where that went. I think I ended up adding nine chapters in total, and in my opinion, made the book more interesting. There have been other hard edits, but by then, I’d become so opened to new suggestions, that decisions came easier: I’d either do them or not. There wasn’t some great debate about it anymore―I’d just follow my instincts.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
Too many places I’d love to live in when it comes to books, but I’d be lying if I said I still dreamed of living at Hogwarts.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Diana Gabaldon―she is a goddess, and it would be the greatest honour if she actually wrote my biography.
We all know the phrase “the book is always better than the film.” Which film would you like to see remade as a book?
Anything by Hayao Miyazaki.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
Started from the bottom, and I’m climbing to my top.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
It’s the sequel to my published book, My Soul to Give. I’d convinced myself after so many rejections I’d eventually need to shelve this manuscript, but I always had an outline planned in my mind in case, by some miracle, it was actually published. Now, to actually be writing it is almost surreal, and great fun since I love writing these characters. Especially Shiriki, and in this book, he’s even more entertaining.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
There’s no such thing as coincidence.
ZS: Thanks to Magali for taking the time to talk to us, you can check out more on her work below!