#OWSCyCon2019 Author Spotlight
As part of the build-up to OWSCyCon2019, I want to introduce you to some of the amazing volunteers and authors taking part in the event. If it wasn’t for the volunteers, there could be no CyCon, and I’m grateful to every single one of them for giving up their time to make this happen. But by the same token, without the authors taking part in the event, we wouldn’t be able to bring you the amazing events that we have planned. So without further delay…
Meet M.J. Keeley
Writing and reading have been life-long passions for me. I studied English Literature and Film & TV Studies at the University of Glasgow and am currently a full-time secondary school English teacher.
I write in various genres including speculative fiction, magic realism, literary fiction and non-fiction review writing. I have had short fiction published by Centum Press, Medusa’s Laugh Press, Mother’s Milk Books, Ink & Voices, and Havok magazine. In addition, my debut science-fiction novel, ‘Turning the Hourglass’, will be released by Black Rose Writing in April 2019 and I am currently seeking representation for my coming-of-age novel ‘The Stone in My Pocket’.
I live in Glasgow with my partner, Cecil, and four cats: Luna, Matilda, Astrid and Loki.
What Genres Do You Write In?
Why Don't You Start By Sharing A Little About Yourself
I’m a writer and teacher from Central Scotland, currently preparing for the release of my sci-fi novel, ‘Turning the Hourglass’, from Black Rose Writing.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
‘Turning the Hourglass’ focuses on Dyrne, a 23rd Century historian, who researches the past by ‘visiting’ it via time-travelling pods. However, whilst visiting, historians are often spotted by people in the past who think they’re seeing ghosts. Dyrne realises he could use this to his advantage, and visit something he’s been forbidden from researching – an event in his own personal timeline.
Who is your intended readership?
The novel should appeal to fans of time-travel stories and character-centric science fiction. Readers of Connie Willis, Hugh Howey, and Doctor Who fans would also enjoy ‘Turning the Hourglass’.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I loved writing stories for my friends, family and teachers when I was very young – basically from the time I learned to write!
Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
My favourite authors are Roald Dahl, Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Plath, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Celeste Ng. They all write stories that make me think “Damn, I wish I had written this…”
What advice would you give beginning writers?
Seek out other writers you can swap work with and share advice with. You should also be ready to commit a big portion of your life to this if you want to make it worthwhile – and it is.
Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?
My novel was picked up by my publisher months after I’d submitted (and really, after I’d given up all hope and moved onto a new project!). Their email was one of the best surprises I’ve ever had!
What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?
I love cinema, theatre, yoga, vegan cooking, travelling, attending my book group and cat-adoration.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
I’ve completed my second novel, ‘The Stone in My Pocket’, and am now looking for representation. It’s a coming-of-age novel set in a small Scottish village in 1999 and narrated by a teenager who thinks he’s communicating with the dead.
"Turning the Hourglass"
Historian Dyrne Samson doesn’t want to read about the past anymore. Now he visits it. Abandoning University lecturing, he joins a classified organisation, hidden beneath the streets of New London. Their time-distortion pods let him witness any historical event he chooses. Almost. Visiting his own timeline is forbidden – the only reason he can’t return to the one event he’ll never forget.