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Interview with Intriguing Sci-Fi Author and Editor, Margaret Fieland

Copyright © 2014 Margaret Fieland

Copyright © 2014 Margaret Fieland

“Interview with Intriguing Sci-Fi Author and Editor, Margaret Fieland” by Joan Y. Edwards

Thank you very much, Margaret Fieland, for being a guest on my blog today. I know my readers will find you as fascinating as I do.

I appreciate this opportunity to talk about writing.

Let’s get started.

1.  How did you do in English as a kid?

I did all right in English as a kid, but math was my best subject. My dad, however, was always very insistent on proper grammar, and he drummed it into our heads. Every time we made a mistake, he’d  correct us, and he’d repeat the entire rule and the explanation of the error. It drove me nuts at the time, but now I’m very grateful.

2.  When did you decide to become an author?

I didn’t decide to become an author – I fell into it. I’ve written poetry since high school, and in 2005 I wrote a poem I wanted to keep. I ended up storing it, and some others, online. Then I was runner-up in a poetry contest and started participating in some online communities. In one of them I heard of the Muse Online Writers Conference. I “met” Linda Barnett Johnson and joined her writing forums. She required everyone to write fiction as well as poetry. Up until then, I hadn’t written any.

Anyway, I wrote a chapter book, and had to learn enough about fiction to revise it. I ended up taking the Institute of Children’s Literature course. The book was accepted for publication, but it has yet to appear.

In 2010, I decided to write a sci-fi novel for Nano. It and two follow-on novels are now in print with MuseItUp Publishing.

3.  What’s your favorite book? Why?

Alice in Wonderland. I love the whimsy. In college, when I was studying for exams, I’d forego going to the library so I could concentrate on studying. But I’d suffer from book withdrawal and so I’d reread Alice. I also taught myself to wiggle my ears and write backwards.

 4.  What is your favorite genre? Why?

Science fiction. I’ve read it since elementary school. I selected the then-new “Farmer in the Sky” by Robert A. Heinlein for my tenth birthday. I’ve read reams of the stuff. My Nano novel, Relocated, was the first time I’d written any, though.

 5.  Are you an editor? What mistakes do you see most writers make?

Yes, I’m an editor for 4RV Publishing. Comma usage mistakes are the most common, along with misuse of pronouns.

6.  Are your characters based on real people?

No. They’re entirely figments of my imagination.  The only exception is the grandmother in my chapter book, the one that has yet to appear. She’s based on my kids’ grandmother. I do steal names, however. I named the dog in that same book for a deceased friend of mine. I’ve used variations on some of my foreign-born co-workers’ names for aliens in my sci-fi novels.

7.  Do you outline and plan your books before you write them, or do you just begin writing and let your stories flow on their own?

I have a rough outline – a page or two – with the structure outlined. Not much detail. I need to know the beginning, the problem, the end, and some of the high points in between.

 8.  Do you have trouble saying goodbye to your characters when you finish a book?

{grin} Yes. When I wrote the first sci-fi novel, I didn’t plan to write any more, but the characters refused to leave me alone, and so now I’ve got three published and am working on a fourth.

 9.  How do you know when your manuscript is ready for submission?

After I’ve revised it, edited it, and passed it by a beta reader or two.  But I’m not always right. The novel that became Broken Bonds underwent three major revisions. I passed one of them by a beta reader, convinced it was almost ready to submit, but she convinced me that I was telling the wrong story. So I threw out that version, and a sketchy second version, and started from scratch.

Margaret, thank you for sharing information about your writing success. It is fascinating how your characters roped you into writing more books. I hope that you have many more books published in the near future. I am very proud of you.

Here’s more information about Margaret:

Brief Bio:

Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life.  She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein’s “Farmer in the Sky” for her tenth birthday, now long past. In spite of making her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to format the first version of her website, a clear illustration of the computer generation gap. Her poems appear in journals, such as Melusine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved.

Margaret’s Publications:

Margaret’s author page on MuseItUp Publishing, with links to all three of her sci-fi novels: Relocated, Broken Bonds, and Geek Games: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/our-authors/56-our-authors/authors-f/149-author-4764

Guest post on writing Geek Games: http://authorericprice.com/2013/11/06/guest-post-margaret-fieland-and-writing-geek-games/

A review of Broken Bonds: http://unorthodoxmama.com/tag/novels-of-aleyne/

Flash piece by Margaret, recently published: http://postcardpoemsandprose.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/back-of-the-stacks-by-margaret-fieland/

Margaret on the Web
Website: http://www.margaretfieland.com/
Blog: http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/margaret.fielandTwitter: https://www.twitter.com/madcapmaggie
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4417476.Margaret_Fieland
GooglePlus: https://plus.google.com/101970778472634433414/posts
Linked-In: http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=hb_tab_home
Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/margaretfieland/

Thank you for reading all about Margaret here. Ask her a question, if you like. Leave her a message in the comment area. She’d love to hear from you.

This interview is part of my Authors I Admire Series:

  1. 4RV Publishing – Vivian Zabel. “Vivian Zabel and 4RV Publishing:”  https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/interview-with-vivian-zabel-and-4rv-publishing/
  2. Ann Eisenstein. “Catch the Great Dialogue of Amazon Best-Selling
    Author, Ann Eisenstein:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/catch-the-great-dialogue-of-amazon-best-selling-author-ann-eisenstein/
  3. Bob Rich, PhD. “Interview with Dr. Bob Rich: Writer, Mudsmith, Psychologist, and Editor:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/interview-with-dr-bob-rich-writer-mudsmith-psychologist-and-editor/
  4. Carol Baldwin. “Interview and Amazing Facts about Teacher and Author, Carol Baldwin:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/interview-and-amazing-facts-about-teacher-and-author-carol-baldwin/
  5. Jeff Herman. “My Interview of Jeff Herman:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/01/11/my-interview-of-jeff-herman/
  6. Joy Acey. “Joy Acey Says Pub Sub Works (PubSub3rdFri):” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/joy-acey-says-pub-sub-works-pubsub3rdfri/
  7. Juliana Jones. “Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Part of PubSub3rdFriday! by Juliana Jones:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/top-ten-reasons-i-love-being-a-part-of-pubsub3rdfriday-by-juliana-jones/
  8. Linda Andersen. “Linda Andersen Is Proof That PubSub3rdFri Works:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/linda-andersen-is-proof-that-pubsub3rdfri-works/
  9. Linda Andersen. “What Entices You to Submit Your Writing:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/what-entices-you-to-submit-your-writing-by-linda-andersen-guest-blogger-pubsub3rdfri/
  10. Megan Vance. “Interview and Great Writing Tips from Author Megan Vance:”
  11. Nicole Thompson-Andrews. “Nicole Thompson-Andrews Loves Pub Subbing:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/nicole-thompson-andrews-loves-pub-subbing/
  12. Sandra Warren. “Fascinating Ideas and Advice from Sandra Warren, Author:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/fascinating-ideas-and-advice-from-sandra-warren-author/

20 Responses

  1. Joan, thanks for hosting me.


    • Dear Margaret,
      You are very welcome. I enjoyed learning about your path to publication. Having three books published is an awesome achievement. I admire you and am proud of your patience and determination.

      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards


  2. Margaret,
    I found it almost ironic that you turned to your son for help with building your website. You knew he could do the job you needed done. I admire you for turning it over to him.

    Science fiction requires a vivid imagination. Any tips for writers wanting to expand our horizons? (I couldn’t resist the pun–I usually can’t. Tee hee!)


    • Linda, there are a couple of good books on sci fi world-building, but my best advice would be to read lots in the genre and notice your own reactions.
      consider: “How to write science fiction and fantasy” by Orson Scott Card
      “The craft of writing science fiction that sells” by Ben Bova
      and “Worlds of Wonder: how to write science fiction and fantasy” by David Gerrold
      All three authors are big names in the field, and all three books are on my bookshelf.


      • Anyone interested in writing science fiction thanks you for the suggested resources and tips.


    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing and asking Margaret such interesting questions.
      Have a great day.


  3. […] “"Interview with Intriguing Sci-Fi Author and Editor, Margaret Fieland" by Joan Y. Edwards Thank you very much, Margaret Fieland, for being a guest on my blog today. I know my readers will find you …”  […]


    • Thank you for posting a link to Margaret Fieland’s interview on my blog.


  4. Dear Margaret,
    Congratulations on all your books you have published. I know your edits have always been helpful to me. I didn’t know you took the ICL course, I did also.
    Great job Margaret!


    • Megan, I learned a lot from the ICL course — before that I really had no idea about how to structure fiction.


    • Dear Megan,
      Thank you for dropping by to talk with Margaret. It is fun to discover ways that we are like other writers, isn’t it? Have a great day.

      Celebrate you.


  5. Great interview! I love hearing about people who are math/science oriented becoming writers!


    • Dear Heidi,
      Thank you for stopping by. I am very glad you did. It is interesting how scientific-minded people like Margaret create worlds for us to experience by reading.

      Celebrate you.


    • Heidi, I used to have cats but became allergic and had to give them away. Now we have seven dogs.


  6. I’ve known Margaret and her work (via the Internet) for some time and not only enjoy her work but love that SHE loves writing enough to be generous with other authors. Giving them a hand, etc. You found a good one to interview, Joan!


    • Dear Carolyn,
      Thank you for stopping by. I am sure it will mean a lot to Margaret. She is indeed very generous in helping other authors.

      Celebrate you.


    • Carolyn, thanks for stopping by. No one is more surprised than I that I ended up a writer. It really speaks to the limits — needless ones — we place on ourselves.


  7. Thanks for giving the interview, Margaret. And thanks for sharing it Joan. I’m always invigorated and inspired by success stories.


    • Sarah, thanks for stopping by


  8. Dear Sarah,
    Thanks for stopping by. You’re welcome for my sharing, Margaret Fieland’s story. You are right. It is invigorating and inspiring to read success stories. In them we find hope for us.

    Celebrate you.


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