The Lady Who Always Does What She Loves

Interview with MJ Mallon, Author and Poet

Marjorie Mallon (alias MJ) is a British YA (young adult) author, poet, blogger, and reviewer. Like any other modern woman, she has created her own motto that encapsulates most of her beliefs: “Always do what you love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.”

Your motto is a vigorous statement. Why do you think people don’t always do what they really love to do?

Lost opportunities and/or lack of confidence in our youth, financial, and family responsibilities, but the time to do what we really love is now! 

My latest book, Do What You Love, expands upon that mantra in an unusual way with personal, inspiring anecdotes and poems from my childhood to the present.

According to Amazon, you already have seventeen books published, including a few anthologies where you participated in or have compiled: fantasy, poetry, horror, and short stories. Do you have a favourite genre?

Fantasy because it makes the impossible possible. Flying clock grasshopper? Talking creatures? Art coming alive? Yes! And poetry, as it shatters and mends the heart. It is succinct, immediate, and beautifully meaningful.  

You have a few mixed volumes, poetry and short stories. Are they working well together?

Yes, I believe so. A perceptive question … Mixed volumes help introduce unlikely readers of poetry to the genre. They are a way to reach people who may think poetry is obtuse or pretentious. 

As it happens, my next poetic book, inspired by the Portuguese poet Florbela Espanca, will be a more modern – purely poetry – collection about love and sensuality. 

What is more important: to be original or to write what you think the readers want to hear?

Original! But, unfortunately, in a crowded marketplace, ignoring the market is risky. It’s a tricky one. One that brings temptations … write popular genres … romance? Or stick to … fantasy, poetry, magic!

In your case, is writing a gained skill, or more a natural talent? 

A bit of both! Start with your innate writing level, nurture your skill, and add enthusiasm, effort, determination and passion.

What else do you do when you’re not writing or reading?

Travel! Then, tai chi, yoga, mindfulness, and collecting seashells and crystals. I photograph, blog, review books and enjoy spending time with my much-loved family.

You have travelled a lot, but lately, you have come to the Algarve quite often. What attracted you here, and have you ever considered moving to Portugal?

Yes … long story! Brexit troubles. We both intend to become residents one day and are working towards that goal. In the meantime, beautiful Tavira is our base for Portuguese travel for half of the year. I’ve always loved Portugal for its stunning coastline and relaxed lifestyle. Our most recent trip were to Portimão – for sun, beach and nightlife – and Coimbra – for music, culture, the university and the botanical gardens. 

Thank you for sharing your interesting experience and work with us. Is there any other question you’d have liked me to ask? 

Yes: how do I get my husband to turn down his guitar volume, take up reading and make me a fabulous skier?

There is no answer to that! He prefers rock music and skiing to reading, you’re on a slippery slope!

What is your message to the readers of Tomorrow magazine?

Dear readers, enjoy the beautiful Algarve; I predict a peaceful and sunny day, perfect to enjoy books!

Photo © MJ Mallon


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