M.L. Spencer is a biology teacher and the author of the Rhenwars Saga. She won the 1st Place Prose in the San Bernardino County Writing Celebration and in 2012 her saga’s second novel Darkmage, won the Indie-Reader Discovery Award for Fantasy. She’s a member of California Writers Club and of the Science Fantasy Society.
M.L. Spencer has written her first novel-lenght manuscript at the young age of thirteen years old and hasn’t stopped ever since. Currently, she’s planning to publish her third book Darklands.
I write about good people who do bad things in a fantasy world.
(Click on the book covers to see them better)
MY PERSONAL OPINION
Her writing style is unique. As soon as I started reading, I quickly got immersed in the story’s deepness like a stone thrown in the sea. What could I possibly tell you about it? The books speak loud and clear for their own selves, starting already from the titles. “Dark”… that’s surely the word that describes them the best.
Take Darkmage as an example. One moment, you’re exploring enchanting architecture and art in the halls of a castle, and a few pages later, you see one of the most macabre murders I’ve ever read.
It’s not really that gruesome or bloody though. It’s a kind of murder we’ve probably seen in fiction a billion times (blood-drinking, although in this case, the murderer wasn’t a vampire), but the athmosphere built up until that very moment and the way the author delivered it and described it… were perfect.
And guess what? It was nothing but a taste of what it was all about.
Don’t get tricked. Although this is a fantasy saga, it’s more realistic than many history books out there.
Two nations at conflict, bringing the worst and the best out of their people.
Important choices. Deaths. Battles. All this for what? You tell me.
But if there’s anything I can tell you, is that in my opinion, letting your mind roam in this incredible plot it’s one of the best things you could do, for it won’t just entertain you. NO SIR! Entertaining is a mere way of making money from the masses, but these books? They don’t simply entertain. They make you think and question your own humanity and your own choices. All you readers out there, be careful with the books you read, for each of them changes you in one way or another. Try to give these books a chance to be in your bookcases. They could change you in better.
If you’d like to follow M.L. Spencer, here are her social links:
if you’d like to support her, vote for her through socials on her thunderclap campaign.
And if you’d like to buy her latest book Darklands, click here:
Good morning, how are you?
Doing great, thank you!
People can already pre-order your third book “Darklands” on Amazon, but when will it be released?
June 23, 2017.
How do you feel about it being released?
Excited and intimidated! I have planned a lot of events for the weekend of the release and I’m hoping everything goes as planned! I always get nervous around a release anyway.
What’s the story behind the stories in your books? How did you get those ideas?
In a nutshell: trying to boil down a 5-book series into one pitch isn’t easy. Let me try:
The Rhenwars Saga is about a struggle between two conflicting moral philosophies played out in the blood, flesh and tears of two rival nations.
What is your favorite part of the whole saga?
My favorite part is Darien’s character arc because, through him, we get to see and appreciate both sides of the conflict.
What is the part you’ve been struggling the most with?
Darklands was the biggest struggle because of the enormous amount of worldbuilding that had to go into creating a land without light.
What is the part that on the other hand, had just flowed naturally right out of you?
Darkmage. I wrote that novel in a feverish 40 days. While working full time. With two small children. It just dumped out of me onto paper. Didn’t get a lot of sleep though.
Did you have any fear regarding whether or not your books would’ve been liked by your readers?
Still do! I’ve had a lot of feedback, mostly very positive. But a few people have disagreed with the occasional plot point or character arc. I think I’ve had enough good feedback to know I’m doing something right.
Did you wrote every day or did you take periods of writing alternated with gaps of relax?
I’m pretty much a compulsive writer. If I’m not writing it’s because I’m marketing. If I’m not marketing it’s because I’m working my day job. I pause very occasionally to wipe down a counter.
How many hours a day did you write?
I write as many hours as I have in a day. When I’m “On a roll” I write up to 6000 words a day – which I know, some writers can do a lot better than that, but I actually edit while I’m writing. I’m bad that way. I can’t do the “just dump it all out and fix it later” thing. So, some days I write 12-14 hours.
Did you write mostly in the same place or did you change it often?
Usually in bed ???? Sometimes at my desk. I cannot write in public; too many distractions.
What were (if there were any) your overall biggest struggles when writing this saga?
Darkstorm (book 1) was actually written after Darkmage (book 2). It is pretty much the backstory, just turned into a prequel. Taking that backstory and turning it into a viable plot was a challenge. It wasn’t like I could tweak things in Darkmage, so I had to work with what I had.
I’ve read that at 13 years old you had already finished your first novel-lenght manuscript, but when did you start having this passion for writing?
When I was a very little kid, I was already writing. Like 2nd or 3rd grade. I would sit in my grandma’s attic (which was my little room) and type out mini-books on her old typewriter. So, I’ve been writing since pretty much the moment I could read.
What was your first manuscript about?
It was a fantasy about a guy that was a “chosen one” type, who had to save the world. Totally tropy and completely uninspired. But hey, you got to start somewhere!
When did your career trully start?
Just this year. I published Darkmage back in 2011 and didn’t market it at all. It flopped hard. So I threw in the towel and walked away. But then I got a review on Goodreads out of the blue that encouraged me to write Darkstorm. I spent about a year with that tied up with a publisher that I later abandoned. But I used that time to build up my author platform, so that when I launched Darkstorm it got some traction.
Who are the people who have influenced you the most?
Stephen King, Robert Jordan, Raymond E. Feist, Frank Herbert, C.S. Friendman…the list goes on! I love epic and dark.
What are the messages you want to transmit with your books?
I guess the big message people can take away from The Rhenwars Saga is that there are always two sides two every story – and usually both sides are very viable. The truth lies somewhere between extremes.
What are your projects for the future? Do you plan to continue the saga, start a new one or do something else?
I’ve got two more books to write in The Rhenwars Saga. After that, I’ll move onto something else. What, I have no idea…I’ve been so focused on Rhenwars, I haven’t given much thought to anything else.
What are the things you consider the most important in your life?
- My family (Husband and three children who put up with me and my writing).
- My profession (I teach high school, which I thoroughly enjoy)
- My religion (Islam)
What advice would you give to people who have a similar dream?
It takes work. More work than you can possibly imagine. If you don’t LOVE it, find something use. Dreams like this take time and you have to be 100% committed or you will come to regret the time lost. But if you truly love it, it can make you truly happy.
I’m gonna ask you the most difficult question you could ever ask a writer… not “what’s the meaning of life”, not “are we alone in the universe” and not even “is there anything beyond death”. No, they’re nothing compared to this question… what is your n1 favorite book?
Just one, huh? Alright. I’m going to have to say Stephen King’s The Stand. Because it has everything I adore.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE INTERVIEW!
May you have great luck and joy with your future projects 🙂