Do you write in different genres?
I’m so glad you asked! Yes, I do! Currently I have two YA sci-fi’s out, an adult fantasy and Player is a contemporary romance. Several of the short stories I’ve written border on horror and the project I’m working on is a coming of age story. I also have plans for a horror story, one based on the holocaust and a dark, erotic novel.
I love variety. I have a huge range of genres on my bookshelves and I don’t see why I should have to stick to writing just one genre, so you’ll never be bored wondering what I’ll experiment with next.
If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
I love romance, so all my books have a certain degree of it. I really enjoy writing interaction between my main characters and building a relationship.
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
That depends. Sometimes a title will just come to me, sometimes the story grows from a title and sometimes I’m still pondering what to call my novel weeks after I’ve finished writing it! Though very simple, Player too me ages to come up with, since I wanted all four books in the series to have the same style of title – so now we have Player, Flirt, Friend and Bully.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
I don’t base characters on people, but I occasionally use my own experiences, though they are usually small clips that no one would ever notice! Player came about after I got a partial scholarship to study in America, but was forced to turn it down for various reasons, so in some ways I guess you could say Chloe is based on me and I’m living vicariously through my characters, but despite small similarities, Chloe is actually very different from me!
What books are in your to read pile?
My to-read pile is hundreds strong, so I’ll spare you the trauma of listing them all! My tastes are very varied, so I have loads of different authors on my list, both conventional and self-published. Next on my list to read is Stardust, by Neil Gaiman.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I’m currently working on a novella set in Japan in 2011, called A Tangled Web (TBC). It follows the day to day life of school-girl Tayio Hayashi as she falls in love with her best friend, Ryuu. But there’s a problem… she’s currently dating his twin brother. Taiyo struggled the juggle the two, lying to both of them, but when a true disaster strikes, in the form of the Great East Japan earthquake and the devastation tsunami that followed, she is suddenly confronted with the consequences of the selfish mistakes.
I’m also working on a slew of short stories, one of which is ‘The Origins of Snow’, which will be a short story based on Snow White and will introduce my new adult fantasy series.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s a quick unedited excerpt from the key moment in the book:
Wide eyed, Taiyo could only stare at the black wall rushing towards them, engulfing everything in its path.
Grabbing her arm and twisting her around, Ryuu snapped her out of her trance, his own eyes wide with panic. “Run!” he yelled over the roar of the approaching tsunami, “Run!”
Her feet tripped and stumbled beneath her before she found her stride. Years of being on the track team caught up with her and running was second nature, her legs stretched out and her arms pumped, but she couldn’t help looking back. Chasing at their heels, the wave was gaining on them fast. Water was already pooling around their feet, seeping through shoes and socks to freeze their feet as the continued sloshing through it. There was nowhere to go.
“Keep running,” Ryuu cried, snatching at her hand and pulling her along behind him, fear making him run faster. “There, look.” Pointing to an apartment building, he veered towards it.
“We won’t make it!” The water was already starting to cut them off.
Reaching for the gate, Ryuu went to haul it open, but it was too later.
It felt like a concrete wall had smashed into her back. At first it shoved her forwards into the gate, before yanking her back and forcing her under. All the air was knocked out of her and she gasped, inhaling frigid water as the wave sucked her in. Beneath the surface, the water churned, flinging her around amidst the rest of the debris like a toy doll in a washing machine. Something smashed into her side, but the flare of pain barely registered. Despite the turbulence, Ryuu’s hand remained wrapped around her wrist. The water tried to drag them apart, pulling them in separate direction, and she prayed he’d hang on no matter what.
Kicking her legs and flailing her free arm in a desperate attempt to swim, her lungs burned. What felt like an eternity later, Taiyo sucked in cool air as they broke the surface. Her hair was wrapped around her face, blinding her, but as she pushed it away another surge of water dragged her back under. Bobbing back up a second later, she coughed and splutter, forcing her eyes open despite the sting of the dirty water, gripping at Ryuu with her free hand as he tried to keep their heads above water, his feet kicking her legs as he trod water. Black hair plastered to his skull, his face was stricken, white with fear. His terror only intensified her own.
“Over here! Over here!” Latching onto the voice that could barely be heard over the angry rumble of the water, she strained to see a man crouched atop his car as the vehicle was pulled along by the tide.
“Swim,” Ryuu cried, striking out as the water frothed around them.
Pulled into a swirling current, they were suddenly racing towards the car and seconds later they slammed into it. Grunting in pain, Taiyo’s hands scrabbled along the smooth hood, searching for something to cling to. The man on the roof grabbed her hand, but she was slick from the oily water and the moment he tried to pull her up she slipped back down with a splash, helpless tears filling her eyes.
“Please, please,” she sobbed, reaching up again. Jamming her foot between the wheel and the arch she pushed upwards. Ryuu let go of her hand to help push her up. Once she was within reach, the man leant down and grabbed the back of her shirt, pulling her up onto the relative safety of the cars roof.
Shaking and panting, her heart pounding in her chest, she scrambled around to help pull Ryuu up. The heroic stranger already had hold of his arm, but as she watched in horror another wave rocked the car and the man pitched forward. He almost ended up in the water, but managed to save himself, letting go of Ryuu in the process.
“No,” she screamed, lunging forward as the water swallowed him whole, pushing his head down beneath the murky surface. Desperately her eyes searched, waiting for him to reappear and when he did she cried his name.
Bursting head and shoulders out of the water, he floundered for a moment, before his eyes locked on hers and he began swimming back towards them, his strong arms cutting through the water in arcs. Taiyu had never known a better swimmer than Ryuu and she felt a flash of hope, but then she realized that instead of getting closer he was being pulled further away and she saw the fear in his eyes. A second later, the water engulfed him once more and a mess of debris filled the spot he’d occupied.
It all happened so quickly that her mind could barely comprehend. Her gaze darted back and forth, but she didn’t see him reappear. Desperately, she continued to call his name, standing up on the precariously wobbling car to get a better view. Nothing.
All around them, other people were calling for help but she could barely see them, they were just detached voices somewhere amid the debris and none of them were Ryuu.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Nalini Singh’s work, especially her Psy-Changeling Series. I love the way she weaves a huge cast of characters together and the way they all interact together. Her writing style is quite simple, but everything is always beautifully written and I always enjoy her stories and anticipate the next one!
Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
I love travelling and have done a fair bit of it, but more for pleasure than research! No Rest for the Wicked and Ghetto didn’t require locational research, since they were set in imaginary worlds. The Demon Inside is set in England, where I live, so again, little research needed. All my research on Texas, for Player, was done via the internet, though I would have loved to have visited Texas!
I spent a few months in Japan at the beginning of this year, where I started writing A Tangled Web and visited Sendai, the primary location, which was good. I also visited Matsushima, one of the places effected by the tsunami, though it got off lightly compared to many other places.
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
Deranged Doctor Designs did the cover for Player. They were great to work with, very friendly and patient despite the fact that I spent ages trying to make up my mind!
Just for fun
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to teleport, then I could visit anywhere I wanted without getting on a plane for hours. Think how much time you’d save!
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Probably a dragon. But I also have a soft spot for wolves, so a dire-wolf would also be up on the list. ;-)
What Happens on Campus
M L Sparrow
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: September 1 2016
Number of pages: 254 Paperback
Word Count: 79053
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Designs
Let the game begin…
After a tragic accident which leaves her tormented by guilt, Chloe Newman accepts a scholarship to study a St. Joseph’s University. Traveling from England to Texas, the last thing she expects is to meet the schools charming quarterback on her first night. However, Parker Mitchell is a player both on and off the field.
Parker is immediately fascinated by Chloe and, after a rocky start, they manage to find a way to make their relationship work despite interference from others on campus, including Parkers jealous ex, and the ghosts that haunt Chloe’s conscience.
About the Author:
M L Sparrow is currently the author of four books: two YA Sci-fi’s, The Demon Inside and Ghetto, an Adult Fantasy called No Rest for the Wicked.
Player will be her first foray into the world of Contemporary Romance. She will write pretty much anything that pops into her head, no matter the genre, and enjoys keeping her readers guessing as to what she will write next, though you can pretty much guarantee that there will be some degree of romance!
As well as writing, M L Sparrow enjoys travelling and has been to some amazing countries in the past few years, her favourite of which was Japan. She never fails to gather inspiration from her travels and has an endless supply of ideas for future novels…
Website/Blog – http://mlsparrow.wix.com/mlsparrow
Twitter – https://twitter.com/MLSparrow1
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mlsparrowauthor/