JM Landels

Hey readers, today I have a special guest, author JM Landels. She looks quite intimidating doesn't she?! Just wait till you read about what she does!

Heya JM, how are you doing today?

Hi Rebekah, I’m delighted to be on your blog.  I’m JM Landels, and I’m a writer, illustrator, and editor.  In my spare time I also teach people to swordfight from horseback.

Swordfighting. On horseback! I told you she was intimidating! And cool as hell! Ok I'll stop geeking out now. *clears throat* JM, what is the current book you are promoting? 

Allaigna’s Song: Overture is my debut fantasy from Pulp Literature Press. To quote the back-of-the-book blurb, it’s a love story, a family saga, and a coming-of-age novel that braids together the stories of daughter, mother, and grandmother.  It’s about the secrets and lies that families tell each other, but it also has a load of magic, music, and thrilling horse chases.

And you were nice enough to send me a copy of the cover too. Here it is.

Tell us about your world in your book.

The Ilmar was originally the creation of Scott Fitzgerald Gray, who is an editor and writer for Wizards of the Coast. It’s part of his larger world, The Endlands, which he created as both a fantasy gaming milieu and the setting for some of his novels (which readers, and especially RPGers, should definitely check out at  As I’ve written the Allaigna trilogy over the years I’ve added my own twists and turns to the geography and anthropology.  By this point you can probably think of it as a mirror universe.

What is your next project? 

Right now I’m tidying up the second and third books in the Allaigna series, which are due out in 2019 and 2020, but I’m also drafting a series of novellas about a 17th century French shepherdess-turned-spy, and having a hell of a lot of fun with them.  Working title for the series is La Bergere, but that’s subject to change.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

The Scarlet Pimpernel. Or possibly Marguerite Blakeney.

This is always my favorite question. Are you a pantser or a plotter or both?

I’m an inveterate pantser.  I wish I could plot, because I think it would save me a lot of time, but every time I try, the characters head off in their own directions willy-nilly.  So I’ve given up.

Always good to hear my characters aren't the only rebels. How do you write your books? 

Longhand.  I do almost all my first draft using the fabulous Hour Stories cards by Dale Adams Segal ( alongside my Pulp Literature co-conspirators Mel Anastasiou and Susan Pieters.  We write together for an hour every week.  It’s remarkable how much good material comes out of these sessions.

Longhand. I gave that up when I realized my chicken scratch was getting too bad for me to read any more. Who is your favorite author? 

I can’t just pick one, but I have three I aspire to be able to write as well as: Margaret Atwood for sheer literary brilliance, Barbara Kingsolver for her warmth and ability to stab you in the feels, and Mary Gentle for her amazingly creative characters and worlds.

I do like getting stabbed in the feels too. How long have you been writing? What got you started being an author?

I think I’ve always had the urge to tell stories.  I used to make my own picture books as far back as three or four years old – my mum still has one or two of them.  I’ve got songs and poems dating back to about age ten, and I know I wrote short stories in high school.  I started a historical novel set in the Wars of the Roses around the age of fourteen, but thankfully I abandonned it after a few chapters, since I’m pretty sure it was dreadful.

What is your favorite genre to read?

This sounds indecisive, but I really do love almost all genres.  I vary my input.  I’ll read a contemporary literary novel, followed by hard SF, followed by historical, followed by fantasy, followed by classics.  I don’t like to read the same genre twice in a row.  I suppose my favourites are books that cross genres, like Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell which is fantasy but reads like Dickens or Elliott, or The Time-Traveller’s Wife, which is contemporary lit fic with time travel.

What do you listen to when you write?

Ironically, since Allaigna’s Song is all about a girl who can turn music into magic, nothing.  I used to be a singer and guitartist, so I find music occupies too much of my storytelling brain.  However, I love to draw while listening to CBC radio, and I will do revisions listening to mixes of Bach, Cat Stevens, and L7, depending on my mood.

Ok that is ironic. And I like it.Folks you should definitely check her out, and her book. You know it's going to have some great action scenes. And of course I make the stalking easy with links to find amazing authors. 

And grab her book here


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