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Interview with Margay Leah Justice, author of ‘The Scent of Humanity’

Margay Leah JusticeDescended from the same bloodline that spawned the likes of James Russell, Amy and Robert Lowell, Margay Leah Justice was fated to be a writer herself from a young age. But even before she knew that there was a name for what she was doing, she knew one thing: She had a deep and unconditional love for the written word. A love that would challenge her in times of need, abandon her in times of distress, and rediscover her in times of hope. Through her writing, Margay has learned to cope with every curve ball life has thrown her, including the challenges of single parenting, the harsh realities of living in a shelter, coping with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the roller coaster ride of dealing with a child who suffers from bipolar disorder. But along the way she has rediscovered the amazing power of words.

Margay currently lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, two cats, and a myriad of characters who vie for her attention and demand that their own stories be told. In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, knitting her way through a stash of yarn that almost rivals her tbr pile!

Her latest book is the romantic suspense/women’s fiction, The Scent of Humanity.

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About the Book:

The Scent of Humanity 2Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. In theory. But in one small town, in one family, that theory is put to the test.

Growing up in a rural town in Massachusetts was supposed to be safe, but for SILVIE CHILDS, that safety was shattered by a kidnapping attempt that forever changed her life. Now, nearly twenty years later, that sense of safety is challenged again by the kidnapping attempt on her young niece, and Silvie is left struggling with one question: How can something like this happen twice in one family?

It is a dilemma shared by NICK FAHEY, the detective assigned to the case. Arriving on the scene of the abduction attempt, Nick expects to run a routine investigation. Until he meets the victim, the niece of a woman he once considered a dear friend. Unfortunately, these days Silvie Childs can barely stand the sight of him.

Once there was a time when Silvie Childs worshipped Nick Fahey, believing he could do no wrong. Until the accident that nearly killed her brother; the accident that Nick reportedly caused. Coming on the heels of her own near abduction, the accident skewed Silvie’s ability to trust men – especially Nick. But now, with the attempt on her niece’s safety, Silvie finds herself in the untenable position of having to trust Nick to bring the kidnapper to justice.

That trust is severely tested when, after only two months, the case is closed for lack of new evidence. Feeling betrayed by the system in which she works as a paralegal and by Nick, Silvie takes matters into her own hands. Contacting local news stations to generate interest in the case, allowing herself to be filmed hanging sketches of the suspect on telephone poles, she will risk her own safety to protect that of her niece. When her efforts re-open the wounds of her past, she is once again forced to put her trust in the one man who still has the power to hurt her – Nick

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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Margay. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I am actually multi-published. I actually have three books out there now.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

For the first two books, I went the small press route because it was easier than traditionally publishing. With this book, I chose to self-publish.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I think it was less than a year, so good turn around.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It felt amazing! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your name on the cover of a book and/or holding the product of all those years of work in your hands. And if I remember correctly, I think I celebrated by buying myself a little present!

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I contacted a lot of blogs to do guest posts for them. A lot of online marketing.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I’ve learned a lot about story structure and what works best from the editing process, which I employ more consciously now. And I’ve really learned the value of building a name for yourself in this industry.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

I can’t say anything has, really. I am a research nut – I love the whole process of discovering new things – so I did a lot of research about the industry long before I ever got published. So I had a pretty good grasp of it before I was published.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Having someone tell you they liked your book.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Hone your craft. Research the industry. Know what to expect so there aren’t any surprises. And most important, love what you do. If you don’t love it, neither will anyone else because it’ll show.

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