Thursday, March 9, 2017

Margaret Fortune Author Interview

Photo Content from Margaret Fortune

Margaret Fortune wrote her first story at the age of six and has been writing ever since. She lives in Wisconsin. NOVA is her first novel.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I took my first stab at writing a novel shortly after I graduated from college, at the age of 21. However, I didn’t have a good, completed novel draft until I was 24. Sadly, that novel never made it to publication. It wasn’t until Nova, written when I was 31, that I was able to break into the publishing industry.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
My parents owned and operated a small, family-owned bookstore for over a decade when I was a child, so I grew up surrounded by books. I still remember many a night when I sat on a bench in the store after closing time reading this book or that. Needless to say, I became an expert at reading books without breaking the spine!

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
I don’t know that there’s any one “greatest thing” I’ve learned in school. Knowledge is really a conglomeration of many things learned over years of study, and to try and boil it all down to a single answer would perhaps be a bit simplistic. However, if forced to choose, I guess the greatest thing I learned is how to read. Reading is a fundamental building block upon which education is built. It opens the door for us to learn and discover a whole universe of new things. I couldn’t imagine a life without reading.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Stubborn. Strategic. Creative.

What was your inspiration for the series?
The series was actually inspired by its first book, Nova. You see, Nova was originally conceived and written as a standalone, with no thought for a series. However, the book took some interesting turns, and I felt the ending left much open to question, questions which might only be answered with follow-up books. Knowing any agents or publishers interested in Nova would ask about possible sequels, I decided to brainstorm about it and see what happened. The Spectre War series was the result.

Did you learn anything from writing ARCHANGEL? What was it?
I didn’t really understand what writer’s block was until I wrote Archangel, at which point I realized that what I’d previously thought of as writer’s block wasn’t even close to the reality. While I persisted and eventually finished the book, I did learn that more than anything, you need to find a constructive outlet for your writer’s block. (Something other than simply bashing your head on the desk time after time…!)

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing the Spectre War series?
Hmm…that’s kind of like asking a parent who their favorite child is! I’m only about halfway through the series, so I’m not sure I can fairly answer that question yet. However, I think the character who most surprised me over the course of writing Archangel was Dr. Daedalus Angelou. I didn’t know what to make of him at first, but the more he unfolded on the page, the more fascinated I became by his depth of character, and by the end, I was thoroughly his partisan.

What part of Michael did you enjoy writing the most?
More than any other character in the series, Michael is a person of great heart. However, the events of Nova send him into a tailspin, and by the time Archangel begins, he’s lost that openness of spirit that defines who he is. Perhaps my greatest joy was watching him gain the emotional maturity to deal with his pain and regain that strength, allowing him to put away the lost boy to become the strong man he’s capable of being.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Interestingly enough, I think I would introduce Shar to Falkor, the luckdragon from Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story. Of all the characters in the series, I think Shar has drawn the absolute shortest stick in life. Her rough edges cover up a lifetime of suffering, and if anyone could use a little luck, it’s her…especially in the books to come! Plus, think how awesome it would be to see Falkor zooming around space stations while people screamed and hid in hygiene units!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
While I have a close circle of writing friends with whom I’ve routinely exchanged encouragement and critiques, I don’t really have a mentor, per se. However, if you’re asking what writers have inspired me, I will say that it was the YA sci-fi I read as a kid, by such authors as H.M. Hoover, Monica Hughes, and Louise Lawrence, that first inspired my love of sci-fi literature.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
Um…technically I was a teenager during the last century! I grew up in the 90s, so any other decade in the 1900s, and I would now be significantly older than I am! In light of that, I think I’ll stick with the 90s. However, I do think the Roaring Twenties would’ve been an interesting time to be alive, though not necessarily as a teenager.

What is your greatest adventure?
What can I say? You haven’t lived until you’ve done karate in a canoe…

Where can readers find you?
I can be found online at the places below. While I don’t always post a lot, especially if I’m working on a book, I do try to respond to everyone who contacts me. 

Archangel is the second installment of the explosive, pulse-pounding Spectre War science fiction series.

An enemy you can’t kill. A soldier who can’t fight. An interstellar war that can’t be won . . . until now.

As a soldier of the Celestial Expanse, Guardian First Class Michael Sorenson knows better than anyone that when the Spectres invade, there are only two options. Run or die. However, his defensive war takes on a whole new spin when he’s recruited into Division 7, a Research & Development facility with the ultimate mission: to create a large-scale weapon that can kill Spectres en masse.

Here Michael joins a team of military elite who have the daring—and dangerous—task of taking new weapons prototypes out into the field for testing on enemy troops. Yet the closer they come to developing a working WMD, the more it becomes clear: There’s a saboteur in R&D.

With all signs pointing to a massive Spectre attack brewing on the horizon, the creation of a new weapons system yields an opportunity to end the threat once and for all. As the days count down toward its launch, Michael must hunt down the saboteur . . . before the saboteur hunts down him.

Praise for the Spectre War series

“Nova grabbed me from the first chapter, and never let go. What a ride! Unforgettable, fast-paced and original, this book kept me guessing to the end.” —Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars

“Lia is a genetically-engineered bad-ass.” —The MarySue

“A super start to what looks like a fine series; readers will be eager for the next installment.” —Booklist

“This is an excellent debut…creative and surprising.” —RT Book Reviews

You can purchase Archangel (Spectre War #2) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MARGARET FORTUNE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Set Copy of NOVA and ARCHANGEL by Margaret Fortune.


  1. My most memorable sci-fi reads would be the works of Douglas Adams.

  2. I must admit that THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY came first to my mind.