Winterview with Author M. A. Guglielmo

To celebrate 13 weeks of winter, Hàlön Chronicles will be conducting one interview a week for 13 weeks. Join us on the hashtag #13Winterviews, or check out our right-side blog hop to sneak a peek at all the wonderful authors and artists I’ll be interviewing in the coming weeks.

Hosted by: K. J. Harrowick

Without further ado, Fantasy Author: M. A. Guglielmo.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a neurosurgeon, mother of two awesome daughters, and a life-long fan of speculative fiction. Other than a few years spent out in lovely Oregon, I’ve lived and worked in New England, where I practice medicine and write.

What types of books do you write, and why?

I’ve been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since childhood, and I follow the motto: “write what you read”. All types of fantasy, from alternate history to contemporary, interest me (I have a special soft spot for dragons). I grew up hearing about my Italian grandmother’s talent in casting the evil eye, so I have an interest in the mythology and culture of the Mediterranean region, including the Middle East and North Africa. I try to incorporate literature and lore from non-Northern European sources in my writing.

What were your early influences, and how does this manifest in your work today?

Tolkien, Lovecraft, and Frank Herbert come to mind as early influences. Looking back on those works now, I have a better appreciation for what many of the classics of science fiction and fantasy left out: diversity of gender, race, religion and so much else. I try to broaden my reading today to seek out exciting authors and novels that feature diverse characters and perspectives. My goal is to use my writing to transport myself and my readers into other worlds and mindsets.

Are there aspects of the craft that excite you more than others?

I like research far too much. My interest in Middle Eastern politics and history has led me to explore literature and classics outside the Western tradition. I’ve learned so much by doing this, but it’s all too easy for me to fall into the trap of trawling the internet rather than writing. If I could, I’d spend all my time doing my favorite type of research—traveling! For example, the two trips I’ve taken to Morocco gave me some wonderful material for my current WIP, SUMMONING ZAHARA.

What books or websites are your go-to places while editing?

I always have my browser open to check facts, locations or descriptions during my developmental edit stage. Wikipedia usually gives me a quick overview of topics I’m not familiar with (like how to properly describe plastic explosives, or how long it would take a hawk to fly from Iran to Morocco). For line editing, I rely on helpful sites like GrammarGirl that provide a little humor along with the writing advice.

Tell us about your writing space (music/snacks/interruptions/etc).

I take my MacBook with me everywhere, so if there’s down time at work, or I’m waiting somewhere, I can whip it out and get some writing done. Sometimes during NaNoWriMo I head out to a local coffee shop for a change of scenery. Mostly, though, I plop down on my couch with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, some nights.)

Tell us about your current WIP or your latest book release.

Summoning Zahara I’m in the final edits of SUMMONING ZAHARA, a contemporary fantasy set in Morocco. Zahara, a not-so-terrifying Jinn determined to impress her infamously evil mother, needs to trick a modern-day sorcerer into giving up his soul. She ends up with Daniel Goldstein, who’s dealing with a recent break-up with his boyfriend and his Jewish grandmother’s ghost. Stuck in a magical contract with him, Zahara has to battle paranormal mercenaries and bumbling terrorists while she tries to save the world from one fallen angel… and save her heart from another.

Note from K.J. : Summoning Zahara was one of the funnest stories I read this year. I can’t wait to one day have this on my bookshelf. 🙂


My author page is maguglielmo.com.
You can follow me on Twitter as @Aphemia66, or check out my Facebook page.


Before you leave, don’t forget to check out all the amazing Winterviews Authors. 🙂

3 comments to Winterview with Author M. A. Guglielmo

  • Maria Guglielmo  says:

    You’re making me blush! Thanks so much for the wonderful interview and the visual collage you set up for me looks awesome!

    • K.J. Harrowick  says:

      You’re so welcome! I adored reading your interview, and LOVED Summoning Zahara. You’ve got such a brilliant sense of humor and wonderful voice. 🙂

  • Sara Bond  says:

    Your book sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read it. Great interview!

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