Today I’m happy to present Madeline Duffy and her “Angel Quest” book series. I’ve attached my review at the end of this feature.
Hello Madeline, and welcome to my blog. Please tell my readers, how did you come to writing?
Hi Mary. Well we started with a non-fiction book about an NDE that a friend had and we felt the story needed to be told. From there, my co-author Shane and I felt a need to write about the supernatural world of God.
How did you come up with your stories?
We both have had many supernatural experiences and used this as our basis for our fiction books. We also brought in many experiences that other Christians have experienced as well. Although it is a fiction book, many of the experiences have really happened.
Is there a message in your novels you would like your readers to grasp?
Yes, that the supernatural world of God is invisible to us most of the time, but often we get glimpses into it. God is real and still at work in our lives.
You have created great characters. Which one is your favorite?
Most people love Granny Rose, but I sympathize with Lily and her struggles. I never had a granny like Granny Rose, so she is a wishful character. Someone I wish I had in my life.
How much of your books are realistic? Are the experiences based on someone you know or events in your life?
Many of the events are very real and some have happened to either Shane or me. Others are created from accounts of others. Our intention was to make it as real as possible with an element of the supernatural.
Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?
Lily could easily be Halle Berry. Granny Rose might be Betty White. JJ could be Matt Damon. And Rory could be Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii 5-0)
Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?
I did experience some similar things that Lily lived through, so yes.
Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?
Yes, many of the subplots kind of created themselves as we went along. I always had a faint picture of the main plot, but it took twists and turns also, along the way.
What is your main reason for writing?
Well, we believe in some things that we would like to share with other people. God has blessed us with some glimpses into the supernatural and we would like others to look for it also. It is glorious and a wonderful experience.
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
I found editing to be challenging and never completely done. I have also found reviews challenging with all the different doctrines within the Christian community. Some don’t believe in supernatural experiences and condemned the plot, even though it is fiction. I was taken by surprise by this. Angels don’t seem like a controversial subject, but I suppose actually seeing one, is.
Please share a little of your current work in progress or ideas for your next novel?
I have started a supernatural account that happened before Genesis. It has been very hard to write and presently on a back burner as I think it through.
How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?
I marketed a lot at first without many results. I have since let up on marketing and just have let it run its own course. Occasionally I will market, but not often. I have turned it over to God’s will.
What do you do when you don’t write?
I am normally sitting in either a lot of background noise, or total silence, all depends. My mind does not depend on a certain environment. If it is active and thinking along the book’s plot, any environment will do.
Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
We are retired and on a sparse income, so we have done all our own editing and cover design. I figure if the content won’t sell it, nothing else will.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?
There is a learning curve, for sure, but overall it was fun. We enjoyed the whole experience.
What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favorite thing?
I would say good reviews are the most rewarding thing. I always pray that it will cause someone to think in a deeper sense toward God.
What is your advice to new indie writers?
Just dive in and do it. It will be a good experience no matter.
Who are your favorite independent writers?
My eyes have gotten worse over the years and I don’t read much anymore. So, I can’t say that I have any.
Who are your favorite authors and what is your favorite book?
My favorite books are childhood favorites mostly, The Secret Garden and Little Princess. The Late Great Planet Earth has affected me the most spiritually other than the Bible itself.
What books or authors have influenced you the most? Is there a writer that you consider a mentor? Do you have a favorite?
Hal Lindsay with his insight into the mysteries of the Bible probably influenced my writing the most. Looking for and finding the mysteries of the Bible.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I am currently reading your book Mary, When Angels Fly. It is an eBook. I have an Empath personality, so I am hoping to be able to finish it without falling apart emotionally. Losing a child has to be the most painful event in the world.
Do you work with an outline or do you just write?
No I am not that organized and I don’t like that kind of strict structure. I am a very loosey, goosey type of writer. I like to go with the flow of the current writing.
What makes you laugh?
Irony, animals with quirks, sometimes sarcasm, absurdity and sometimes human nature with its quirks.
What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?
Can’t say that I’d like to be on a lonely island. But I suppose some kind of communication device, like a phone or computer that worked.
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
I would love to have a sit down dinner with God and ask him about some issues on this planet. I would especially like to know the reasons for suffering, especially children’s suffering. I’m sure his answer would satisfy me, but I would love to have a real answer on this.
What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?
I am quirky and love to be free. I don’t like restraints of any kind. I speak my mind, to some people’s displeasure. You don’t have to guess where you stand with me, I will honestly tell you.
Tell us about your other books?
We have three novellas in the Angel Quest series and one non-fiction about a near death experience of a friend of ours. We were amazed to hear his story and wanted to put it into written form for others to hear.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
It depends on the criticism. If it is constructive and helpful, I like it. If it is just an opinion about doctrine, I find it annoying. I actually had one Christian upset that our friend who had the near death experience was still a sinner when he returned. I was shocked. That’s the entire point of the book and the hope it emanates. She totally missed the whole point of the experience.