I’m delighted to be welcoming Madeline McQueen to my hot seat today to chat about fantasy novel, Anuanna : The Kardic Jewel (available in two parts).
Madeline is chatting about her inspiration for the story, her characters and much more. Enjoy!
Anuanna is based in the magical world of witches, wizards, werewolves, vampires, and more.
It follows Anne Hunter as she discovers that she is a witch with a rare ability as she is a part of a dying race. She has to juggle her love life alongside her studies and she needs to deal with an ancient spell that has been put on her by her deceased ancestors, with the help of her new friends and guide.
See through Anne’s eyes as she starts her new journey in the magical world of witches, wizards, vampires, werewolves, and more. When Anne discovers a whole new world, she also discovers the joys and sorrows, heartache and love, thrills and misery, and enemies and friends that it will also bring with it.
*contains adult content such as violence, sex, nudity, and strong language – recommended age 17 years +
Hi Madeline, welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise your novel in 20 words or less.
Anuanna (pronounced An-you-anna) is a fantasy romance based in the magical world where the reader follows Anne as she discovers she’s a witch.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
My main carer choice is acting and years ago because this is a very competitive industry and so hard to get work from, I was struggling to get any parts. So, I decided to create my own film project for me to act in and I made my first film in 2011. Over the years I wrote a couple more scripts but it was always horror based as I’m a fan of horror. However, I was getting bored of writing and playing that genera so I decided to do something else and go the complete opposite way, so I wrote a romance instead. I’m not a big fan of pure romances so I wanted to make it a sub genera and decided to go down the route of something fantasy because I’m also a fan of that genera. The first thing I thought of was witches because I love the magic side of things, but then I explored other possibilities. I thought about a vampire romance but that has been done through Twilight, and I wasn’t overly keen of writing a vampire romance. I then thought about werewolves but that has also been done through Underworld which is about vampire and werewolf romance. I even then considered an Alien romance but I really didn’t want to go down that route either and that’s also been done through Rosewell. I then landed back onto witches as nothing else appealed to me as much and even though I had a suspicion and was slightly worried that people would compare my book to Harry Potter, out of all of them, HP was the only one that wasn’t a romance. I do enjoy the other fantasy creatures but not as much as I enjoy witches and magic, so I decided to go down that route anyway.
Because this was originally a script for myself, the first character I knew I was going to write would be Anne. She’s based a little off of me as well. It also didn’t take me long to think of her name. I thought of her love interest and Victor quickly came to mind. I knew how I wanted him to look and I knew what his name would be as Victor is one of my favoured names. I also knew I couldn’t ever afford to make this into a film so I turned it into a novel instead.
How do your characters come into existence Madeline? Do they have a bio?
All the main and secondary characters have bios which more about them is told as the story goes on. Some of the cast were pre-written and planned while the others were made as I went along.
Can you tell us more about those characters?
I’ve explained about Anne and how she’s come to be, Victor was the second character I thought of to be Anne’s ‘Mr. Right’, and he’s not really based off of anyone in particular.
Charlotte Williams and Liam Lang’s personalities are based a little off of two of my friends but not their looks.
Professor Kench was inspired by my nan.
Sunny and Charlie were actually dogs that I used to have and the others are my parents’ dogs. Anne’s family is also based off of mine.
Miss Hatchet’s phasic was inspired (but changed in a way to make her look like ‘the baddy’) by a man I once met in London years ago called Ross. He was so tall, I thought he was on stilts until he lifted his trouser leg up and showed me that they were genuinely his own legs. I believe he said he held the record for being the 5th tallest man in the world. All the teachers are very friendly and kind so I needed to add a bad guy in there and Hatchet ended up with the short straw.
Headmaster Gilwich is based off of my old Headmaster from secondary school but I made Gilwich older because of his past, so he had to be an older gentleman. My headmaster seemed to be young and rather in shape. Even though I didn’t know, he always seemed to possibly be a little masculine so I just made Gilwich more masculine.
A lot of the other characters I wrote are just people who I invented and a few are inspired off of people I met or know.
If you could choose to be one of your characters, who would you be?
Anne, as I wrote her character for myself when Anuuanna was originally a film idea. I also based her looks and personality on mine but not completely as I wanted her to also be her own person.
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?
I still want to mainly act and Anne is still based for my character, so I would cast myself for Anne. I haven’t seen anyone I think suits Victor yet. The actor Tom Ellis is close but not quite Victor.
I could actually picture Arnold Schwarzenegger as the wizard Headmaster Gilwich (he actually did pop into mind when I was writing him).
Before I started writing about Charlotte’s uncle, I knew immediately who I was going to base him off of and that’s one of the actors who I have a big soft spot for – Tony Todd, who played Candy Man in Candy Man.
I would cast the actor Greg Ellis as Anders.
As I was writing Miss Potts, I pictured the actress Niki Botelho, as she played the Elf Nanny in the original Charmed series and Miss Potts is inspired from her.
I can’t think of anyone who physically matches Charlotte, Liam, Felix or any of the other characters come to think of it.
If your book is part of a series Madeline, what is in the future?
Anuanna is a series. I’m not sure how many books exactly will be planned, I’m writing and seeing where it leads me.
Can you share with us what you are currently working on?
The first book has been published. I’m currently looking for reviewers and a proofreader for the second book, and I have started writing the third one.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
None. As I explained in another question, Anuanna was invented purely for a film project I was making for myself. I originally didn’t know that I was definitely going to make it about witches, I was just playing with the idea. I have had it mentioned by fans of Harry Potter that they thought Anuanna was inspired/heavily inspired by HP, which it was not. I knew people would see the similarities but I did try avoiding HP as much as possible. I simply wanted to write a romance story with a twist of fantasy. There are some similarities that I found hard to avoid such as classes for example. Anuanna has similar lessons to HP but I turned my classes I had from school into magical versions and I had to add classes that witches would have. Being a witch/wizard, it would be expected to learn how to control one’s magic and possibly learn positions.
Finally, what has been the best part of your writing journey so far?
Becoming fond of my characters, their journeys and taking them through challenges which I even wonder how some situations will turn out sometimes. I’m enjoying watching my characters grow and giving them a life of their own. I also really like the romance parts.
Thank you for being my guest. Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
Madeline McQueen is an actress, dancer, dance instructor, and author. Madeline started by acting professionally in 2006 which was the same year she began Salsa dancing. In 2011, Madeline had written and filmed her first film project, then in 2012, Madeline started her path as a dance instructor when she taught her first class. This eventually led to Madeline writing her first novel in 2015. Madeline is now the author of the Fantasy Romance series – Anuanna.
Acting has always been Madeline’s main passion. She has acted on screen in short and featured films, theatre, voice over, adverts, T.V, music videos, and online projects. Madeline’s love for acting and determination to act has led her to becoming an author which she is now loving to write almost as she loves to act.
Links to Anuanna’s sites:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Anuanna.Official/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Anuanna And Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Anuanna
Links to Madeline McQueen:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Madeline.McQueen.co.uk
Read all posts in the fantasy genre on Jera’s Jamboree.