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O : Did it live up to your expectations?

Margaret: Well, it was squally and rainy as we drove from Shannon Airport through the mountains. When we finally arrived in [the town of] Roundstone, this beautiful village on the sea, the light and the sea became bright. Stepping out of the car into this world that I'd imagined—it was a magical moment. So yes, it is indeed a very enchanting place.

O : This novel contains elements of fantasy. Have you ever thought of writing a pure fantasy novel?

Margaret: Yes, it remains an ambition of mine because I love fantasy. As a little girl, I absolutely adored The Lord of the Rings . That idea of creating an entire world appeals to me very much.

O : Would you do it from a female point-of-view?

Margaret: Absolutely! One of the things I hated when I was going through my addiction to The Lord of the Rings is that all the great characters are male. It's quite a struggle in The Lord of the Rings to find anything for the women to do.

O : This question comes from Oprah.com member Elaine Clark in Canada: Are you working on anything new?

Margaret: Yes. The project I'm writing at the moment is a bit of a departure for me. It's a period book about the occupation of the Channel Islands during the second World War. It's something that has always fascinated me because it was this tiny bit of British territory that was occupied by the Nazis. It's about a woman bringing up her children under the occupation.

O : Where is your favorite place to work?

Margaret: The confession is that actually, I generally write in bed now! I know it sounds eccentric, if not downright lazy. But I had the flu and started writing in bed because I wasn't quite fit enough to get up. There was a kind of freedom to the way I was writing as though my imagination could flow more freely because I was so relaxed, not sitting at a desk. So I've gone on doing that. I'm in bed with papers streaming in all directions.

See who's answering your questions next.


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