Disbelief Blog Tour Guest Posts
M.J.T Meijer's Journey to Publishing
Kate, Portable Magic, 28/07/2018.
Just two weeks ago, Maria ‘Tam’ Meijer was an unpublished novelist from Brisbane’s north. Last week she launched her first book as part of a traditionalGLOBAL publishing deal. But wait there’s more, it’s a traditional publishing deal for eight-books, spanning three series with US/UK publisher Crimson Cloak.
It’s a very big deal.
“I couldn’t tell you how much this means to me,” Meijer said when I spoke to her.
“It means a lot that someone professional in the industry thinks enough of my work to take it on; to put effort and money into it. So it’s given me a lot of self-confidence.”
The USA-based publishing house will be publishing eight books by Meijer, spanning three series: the Ben Smitseries, the Samantha Jansen series and the Mum’s the Word series by the local author, who writes under her full initials and surname, MJT Meijer.
With seven of the books already finished and now in the editing stages, Tam is prolific and skilled, a fact that hasn’t escaped Crimson Cloak, who have already secured publishing rights to any future books written within the worlds of the aforementioned series.
How did Meijer land this deal in an era notoriously difficult for unpublished writers?
“I never dreamed of being a writer. I just decided one day that was what I wanted to do and I did it,” she said.
“It wasn’t a dream. I made it a plan.”
In November 2016, Meijer submitted her short story Perception to an online magazine’s annual competition open to writers from Commonwealth countries. Her work was shortlisted from thousands of entries for inclusion in an anthology. This gave Meijer the confidence to submit her finished manuscripts to publishers, ultimately resulting in the three-series contract with Crimson Cloak Publishing.
So does the local author, on track to be a global success, have advice for other aspiring writers?
“Join a writer’s group. At writer’s group we discuss writing techniques and give honest feedback. Like the friend who’ll tell you your backside looks big in those jeans,” she laughed.
In fact, Tam Meijer co-facilitates her own writer’s group at the North Lakes library every first Saturday of the month, 10.30am – 12.30pm. Bookings aren’t required and she’s happy to sign your purchased copies while you’re there.
“Writing is a great creative outlet. It’s an opportunity to do something with a side of yourself that you don’t often get to express. It doesn’t have to be pretty or high-end literature, as long as you enjoy it.”
Anne Cater, Random Things Through my Letterbox, 30/07/2018
Disbelief by MJT Meijer was published in June 2018 and is book one in the Ben Smit series. As part of the Blog Tour I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today, she's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books.
‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ by Mitch Albom
Inspiring, interesting, heartwarming, enlightening, it’s everything. Although I find myself forever buying this book, it never sits on my bookshelves for long. I keep giving it away.
Anything by Jefferey Deaver.
I particularly like the Lincoln Rhyme series; he and Sachs make a formidable team, but honestly, I’d read anything he writes.
‘Haunted Britain and Ireland’ by Richard Jones
I bought this during a ‘ghost-hunting’ trip to the UK; visiting Glastonbury, Stonehenge, and other interesting places, I experienced more than a few ‘encounters’ and this book will forever remind me of ‘that’ time in England. In fact, the trip inspired the third thriller in the Ben Smit series, Disorder, which is set for release in 2019.
‘Shantaram’ by Gregory David Roberts
This book had me hooked from start to finish, I needed to know what would happen next! Looking back, I think what I most enjoyed was that he took me there. I believed it.
‘The Holographic Universe’ by Michael Talbot
An incredibly interesting view of the world as a hologram. He explains the theory behind a hologram, and how it provides a model for aspects of brain function and for areas of quantum physics. Massively interesting. Talbott uses the holographic model to explain phenomena such as telepathy, out of body experiences, miraculous healings, etc.
‘The Killing Floor’ by Lee Child
My first encounter with Jack Reacher, and I’ve loved him since.
‘Liefde is Vreemd’ by Herman Finkers
Finkers is a Dutch comedian and when I last visited my home country, my son bought this book for me for my birthday. I love reading Dutch books, there’s something very comforting about it, but Finkers makes me laugh and no matter how often I read this book and the same jokes, I laugh every time.
‘Voices of the Winds’ by Margot Edmonds and Ella E. Clark
It’s an anthology of Native American Legends, told to the authors by elder story tellers and tribal historians. It features mythical beings as well as human like characters. Reading these stories is quite special to me; I draw a different meaning or message from each myth every time I read it. It’s as if they (the stories) talk to me, as if the indigenous tribes of America have opened their hearts to share their wisdom and if I listen closely, I can hear them.
‘Atlantis and other Lost Worlds’ by Frank Joseph
I’ve had a fascination with Atlantis for years now, and it has only increased by reading about the scientific genius of the ancients and the spiritual power of their mysterious religions. In this book, Joseph addresses i.e. the cultural heritage of Atlantis in civilizations of our history and indigenous tribes, as well as parallels between Atlantis and our time.
‘This Precious Earth’ by Chief Seattle, 1854
It is Chief Seattle’s reply to ‘The Great Chief in Washington’s” proposal to possess a large area of Indian land, promising a ‘reservation’ for the Indian people. It is widely
considered the most moving and profound statements on the environment ever made. It’s thought provoking, to say the least. (“Man did not weave the web of life—he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” Chief Seattle, 1854)
Alison, Ali - The Dragon Slayer, 31/07/2018
“Room service,” she said as loud as she dared, and she knocked on the door. Already her heartbeat increased, and she exhaled with excited anticipation. “Come in,” a man’s voice replied from inside. One last time, she glanced down the hallway ensuring no one saw her enter before she actually went inside. Touched doorknob outside and inside, plus lock. Tray, cutlery, knife, napkin. Sophie closed the door behind her, locked it, and instantly her posture and attitude changed from rushing staff member to seductive vixen. With gently swaying hips, she walked further into the room toward the man who sat on the sofa overlooking the city and the canals, and she put down the tray and her handbag on the coffee table before turning to look at him. He wore the white hotel bathrobe and took a sip from whatever was in the tumbler as he looked at her in anticipation, an expectant smile on his face. Sophie knew he was in his early forties—she never accepted a date from anyone much older or younger—and he had the dark hair, greying at the temples that he described to her in their electronic conversation. He seemed well-built, not too fat and not too skinny, and Sophie’s heart fluttered. This was going to be good. Real good.
“You ordered room service, sir?” she asked in a husky voice as she slowly approached the sofa. Leaning over, allowing him a good look at her cleavage, she pouted her lips, then licked them and ran a finger down his cheek before picking up his glass. “Let me refresh your drink, sir,” and she placed his glass on the table, turning her back to him. Touched cheek and glass. Fingerprints and DNA could be lifted off anything, skin, as well. This next bit was tricky. She bent forward with a straight spine and counted on him checking out her behind and attempting to see up the short dress, which would hopefully cause him to be momentarily distracted by the garter belt and thong. With one hand she poured him a generous amount from the whisky bottle—bottle—while with the other she nimbly fished out a Rohypnol capsule from the designated side pocket of her bag, broke it, dropped the contents into the glass and the now empty capsule back in her bag. Being light-fingered helped, but so did shifting her date’s focus. She squealed and nearly lost her footing when he pinched her behind, and in a reflex, she placed a hand on the table to regain her balance. Coffee table. Jerk. Sophie turned around to face him, an exaggerated expression of mock-surprise on her face, and clasped a hand over her mouth while with the other she swirled the whisky around in the glass so the powder dissolved faster. She grabbed the front of his bathrobe and pulled him up a little. Bathrobe.
“Naughty,” she whispered in his ear, and she put the glass to his mouth. Obediently, greedily, he gulped down the whisky as if it were a shot of tequila. “Take me,” Sophie said as she gazed deep into his eyes, and he dropped the empty glass on the sofa, jumped up and nearly ran into the bedroom where he let himself fall backwards onto a king-sized bed. Sophie picked up the fillet knife from the tray and followed him, holding it behind her back as she stepped into the bedroom and ran a finger of the other hand down the front of her black maid’s dress, opening the top buttons slowly, tantalisingly. He swallowed visibly, probably to stop himself from drooling, and licked his lips. Sophie’s breathing now came more rapid, she could hear it herself, and blood rushed into her ears, sounding as if she was on a beach listening to the surf. Shakily, she exhaled. She had to control herself, slow it down, enjoy it. But it was hard. It had been three years since she’d done this. Sophie took another step toward the bed, allowing the top of her dress to spring open and reveal her DD cups wrapped in black lace. The bathrobe suggested he was keen for her to continue but the heavy blinking of his eyelids indicated he started to feel the effects of the Rohypnol.
Good. Great. Pulling up her dress, showing off more lingerie and skin, she took the final step toward the bed and straddled him, and it took him a while to move his eyes off her body and to the knife she held up. He gasped, but she smiled. “Don’t worry, it’s only play.” She leaned forward, resting her hands, including the knife, on the bed beside his head, her chest awfully close to his face. Contently, Sophie noticed he couldn’t take his eyes off her breasts, and underneath her, his body relaxed but his erection was still hard. Sophie straightened up and showed him the knife again, touching the blade with the fingers of her left hand as she ran her tongue over her lips and moaned softly. His eyes glazed over and he raised a hand in a half-hearted attempt to take the knife from her, aroused but clearly uncomfortable with its presence so near. Sophie smiled. His muscle strength was waning already. When she leaned forward again, not quite as far as before, she rested the knife against his neck. His blue eyes revealed confusion, then, when she pressed a little harder, the onset of panic.
This was it. She had to focus now, concentrate, suck in every second and store it in her memory bank so she could recall and relive every moment from here on in. Pushing hard now, Sophie slit his throat from left to right with one swift move, careful to swipe away from herself and toward the window to diminish the chance of any spray landing on her, then immediately jumped up. It often took the better part of a second before the blood welled up from a deep cut and another brief moment before it really started spraying, but you could never be certain. Not that it mattered—her black maid’s dress wouldn’t show the stains. In vain, he tried to push himself up, attempted to clutch his neck and close the wound, but they were mere muscle spasms as his body quickly succumbed to the trauma. The white sheets, the white bathrobe, they contrasted hard with the glossy red blood. A spray landed on the white carpet as his body pulsed out the blood from his swiftly reducing heartbeat. A far spray, a smaller one, far, small. The puddle on the bed slowly became less shiny as the mattress and bedding absorbed it, leaving a stain that reminded her of the Rorschach ink blotches she used to have to gaze at. The relief was immense. The tension that had built up with every nightmare poured out of her along with his blood.