Saturday, February 08, 2014

Author Interview: Madhuri Blaylock: Author of The Sanctum Trilogy

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Madhuri Blaylock is a lawyer by day, avid writer and shoe and dress buyer at all other times. She lives in Jersey City with her husband, Henry, and their two kids, Sydney and Dash. This whole crew is awesome and fierce and supremely cool and able to make Madhuri laugh at the strangest things. She would love to add a dog, some chickens, a goat and a burro to make her family complete. Everyone needs a burro.

Some of her favorites, in no particular order: ice cream, Kill Bill, four-inch heels, Matt Damon, tattoos, Laini Taylor, scotch on the rocks, The Sanctum trilogy, Coach and Tami, Martha's Vineyard, "The Girl" aka her Mini, Doc Martens, tulips, photo booths and dancing like a fool.

One day she plans to grow up. Right now, she’s enjoying the adventure.

Your real name and pen name? My real full name is Madhuri Pavamani Blaylock; I go by Madhuri Blaylock

What career did you plan during your education days? When I was young, I wanted to be a zoologist like Gerald Durrell. I had been to India with my parents and my grandfather had many of Durrell’s books. I read all of them and then came home and got the rest of them. He’s lived quite a life and I wanted to be just like him. But then again, I’m the same girl who wanted to be Han Solo.

For a long time, I wanted to be an actress, then that gave way to being a professor which somehow led to wanting to write for a magazine. Quite a few people told me that my writing skills would come in handy in law school and then after getting a law degree, I could probably find a job at a magazine. The former was true, the latter couldn’t be farther from the truth!

What languages you can speak and write? Sadly, like most Americans, I only speak and write English. Unlike most Americans, my parents are Malayalis, so you would expect me to know something besides English; however, for reasons only known to them, they never taught any of us (I have a younger brother and sister) to speak their language, so the three of us are the rare Indians who can’t speak a lick of our native tongue. I spent a summer in France so for a while was quite good at French, but didn’t keep up with it.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life? On an individual level, I think the desire to always do better inspires me. I still feel as if I have much to undertake and accomplish with my writing and especially with The Sanctum trilogy and that constantly fuels me to create as often as I can, perform the best I can, achieve the most I can.

On a broader level, my family inspires me. I want to do my best for my husband and kids, be the best me I can be for them. Loving them the hardest, making them happy. They inspire me and make me a better person. 

What hurts you most in this world? The suffering of children troubles me the most. I know we cannot alleviate every worldly problem we face today in the snap of our fingers, but if we could, I certainly would make my wish be an end to all forms of child suffering and abuse. It is our role as adults to protect children and do everything in our power to make sure they are happy and cared for and loved, thus enabling them to grow into productive and proud members of society. Sadly, we are reminded day in and day out that for many children, happiness, stability and love are hardly their reality. 

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why? I wouldn’t mind being Barack Obama for a day. For one, I would like to see what it feels like to be a man, and two, I admire him tremendously and am curious to see how it feels to be so powerful--does it corrupt, energize, inspire? Plus, he gets to hang with Michelle all day. Not such a bad life.

Which of your work has been published so far? I’m creating a paranormal trilogy called The Sanctum and just published the first book in the trilogy, called Book One: The Girl.  Prior to creating The Sanctum trilogy, I wrote two books, Crossing Paths and Tough Times, as part of a series I created called Ayesha’s Teenage Survival Files.


Would you like to share a synopsis of your work? What follows is a synopsis of my current publication, The Girl:

The Sanctum, an all-powerful governing body founded by ten families, entrusted to maintain the peace amongst Magicals and ensure the ignorance of humans, has been corrupted by greed and savagery for generations, but is all Wyatt Clayworth has ever known.
A descendant of one of the Founding Families and Class A Warrior, Wyatt has always believed in the ways of The Sanctum, having grown up in the system and thrived under their leadership. A golden boy, renowned for his prowess and skill in battle, Wyatt has never questioned a mission or kill order until the night he crosses paths with a brutally injured and mysterious girl.
Scouring Central Park with his best friend and fellow Class A Warrior, Ryker Morrison, for the hybrid demon prophesied to bring an end to The Sanctum and destroy the world for Magicals and humans alike, Wyatt instead finds Dev and his whole life turns upside down. Told he was hunting a killing machine, hellbent on wreaking havoc and destruction upon all it encounters, Wyatt instead sees nothing more than a broken girl with haunted eyes and a bit of a death wish.
All Dev wants is for Wyatt to either kill her or leave her alone. When he refuses to do either, she finds herself being pulled into his life while being hunted by warriors everywhere she turns. Drawn to one another for reasons they cannot begin to explain to themselves, much less anyone else, Wyatt is determined to protect Dev and help her realize her mission to avenge the deaths of her family at the hands of The Sanctum.
Set against the backdrop of New York City, THE GIRL is “outstanding, original, complex, deep and intoxicating”, a “well written, unique…fast-paced read” that  begins as one girl’s simple quest for revenge and evolves into a complicated tale of trust, friendship, honor and love.

What are your forthcoming writings? I’m currently working on the next book in The Sanctum trilogy, called Book Two: The Boy. It will pick up immediately where The Girl ends, continuing the saga of Dev, Wyatt and The Sanctum. I’m hoping to have it ready to publish in early Spring of this year, so keep your fingers crossed.

Your dream destination on Earth? Italy. There is nothing quite like Italy or the Italians. They have perfected the art of “living”.

I fantasize retiring to a villa close to a small village just outside Florence, in the hills of Tuscany. I would ride my bike into town to pick up fresh bread and fruits and vegetables every morning, then when I want to get a little fancy, hop in my Mini and head into Florence for some perfume and gelatto. 

Your favorite time of the day? I love early morning in New York City, when most everyone else is still asleep, but deliveries are being made, bread is being baked, that kind of thing. When we lived in Battery Park, I used to get up early, walk uptown and roam around before everyone else was awake. Of course, that was years ago and I now live in Jersey City and have a feeling “that” New York is long gone, but it’s a nice memory.

Otherwise, late night, when everyone else is asleep and I’m up by myself, typing away at my laptop. I’m so focused and happy.

Your zodiac/ sunsign? Taurus

Your favorite color and why? Black. It’s chic, elegant, and makes you look skinny.

Your favorite book and why? This is such a difficult question to answer, so if you don’t mind, I’m going to tweak it a bit and name my favorite paranormal book and why. It’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and I think what stands out to me most about this book is how beautiful I find it. Taylor created this amazing world and story and it’s touched by so much pain and beauty. Her writing really speaks to me.

In fact, she inspired me to write The Girl. After reading her books I thought I would like to see if I could write something that was both interesting and beautiful. I had been writing down ideas for The Sanctum trilogy for years in my notebook, but it wasn’t until reading her work that I forced myself to start writing.


Your favorite celebrity and why? I don’t have a favorite celebrity, but my girl crush is definitely Rashida Jones. She’s smart, looks fierce in glasses, she’s funny, pro-women, cerebral, has great taste in clothes, she writes, directs and produces, I covet her bangs, and she’s gorgeous. And if you don’t watch her on Parks and Recreation, then shame on you. You’re missing out.

The equally fabulous Zoe Saldana is a close second.

Your favorite food? My mom’s Indian food

Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Moon or Sun, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare
sun
laughter
evening
coffee (duh!)
sea
short drive
silence
water
earth
Jupiter
Tulip
Red
Left
Glance

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote: HOLLA

The last line of your autobiography would be: She lived, she loved, she laughed.

Web Links:



My real full name is Madhuri Pavamani Blaylock; I go by Madhuri Blaylock
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