Today I am thrilled to introduce here on my blog the lovely and funny Mardi Orlando, who never fails to make me smile or laugh, no matter how upset I am feeling. Thanks for that, Mardi :) If you love a good ghost story, you will love her writing. But let's Mardi talk about herself and her book...

  1. Describe yourself. 
I’m a Libran so I have opposing forces battling it out – I’m still not sure whose going to win. Sensitive, compassionate, occasionally grumpy, always interested and curious and often silly and annoying but when I can pull it off and make my husband laugh (and not look at me like I’m a martian) it makes my day.
  1. What is your favourite fruit flavour?
 Blood Plumb.
  1. What is your favourite day of the week?
Any day I’m not at work.
  1. Which is your favourite time of the day? 
About 3.30 on my days off – it’s when I sit down at my computer and start writing.
  1. Are you a morning person or a night person? 
Night, definitely.
  1. What is your favourite breakfast meal? 
  1. What is your favourite colour and why? 
(Colours – sorry the Libran part can’t decide) Blue & Yellow. I think because they remind me of the ocean and the sand. The beach is everything to an Aussie girl.
  1. Which is your most favourite book ever? 
Oh dear. Can’t do that one. Some books I’ve loved: The Alchemist, The Book Thief, scifi by Tanith Lee, Ursla LeGuinn, Arthur C Clarke, and all those hundreds of books in my scores of bookshelves.
  1. What kind of music do you like? Everything from classical to rock to blues.
  2. Which is your favourite genre of films? 
Romance, yep I’m an old romantic – there’s just not enough of it in the world so we sing about it , write about it, make plays and movies about it and I love them all.
  1. Which is your most favourite place in this Earth? 
Home. (But if I’m thinking big, I’d be pretty happy holed up on Santorini. Mmmmm.)
  1. Which animal would you want to be and why? 
Oh, I so want to be a pelican! They fly so high, they live at the beach, they eat fish all day, they swim, they skim, they are beautiful.
  1. If you could have a luncheon with any 3 people (real or fictitious), who would you choose and why? 
Winston Churhill (fascinated by that era and his incredible life),  Rudyard Kipling (his life is fascinating and he wrote the Jungle Book!), and someone from the future, (I’m dying to know what it will be like).
  1. If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you ask for? 
That’s easy! LUCK. It’s the only wish you need.
  1. If you were stranded on a lonely beach, what are the 5 things that you would want to survive? Assuming coconuts are already there…1. Several barrels of wine; 2. A nice (big) wine glass; 3. Hubby and our pets; 4.The new kindle they’re going to invent with eternal battery life;  5. A fluffy pillow.
  2. If you could be anyone, who would you be? 
A less tired, slightly refurbished, paid (author), me.
  1. What is the one thing you wish you could change in yourself? 
My battle with body image.
  1. What is the one thing you wish you could do if given the chance? 
Hang gliding.
  1. What would you do if you won the lottery? 
Drink lots of nice champagne and then head off for that island…
  1. If you knew that this was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it? 
Hmm, are all these questions about wine?
  1. Were you a naughty kid or a nice kid? 
NICE! Oh wait a minute…
  1. What was the happiest moment in your life? 
The day, after 4 weeks of surgeries and intensive care, that the doctors told me my husband would survive after his brain hemmorage.
  1. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? 
Hopefully 3 more books under my belt and a contract in the mail (going back to the Publisher). Enjoying my life.
  1. What is the weirdest/craziest thing you have ever done? 
Went trekking around South East Asia for 3 months, came home, didn’t like being there, stayed for 1 night and then left again to head 4000 kilometres away (interstate – it is Australia … big) to live in Perth. 
  1. What is your definition of an incredible weekend? 
Sleep in, wake up to a sunshiny day, go for a walk along the beach, find some smooth pebbles to steal for my garden, play with my cats in the back yard, a bit of gardening, a bit of reading, a bit of writing and then being whisked out to dinner and maybe a movie to do it all again the next day - without the going out bit. 
  1. Which is the best holiday you have ever had?
My first trip to Koh Samui, Thailand with my now husband 20 years ago. It was a haven back then. We stayed in a little hut on the beach, swam, explored, read and listened to music (no TV). We were so in love. It was heaven. We went back this year. We were still in love but the Koh Samui we knew was completely gone. We are going to explore the South Pacific next year and find that heaven again – yes as old people.
  1. Have you got a phobia you want to share?
  1. What makes you angry? 
Selfishness, Cruelty, Closed minds, Hatred, Judgemental attitudes, Violence …. Stop me now, I’m getting grumpy.
  1. What do you do when you feel sad?
Sit out in the sunshine in my beautiful backyard and read something wonderful like The Book Thief.
  1. Who or what inspires you?
Who: People coping with disability or disease and those supporting them. 
What: The elements.
  1. Congratulations! Now you can freely rant about your book(s) and/or projects. Woohoo.

I was inspired after reading some stories about WW1 and was shocked at the devastation, massive casualties and all the other issues of the time like illness and starvation.  It took me a year to write and has been an incredible experience. The story spans 100 years and there are lots of twists and turns as we view the world in three different perspectives which all come together in a terrifying showdown.

“I know that if we fade before we are found we will never be able to go home. If we fade, we disappear as if we never existed. That is very dangerous for everyone, ghosted or not.”

A group of misfit teens are left stranded in the icy wasteland of no-time. They are all from the Secret Society of Gifted Teens, but so far their gifts are hindered by the secrets they all carry. Sixteen-year-old Daffodil has escaped the Institution where she was sent after both her parents died. The abuse she received didn’t stifle her gift but it did prepare her for her first mission with The Secret Society of Gifted Teens. And now she finds herself trapped, with six other gifted strangers, all hiding secrets. When they find a group of ghosted orphans they quickly discover their mission. And that is when the battle for survival begins.

Through static recordings we hear the stories of the ghosts ensnared in the abandoned church for nearly 100 years. In WW1, at the age of 14, OSCAR ghosted at the frontlines of Passchendaele where he fled to escape the loss of his entire family. Now, trapped in limbo, he is hiding in an abandoned church with his gathering of ghosted orphans trying desperately to find a way to save their souls. He is more powerful than they know but his determination is more damaging than he realizes. Through Static Recordings they call for help but slowly they are forgetting everything. If they forget to hide from the Shadow it will consume them, taking their existence-time, and that will be disastrous for everyone – living and dead.

Through newspaper articles we learn about the life of Madame Glizsnort and the curious sightings in Blackwater that caused such angst so long ago. Madame Glizsnort is responsible for trapping the teenagers, for even in death she is not released from her obsession to save her Lost Children. She manipulates the teens’ fears so that they will use their gifts and do what she has been unable to – after all she more than a vested interest in the outcome. When she suddenly disappears, the group makes an expedition to the ancient cemetery where they find several unmarked graves and where they discover the heinous power of the Shadow – it feeds off misery and shame and there is plenty of that here.

As Daffodil realizes that the teens are moving further and further away from the natural world, she manages to get this group of misfits to face the secrets that have tragically haunted their own lives. It is the only way to source their gifts. It is the only way to escape the Shadow. It is the only way they will survive. And time is running out…


Mysteries and Curiosities:






10/08/2012 12:59pm

Mardi, what a fantastic interview. I really felt like I got to know you through your answers, and i am actually quite fascinated by the ideas behind your book. I loved The Book Thief too. One of the best books I ever read. Have you ever read The Giver by Lois Lowry? Another 'children's book' I think you might enjoy.

10/09/2012 3:15am

Thank you so much Anne-Marie! I haven't heard of The Giver but I'm definately going to check it out - thanks! :)

10/08/2012 1:48pm

Mardi, loved your answers :) Big fan of Tanith Lee's scifi stories as well!

10/09/2012 3:18am

I know Monica, isn't Tanith Lee great! Thanks for the message :)

10/08/2012 1:57pm

Wow, Mardi, I knew I would like you from the first time I saw your melodic name on twitter. Now I'll picture you as a slightly refurbished hang gliding pelican. ;) JK! You're book does sound intriguing! Thanks, Cinta, for another great interview. :)

mardi orlando
10/09/2012 3:20am

LOL! That's hilarious.... but I like it! And I'm glad my name is melodious ha. If I say it really quickly no one has a clue what I'm saying :)

mardi orlando
10/09/2012 3:29am

Thanks so much for having me here Cinta - I'm amongst some amazing company! Cinta's Corner is fabulous fun and I'm loving learing about everyone so much. And now I have it in print - I'm funny!!! I keep showing my husband to prove it to him :)

10/09/2012 10:35am

Thanks everybody for popping over! Mardi, it has been a pleasure having you here :D You never fail to make me smile, and it is lovely to know more of amazing people like you.

10/20/2012 7:20pm

wonderfully done. i enjoyed thank you

09/01/2013 1:06pm

Found this link while searching Google, thanks


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