Welcome Marianne! I’m so glad you’re visiting my blog during your Virtual Book Tour!
For those who don’t know Marianne, she’s not only a talented published author but also the co-owner of The Long And Short Of It. I met her online when I started visiting Allie’s blog. Marianne lives in New Hampshire and homeschools her daughter. I really don’t think this busy lady ever sleeps.
Enjoy the interview. Be sure to leave comments or questions for Marianne. Also enter her contest here. She’s giving away awesome goodies to celebrate her new release!
I read on your blog how you write the ending first when you start a book. This makes sense since the end is the defining moment where the main character has to conquer her fatal flaw. However, when I write I always have an ending in mind but I never write it first. Have you ever had to change your ending because the characters demanded a different outcome?
Only once—and that was with this current release, “One Love For Liv”. I had to make a decision: Was Geoff really cheating or wasn’t he? Initially, I had decided to answer that question one way, but then I changed my mind. BUT… the changes I made weren’t significant and the majority of the scene remained the same. It happened in the same place, with the same characters, with the same end result.
I also don’t write the endings before I do anything else. I typically write the ending after I’ve written three or four chapters, enough to get to know my characters well enough that I understand how they think, their motivations and the main conflict they have to overcome. Having the ending in place is like knowing where you’re going on a road trip. Sometimes you’ll take some side trips, or discover a quaint little restaurant or stay overnight at a hotel instead of driving straight through… but you always know where you’re going to end up. I find if I don’t write the ending first, I seldom finish the book.
Can you write anywhere? Or do you need a certain spot to write?
I can write anywhere as long as it’s quiet. I don’t do well with distractions at all. If the TV or radio is on, or there are people nearby talking and gesturing or phones ringing or… well, you get the idea. I suppose my need is less a particular space than a particular state-of-mind.
One of your friends has two published books in both ebook format and print. Her sales have been low. She’s thinking about throwing the towel in and finding another career. You know she’s an excellent writer and needs to give it more time. What words of wisdom do you have so she won’t be discouraged and will continue to write?
The fact is this: if you’re writing for the money, you’re in the wrong business. If I had a friend who based her need to write on her royalties, I don’t know if I would encourage her to continue, despite her talent. Every successful author I know, wrote because they couldn’t NOT write. Writing isn’t for the faint of heart. If you can stop writing without a second thought, if you don’t miss it, if you don’t create stories and characters in your head, if you don’t find yourself reaching for a pen to jot an idea down… then maybe writing isn’t where your heart is.
Do published authors want good sales? Absolutely. I imagine it’s every author’s dream to support themselves with their work. But the fact remains that there are very few authors who do. You have to write because you love to write.
What is your favorite comfort food?
Coffee with soy milk. Seriously… I love the stuff and drink it all day long. I’m also pretty big on pizza (veggie lovers, thin crust from Pizza Hut or the frozen Margherita pizza at the grocery store) or macaroni and cheese (the boxed kind that’s so bad for you). Oh. Yum. I try to eat healthy most of the time, so when I need comfort, I want garbage.
What is your idea of the “perfect romantic evening”?
Of all the things you asked, this might be the most difficult for me to answer because I’m not romantic at all. I’m trying to think back on times I thought a boyfriend was romantic in an evening, and I’m struggling.
I do recall once when a boyfriend got me tickets for a Christmas present (GREAT tickets) to a showing of “Phantom of the Opera” in San Francisco. He gave me this huge box and it was like one of those Russian dolls that has a smaller doll and a smaller one inside. I must have opened twenty boxes before I found those tickets. He arranged it all very elegantly from a fancy dinner on. It was a wonderful night. But the funny thing is—what I found romantic and memorable wasn’t that night, though it was lovely and very much a fairy tale. It was the present (and knowing what he must have gone through to get such great seats) and the way he’d wrapped it.
I remember you telling me that you don’t eat meat. Are any of your characters also vegetarians?
First, I must ‘fess up: I do occasionally eat meat. I do it seldom, and always feel horribly guilty when I do. I have successfully eliminated beef and pork thus far, and am working on chicken. I also drink soy milk instead of cows milk, and I love soy cheese and rice milk ice cream. I feel much better now that’s off my chest.
I do have one character who is a vegetarian. She’s the heroine in a nearly completed novel. She happens to be a veterinary technician for an animal shelter, and can’t imagine killing a creature to eat it. Her entire family finds her very weird, especially her mother, and that particular dietary choice features prominently throughout the story as a constant source of conflict. Otherwise, my characters are strict omnivores.
Let’s go down memory lane for a moment. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Just one? Wow… I don’t know if I can choose. I can’t… I just can’t! There are too many things to choose from. I remember living in a house with a backyard full of fruit trees and trying to will the cherries ripe. Or watching my cat give birth. Or getting the lead on my high school production (and getting to say “bastard” in public in such a way as to earn a standing ovation from the audience!). Maybe going to Denny’s in my pajamas with my other drama friends and learning to like coffee because there were free refills (yes, youngsters… there was a time that they didn’t offer free refills on soda).
My childhood had its share of bumps, but there were lots of good times, too.
Woo Hoo! You just found an envelope on your front porch with you name on it. And there’s ten thousand dollars inside! What are you going to spend it on?
Oh man, you’re going to laugh… but I’d probably put it in the bank. I might take a little and buy some clothes or get my legs waxed (yes, really! LOL), but I have a tendency to be very practical. If I didn’t bank it, I’d put it toward my mortgage.
Please tell us a little bit about your book, One Love for Liv.
It’s a quirky, off-center and funny book full of a cast of characters I hope you’ll always remember.
Here’s the blurb:
Olivia “Liv” Leigh, wealthy socialite and spa owner, suspects her fiancé of cheating on her, so she takes drastic steps to discover whether appearances are deceiving. And if those steps require a bit of stalking, a change of appearance, a hippo-sized dog named Spike, and sacrificing her manicure to clean house for a sexy but sloppy man whose neighbor is determined to break several of the strangest Guinness Book of World Records, why should that be a problem?
Mike, a happily single auto mechanic, is more than content sharing his bachelor pad with piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and a sneaky ferret. But when a half-crazed woman in a bad wig shows up on his doorstep, what’s a nice guy to do? Why, invite her in, unknowingly help her in her search for the truth and, in the process, fall head over heels for a woman who’s never been less his type.
Here’s the trailer for “One Love for Liv”:
Thanks, Marianne, for visiting my blog! I enjoyed your answers. I can’t wait to read “One Love for Liv” because I love quirky and funny books! I’m trying to decide whether to buy it in ebook or wait for the print. I only buy print when I’m sure I will love the book. And yours looks like a definite keeper.