Monday, January 14, 2013

Stand and Deliver with Marie Medina

I'm so excited to host my very first interview, and even happier that my awesome editor, Marie Medina, has joined me today.

So Marie, I know you're constantly busy writing incredible books, but do you have a day job as well?
Yes. I teach business writing online for the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where I obtained both of my English degrees. I also edit and read submissions for Evernight Publishing.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I began writing when I was eleven, but I didn’t take it seriously until I finished graduate school in 2003. I completed my first novel in 2005, and it was published in 2007 under my real name. I enjoyed moderate success across many genres, but eventually I decided I needed both a change and a more solid business plan. I began writing as Marie Medina in 2010 and had my first release in December of that year.

What sparked the idea for your novel?
This past semester I actually taught on campus, which involved a long drive, and one afternoon when Adam Ant’s “Stand and Deliver” came on, I started thinking about doing a Naughty Fairy Tale about a highwayman. So, this series began as an idea for one book but gradually morphed into a trilogy. Even though the first volume is very short, I really fell in love with the characters and wanted to keep exploring their world.

What are some of your favorite authors/books?
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, and The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.

Which comes first: The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Most of the time, my first idea revolves around one character and his or her emotional state. Then the story forms around that.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I used to always outline, but most of the time I ended up straying from the outline because of new ideas popping up. Now, I tend to outline as I go. I outline the scenes in a chapter before writing that chapter, but typically don’t get too far ahead of myself. For this series, however, books 2 and 3 were outlined completely as soon as I submitted book 1.

Will you have a new book coming out soon? 
The next two volumes in this trilogy will be coming out January 15 and January 30.

Oh, wow, congratulations on your release tomorrow. That's exciting! 
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published author?
I’m going to sound like an editor/teacher here, but my first piece of advice is to get your hands on a grammar handbook. You can find these used and very cheap. If errors are distracting the acquisitions reader, there is already a barrier between you and publication. Most grammar handbooks are formatted for quick reference, so just starting from page one and reading a few pages of rules every day will eventually make a huge difference in your writing. No one is ever too old to learn this stuff.

Alright, now that we have the serious questions squared away.... Do you prefer fuzzy or tube socks?

Fuzzy for sleeping.

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

My husband and I have not made our bed in years. We upgraded to a king-sized bed one year after we got married, so all our lovely wedding gifts fit a full-sized bed. We don’t even have a king-sized comforter, and we sleep under separate blankets anyway because I am a cover hog and move A LOT during the night.

Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why?

In this series, I would like to meet Theodore. Over the three books, he evolves and changes more than any character I have ever written. I would love to meet him before the action of the first book begins and actually see in real time how he changes. The moment he became three dimensional for me was the moment I knew this idea would have to be a series. 

Where can people find your books and learn more?
Find me on Goodreads! 
Visit my website! 
My Blog

Blurb for Stand and Deliver:

Eloise thought being whisked to another dimension by a handsome man would be a fantasy come true, but the gorgeous nobleman in question can’t even make her come. As she tries to figure out how to free herself of him, she begins to notice a masked man following her wherever she goes. In this world of lords and ladies, should she be afraid when this dashing highwayman rides up and demands that she be delivered into his arms?
Her brain tells her to be wary, but her body tells her that the ultimate fantasy might be within reach after all…

Thanks for stopping by, Marie! It's been fun to learn more about you, and find out about your new releases. 

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