Friday, January 20, 2017

MARNIE CATE IS IN MY HOT SEAT!

My Interview with Marnie Cate!

   
Author of the Young Adult Fantasy 
Protectors of the Elemental Magic series:
Book 1: Remember
Book 2: Exigency
Book 3: Mazy - Coming Winter 2016
I am excited to have the opportunity to interview you, Marnie.  You’re one of my favorite people.  J  Thank you for taking the time to visit with me and my readers!
1.     I like to begin with a telling question, so please start by describing yourself?
Passionate.  When I get something in my mind it becomes all consuming.
2.     It is well known that you’re a huge fan of Dame Judi Dench.  Can you tell us what she means to you and what she’s done to influence you?
Judi Dench has a glow about her.  There is something so special about her I can't describe it.  The characters she plays are so real that you can't help but connect with them.  It is not only her performances which always delight me but also her interviews.  There is something magical about her one has to experience rather than be told. 
3.     Writers have different reasons for pursuing the art of literature.  I’m always interested in hearing what motivates an author, especially to publish. 
·        When did you begin writing and at what point did you decide to publish your work?
o In 2012 a strong image came to my mind.  It was so vivid I felt I had to write it.  My first book took almost 3 years to write.  I was encouraged by a friend to pursue publishing.   
·        Before you signed with our indie publisher, Creativia, you were self-published.  What made you decide to sign with a small press, and have you ever considered going the traditional route?
o When I first self-published, it was more about proving to myself I could be an author...I could be brave enough to share this very private part of myself.  The words I write feel like a bit of me is in each character and setting. 
o In discussions with another indie author, she told me about her opportunity to work with Creativia.  I was intrigued and submitted my novel.  When they offered me a contract, I turned white with fear and declined.  It was after discussing my fears and the benefits with Author James Quinn I decided to go for it and joined the Creativia team.  There is something comforting about knowing you have people supporting you who are experiencing the same success and frustrations.
·        What has been the hardest thing about publishing?  Did you expect this challenge?  How do you deal with it?
o Self-doubt – something that is part of my core.  There are small moments of success and pride to lift me back up.  Times when reading something I wrote and thinking it is really clever, or hearing from someone who read my book tell me how much they loved it.
·        Have the challenges of being a published author changed from when you were self-published?  How has joining Creativia made a difference for you, if any?  How do you think it has or hasn’t, and why?
o I have more exposure with Creativia.  The only challenge is the limited access with being Kindle only.  While my print books can be found in various distribution sources, Amazon is how you will find my ebook.   I bounce back and forth on my thoughts on this. 
4.     Generally, you write in the genres of coming-of-age young adult urban fantasy and elemental magic.  However, recently, I had the privilege of working with you on a project that took you out of your comfort zone and into the world of romance.  I’d like to ask you about your experience writing FLAWED PERFECTION: A Collection of Winter Wishes and to take a minute to share the 1st review we received, which happened to give you high praise!
By Kenna McKinnon on November 20, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
An interesting anthology of romance novellas just perfect for curling up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a fireplace, and losing oneself in a universe where good things happen at the end to flawed women. There are six stories, and my favorite was saved till the last, "The Chase" by Marnie Cate, which ends with a romantic winter evening and snow falling on a bench, my favorite quote from Shakespeare, and emotional healing with love.
·        Was this your first anthology?  What drew you to this project, and what do you think are the pros and cons of collaborating with a group of authors?
o My first anthololgy was Awethology Light Kindle Edition by The Awethors (a group of indie authors).  My first novella was Beginnings, the story of why there is a need to protect Protectors of the Elemental Magic.
·        How did you feel about writing in a new genre, like romance?  Do you think it would have been easier had you written solo opposed to working within the structure of the designated parameters of the anthology?
o I wrote this story in one weekend.  It was so out of my comfort zone.  I think it was a great way to start the story of Caitlyn Chase, but I definitely know there is more to her than the condensed version.  I expect there will be a full novel on this complicated character with how she got into such a dysfunctional marriage and how her life changed after The Chase ended.
·        Did you feel more pressure working with seasoned romance authors or did you feel encouraged by them?  Did you feel more intimidated to try something new or did you feel like you had a sounding board to address concerns you might have had during the creative process?
o It was inspiring to work with experienced romance authors.  While they were definitely more comfortable with the more adult part of writing a romance, they were supportive of writing what you are comfortable with.    
·        What do you think the advantage is in writing an anthology?  Do you think it’s a good tool for expanding your reach into new reader pools?  Did you feel like it helped you to grow as a writer because you were able to share experiences with your contemporaries?
o I think it is a good way to test your patience.  You are not working for you but for the collection.  I appreciated the feedback and inspiration from Simone and you.  Reading your stories and sharing my input, and having the same reciprocated, helped mold the story into one I was proud of.
·        What did you think was most challenging about working on an anthology?
o Timelines, not being in control.
·        How did writing romance compare to the genres you usually write in?  Did you find it more difficult or did it encourage the flames of creativity?  Can we expect to see more romance in your portfolio?
o My YA series has been pretty vanilla.  I have kept the sexual content very mild.  With The Chase, I definitely left my comfort zone in that area. 
o I can see myself writing more adult novels. Unclear if they would be considered Romance.
5.     Everyone, no matter what field they work in, experiences ups and downs, but as authors ours come in the form of reviews.  With literature being so subjective and publishing being public, I feel like our feedback can be very emotional.  I’d like to focus the next set of questions on this idea.
·        Do you read your reviews, and how do you think the feedback impacts your writing?
o I do.  I appreciate people's input. 
o It doesn't really impact my writing.  Everyone has opinions and I always try to stay true to trusting my instincts.
·        Have you ever received a poor review, and if so, how’d you handle it?  Did you find it to be constructive criticism or did it have a more emotional impact on you?  If so, how’d you move past it?
o I've not had a bad review YET.  I was told by someone that my disregard for the Oxford comma threw her off.  My thought was if a comma is taking you out of the story then my book is not the right one for you.  A great story that sucks you in will not let you focus on the silly errors or different styles. 
o In the end, I think you can't please everyone and you can only put out the very best work you can.
·        How do you continue to motivate yourself to not only write, but publish?  Do you ever think about pulling your work, and if so, what encourages you to continue?
o The people surrounding me.  It can be exhausting to write and promote.  I have been tempted to pull my books and just write with no pressure or fear.  I have surrounded myself with an amazing group of Indie authors.  They keep me motivated to never give up...or at least today ;)
·        If you were given the chance, would you do anything different?  Why, or why not?
o I would have sought a publisher before self-publishing, but then I did learn a lot about myself when I struck out on my own.  I guess you can't go back.
·        What advice would you give to a novice author trying to publish?
o Listen to your instinct.  You will receive many different opinions and many will clash.  Surround yourself with supportive people and learn from them.
·        What was the best advice you feel you received?
o Trust your instincts and believe in your talent.
6.     Being indie, authors are required to do a large amount of promotion and networking whether they’ve signed with a small press or not.  What’s your approach to marketing?
I will admit I am not the best at self-promotion.  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, author interviews.  One day I will get better at this aspect.
7.     What is your writing process like?
I turn on my computer and go
·        Do you listen to music while you write, or do you prefer silence, like I do?
o Very rarely.  The music is usually before and it triggers something.  It doesn't always have to do with the lyrics, but sometimes a thought will pop in my mind and I have to go with it.
·        How do you keep track of the details for your stories, especially when writing a series?
o Notes, notes and notes.  It is definitely the hardest part.  But, my story is written in first person.  So it is Mara's story.  As in everyone's story, sometimes they tell you what they know...it isn't always the truth.
·        How does a story unfold for you?  Do you keep an outline or do you “wing it”, letting the characters guide you through a tale?
o I find talking it out in the character's voice is the best starting point.  I have voice memos of my conversations that I then turn in the story.
8.     What can we expect to see from you over the coming year?
Mazy (Book 3) is at the final stages of editing. 
Envy (Book 4) and M**** (Book 5) both have a strong start. 
I have been working on a character chart to help my reader's keep everyone straight.  My goal is to have it on the web by the end of March.
I would also like to finish working on Caitlyn's Chase's novel.  
·        Would you tell us about your current WIP?
o Mazy leaves off at the end of Book 2.  Mara is back home and dealing with the results of her time as the Vizier.  This story introduces the reader to more gods and goddesses.
Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to hangout, Marnie.  I appreciate you and your friendship!

Ways to Connect with Marnie Cate

Follow her on Twitter: @ Marnie_Cate
Friend her on Facebook
Find her on Amazon
Find her on Goodreads

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