August 3, 2016
Last week I interviewed multi-genre author Marilee Brothers. With her varied writing past, I had plenty to ask her. Here’s how it went.
Me: Hi Marilee. Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. Let’s kick this off with a question about writing process. I noticed the majority of your books are written in first person. Was that a conscious decision? What about your voice lends itself so well to telling stories in this way?
Marilee: Of the ten books I’ve written, eight of them are written in first person and nine have an element of fantasy. Do we see a trend here? As for the first person thing, it feels natural to me. It’s like I breathe in the essence of the character and let her speak through me.
As a writer, my easiest transition was 14-year-old Allie Emerson in the five book Unbidden Magic series. Something about that age resonated deep within me. It’s very possible I’m immature – LOL. After I finish the last book in the Soul Seeker series, I plan to challenge myself with the following goal: no first person, no fantasy.
By the way readers, Marilee’s book Moonstone, the first book in the series, will be on sale for $.99 from August 1-15. https://amzn.com/B00AW0KWEC Like right now? Sweet!
Me: Most of my favorite books are written in first-person so don’t change for any other reason then for yourself. Sometimes I write in first person in the initial draft and then switch it to third person because it helps me see a different perspective. Can you tell me more about your recent writer’s block and how you overcame it?
Marilee: I don’t believe in writers’ block. Sometimes I get stuck or paint myself into a corner and have to figure out how to get out, but I can usually keep on writing. I love what Stephen King says about losing your muse in his book titled, On Writing. “There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down to your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer station. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt work while the muse sits and smokes cigars and pretends to ignore you.”
Me: You talked in a blog about eating junk food and exercise to work your way out of a slump. I guess that is different from writers block. In your young adult Unbidden Magic series Allie Emerson has to develop her powers so she can fight against the The Trimark. Can you tell me about The Trimark and what inspired the idea behind these villains?
Marilee: With the daunting task of a five book series facing me, I knew I’d need a strong counterbalance to Allie, villains who were desperate to get their hands on the moonstone and challenge her powers. Palmistry fascinates me. Therefore, Allie becomes the one whose palm bears the mark of a star. The evil Trimarks also have an identifying mark on their palms, that of an inverted triangle. From book 1, Moonstone, the Trimarks sort of grew organically through the remainder of the series until the last scene at the Devils Tower where they are defeated.
Me: I like that, having such a strong female lead that only an equally powerful villain could truly push her. In a way they strength each other but Allie grows and the Trimarks are defeated. Another one of your books features a male lead discovering he is a father. Gabe is a teenage dad who fortunately has family support for baby Birdie. In books teen dads are unusual. At least we hear more about teen moms. What inspired you to write Baby Gone Bye?
Marilee: As the mother of 3 sons, hopefully, I gained some insight into the mind of the teenage male (scary). Since all of my previous books were written from a female point of view, I decided I needed a new challenge. The idea of a baby girl landing in a household of males fascinated me. I had such fun writing it.
Me: Marilee, thank you for answering my questions! I know you are quiet busy so thank you for taking the time. Last question, can you tell me what you are working on now?
Marilee: Just finished Allegiance, book 2 in the Soul Seeker series. I have one more book planned, tentatively titled Hope and Honor. Then, on to something new! Thanks again, Amberly. It’s so nice to do an interview with someone who actually takes the time to do the research about an author’s backlist.