Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “Bittersweet”! Tell me a little about it—what’s your pitch?
Marcia: Thank you! As for Bittersweet, life wouldn’t be so bad for seventeen-year-old Phaedra Thorne if schizophrenia and psychokinesis didn’t run in the family. With her supernaturally insane mother locked away in the attic and Phae left to take care of her six-year-old sister, things couldn’t get any worse, right? Tell that to her estranged, older brother who decides to return home with an incubus for a cure.
BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?
Marcia: Mine started about six years ago. My agent decided to specialize in only nonfiction, meaning all of us fiction writers were getting dumped. At one point, I had heard about a small ebook company called Double Dragon Publishing, but ebooks were about as mysterious to me as the identity of Jack the Ripper. Still, I decided to give them a shot with my half-werewolf urban fantasy, since they had a new imprint that was looking for stuff like that. Next thing I knew, they had sent me an email wanting to publish my book. Ever since then, it’s been bumpy, but every book got me closer to my ultimate goal–or so I thought. To land a NY contract. Then, this self-publishing thing came along. I wasn’t quick to jump on the bandwagon because I wanted more data. At the same time, there were so many agent and
editor requests for fulls of Bittersweet that I had lost track.
Unfortunately, those who liked it didn’t know how to market it and those who claimed they loved it still found reasons to say no. So, I decided to stop submitting it and self-publish it. I *so* don’t regret the decision. I would’ve regretted it more had I let Bittersweet fester under my cyber bed.
BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?
Marcia: I wanted to write a YA, but had no clue about where to start. I knew there had to be telekinesis involved because I’ve always been fascinated by stories like that. Then, I started to think about my teenage years. There had been many times I wanted to lock my mother in the attic or the basement, but for me to do that, it would have to be a really good reason. If Mom was a danger to everyone, then that would be enough. From there, Bittersweet unfolded.
BAB: Do you have another book in the works?
Marcia: Yes. It’s an urban fantasy called *The Spider Inside Her* and that will be released next month. It’s about a curse that causes a demon spirit to in habit my heroine’s body and turn her into an avenging human spider who’s more like the *Terminator *once her prey has been targeted.
BAB: Your current novel, Bittersweet, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did you originally set out to write a YA novel?
Marcia: Yes. My teenage nieces talked me into it.
BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?
Marcia: I think Phaedra is awesome. I’d love to have her powers, though I’d prefer a little more control. I love Nadia, her six-year-old sister, too. Nadia is so innocent in all this, but she knows exactly what’s going on, even if everything thinks she’s too young or doesn’t notice. In fact, she’s been around Phaedra for so long that knows when her sister’s powers are about to slip out of control. If there were a hard hat in sight, she’d be the first one to grab it and wait out her older sister’s telekinetic storm.
BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
Marcia: After I had read everything I could get my hands on by Laurell K. Hamilton. At the time, The Laughing Corpse was the latest thing on the shelves.
BAB: In writing, Bittersweet, what was your most surprising discovery?
Marcia: That Phaedra would ask for Mason’s help. The main guy she wanted to throw under the bus and use as a speed bump, he was the only one available who knew her family secret and who could help her mom.
BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?
Marcia: I write whenever I have time. Some times I’ll use my lunch break to write and other times, I’ll write after my one-year old has gone to bed. My favorite writing time is about 6am on the weekends when I get the bulk of my work done.
BAB: What experience did you have with publishing to the Kindle? Good? Bad?
Marcia: It wasn’t too bad. The part I hate the most is when you update something as simple as a tag, your book goes into this 24-48 hour holding pattern. Although, it feels more like 72-hours. I’m about the release the print version of Bittersweet, and I have to say, CreateSpace was less agonizing.
BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?
Marcia: Kelley Armstrong hand’s down. She is my favorite adult urban fantasy author. If I had to choose YA urban fantasy, they Richelle Mead in a heartbeat.
BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?
Marcia: Be on the lookout for DISAPPEARANCE HALL, which I hope to put out this summer. This will be my first foray into the New Adult arena, and I’m looking forward to it.