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Questions About the Books/Series
Why did you decide to venture into the erotic romance genre with the Quantum Trilogy?
The move to erotic romance was really governed by the story I wanted to tell for my characters of Flynn and Natalie. Their story led me to the genre.
What's different about the Quantum Trilogy when compared to your other books?
Quantum is written from the first-person present tense from both the hero and heroine's points of view, which is a first for me. I have to say I really enjoyed the immediacy and the grittiness of the first-person perspective. It was important to me that BOTH points of view were included. I'm not a fan of first-person point-of-view stories that are only from the heroine's perspective. I love to hear what the hero is thinking, too, so that's why I wrote both points of view. In the audio versions, the story is told with both a male and female narrator. I love the audio books! The other thing that's also different in this trilogy are the cliffhangers in the first two books. I love a good cliffhanger, but I don't like to wait for the next book, which is why they are out three weeks in a row. I didn't want the readers to have to wait, so I worked very hard to get the books done close together and published in the same month.
Will there be more Quantum stories? We especially want Hayden and Addie's story, Marlowe's story, Leah's story...
I know! I know! I do, too. The fact is, however, I have three other series going as Marie Force, and readers are crazy about them. So while I'd love to write more Quantum, it will probably be a while until I'm able to. I'll keep you posted on the possibility of more Quantum stories in the reader groups, on my main Facebook page and on the Quantum website. The best way to keep up on everything that's going on is to join my e-mail newsletter on the top of this page.
So you seem to know a lot about the BDSM lifestyle. That means you're in the lifestyle, right?
Wrong. I did a TON of research for the Quantum Trilogy, and the words on these pages have resulted from that research. I can write about murder in the Fatal series without having committed one, and I feel confident that I was able to accurately portray one small aspect of the BDSM lifestyle in Flynn and Natalie's story without being an active participant. I loved delving into the psychology of the D/s relationship, understanding the power exchange and exploring the deep emotional bonds that are formed through these relationships.
After reading the Quantum Trilogy, I'm curious about BDSM and finding out more about the lifestyle. How do I proceed?
There are numerous online sites devoted to the lifestyle. For instance, check out FetLife.com for information about how to find others in your area who share your interests. I can't stress strongly enough that you should approach the scene with the three core tenets of safe, sane and consensual at the forefront of anything and everything you do. Please be careful and be safe. As I say to my kids, "Make good choices."
I love the new Green Mountain Series! (Thank you, so do I!) Will you really write books for all ten Abbott siblings?
I hope to do that, and I know readers already have interest in most of the siblings and their stories. I love writing in the Abbott's world, so I hope to spend a lot of time there in the next few years. The first four books and a novella are done, and I'm working on book 5, It's Only Love, now. This one will feature Ella Abbott. Book 3, I Saw Her Standing There, released on November 4 and Book 4, And I Love Her, is out on March 3, 2015. Then watch for Will and Cam's wedding novella, You'll Be Mine, in July 2015. I'd like to also do a spin-off series featuring the Coleman cousins. You have heard mention of Grayson Coleman and in upcoming books you will hear mention of Noah Coleman and you will meet Isabella Coleman. They are Molly's sister Hannah's kids, so they are also Elmer's grandchildren. There are eight of them. :-) So much more to come from Butler, Vermont.
How many books do you plan to write in the McCarthys of Gansett Island Series and Fatal Series?
I always answer this question the same way: As long as the readers are enjoying the series and they are still fun for me to write, I will continue them. So far, readers seem to be enjoying them, and they are a lot of fun for me. I'm working on Paul Martinez's book, Love After Dark, now. No release date yet, but more info to come.
When will the next Gansett and Fatal books be released?
Kisses After Dark, book 12, featuring Shane McCarthy, was released in October, and I don't have a date for the next one. It will feature Paul Martinez and will be called Love After Dark. I'll keep you posted when I have more information about when you can expect that one. Fatal Scandal, Fatal Series Book 8, will be released on January 13, 2015.
Do you plan to write more of the Treading Water Series?
Right now, the answer is no. I'm well aware that readers who enjoyed the latest book, Coming Home, want more of the Harringtons, and I'd love to write Maggie's book. However, my schedule is completely packed with the McCarthys, the Fatal Series and the Green Mountain Series. If I can't give a book the attention it deserves and produce the quality readers have come to expect, then I won't take it on. That's not to say I will NEVER do it. I'm just saying not right now. I've gotten a lot of requests for Jill's book since Coming Home came out. Coming Home WAS Jill's book. IF there is another book, Jill would not be a primary character but rather a secondary character.
Tell us the truth: Will Sam and Nick from the Fatal Series ever have a baby of their own?
I honestly don't know. I'd love to give them what they want (as well as what readers want), but making Sam a mother to an infant would dramatically change the way she lives her life and would greatly alter the pace of the series. IF (and that's a very BIG IF at this point), they have a baby, I expect it would happen much later in the series, closer to the end.
Fatal Series: Will Nick run for president and if he does will Sam have to give up her job?
I don't know and I don't know! :-) I guess we'll have to see what life has in store for them. Look at it this way... We're at book 7 and we've only lived a full year with them. The next election is four years away. That's a LOT of books between now and then. And if you haven't read book 7, Fatal Jeopardy, you'll want to get right on that if you want to see what direction Nick's career is taking.
Fatal Series: Will we ever find out who shot Skip?
That's another question I get ALL THE TIME. Along with, Do you know who shot Skip? No, I don't know. I figure I will find out when Sam does. I like that I don't know. I like that the possibilities are so endless. I like that it's frustrating to her and to readers that we've failed to find closure to that question. That's life, right? I do have some interesting story coming up for Skip in future books that I am looking forward to writing.
Fatal Series: We'd love to read the story about the night Sam and Nick met the first time around. Will you ever write that?
This is going to happen in 2015! One Night With You will be released June 2, 2015. :-) Preorder information coming soon.
McCarthy Series: We'd like to read Big Mac and Linda's love story. Will you ever write that?
I'd love to! I often say that I think their story would be a brilliant way to end the series someday. Some day far, far off in the future hopefully! :-)
I'd love to see the McCarthys or Fatal characters in a TV show or movie. Are you pursuing that?
I get this question A LOT. It's great to hear that readers would love to see my characters on the big or small screen. However, I have very little input into whether or not that ever happens. I will say that my agent has a subagent looking into opportunities like this all the time. If anything should come of it, readers will be the first to know!
How come some of your books are available in print and others are not?
Almost all of my books are available in print. Click here for a list of all the books. If they are available in print, there will be a link to the print version. The Fatal Series is about to be released again in print in 2015. Watch for the first two books with all new covers in May, followed by books three and four in June, book 5 in July, book 6 in August and book 7 in September. I just agreed to a new deal to write books 9 and 10.
We'd like to hear more about the characters in some of your single title books, such as Cole and Olivia in Everyone Loves a Hero, Michael and Juliana (as well as Paige and Jeremy) in Love at First Flight, Georgie and Nathan in Georgia On My Mind, to name a few. Do you have any plans to write follow-up stories for these characters?
I'd LOVE to do a series of Happily Ever After novellas showing all these characters living their happily ever afters. Again, it comes back to time. But I do think about that a lot and would love to do it. Someday!
Out of all of your books, which one is your favorite?
Ahhhh, such a hard question! Treading Water was my first, so it will always have a special place in my heart. I'd have to say tied for second would be Maid for Love and Fatal Affair, because they launched series that have been very successful and are still going strong many books later. I've been on an amazing journey with all three of my series, so all of them are special. Georgia on My Mind is another book that is very near and dear to me because it follows the heroine's story after she loses her mother, something I have unfortunately been through myself. Fatal Deception is another book I am very proud of because of the computer crash that occurred in the middle of writing it. Despite the challenges of overcoming the crash, I'm thrilled with how it came together—and that I somehow made the deadline, too! I love them all for different reasons. How is that for diplomatic?
I want to make sure I'm notified every time you have a new book released. How can I make sure that happens?
Easy enough! Join my newsletter mailing list and receive an email every time I have news to report about new books or release dates.
What first led you to self-publish some of your books?
I had books finished and ready to go and couldn't find a publisher that was interested in them. Maid for Love, book 1 of the McCarthys of Gansett Island Series, was rejected by every romance publisher. That series has gone on to sell more than 1.6 million books. The Treading Water Series, which has been very successful for me and much adored by readers, was also rejected all over the place.
What do you like best and worst about self-publishing?
I like everything about self-publishing. I like making all the decisions about covers and editing and release dates and prices. There's nothing I don't like about it, although it is a lot of work. Luckily, it's work I love to do.
Are you still planning to write for traditional publishers?
Yes. My Fatal Series is published via Carina Press and in print from Harlequin. In addition, my Green Mountain Series is published by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House.
If you've done so well as a self-publisher, why would you continue to write for traditional publishers?
Why wouldn't I? If I can keep up with the writing schedule, why wouldn't I want to be everywhere that readers are looking for books, including in mass market paperback, which is only possible via traditional publishers. Plus, I enjoy working with both publishers and I'm pleased with the effort they are making on my behalf. I'm fortunate that I write somewhat quickly, so I can keep up with the demands of both publishers and my readers.
I have a book I'd like to self-publish, but I have no idea how to get started. What do I do?
You've come to the right place! Check out my Formatting Fairies and get in touch with any questions you have after you've visited our website.
I want to be a writer. How do I get started?
I get this question a LOT, so I figured I'd add it here. My answer is usually the same: Writers write. A lot. Often every day. It takes a lot of practice, trial and error to reach the point where you're able to consistently produce something that others want to read. It took years to learn my craft, perfect my technique and to reach the point where my books were good enough for others to read. And guess what? I'm still learning and growing and perfecting. It never ends. Once you have something you feel is ready for public consumption, STOP. Join a writing group in your local area, get some critique partners and get ready for the real work to begin. Be ready and able to take constructive criticism. If you can't take it, you're in the wrong business. If you want people to tell you your story is a masterpiece, you're in the wrong business. If you're unable to hear that your story is anything less than dazzling, you're in the wrong business. The best thing you can do for yourself as a new writer is to HEAR what people are saying about your work. I used to do a lot of critiquing for other writers, but I stopped doing it because inevitably they didn't want to hear that their book was anything less than perfect, so I was wasting my time trying to show them where they could make improvements. If you are writing romance, check out the Romance Writers of America (rwanational.org) for a chapter in your area. Most other genres have similar groups. Finding like-minded writers and learning from them is the best thing you can do for your fledgling career. Good luck!
I also get this one a lot: I want to be a published author. What's involved with that?
I find it interesting that people say they want to be a "published" author. They're often thinking about being published before they think about the book or the writing. This is another question I always answer the same way. Have you written a book? Have you had it critiqued by other writers you trust? Do you belong to a writing organization where you can find like-minded writers who can guide you through the very involved process of learning your craft? If not, you may not be ready to talk about publishing. Conventional wisdom says it takes 10,000 hours of practice, trial and error to become proficient at something like writing. I have no doubt I invested more than 20,000 hours in my writing before good things started to happen for me. If you don't put in the time, you may not get the results you want.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
First of all, a plotter is a writer who plans out their book in advance. A pantser writes by the seat of his or her pants, without a plan. I'm a card-carrying pantser and proud of it! When I wrote my first book, I had no idea there were two schools of thought on this. I had my idea, a conflict, and a main character who had lived as a living, breathing person in my head for years. That was all I needed to get started. The result? An over-written tome that I eventually had to cut by 55,000 words. The lesson learned? Be judicious. Nothing gets in unless I can answer this question: How does this scene I am dying to write move Character X's story forward? If I can't answer that question, I leave it out. I think about what's next but at the same time I lay the groundwork for what needs to happen later. I work within the confines I've established while going back and rereading what Ive already done. The rereading is critical. It never fails to give me new ideas about where I could take the story, and it results in a well-edited manuscript when the writing is done.
Where do you get your ideas?
All over the place! Sometimes they literally just appear in my imagination. For instance, I have no memory of meeting my first main character. Jack in Treading Water appeared in my mind as a fully formed character who demanded I tell his story. Many of my books are sequels to others. Another one sprung from seeing a cute guy driving a black Mercedes convertible into Newport, Rhode Island, on an August Friday night. I wondered, "Where's he going?" The answer to that question is my book, The Fall. I also love to eavesdrop! Once, while waiting for a delayed flight, I listened into a conversation between two twenty somethings who were on their way to visit their significant others. They discovered they were on the same flight home. I remember thinking, wouldn't it be something if they ended up together? That conversation resulted in Love at First Flight. Sometimes, it's just a germ of an idea that leads to a novel. The idea of a pilot being punched in the face by an irate customer in an airport shop led to Everyone Loves a Hero. Sometimes, I'll read something in the paper that sets off my imagination. Fatal Affair was inspired by a real-life story about a congressman who was found dead in his D.C. area home. The Green Mountain Series was inspired by a spot on the NBC Nightly News about the real-life Vermont Country Store and the family that owns it.
Do you know how your story is going to end when you begin?
Never! That's the beauty of being a pantser. It's as much a mystery to me as it will hopefully be for my readers. When I was writing my first romantic suspense, I purposely didn't decide who the perp was going to be until I was three-quarters of the way into the book. I wondered at the time if that was a wise move, but it worked out really well because I ended up with a number of people it could have been. Once I decided who it was going to be, I had to go back and adjust a few things to make it work. That was an interesting learning experience, to say the least. I kept asking myself—shouldn't I know who's doing all this? Apparently not!
How long does it take you to write a novel?
The first one, Treading Water, took forever—on and off for three years—and then another year of trimming, editing and rewriting. For years before I published that book in October of 2011, every time I revisited the manuscript, I fiddled with it. The book that was published in 2011 bears very little resemblance to that early first draft from 2005. It's a much better book now than it was then! The next one, Marking Time, the sequel to Treading Water, took me 90 days. I applied the lessons learned in overwriting the first one and ended up with a solid first draft of the second one that needed very little editing. The book that was published in November 2011 is exactly the book I wrote in 2005-2006 with very few modifications. Years after those initial books were written, I seem to have figured out how to do it. I've written a 96,000-word book in 39 days. The romantic suspense novels seem to take longer because they are way outside my comfort zone. But I love that challenge! I recently wrote Gansett After Dark in four weeks, but that's book 11 in a series and I know the Gansett Island world really well at this point.
Do you like to write love scenes?
I like them much more than I used to. Back when I was first writing romance, I had to force myself through the love scenes. Now they are much more organic (and frequent) in my books!
Will you endorse or blurb my book?
No, I'm sorry to say that I don't do blurbs. I get a lot of requests for blurbs and just don't have time to do them. I'm honored, however, that you'd think of me.
Check out this interview Harlequin did with Marie discussing her New York Times bestselling Fatal Series.