AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Marie Brown

Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.

Today, Marie Brown – “Marie Brown has lived in many locations across the United States, but spends most of her time exploring the realms of imagination. Currently located in Colorado, her brief moments of free time are spent in front of her computer, frequently covered in cats.”

Blah. Yeah, okay, that’s all true. But I’m tired of hiding behind a bland, third-person pseudo-bio, utterly lacking in personality. Hi! I’m Marie Brown, and I write a lot. I self-publish through Amazon because I got tired of getting “well-written, but not our thing” rejection letters.

Marie Brown - Goon

Thanks so much, Marie, for joining me!


J. Scott Coatsworth: Do you use a pseudonym? If so, why? If not, why not?

MB: Yes, I use a pseudonym, although Marie really is my middle name. I do so for a pile of reasons. One, I don’t like my real name, but when I tried to start using Marie as a kid my mom had such a dramatic fit about it I gave up on the notion until I started publishing. Two, my last name is long and hard to spell, which is rather awkward when I want people to remember it. And three… The not so nice reason. I don’t want my boss or the vast majority of my clients to know what I write.

JSC: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

MB: Honestly, I would tell myself “You suck!” Sorry. That’s the truth. But then I would explain to my younger self that it’s okay, you have really good ideas and people like to read your stories, but you don’t know beans about writing fiction. And don’t go telling me about that 5 you got on the AP English exam, that doesn’t count in the world of fiction. So go learn to tell a story without boring the crap out of your readers, and then you’ll do well.

JSC: How long do you write each day?

MB: That depends on the day. Weekdays, I’m lucky to get a half an hour in. But on the weekends it’s a fabulous writing marathon! If I have an idea that won’t let go, or it’s time for NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo, I go to town. Minimum four hours, up to 16-17. My very first NaNoWriMo I set a personal record with 21K words in 21 1/2 hours. Never have managed to equal that one yet, though.

JSC: Do you reward yourself for writing, or punish yourself for failing to do so? How?

MB: I have a reward/denial system, not so much punishment. I’ll cut out things like pizza or those evil Little Debbie snack cakes, or better yet triple chocolate cupcakes, from my diet, and give myself a treat for making my writing goals. Kind of like training a dog with treats, you know? It works, but doesn’t do much for the size of my butt.

JSC: Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

MB: Part-time, unfortunately. The biggest effect on my writing is that I have infinitely more story ideas than I have time to write them.

JSC: What were your goals and intentions in Firestorm, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

MB: With Firestorm, I wanted to essentially trash the nice shiny world I’d stuck my characters in. Even while I was writing Eternal I started getting grumpy about trapping my poor boys in a situation where they couldn’t have much fun, and I knew there was an alien menace hanging about on the fringes of their world. So I turned the aliens loose and told them to get busy. I think I did that okay, but not too great. It’s hard to trash 265 Imperial worlds, and a couple thousand Borderland worlds, so I had to settle for shaking up societies and just a few devastated populations.

JSC: What was the hardest part of writing this book?

MB: Oh man. The answer to that question is kind of a downer, but it has a happy ending. The hardest part of writing Firestorm was sticking to it, even though I was sick. And I don’t just mean a cold, I mean came-really-close-to-dying kind of sick. I could actually see it while I was editing, too. My writing got crappier and needed much more repair work as I got sicker, and I really don’t remember writing about a third of the book. That’s the part that needed the most work. I remember sitting at my computer during NaNoWriMo, writing like crazy to make up for the time I missed, but I don’t remember the words as I was writing them. And April’s Camp was even worse, because I was really pretty much toast by then. But May 8th, right after finishing Camp, I collapsed at work and wound up getting the surgery I needed, which allowed me to finish the book and fix all the really crappy stuff I’d written while sick. So see? Happy ending.

JSC: Who did your cover, and what was the design process like?

MB: I do my own covers. The design process involved lots of me thinking about imagery, then trying to reproduce it in 3D and in Photoshop, then thinking I suck and staring at other people’s covers for a while, looking for something magical. Then the process would repeat. When I got something I was happy with, I put it up on deviantArt and asked my friends for feedback. Then I made some changes and tried again. Three times. End result, I tossed out some of their advice, took other parts of it, and in the end got a good cover.

JSC: What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names? Pictures?

MB: The most frequent occupant of my keyboard is my new kitten, Goon. He loves to lay in front of my monitor, and often tries to help me type words never before known to the world.

JSC: What other artistic pursuits (it any) do you indulge in apart from writing?

MB: My main hobby actually came from the need to create book covers. I love 3D art! Ages ago, I enjoyed making alien landscapes and such in Bryce. But then I started self-publishing. I didn’t want to pay someone to create covers for me, not when I knew how to use Bryce to design worlds and had access to other 3D options. Problem was, back then I knew nothing about how to make things look really good in 3D. My earliest cover attempts suck butt. However, I recognized that, and in the process of teaching myself how to improve the images, I discovered that I really love the entire digital art world. Even Photoshop, which I used to dislike a great deal, and now love. Go figure.

JSC: What are you working on now?

MB: I have, as always, too many projects going on. I still have a few stories on my “needs new cover” pile, waiting for their redesign. I am making an effort to get my blog going and post to it consistently. (kittenwylde.wordpress.com!) I’ve got a combination writing and art project going on there, Black Eagle Rising. I have a novel that is so close to finished I feel ridiculous for not having it done already. I also have an almost two-thirds done trilogy. Hopefully those and the novel will get done in November. And there are a whole lot more short stories, novellas, and a couple novels that aren’t anywhere near done, but I intend to get busy on them in October. Yes, I’m giving myself a pass for September, because I’m having computer issues.


Firestorm

And now for AUTHORNAME new book: Firestorm:

Life is fire. The fire of passion and the fire of loss. Beautiful fire… and ugly fire. The fire of shame burning through a soul gone astray. And the fire wielded by the hand of a mage.

Kai and Jericho have controlled the Eternal Empire for several years, now. For Jericho, life couldn’t be better. He has a home, and he has the constant companionship of the man he loves. But Kai wants more. He longs for the excitement of adventure, the challenge of making a difference.

Nobody saw the firestorm on the horizon. From stability, insanity.
Powerful change is coming fast. Can Kai and Jericho survive it?

Firestorm is the sequel to Eternal.


Buy Links

Amazon


Excerpt

The last time I’d been here, everything was in flames. Things change in eight years.

“That’s the place?”

I nodded. “Yeah.”

The disbelief in the former legate’s voice matched my own mood well. Titus held his ship at a hover over the shattered remains of the villa, staring.

Neither one of us said anything about the scruffy little ship parked by what used to be the barn.

“Who did this to you again?”

“You know who it was, Granby. Mercenaries. Working for a local cartel. With Legion backup.”

His face twisted, and he made a sound of disgust. “I should’ve tried
harder to find the dirty bastard whoring out legionnaires in the
Borderlands.”

“Too late now.”

At least time has washed most of the charcoal away. I traced over the ruins with my eyes, seeing it the way I’d seen it from the Chaos
Rider. Damn, I miss that glorious old space schooner. That would’ve been the main villa, there the gardens, that spot under a huge segment of collapsed roof and shattered tiles the pool where Argent had played and

I’d walked with Kai in the moonlight…

Kai. My eyes snapped over to the little ship. Had to be his, nobody else had any business out here. He’d never sold the land, even after becoming Emperor. My whole body trembled deep inside.

“Ready for this?”

I shot Titus a brief grin. “Hell, no. Would you land this thing already?”

“We’ll just stay in here a while,” he said, as he sent the Monkey
in a brief spiral, then settled it to the ground, closer to the remains of the villa than the other ship. “Let you have some privacy.”

“Thanks, Granby.”

He smiled.

The first breath of Concordia’s air stopped me dead on the Monkey’s ramp. It smelled like home. The first physical location in all the worlds I’d felt welcome, and happy, and loved, even if Kai hadn’t wanted to admit that part.

Damn that bastard Jerome.

I pushed past the shock, gave my tunic a nervous tug, and went down the ramp. He’s down here somewhere, I should just march right over and knock on the door of that ship.

But my heart has damn near hammered a hole in my chest, I’m sweating like a nasty pig, and if I didn’t have more pride than common sense everyone would be able to see me shaking.

Willpower held me outwardly calm, though, and I kept moving.
I didn’t go to the ship. Instead, I picked my way through the collapsed ruin to where the central atrium should have been, where a few stubborn plants still struggled to grow through the fallen rubble, bits and pieces of shattered rose-colored marble columns laying around like so many scattered bones. I recognized one of the plants, the lovely bird of paradise that made such elaborate and beautiful flowers. It even had two blooms now. I touched them gently, remembering…


Author Bio

“Marie Brown has lived in many locations across the United States, but spends most of her time exploring the realms of imagination. Currently located in Colorado, her brief moments of free time are spent in front of her computer, frequently covered in cats.”

Blah. Yeah, okay, that’s all true. But I’m tired of hiding behind a bland, third-person pseudo-bio, utterly lacking in personality. Hi! I’m Marie Brown, and I write a lot. I self-publish through Amazon because I got tired of getting “well-written, but not our thing” rejection letters.

Because, you see, most of my fiction tends to include characters that are either bi or just plain homosexual, and despite increasing acceptance of human sexuality and its many variations across the world, heroes and heroines are still supposed to be straight.

Well, mine aren’t. So if you’re brave, and you don’t mind that the main character of a story either isn’t interested in sex at all, or is quite likely to hop in bed with someone of the same gender, then give my writings a chance.

Come explore my fantasy worlds, or my science fiction worlds, or even spend some time with an occasional random love story set on Earth. And by the way, just this once, I wrote this entire blurb without a cat on my keyboard.

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