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 Andreas is a multi-award-winning fantasy and science fiction author with a serious reading addiction. If she wasn’t writing about all the people in her head, she’d be lurking about coffee shops annoying total strangers with her stories. So really, writing is a way of saving the masses. She lives in Southern California and is owned by two very faery-minded cats. She is also a member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association) and NINC (Novelists, Inc).
When not saving the masses from coffee shop shenanigans, Marie likes to visit the UK and keeps hoping someone will give her a nice summer home in the Forest of Dean or Conwy, Wales.
Thanks so much, Marie, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
Marie Andreas: I wanted to tell a story when I was 13. As I recall, it was an odd combination of Star Wars and The Brady Bunch. All I remember is my main character stubbing her toe on her brother’s surfboard.
The second part is tricker. But, I’d say when I got my first positive rejections from agents on the full mss (The paragraphs of gushing, followed by, “But I can’t take this because…” instead of form letters 😉. Then when I went indie, when I started getting total strangers saying nice things!
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
MA: Writing style—crazy seat of the pants writer. After 27 books, I doubt that will change, but you never know. I scream loudly and fling words at the walls until they stick.
My genres are many types of fantasy and space opera. A paranormal mystery novella is waiting to become a series down the line.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
MA: The Glass Gargoyle. It’s a humorous fantasy with crazy drunken faeries, a bit of a mystery, and lots of mayhem. The original series is complete at 6 books, but another adventure has started which currently has a novella and three novels.
JSC: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
MA: Switch projects. Along with being a rabid punster, I have anywhere between two and four projects going at the same time. One is primary, but I’ll work on the others as needed. Unfortunately, that does mean when someone asks how long it takes to write a book, I have NO idea. LOL!
JSC: How long do you write each day?
MA: I go by word count. I write full time, and work five days a week. Goal is 4,000 words a day, which if on target takes about 4-5 hours. BUT I separate it into 20 minute blocks and take a long break once I’m at 2,000.
JSC: What is the most heartfelt thing a reader has said to you?
MA: That I have become their comfort read. When life is kicking them around, they re-read my books. That was an amazing thing to hear.
JSC: How do you approach covers for your indie stories?
MA: I’m a book junkie and former bookstore manager—I really pay attention to covers. I use a few different artists (I have 6 series so far). And all do amazing work. I want something that gives the feel of the book, the location, the situation, etc. And that fits the genre it’s in.
JSC: What inspired you to write this particular story? What were the challenges in bringing it to life?
MA: I couldn’t leave this world after I finished the original six book series. I needed to wrap that one up for myself and my readers, but wanted to explore more and address some unanswered questions.
The joy is diving back into a world that already had eight novels and a novella, the challenge is still keeping things fresh when it’s that big. I believe the next novel in this series will be the end—at least for a while.
BUT—I already have some sub-stories and even a series based on the novella in my head (It’s crowded in there, lemme tell ya!)
JSC: Who has been your favorite character to write and why?
MA: My drunken faeries. There are three, Garbage Bloom, Leaf Grub, and Crusty Bucket. They started as just a fun comic relief, and they still are, but they’ve turned out to be more than they seem. A LOT of fun to write, but can’t go too heavy on them.
JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!
MA: An Intrigue of Pharaohs. It’s the third book in my steampunk adventure trilogy. My steampunk series isn’t very punky, no cutting edges, and political issues. More like an alternative Victorian adventure with vampires, aliens, mermaids, Egyptian gods, and tea. Always lots of tea!
This one deals with some returning Egyptian gods! It’s slated for end of June.
I’m also working on a fantasy romance adventure for Vella, as well as starting the third and final book in my epic/portal fantasy trilogy, the Destruction of Chaos
And now for Marie’s new book: The Hunter’s Chalice:
Magic and mayhem continue as Taryn, her drunken faery companions, and the rest of their crew find out that the list of people trying to destroy them just keeps growing.
And the worst-case scenarios leave Taryn alive.
Taryn has spent her life hunting relics. As of late, she’s become the hunted, and going to the south to rescue people she loves only pointed out how bad things were. Saving her friends, exposed a deadly threat to the entire world.
The race is on to find allies to fight a massive battle that should have been resolved thousands of years ago. But the list of enemies grows larger, as a unified force breaks apart—sending danger toward Taryn, Alric, and the rest from too many directions.
Fighting on many fronts is deadly for a small crew, no matter how fierce they are. And even the faeries find themselves pushed to their limits.
Betraying elves, dangerous ghosts, soul-stealing relics, ancient spells, and horrific creatures back from the dead seem to be one step ahead of them.
And they know secrets about Taryn’s past that even she didn’t recall.