WATCH OUT: Marianne Stephens
SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m pleased to bring you author Marianne Stephens. Welcome to Watch Out, it is so great to have you here.
MS – Thanks – it’s great to be here!
SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
MS – I started as an avid reader…mostly Shakespeare and biographies. THEN I got hooked on romance books! Loved Barbara Cartland and regency romances. Moved on to contemporaries…and decided I’d like to try writing a book. Sigh. I had MUCH to learn!
SC: You write both fiction and nonfiction. Do you prefer one over the other?
MS – Fiction is wonderful because I can create any plot, characterization, setting, that pops into my head. Then again, nonfiction is great because I have to stick to actual facts, and not get sidetracked by characters who want to write their story THEIR way!
SC: Can you tell us a little about your current release?
MS – My nonfiction book, “Guilty Survivor – Memoirs of Tamerla Kendall”, is the story of a woman’s struggle to survive while living in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. It’s available as an ebook, paperback, and hard cover.
SC: Which do you prefer eBooks or paperback?
MS – I’m hooked on ebooks. I can download them anytime of the day; have many on hand to read anywhere, anytime. Very convenient and saves trees!
SC: What influences the topics, and genre’s that you pick to write a story in?
MS – My comfort zone in writing influences what topics/genres I write. I don’t feel qualified to write historical romance books, although I love to read them. Not sure I know enough about Steampunk to try writing one. And, I’d be uncomfortable trying to write about vampires, werewolves, or zombies. I like writing about people/places I can relate to…but writing some paranormal romances isn’t out of the question!
SC: One thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
MS – My desk is a cluttered mess. I have piles of papers everywhere…but I know where everything is. People who’ve seen my desk wonder how I get anything done.
SC: What is the biggest misconception you think people have about erotic authors?
1 – erotic authors write everything from experience (please…be reasonable).
2 – erotic authors write porn (there are guidelines/limits to erotic romance writing that are not utilized in straight porn books).
SC: Your favourite part about being an author?
MS – I love creating stories…the voices in my head won’t leave me alone! And I adore readers and fellow authors who are so supportive.
SC: How has your life changed after you got your first publishing contract?
MS – I’m busier than I was before! Lots of networking, writing, editing, etc., comes with getting a contract. You have to be visible.
SC: Describe your books in 3 words.
MS – Funny, sensual, romantic.
SC: If you could step into the shoes of another author who would you pick? Why?
MS – Move over, Nora! No…not really. I like my writing pace and adjust to my own schedule. My family comes first, and I don’t want writing to replace being with/taking care of my family. I’m happy with who I am and where I am.
SC: What do you think sets your stories apart from other authors?
MA – Humor. I like to add it to all my books. Causing a reader to smile as they read something I wrote means I’ve done my job.
SC: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
MS – A funny contemporary romance with lots of twists and turns. I’m still “head writing” most of it.
SC: What is the best advice you ever got with regards to writing?
MS – Don’t write episodes. Carla Cassidy, a wonderfully, successful author, graciously told me what she thought was wrong with my writing…and she was right. I sold soon after taking her advice.
SC: What is one pet peeve you have when it comes to publishing?
MS – The amount of publisher promo. I know they do their best, but more is needed.
SC: Any advice for new writers out there?
MS – Get your name out there! Join networking groups. Read and learn as you interact with groups.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Coming in April/May 2012: paperback version of “Anything You Can Do”.