Interview with Author Mia Marlowe

Hey there!  The Scribes are excited to welcome author Mia Marlowe.  If you haven’t read anything by her, I recommend Distracting the Duchess.  It was delightful!  Mia, thanks for being with us today.

How do you battle the doubt monster?  Doubt Monster: the nagging feeling while writing, that your prose is terrible, you plot is silly, your characters are insipid and no-one in their right mind would read this drivel, let alone buy it.   I have a love/hate relationship with all my stories. Like naughty children, they refuse to behave sometimes. I’d often like to send them to permanent time out. Once I type “the end” though, I love them dearly. I revise constantly, so I know it I can only shove the story out, I can fix it, however misshapen it might be. The trick is sticking with the characters till I understand them well enough to tell their story.

What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career?  The biggest surprise for me was how supportive other romance writers are. In every other field I can think of, people who are jockeying for the same limited slots do not as a general rule give away their secrets. But romance authors will share their writing processes, their promo savvy, everything they’ve learned in the business. I think it’s because we write about love.

What would you do if you couldn’t be a writer any longer?  Sorry. I don’t understand the question. As long as I can put two words together, I can write. If you mean “What would I do if I was no longer paid to write?” well, retirement on a beach somewhere would be nice. I could catch up on my reading.

They say that every author has a partially completed, quite-possibly-terrible half a story shoved in a drawer somewhere.  What is yours?  What is it about?  What makes it terrible?  Would you ever consider picking it up and finishing it?  I have a couple hundred pages of a time travel romance with Norse gods and vikings and Tolkien-esque light and dark elves. My archeologist heroine goes back to the 14th century to try to re-hide the doomsday artifact she uncovered in the 21st. Personally, I was into it, but my agent nixed the idea. I had a whole series planned, but I lost her on the third story when my viking elves ended up on Tahiti trying to stop the Ring of Fire from igniting simultaneously. Hey, it could happen. Wonder why she didn’t buy into it? 😉

Author Jane Haddam says that anyone who seriously annoys her gets bumped off in her next book.  How do you incorporate your real-life experiences into your stories?  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry writer. I did name a murder victim after someone who was unkind to one of my children once. And I made her a light-skirt previous to her untimely demise. One of my writing friends tells of a fellow who used to introduce her to co-workers as a writer of porn. She took him aside and if he did it again, she was going to name a character in her next book after him and make him a gay sailor. Since the guy was Army, she didn’t know whether it was the gay or the sailor threat that carried the most weight, but he was respectful ever after.

What are you working on?  What’s your next release about?  I’m thrilled to share that I’m working on a trilogy of novels for Sourcebooks in collaboration with New York Times bestseller Connie Mason. It’s called the Royal Rakes series. In 1818, the House of Hanover had a crisis of succession with the death of the Prince Regent’s only daughter. His unmarried brothers were suddenly hot to wed, bed and produce a legitimate grandchild for George III. Our rakish heroes are tasked with making sure the ladies who capture the royal duke’s attentions are disqualified from the running. Look for Waking Up with a Rake, Romanced by a Rake and Between a Rake and a Hard Place in 2013!

My next release is my first collaborative novel with Connie. It’s Sins of the Highlander, and I have to admit, I LOVE THIS STORY! Just thinking about our hero “Mad Rob” MacLaren makes me want to cry and dance for joy at the same time. Wounded and dangerous as a cornered bear, he’s just about perfect. Check out the excerpt at http://miamarlowe.com/books/sins.php

Do you have a word related pet peeve?  I took one creative writing class in college and my prof had a thing about “get.” It’s sort of a non-word unless you’re using it in the biblical sense of siring someone. I try to avoid it whenever possible. It’s too generic when other more active/descriptive words will fill the same space.

What is your guilty pleasure? {Remember: this is a ‘G’ rated blog! 🙂 }  Giving away my books! I’d love to give a copy of my eNovella My Lady Below Stairs to someone who leaves a comment or question today. Ask me anything. Really. Just remember that I’m a fiction writer. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll make something up!

All right folks, you heard the lady!  Ask up.  And Mia, thanks again!  I can’t wait to get Sins of the Highlander!

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39 thoughts on “Interview with Author Mia Marlowe”

  1. Hi Mia, sorry to hear that about your WIP with the Viking Elves. Sounds like a great story idea. It’s different, but hey different is interesting. Especially in the paranormal genres is nearly everything allowed, that’s why it is fiction.

  2. my guilty pleasure right now is (so shy) i can’t read the book that i’ve won from some author, no much time but so much book ;( but promised to start to read on next week *crossfinger

    and the other guitly pleasure is i love your book – touch of thief, but i have not buy but again i will buy on next month *crossfinger

    my question is christmas is near now so do you have a plan to write a book about christmas or do you have it already? and what is your plan on christmas, any gift you will share to your reader 😉 (because i love christmas give, lol)

  3. Hi Mia, good to see you here. Don’t you love our teachers influence, yours with the word “get.” Have you discovered it is a non-word? Do you find you have to restructure your words in order to not use “get?” Has not using “get” been a learning tool. Your non-use of the word reminded me of a similar experience in interior design school. Forty or so years ago, my main instructor told us never to use beige and yellow in the same room, ever. You can see by this comment, it stuck. But one of my first jobs out of design school was a French traditionally designed home. I did the unheard of, I used beige and yellow in the same room. The job was published, won awards and my clients continued with my company to build and design 5 more homes here and abroad. They are good friends to this day. Do you think my instructor was opinionated?

    The best with your writings and publications. It was delightful having you “red pencil” my work. And yes, it has influenced my writing.

    1. Your yellow and beige story proves every rule deserves to be broken once in a while! Glad you enjoyed your Red Pencil Thursday experience. I’m fresh out of volunteers right now. I think everyone must be knee deep in NaNoWriMO.

  4. Hi Mia! Welcome to the Scribes and thanks for joining us. I am eagerly awaiting Sins of the Highlander. Can you please tell us about Red Pencil Thursday? And what gave you the idea to start it?

    1. RPT is my online critique group. Each week, I critique the first 500 words of a volunteers WIP. We only do that beginnings because it’s such a crucial time in any story and the seeds of success or failure are often found in the opening. I started it because I have been helped along the way by other writers and I wanted to give back. Here’s a link to the details. Hope I’ll be looking at your work soon!

      1. I keep meaning to send mine. Would love your input. It really is a great way to give back to the romance writing world. And thanks for being here.

  5. So nice to have you here, Mia…thrilling actually! I love your work.

    I wouldn’t give up on the Norse god/Viking series. There is always indie-publishing…just sayin’. It sounds great to me!

    1. This will be a long list: Sherry Thomas, Deanna Raybourn, Loretta Chase, Eloisa James, Diana Gabaldon, Victoria Alexander, Liz Carlyle, Mary Jo Putney, Mary Stewart, MM Kaye…that’s enough for now.
      The reason I love these writers is because their prose pulls me so completely into their fictional worlds I forget I’m a writer too.

  6. Thanks for being here, Mia. My To-Do List includes sending something over to your Red Pencil Thursday. So much fun, and so helpful!

  7. Hi Mia, Happy to see you here. I just finished reading Touch of a Thief and I loved it. Looking forward to reading Sins of the Highlander, love men in kilts! Please keep writing.

  8. Often, tho I enjoy a some novels, I forget the characters and the plot after reading, but your writing is gripping and your characters are alive. After reading Touch of a Thief, the story and the characters stayed with me. I’ve been waiting for your next novel but must have wandered off into social network oblivion, so I’m thrilled, knowing more of your writing waits for the click of my finger! Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Marion! I’m so glad to hear that Viola and Quinn live on in your imagination. You’ll be happy to know they reappear in TOUCH OF A ROGUE (Feb 2012) to help Viola’s cousin Jacob. He has the “gift of touch” too, but instead of jewels speaking to him, he has to be wary of metal.

      Hope you enjoy my new eBooks before SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER in January.

    1. I try to make both RT and RWA Nationals each year for different reasons. RT is a week long party with readers and RWA is a great place to network with publishing pros. I always try to make my regional RWA conference, which is NECRWA’s Let Your Imagination Take Flight. It’s in Salem, MA next year and is always so well organized and fun.

    1. Thanks, Bronwen. When a reader buys my books, I appreciate it every single time. I know there are plenty of choices out there and I’m honored when someone chooses my story.

      How many books I write in a year depends on my contractual obligations. Last year, I wrote 5 full manuscripts plus a novella. It was a pretty frantic pace, but I loved every one of my fictional worlds. This year, I’m coasting a bit. Only two full and one novella, but next year I’m planning 4 full manuscripts so I’ll have to step up a bit. When you love what you’re doing, it’s really not work.

  9. I think you should give that paranormal a try. And I’m still laughing over the gay sailor. Is there really such a thing as catching up on your reading lol. I seem to keep buying a lot faster than I can read. I’m lreally ooking forward to your Highlander book – one of my favorite genres. Great interview. Do you have a keeper shelf of particular authors or books?

    1. I may think about resurrecting my Viking Elves. I did love my hero, Cirdan, who sacrifices so much for the heroine.

      Hope you’ll love our Highlander as much as Connine and I do.

      I do have a keeper shelf. You’ll find a wide variety of genres from romance to the classics.

  10. How do you find the process of writing with another author? Do you each plan out what your going to write? Do you do it by chapter? By Character? I always wondered how people do it and sucessfully too.

    1. Credit for putting Connie and me together goes to our editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, and our agent, Natasha Kern. I think what really make our pairing work is that our voices are similar and we both love writing high adventure, sensual historical romance. Connie chose our setting, I put together the premise and we took off from there.

      My critique partner did a joint novel where she and her partner traded off every other chapter, one of them writing from the heroine’s POV and one in the guy’s head. However you decide to do it, make sure you find a partner whose writing style meshes naturally with yours.

  11. Hi Mia, I’ll have to admit that I haven’t read any of your books…yet…I do have a couple in my TBR list and I just haven’t made it there yet *g* I’m curious how you go about naming your characters, do you keep a list, are they in your head as you start writing, or do they just come to you?

    1. I have to know the character’s name before I can begin to tell their story. I ask my readers sometimes. Greydon Quinn, my hero in TOUCH OF A THIEF came from a ‘Name that Character’ Contest. I visit graveyards. I found Mrs. Waitstill Trott, my hero’s housekeeper in TOUCH OF A ROGUE (Feb 2012) in the same burial ground as Paul Revere!

  12. Hey, Mia!
    On our RWA chapter loop you asked for our abandoned wild ideas…
    In a contest, i think mine might win. I was going to write a shapeshifting cowboy. A literal cow-boy. LOL! At least he’d blend in when he wanted to hide in plain sight.

  13. Hi, Mia! I enjoyed Touch of a Thief very much. AND I enjoyed being a part of your Red Pencil Thursday last year. Your comments were spot on. I too have unfinished or “not-read-for-prime-time” manuscripts in a drawer. I just can’t seem to find a home for my modern-day versions of Shakespeare’s plays!

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