Author Interview: Melissa Marr

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Melissa Marr is an extremely talented and extremely busy writer who is currently travelling with the Smart Chicks Kick It tour. She manages to juggle writing and book tours with her husband and children, inspirational! We were lucky enough for her to take some time out in between stops to answer some questions for us.

What made you choose to start writing Young Adult fiction?

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I simply wrote, and the story was sold & published as YA.  I didn’t think of it any differently than my debut adult. I just write.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Everywhere.  Music, buildings, folklore, strangers on the plane/train…life is filled with inspiration.

The new book is a new direction and your first adult novel. What can you tell us about Graveminder?

I started it back in late 07/early 08.  I think it’s fantasy or maybe mystery; it is definitely romance too.  Graveminder  is a book about going home, about the secrets in small towns, and about figuring out what to do when life tilts your world upside down.  Rebekkah has commitment issues, a messed up family, and a duty to the dead.  Byron is a small town undertaker who’s been trying to convince the love of his life to stop running. And Claysville, their hometown, has a contract with Death himself to keep the dead where they belong.  It’s a book filled with small town secrets and a bit of murder.
melissa marr

Is this a stand alone novel or the beginning of a new series?

That’s a very good question.  I meant it to be a stand alone, but then I wrote a short story in that world and started another novel in the world so it may turn into a series.  We’ll see.

There is quite a bit of your work released this year – Adult fiction in Graveminder, young adult fiction in Darkest Mercy and short stories in anthologies. Do you have a favourite genre to write? Do you have a preference for short stories or novels?

It’s about what’s right for the story, so my preference is the form that lets me tell the story to the best of my ability.

Do you have a favourite character? Or is that too much like asking if you have a favourite child!

I’d probably say Irial in the Wicked Lovely series…although Daisha in Graveminder or Alicia in Graveminder might be my favourite.  Oh! Or Donia!  I love Donia a lot too. Hmmm.  I’m not good at this question, am I?

(Michelle: I wasn’t expecting you to be good at that question, I imagine they would all be very much a part of you).

Where is the most exciting place your writing has taken you?

That’s a difficult question.  I’m not good at absolute.  I love so many places – Scotland is probably my “go to” place.  I absolutely love Italy too…and NYC and Oregon and…I love to roam.  It’s inspiring and fulfilling all at the same time.

On the heels of all of these releases, what is next for Melissa Marr?

I’m co-writing a middle-grade series with Kelley Armstrong about some young adventurers dealing with the end of the world.  I’m also finishing what I call my “accidental novel”, Carnival of Souls.  I didn’t have a book due this year, but I got caught up in what I thought was a short story and it exploded into a novel.  I had three crazy days where I barely slept and wrote 30,000 words of a first draft.  At that point, I had to admit that it was a book, so I’ve spent the last eight months writing, revising, and re-revising it. Carnival is now set for a World English release in Fall 2012.

What do you do to relax and unwind?  Is there such a thing as spare time and how do you spend it?

I’ve heard of “spare time,” but it doesn’t just happen; my time off is something I book.  I travel with my husband and children.  I’ve taken up very basic weaving and am trying to knit. I read, play with my pups, and go to the theatre.

Have you got a favourite book of all time?

Again, absolutes confuse me.  My top picks are William Faulkner, Christina Rossetti, and Neil Gaiman.

(Michelle: this is where a ‘real time’ interview would have allowed my to change my questions. I don’t know that I could pick a favourite either.)

What are you reading at the moment?

I just finished reading a draft of Kelley Armstrong’s brilliant new adult novel, Omens & Shadows; Stephanie Perkins’ LOLA & The Boy Next Door; Guy Adams,World House, and the usual assorted critical articles from various academic journals.

(Wow, I thought managing to juggle two books occasionally was good! Impressive)

Have you got one hot tip you can give aspiring writers?

Believe in yourself, but be realistic.  This is a difficult career choice, and there are a lot of critics – and a lot of praisers.  Take both the negative and the positive with a liberal dose of salt.

If you weren’t a writer, what do you think you would be doing to earn a living?

In the real world, I’d return to teaching (which I love), or I’d go back to school for another degree in folklore or archaeology.

Can you share with us one interesting fact our readers wouldn’t know about you?

I don’t think so.  I’m a pretty open book with my readers (at events and on twitter and in interviews).

What does being a woman mean to you?

Everything I am and have is influenced by that detail.  I’m a mother and a feminist, and that filters into my writing, my faith, and my family life.
Thank you so much for your time Melissa!

2 thoughts on “Author Interview: Melissa Marr

  1. I have Graveminder sitting in my pile of books to read that is next to my bed.
    Im really looking forward to getting into it.
    I think it sounds amazing.

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