This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marsha will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. An extra entry can be earned by signing up to follow her blog: http://www.marsharwest.com/category/blog/. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Welcome to It's Raining Books. Why do you write in your genre?
I write romantic suspense because it’s what I most enjoy reading. I also like romantic suspense with a hint of paranormal, but I haven’t tried my hand at writing that yet. I’m sure my early reading of Daphne du Maurier’s REBECCA set my feet on this pathway. As a reader we’re getting two stories for the price of one. Both stories have conflicts to be resolved. From Daphne I went on to read Victoria Holt, Mary Stuart, and Phyllis Whitney. Then real life grabbed front stage and I took a hiatus from reading for fun. When I came back to it after twenty or so years, I discovered Kay Hooper, Linda Howard, and Elizabeth Lowell. And my goodness, hadn’t the romance heated up during those intervening years! I liked that, too.
What research is required?
I write real world, so sometimes, I just know stuff. My second book is set in Fort Worth where I’ve lived most of my grown up life. But the parts of the book about the police department, I researched on line and by asking a few friends who are within law-enforcement. It’s amazing how generous folks are with their time. They seem glad the writer is making an effort to get it right. Though of course any errors are all my own.
Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.
I learned from the hero that sometimes things we think are noticeable or even distasteful about ourselves, others frequently don’t notice at all. We need to take ourselves a little less seriously.
Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
My writing quirk is one I don’t get to indulge often. I like to go away for the weekend for a writing retreat. I’ve found I can usually type 15 to 20 thousand words in that setting. The kicker is of course, that I can’t just run away every weekend. But if I could, I’d finish the first draft of a book in just over a month! I frankly don’t understand why this works so well for me. I’m on my laptop and not my great big-screened Dell with its ergonomic keyboard, where I can type so fast. My shoulders tighten from sitting at the computer, but not like they do when I’m on the laptop. I guess at home I just let the internet and social media interfere, too much.
Are you a plotter or pantser?
I’ve morphed into something of a combination “plotser” leaning more toward the plotter end of the spectrum. I’m not an extreme plotter with little notes everywhere, but I do have my charts. I first get a location for the story. (Maybe I should have listed that as a quirk. I know few authors who work that way. LOL) Then I figure out who the characters are and ask what their conflict can be. I fill out lengthy charts about each of the main characters, including the villain, answering questions like what’s their family like? Who are their close friends and mentors? What are their likes, fears, goals? I’m trying to figure why they do what they do. Then from an internal/external conflict sheet, the story evolves. I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes thinking, “This woman only thinks she pantses.” Well the pantsing happens during the writing. It’s kind of weird, the keys just start typing, and all of a sudden, I’m way off the plan. Often some tricky rewriting is required to blend everything.
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
Always even in the winter my iced tea glass. It’s unsweetened, a special blend I get from an antique mall in town—apricot/mango.
Anything new coming up from you? What?
My third book is scheduled for e-release winter of 2014/15. I’m very excited about SECOND CHANCES. The story takes me back to my theatre roots. The hero is a secondary character who threatened to take over my first book, VERMONT ESCAPE. I realized I’d have to give him his own book, if I wanted VE to continue to be that and not end up as RETURN TO FORT WORTH. LOL SECOND CHANCES begins a four-part series about women in their 40’s who met when they were kids at summer camp. Each book tells one woman’s story.
Do you have a question for our readers?
Which format of book (e-book or print) do you prefer and why?
Longer Blurb: Needing a peaceful visit with her Fort Worth family for Christmas, Meg Bourland is shocked to discover someone is blackmailing her father. When he rebuffs her offer to help, the Atlanta SWAT team member enlists the help of her brother and his former LA police officer partner to uncover the truth. She fights her attraction for Scott and the immediate tug to her heart. But her life is in Atlanta, and his is in California.
Scott McClaine, medically retired, came to Fort Worth to recuperate from life-threatening bullet wounds he received saving the life of Meg’s brother. Hard enough to accept his new physical limitations, but in Scott’s mind they make him unacceptable for a strong Meg. Regardless, he commits himself to helping her stop the blackmailer. Working closely with her, a bond forms. Could she feel the same?
In the search for truth, Meg and Scott uncover pieces of the puzzle, which threaten to ruin her father’s career as mayor and destroy the family she holds dear. Will Meg and Scott find their way through the maze of family secretes? Will they find the strength to make the sacrifices required for real love before the blackmailer kills?
About the Author:
Marsha, who loves to travel, lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. They’ve raised two daughters who’ve presented them with three delightful grandchildren.
Her first published book, VERMONT ESCAPE, was e-released by MuseItUp Publishing in the summer of 2013. The print version releases in June 2014 . TRUTH BE TOLD e-releases by MIU in May, 2014. She’s sold a third book to MIU. In SECOND CHANCES, the hero, Mike Riley, played a supporting role in VERMONT ESCAPE. SECOND CHANCES is the first of a planned series about four women who met when they were kids at summer camp. It’s scheduled for e-release in winter 2014/2015
Thoughts on Thursday and Tuesday Author Chats Hope you’ll stop by. She’d love to hear from you.
Buy Links for TRUTH BE TOLD:
Muse It Up Publishing
Barnes and Noble
Buy Links for VERMONT ESCAPE
Muse It Up Publishing
Barnes and Noble