Monday, June 24, 2013

Author Interview - Jamie Marchant

Today I'm happy to present to you Jamie Marchant, author of "The Goddess's Choice" and "Demons in the Big Easy."

On to you, Jamie!

What do you do aside from writing?

I teach writing and literature at Auburn University. I’m the mother of a seventeen-year-old son, and I have four cats. Some have called me a cat lady.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a more fly-by-the-seat-my-pants kind of writer. I never made a written outline or plotted a story arc. I had a basic idea of where I wanted to end up, although I didn’t know exactly how Demons in the Big Easy was going to end until I was nearly there. A lot of where the story goes depends on the characters. They tend to take on a life of their own.

Where did you get the inspiration for "The Goddess's Choice"? And for "Demons in the Big Easy?"

My first book, The Goddess's Choice, originates deep within my childhood. My sister Jalane--she is ten years older than me--told me stories, fairy tales mostly:  "Midas and His Golden Touch," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Hansel and Gretel." But my favorite was always "The Princess and the Glass Hill" or "The Glass Mountain" as my sister titled it. I had her tell that story over and over again. I was captivated by the bold hero on his magical horses of bronze, silver, and gold.

When I had a child of my own, I wanted to pass that fairy tale on. My son, Jesse, loved it every bit as much as I had. One day after telling it to him, it came to me that the story could be so much more than five pages and sparse details. However, I didn’t want to write a children’s story but the type of epic fantasy I enjoy as an adult. I upped the dramatic tension, villainy, and sexuality of the piece to create something far different than the original fairy tale. The Goddess’s Choice is intended for an adult audience.

Demons in the Big Easy was inspired by a prompt for an anthology about older women heroes. As I thought about the anthology, Cassandra came to life. Her world and the rest of the story followed. My novella didn’t make it into the anthology, but it got a positive enough response that I decided to publish it.

Do your stories have a message? What are you trying to tell your readers?

The Goddess’s Choice has a fairly overt lesson about forgiveness, how holding on to anger hurts ourselves more in the end than anyone else. Demons in the Big Easy is about the power of older women, who tend to be discounted in our society that celebrates youth.

Cassandra, the main character of "Demons in the Big Easy", is a loving old witch (no insult there; she's really a witch!). Do you have any plans for incorporating her into future stories?

I hadn’t, but people keep asking me this, so maybe I should consider another Cassandra story.

In tone with the previous question: what are your future writing plans?

I’m almost finished with the sequel to The Goddess’s Choice, titled The Soul Stone, in which Samantha struggles to solidify her rule, and Robrek must confront a bigger threat to the safety of the joined kingdoms. I’m also working on an urban fantasy novel, The Bull Riding Witch, which has a princess from a parallel realm switching bodies with a rodeo bull rider.

Finally, is there any advice you would give aspiring authors?

Read a lot, and find yourself a critique group or partner. It’s nearly impossible to see all the weaknesses in your own work.

Thank you for the interview, Jamie! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by!

Dear readers, don't forget to come back tomorrow for a sneak peek into "Demons in the Big Easy"!

If you would like to keep in touch with her, or learn more about her work, check out the following links:

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