As it's #IndieApril I've invited some lovely Indie authors onto The Hippo over the coming weeks to help spread the book love. I think that Indie's sometimes get such a bad press from some readers and it's so unfair. I've discovered so many fabulous Indie's since I started my blog and that's why I love hosting them here.
Today's lovely Indie author is L. Marie and her debut novel, Blackwood, a gothic romance, is currently on offer - but more about that later as I can't wait to introduce you all to her.
|Photo courtesy of L. Marie|
L. Marie is an independent fiction novelist and dedicated bookworm.
Her career began in Journalism, writing for regional newspapers before moving into PR. She has produced film scripts for independent production companies, enjoyed a stint of writing online articles for Geekfeed and previously had a regular column in a Yorkshire newspaper. Blackwood is her first full length novel and she is currently working on her second.
Residing in West Yorkshire, when she's not reading or writing, she's usually baking with her son, watching movies, going to gigs, rambling, walking her dog, and drinking tea... or wine!
Welcome to The Hippo L. Marie! Please pull up a chair, get comfy and feel free to help yourself to wine - it's chilled! 😉
What book/s made you cry?
In general, I don’t tend to get so overtly emotional but there are books that have made quite an impact on me. I would be here forever with a list as long as my arm. The one time I did actually cry over a book was when I finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, I was so upset that it had ended. My husband looked at me like I was the strangest thing.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Yes, I did, numerous times. Partly as I like the idea of remaining somewhat anonymous. I am a big fan of the Brontes and back in their time they wrote under a different name to get noticed, but that was back then, times are different now, authors do it all the time I guess for different reasons. I don’t have my full name as my author pen. It’s like when actors have a stage name, your writing is your performance and I feel like I become a different person when I am in writing mode.
Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing
From quite a young age I knew I wanted to tell stories. I would write lots of short stories at school and I won competitions, inadvertently making people laugh with my writing which I loved. My mind is always going at 100 miles an hour and I can think of many stories all at once it’s just getting the structure together. Blackwood is my first full length novel and it actually stemmed from a writing competition for a family drama. It wasn’t a genre I usually write in, however, before I knew it, I had completed a novel and I enjoyed doing it but it’s definitely been a learning process.
My English teacher, Mr. Martindale, had every faith in me and encouraged me all the time. I was diagnosed with Dyslexia in my teens and felt embarrassed to ever admit it for years, especially as my line of work (journalist/PR) dictated a high standard of English. But I like to prove stereotypes wrong. The first book that I read over and over was Matilda by Roald Dahl, I read this with my own ‘Miss Honey’ Miss Bennet in Junior school, she was also very encouraging and so wonderful. Don’t underestimate a brilliant teacher.
How lovely to hear that you had such a wonderful teacher and good on you for fighting back against stereotypes! I had two amazing English teachers when I was at school. I already had a love of reading but both of these teachers taught me how to appreciate it even more!
What’s more important? Character or plot?
This is a difficult one. A plot has to be intriguing of course, but I would say character pips it for me. I usually have a good indication of a plot start to finish in my books, the current book I am working on is a series and I have all of them mapped out but it can always be subject to change. The characters must be strong and develop well throughout, even the supporting characters. The reader needs to feel like they can empathize with this person, almost be this person and they can see through this story to the bitter end with all the trials and tribulations that the protagonist will go through. A character will grow and strengthen. If have a good character then you will be invested in them whether they’re hanging off a cliff or just buying a newspaper.
If you could spend time with a character from your
book, who would it be and why? And what would you get up to?
This is another challenging question as most of the characters in Blackwood are all very different and come with their pros and cons. I feel I would resonate with Amber; she has similar personality traits but I would still do things differently to her, I admire Deacon as he is confident without arrogance and tries to do the right thing, Michael would be a positive person to be around and the life and soul of a party but I would ultimately pick May. She has lived a heavy and challenging life but still continues to fight for her family no matter what. A tough almost unbreakable spirit which I admire, I’d like to have a gin session with her.
May sounds like a great character and I enjoy a glass (or two!) of gin. Is there any chance that I could tag along?
What did you edit out of your last book?
The ending. I wrote three different ending to Blackwood. Whilst in the editing process I asked a diverse selection of people to select which ending they preferred and why that was, and I found it profoundly interesting. It wasn’t an indecisive thing as such, more out of curiosity. I won’t spoil it but I didn’t expect the ending it became to be being so popular.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Try not to worry so much, stop caring what others think so much and stop saying yes so much. We all overcome personal challenges and have regrets as it is part of life. Yes, challenge yourself out of your comfort zone but when you feel ready and not for anyone else. Stay away from all the hair dye and bad make up choices, don’t have more than one vodka shot, it doesn’t matter if you've gained three pounds and there's no timeline for getting your work published. There’s not one writer in the world that hasn’t been rejected. Just enjoy the journey.
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Now that you know a little bit about the lady behind the words, let's talk about the book!
As a child, orphan Amber Wilde is thankful to be given a home at the haunting Blackwood Farm along the Yorkshire Coast, the home of the Blackwoods. But she soon becomes aware it's not all as it seems in the dysfunctional family.
Desperate to escape, she journeys towards adulthood away from Blackwood. But some secrets can’t remain buried, and what haunts her, keeps luring her back time and time again.
Secrets, lies and murder at the Blackwood house...
I don't know about you but I'm definitely intrigued by that blurb and the cover looks so atmospheric, I love it! As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, Blackwood is currently on offer and you can download a copy of your very own for just 99p, but be quick, as this is a limited time offer.
You can find out more about L. Marie, her book and connect with her using the links below:
I'd like to say a big thank you to L. Marie for taking the time to stop by and chat with me today. It's been fun finding out more about you and I wish you lots of success with Blackwood! 💕