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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Interview with Marni Mann author of Seductive Shadows

 

What’s a typical day like in the life of Marni Mann?

  • I usually wake up between 5:00-6:00a and with a very large cup of coffee I head straight to my computer. I enjoy writing really early in the morning because I’m not distracted by social media, phone calls, or email. The quietness usually lasts until about 8:00 and that’s when I shift to marketing. For the rest of the day, I alternate between writing, marketing and some form of communication, and that could continue into the evening or stop at around dinnertime. When the words are really flowing, I have a hard time switching them off.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

  •   It was an emotion that lived inside my chest - it still does - and it trickled down my arm, to my hand, and released through my fingers. When I was younger, the emotion only dulled when I held a pen. Now it’s satisfied when my fingers are resting on a keyboard. It’s very difficult to describe the feeling, but writing has just always felt right.
Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?

  •   I believe I was five or six and it was a book about the dog I wanted. I even drew my own pictures. I can’t say my drawing has improved since then, but my writing definitely has. ;)
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way, either growing up or as an adult?

  •  Because every author has such a unique voice, I’m constantly inspired and influenced by their creations. There are authors I’ve been reading for most of my life - like Stephen King - and some I just found last month. I’m honestly a huge fan of the written word and I’m willing to read just about anything.
Where do you get your ideas from? Do they come to you or are they inspired by true events?

  •   My books always start with the main character and all of my protagonists have come to me in dreams. Some of my books have been inspired by true events or have been triggered by certain images that I found and others have just come to me.
Do you work with an outline or just write?
  •   I use an outline. It’s never too detailed, but it highlights the major points I need to hit. The filler between each point is completely organic.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you get out of the funk?
  •   I have and it’s horrific. I reread the notes that readers have sent to me - I save every single one of them, even direct messages, emails, and social media shout outs - and I use their words as fuel.
What part of the writing process is the hardest for you, whether it’s first draft, rewriting or editing?
  •   Editing is the most difficult step in the process because it’s lengthy, extremely detailed, and it’s when every point and thought needs to seamlessly blend together.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what do you listen to?
  • Music is a necessity. It has to be playing super loud, too, and it’s usually something a bit dark with heavy beats like dubstep or Swedish House Mafia. Something that gets me moving in my chair, but also triggers creativity.
Seductive Shadows  What inspired Seductive Shadows?
  • I was inspired by several images: the masks from Eyes Wide Shut, a mirrored floor, a few pieces of art, and the different emotional and physical layers of sex. The challenge was finding a way to weave these all together.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Hardest?
  •   My favorite scene was the first kiss between Cameron and Charlie. It had been building for such a long time that the embrace was just a powerful moment to write. The hardest was the scenes between Charlie and her mother. They had such a broken relationship and her mom was just a horrible person. Emotional darkness can be really challenging to write because those moments are extra sensitive and extremely personal.
Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why? What would you say to that person?
  •   I’d like to meet Cameron because he’s absolutely beautiful and who doesn’t want to admire that kind of hotness in person? I also believe he needs a good listener and he could benefit from a heavy emotional purge and that’s exactly what I would tell him.
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
  •   Someone once said that I didn’t give one of my books my full effort and I didn’t try hard enough. As authors, we have to understand that not everyone is going to like the stories we create, our characters, our voice, or even us as people. That’s life and the difference of opinion and we’re all entitled to form our own. But when I take on a project, the project completely owns me in every aspect and I put everything I have into my work.
What has been the best compliment?
  •   It’s hard to pick a best because I’m just so honored that readers take the time to contact me, that they’re willing to share their emotions, how the book affected them, and what they loved about it. All compliments are truly cherished.
 Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
  •  Write as much as you can. Every writer has his or her own unique voice and it’s impossible to find that voice unless you experiment. My other piece of advice is read everything you can get your hands on because behind every great writer is a great reader.

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