Sunday, June 1, 2008

Interview with the Amazing Melissa Marr

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Melissa Marr, author of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange. My comments are in red. *Note* Ignore the weird box thing above, I can't get it to go away. *yells at Blogger... Blogger cowers and promises to be good*

1.) Forgive me for asking the generic interview question, but what got you
interested in writing?

I've been interested in writing since the 6th grade when my English teacher, Sister Elaine Peters, gave me a poetry journal and told me to go write. I wrote poetry through college (mostly just for myself) and then set it aside in graduate school to focus on teaching. I was afraid to pursue it as I heard how impossible it was to make a career of it, so it wasn't until I was about 30 that (with my spouse's continued encouragement) I decided to take a couple years and give it a try.

2.) I hear that you like tattoos. How many do you have? Are you planning on getting any more? Do you have a favorite tattoo artist?

I have three. One is in progress (my backpiece). Another (the first one, a vine with flowers that encircles my torso) is being re-coloured & extended further. Yes, I'm planning on continuing to get art when it feels right. Currently, my artist is Paul Roe (owner and founder of BritishinkDC), but there are other artists whose work find enthralling. I adore Paul, and he's the right person for the art I'm doing right now. . . just as Hunter was the right man for my first art.

3.) What does your dream house look like?

Ugh. I don't want a house. Ever. We move regularly, & every time we discuss buying a house but the idea of that sort of anchor fills me with terror.

4.) Do you own many books? Which ones are your favorites?

I own an obscene number of books (much to my movers dismay every few years). I go through the shelves every year and donate a few boxes, but I still have piles and overflowing shelves. My favourites are 1) a copy of classic poetry my mother gave me when I was in middle school (held together by a rubberband), 2) a book of fairy tales from my Gramma (printed in 1902 and inscribed with her name by her hand when she was a child) and 3) a book of Aesop's Fables that my uncle gave me when I was about 6 years old. Those don't get boxed up. I carry them with me when I move.

Mmm, good idea... wish I owned books with that much history.

5.) If you weren't writing YA fantasy, what would you be doing?

I suspect that I'd be teaching lit and language at university. That's what I did before this, & I miss it a lot. Teaching is an amazing experience. There are other things I'd like to try too, but right now, I'd be teaching if not for writing.

6.) Did you base your characters off of anyone you know?

Aside from Grams, all the characters are straight-up fiction. In retrospect, I can see fingerprints of different people I've known on some characters, but that wasn't intentional. Grams, however, very intentionally has some of my grandmother's personality . . . bc I think she's the coolest woman I've ever known and I wanted other people to get a glimpse of her.

7.) What was the last book you read? How was it?

Well, I won't do "Most recent" as I only own up to reading a book if I enjoy it. The past few haven't done it for me, so I'll go with the most recent I've enjoyed. I read Charlaine Harris' latest Sookie novel just recently, and I enjoyed it a great deal. I've been a fan of Harris' Sookie books (& her earlier mystery series) for years. I love how she's not just one genre, and of course, the Southern atmosphere continues to thrill me. . . and the worldbuilding.

In YA, my two most recent reads that I'd put in the favourite list is THE FOREST OF HANDS & TEETH by Carrie Ryan (out in 09) and I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE by Stephanie Kuehnert (out in July). Very different books, but both were ones I'm still raving over. I'm pre-ordering these for friends, & I'm giving away copies of IWBYJR on my blog.

Hmm... *makes mental note to check that out*

8.) I'm sure you've received numerous good reviews. Are there any that particularly stick out in your mind?

The books have had some very sweet reviews (including starred reviews), but I'm less concerned with reviews than with readers' responses. I don't write for reviewers. A reader in Texas came to my signing & said something that made every fear and doubt about the books vanish. That's the important thing for me. Readers like her. The other part is nice, and I am grateful that so many reviewers have "got" the books. . . but all the reviews in the world don't equal the readers whose books these were meant to be.

9.) What do you do to overcome writer's block?

I don't believe in writer's block, so I'm not sure how to answer. There are times a story needs to simmer, and there are times it flows. Both are part of the process. I just try to let my muse do her thing.

10.) Tempests, whirlwinds, or typhoons?

Hmmm. My favourite storms are rainshowers. The other sorts can cost lives, so I'm not particularly keen on them. If I could have the edge of a Tropical Storm without loss of life (ocean animal or human), I'd go with that. I walked along the beach during the early winds of a Tropical Storm & it was amazing. The air was alive; the sand had teeth. Very very exciting . . .

11.) So… Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange…. what's next?

Harper bought 4 more novels. The third one (which was called Enthralled but is tentatively re-titled to Fragile Eternity) comes out in 09. It's a sequel to WL (yes, that means more Seth). I have some other things coming out too. In Fall 08, I have a story in the LOVE IS HELL anthology (supernatural romance stories). In 09, I also have my first manga (DESERT FEY) and a story in an adult short story anthology.

Oh yay! I'll have to keep my eye out for those.

It seems we have come to the end of another delightful interview. I would like to thank Ms. Marr for taking the time to answer my questions.

From the Shadows,


Heather♥ said...

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is an amazing book. Amazing. I haven't been able to read Melissa Marr's books yet, but I'm really really wanting to. I'll definitely have to check them out soon.

Great interview Medeia!

Medeia said...

Thanks :)

Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange are definitely books that I would recommend buying, and that's saying a lot. I don't buy books unless I'm prepared to re-read them multiple times. Completely worth it.

BooksandLove said...

Thank you Melissa! I'm looking forward to the Wicked Lovely Sequel.
*jumps around*