Hello lovely people! We’re down to single digits until release day for The Solitary King and I cannot wait for you all to get your hands on the second chapter of Aria’s story. You can get your hands on it here: https://mybook.to/TheSolitaryKing
Today, I’m chatting with another one of my Once Upon a Name anthology coauthors, Marie Reed, so keep reading to find out more about our upcoming collection of fantasy short stories…
Hi Marie! Thank you so much for speaking to me today. Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in Ohio but have lived in Illinois as long as I can remember. I met my husband in high school; we have 2 kids who are both in school. My major in college was Archaeology and Classical Studies, and I would love to work in a museum or library.
That sounds absolutely fascinating! And a perfect background for creating fantasy stories. Working in a library would be such a dream job! When did you start writing and what inspired you?
I’ve been writing on and off since elementary school. My school had an author contest every year and we’d get to write and illustrate our books in hardback form. In fifth grade, mine was voted Best In Show and I got to go meet published authors and show them my book. I still have a signed copy of a book I got that day as well. I went through a poetry phase in high school and have since thrown all evidence of that away. Now that the kids are in school, I have quiet time to sit and write down the ideas that have been swirling around my head for years.
What an amazing opportunity your school gave you! I’m very jealous. My school had us write poems in the style of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, and when the school assessor came round they liked mine so much they took a copy to show round other schools. I was (and still am) so proud, but I didn’t get to meet a published author or get a signed book!! What are your favourite books that you’ve read?
I’ve read so many books that it’s hard to pick favorites. I read mostly urban and epic fantasy and sci-fi. However, Pride and Prejudice will forever be one of my favorite books. Terry Brooks is also one of my absolute favorite authors. And so many indie authors that I’ve come to find in the past few years!
I’ve loved reading more indie books over the last couple of years, both of my absolute favourite reads from 2021 were indie. Tell us about your upcoming debut publication!
My story about Callie Azuresmith in Once Upon a Name will be my first published story, but I am working on an urban fantasy/superhero story that I hope to have finished in the next year. I love reading about fantastic, magical places, so that’s what I write about.
I’m really excited to read your story, Forged in Fire, in Once Upon a Name, and your first novel! Where do you find the inspiration for your characters and story?
I’m not really sure where my characters come from; I usually start with a random scene in the middle of my story and the character builds themselves a history from that.
For my debut series, The Fair Chronicles, it was actually the setting that came first and then the story and characters came out of that, so there’s infinite ways inspiration for a story can strike. Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser?
I’m definitely more of a pantser, but am trying to outline and plan more to help with the pacing of my stories, and to make sure I can hit novel length word counts.
I’m a chronic underwriter, hitting word count goals is such a challenge for me, even as a card carrying plotter. What’s your current WIP?
My superhero story is about a girl named Natasha, who wanted to go into law enforcement, but found that no one trusts her in her hometown because of her…shocking outbursts. So she leaves home and decides to fight crime in the big city, and of course gets in over her head.
That sounds so cool, I love a good superhero movie so I’ll definitely be reading that when you publish! What one piece of advice would you give to fellow aspiring authors?
I would say to stay at your own pace and do your own thing. One person might tell you that you need to write a thousand words every day, another might say you need a detailed outline before you can write. Do whatever feels natural.
Brilliant advice, I love that. It can be really disheartening to hear some writers say you need to write every single day, or showing off their huge daily word counts, especially when some of us work full time and have young kids. Staying in your own lane and keeping your eyes on your own paper can be challenging, but it’s so important if you want to achieve your own goals and not be distracted by what everyone else is doing.
Thank you so much for chatting with me today Marie! Before you go, where can we find out more about you and keep up to date with your works-in-progress?
How lovely is Marie? I’m excited for Once Upon a Name’s release so you can read both Marie’s story, Forged in Fire, and mine, Baroness of Blood and Bone!
Have you seen the 2022 reading planner we’ve put together to raise even more money for Book Aid International? It’s full of really useful layouts like habit trackers, month at a glance, a year in books and review pages to help you keep track of your reading and make notes on the books you read. It also features quotes and illustrations from our stories in the anthology, which you could even colour in if you fancied!
Click here to get your copy: https://mybook.to/OUAN-Planner