Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
I am a full-time writer, though not of fiction. I’ve been a writer, editor, and designer for almost 25 years, mostly in business, marketing, and technical fields, and am now moving as fast as I can into the world of fiction, both my own and supporting other authors. I grew up in Denver, Colorado, where I still live with my two kittens, India and Burton, who demand that I talk about them in every interview. (They would like everyone to know that they are no longer kittens, having just turned one, and their mom should stop treating them like babies.)
1. What genre(s) do you write and why?
Regency romance and mainstream historical. My mom’s side of the family can trace the family tree back further than the Norman Conquest, so I grew up with family lore and a healthy respect for ancestry. Both of my mainstream historicals were based on family stories—the first, my paternal grandmother’s childhood in Brooklyn, the second my maternal great-great uncle’s career as an international journalist. None of my Regencies have any familial connection, but I do like to joke that I would be a capital-L Lady if my ancestor hadn’t signed Charles I’s death warrant.
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Invisibility. I used to be a “people person,” but not as much anymore. I also like to wander around my house naked, which my roommates don’t like as much as I do.
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
I don’t suffer from writer’s block very often, but when I do, I work on some other piece of the project: the cover design or blurb or media kit or marketing plan. Since I am a professional writer and designer, I do almost all my own marketing work, and it is a different mindset to step away from the manuscript and into the business side. I’ve also been known to eke out a poem or two, purely to get out of “novel head.”
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Endings. I hate endings. Invariably, I have to write three or more to find the right resolution for both characters and plot. Every once in a while, the right closing rolls off my pen (La Déesse Noire is an example of that hallowed circumstance), but usually, it is like cutting off my own arm and beating myself about the head and shoulders with it. Then cutting off the other arm.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Just about anything you want. I love to cook and love new recipes.
6. What is your typical day like?
I usually spend at least half the day on freelance work, and the other half on either writing or book marketing (or both). Recently, I have started working with a handful of other authors, so more and more of my time is taken up with publishing concerns. I’ve just signed a contract to publish a mainstream historical and have two novellas to release later this year, so presumably, there will be a lot of editing and rewriting in my near future.
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
The most difficult thing for me, actually, is setting. I tend to be character-driven, and sometimes they don’t pay much attention to their surroundings. Emotion can sometimes feel stiff, especially on first draft, because, by nature, I’m not a very emotional person. As a general rule, I have to stay very cognizant of character reactions to their immediate environment.
8. A penguin walks into your office, right now, wearing a sombrero. What does he say to you and why is he here?
He says: “Have you taken your meds today?” I’ve been treated for bipolar disorder for almost 20 years, and no penguins have been in my vicinity for a very long time.
9. If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
Illiteracy, because education can solve a lot of other ills.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess will be released on June 10, and tells the story of Kali Matai, a famed London dancer and toast of the demimonde. She is the illegitimate daughter of a British peer and an Indian courtesan once under the protection of the Maratha Empire, and is forced to England after her mother’s death. When she finds herself controlled by a bevy of merciless men, her family and friends under dire threat, she has to use all of the resources at her disposal to save herself.
Links to Mariana’s website, blog, books, etc.
The book is currently available for pre-order at:
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Fc31m3
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1K1vMGq
All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/1DeYx8O
Website and Blog: http://www.MarianaGabrielle.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/marianagabrielle
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about Mariana, her release, and an excerpt from La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Mariana is giving away an E-copy of Royal Regard (now) or La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess (June 10 delivery) to one lucky reader (choice of format) who comments on her *Author Peek* Interview or Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs. Don’t miss the chance to read this book! Thanks, Mariana, for sharing your story with us!