**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with Author, MARILYN LEVINSON
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 fulltime writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share.
I live on Long Island. I started out in Brooklyn. My family moved to Nassau County when I was in ninth grade. After attending Syracuse University, I taught high school Spanish on Long Island. My husband, Bernie, and I raised our two sons in Jericho. Eleven years ago Bernie and I moved to a gated community in Suffolk County. Each move takes me further east. I wonder if I’ll end up living in Montauk one day.
Writing and all it involves (blogging and guest blogging, marketing, communicating with my fellow writers via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, my writing organizations) takes up a good part of my life. I’d go so far as to say writing is my way of life. I also love traveling abroad, reading, Yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and my red cat, Sammy.
1. How did you get started writing?
I learned to read very quickly, and began to devour books at an alarming rate. Soon I was creating my own stories. I still have my first notebook of stories that I’d written as a third grader.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I’m a true Gemini and write in two–actually three–genres. The very first novel I completed was a romantic suspense. I hope to have it, after many revisions, come out later this year. My most recently published book, Dangerous Relations, is also a romantic suspense. I enjoy blending mystery, suspense, and romance in a novel.
My first published books were novels for children and YA, and were published traditionally. When they went out of print, I brought three of them back as ebooks. I may have started to write children’s literature because my sons were young at the time, but I still like writing them. It’s so much fun “being” a boy who has magic he can’t always control.<g> I’ve just finished writing a sequel to Rufus and Magic Run Amok called Rufus and the Witch’s Slave, and I plan to write a third soon. Good children’s books live on and on. I love hearing from teachers that they’re still reading my books with their students.
About twelve years ago, I started writing mysteries for adults. I love reading mysteries, which is probably why I gravitated to this genre. I also love the mystery-writing world and the many friends I’ve made here.
3. What is your favorite part of writing?
I write from an outline, but get my biggest kick when an idea comes to me as I’m writing and takes me off in a slightly different direction. As a writing friend once put it, it’s good to leave room in your plotting for surprises.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Sitting down and getting started. Why am I nervous each time I sit down at the computer to write? I procrastinate, check my emails, read a blog and leave a comment–anything to avoid actual writing. No wonder it all spills out as dinnertime arrives, and I should be preparing a meal. But the important thing is I get the words down.
5. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Everywhere. I usually have my setting and characters, and then see what kind of trouble they can get into.
6. What is your typical day like?
Most mornings I go to aerobics . When I come home, I go through my email, etc., which takes hours. I run errands, if necessary, then start to write.
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
I think the most difficult for me is description–of people, outdoor scenes, etc. I keep my descriptions short and as vivid as I can write them. I don’t like reading descriptions, either. I prefer showing my characters’ personalities and emotions through their actions and reactions.
8. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
I’ve two books coming out in the next few months. Untreed Reads is publishing Getting Back to Normal, which is perhaps my favorite of all the books I’ve written. Sixth-grader Vannie Taylor’s mom has just died, and her dad’s having a tough time adjusting. He brings her and her brother to live on the estate whose events he manages. Here Vannie meets a friendly ghost with an agenda of his own. Vannie’s life gets back to normal, but not in any way she expected.
L&L Dreamspell is bringing out my mystery, Murder a la Christie. Professor Lexie Driscoll is leading the first meeting of the Golden Age of Mystery book club, when a dear friend is murdered. More members are murdered, and Lexie investigates, employing the sleuthing methods of Poirot and Miss Marple.
Links to Marilyn’s website, blog, books, etc.
My website: http://www.marilynlevinson.com
My blog, Tides and Tidings, is connected to my website: http://www.marilynlevinson.com/blog/
I also blog the first and third Monday of every month on: http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com
My books are all on my Amazon page: http://amzn.to/K6Md1O
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about Marilyn and her novel, DANGEROUS RELATIONS, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench!
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Marilyn will give away an e-book copy of DANGEROUS RELATIONS to one of her lucky readers who comments on either her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs!! Winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday, April 15, 2013. Thanks, Marilyn, for sharing your stories with us!