I started writing nine summers ago when I was on maternity leave with my son. My girls were two and four at the time. Needless to say, my writing was sparse, but my first attempt (I say attempt because that manuscript—that took two years to write—is the typical “first book”. Perfect heroine who has two perfect men fighting over her. Blah). Since then, I’ve written eight books and am almost finished with my ninth.
Q: What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?
In my earlier days I needed to have complete silence so I typically wrote at night after the kids went to bed. Now that they’re older and less needy, I can multi-task and tune them out, but I do like to be alone. Music is good if it’s soft—otherwise I sing along and too many lyrics end up in my book. I don’t plot, but I don’t fly by the seat of my pants. I use my non-writing-time to think about my characters and their conflicts. I “cook” my story and am able to write quickly when I do get a moment to sit at my laptop.
Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Read. Read. And read some more. Preferably in a lounge chair in the sun.
Q: How did you deal with rejection letters, if you received any?
They suck. There’s no other word for it. I didn’t query my books for quite a few years because I didn’t want to deal with rejection. Instead I wrote. When I finished one book I started the next. My first few rejections were form rejections. Of course I was upset and didn’t feel like writing anymore. That lasted an hour or so and then I went back at it. Two years ago I received two amazing telephone calls, one from an agent and one from an editor. They were kind rejections, but these two women took the time to call me and give me pointers on how to strengthen my writing. It was so inspiring. That’s when I actively pursued getting published.
Q: Would you tell us your story of getting “the call?”
Well, even though my two calls I got were kind rejections, I consider them a prequel to “the call”. My first contract came through an email. It was six thirty in the morning and no one was at work yet. I opened my email and had to read the message a few times to process. I forwarded it to my husband and my best friend and then ran up and down the hall waiting for people to get to work so I could show them my email.
Q: Why did you decide to write stories that take place in New England?
Write what you know, right? While I’m from California and my entire family lives out there, I love the small town contemporary romances. They feel cozier and heartfelt. People escape to Maine (aka Vacationland) to relax and write. I get to live here. The setting goes very well with the types of stories I like to tell: small towns and family dynamics.
Q: What books can we expect to see in the near future?
The Wilde Sisters series just got picked up by Secret Craving Publishing. The first book, Sweet on You, comes out in September with the rest of the series coming out in January and May of 2016. I’ve also started another series—set in Rocky Harbor, Maine—centered around a family of six foster children all grown up and looking to find their place in the world.
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
You can find me just about everywhere: www.mariannerice.weebly.com
Thanks again for joining us! Join me on Saturday as we read and excerpt from Marianne’s latest release, FALSE IMPRESSIONS.
Until then, Be Naughty!