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Friday, December 31, 2010

Spotlight Author with Marie Force

Happy New Year!!!! Welcome back! Boy, I can’t believe that 2011 has already hit. This year will be no different than years past. Along with millions of other people, I too have set new resolutions for myself. The hardest one of them all… STICK TO IT! One of my many resolutions this year has to do with my blog. I have been doing a lot of planning and thinking about how I can improve my blog. I have some things in mind and hope that all of you will be happy with the improvements.

One thing that won’t change is how hard I work to keep an exciting list of authors visiting my site. Today’s visitor is Marie Force.

Marie Force is the author of FATAL AFFAIR (June 2010) and FATAL JUSTICE (Jan. 2011), Books 1 and 2 in her new Fatal Series from Harlequin’s Carina Press. Book 3, FATAL CONSEQUENCES, is coming in 2011. “This novel is “The O.C.” does D.C., and you just can’t get enough.” (Romantic Times, 4.5 stars for FATAL AFFAIR). In its July 2010 issue, Romantic Times named Marie a “Future Star of Romantic Suspense.” Marie is also the author of three contemporary romances: Everybody Loves a Hero (Feb. 2011), Line of Scrimmage (Sept. 2008) and Love at First Flight (July 2009). Of Line of Scrimmage, Booklist said, “With its humor and endearing characters, Force’s charming novel will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, reaching far beyond sports fans.” Wild on Books said, “Love at First Flight by Marie Force is most definitely a keeper. It is an astounding book. I loved every single word!” Marie is also the author of TRUE NORTH, available as an ebook via Amazon.com and Smashwords.

Since 1996, Marie has been the communications director for a national organization similar to RWA. She is a member of RWA’s New England, Beau Monde, From the Heart and Published Author Special Interest Chapters.

While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of Emily, 15, Jake, 12, and a feisty dog named Brandy.

Find her at www.mariesullivanforce.com, on her blog at http://mariesullivanforce.blogspot.com/, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Force/248130827909, and on Twitter at twitter.com/MarieForce. Marie loves to hear from readers. Contact her at http://marie@marieforce.com/.

Now that you’ve had a chance to get to know her a little better, here she is to chat with us about her upcoming releases.

You have two books coming to stores. FATAL JUSTICE in January and EVERYONE LOVES A HERO in February. Give us a little teaser of both if you don’t mind.

First of all, thanks for having me today! Let’s see, FATAL JUSTICE is first on Jan. 3. So here’s the lowdown on that one:

Supreme Court nominee Julian Sinclair comes to Washington expecting to be confirmed to the high court. Instead, he’s found shot execution-style in a city park. Detective Lt. Sam Holland’s list of suspects is long, but does it include her significant other, Senator Nick Cappuano, one of the last to see Sinclair alive? While tracking down Sinclair's killer, Sam is also confronted with a new clue into her father's unsolved shooting that leads to unexpected danger for her. In the meantime, Sam's partner, Detective Freddie Cruz, returns to the "scene of the crime" when he looks up Elin Svendsen, one of the late Senator John O'Connor's sexy ex-girlfriends. After a lifetime of virtue, will Freddie be led down the road to ruin by a temptress who wants only one thing from him?

FATAL JUSTICE is the second in my Fatal Series. FATAL CONSEQUENCES will be out in July 2011, FATAL DESTINY, a novella featuring the characters’ wedding, will be out in the fall of 2011, and FATAL FLAW is coming in early 2012.

EVERYONE LOVES A HERO is out February 1. Here’s the scoop:

Everyone loves a hero. That's the problem.
Hero pilot Cole Langston is learning to live with—and enjoy—his new found fame and the rabid female attention that comes with it until a lucky punch knocks some sense into him and opens his eyes to true love.

When his copilot suffers a heart attack in flight, Cole lands the jetliner in a blizzard and revives the stricken captain. Catapulted to national hero status, Cole has more women vying for his attention than he knows what to do with. They all have one thing in common: they try without success to bring this happy-go-lucky pilot down to earth. Then comes an airport altercation, a punch to the face, and the lovely Olivia—a shy, timid artist who does what no other woman has ever managed to do: steal Cole's well-protected heart. With women coming on to him everywhere they go, Olivia struggles to believe that Cole is ready for a committed relationship. His biggest problem is getting rid of all his extra ladies before the only one he wants figures out that she's one of many.

There are excerpts of both available on my website at www.mariesullivanforce.com.


Most writers tend to know from the start that one day they want to be a “writer.” A lot of them, like you, go to school and start a career geared towards that goal. When was the first time you realized you wanted to write for the characters stories running around inside of your head?

The writing part started for me in the 10th grade when a high school English teacher told me I had talent. That was news to me! The following year, I sacrificed band class (sadness) to take the journalism class that teacher was offering the same period as band. I was never sorry I did that as I went on to major in journalism in college and worked for several years as a reporter. I continue to use skills I gained during my journalism years every day in my current job as the communications director for a national organization. The characters appeared a little later. In 2002, I started having long conversations with a character named Jack. He was the start of it all. (More below about Jack!)

What steps did you take to follow your dreams?

First off, I wrote every day for a lot of years. Seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year. I did that until I had developed a good habit of daily production. In that time, I wrote seven books. The seventh one, Line of Scrimmage, was the first to be published. The first three books I wrote, the one featuring Jack and the two that followed, are still my favorites, and I hope to see them published someday—or I’ll do it myself. I really think readers will love those books. I also queried a lot until I found an agent who sold Line of Scrimmage. I was very determined and very focused on my goal. I think that made a big difference for me. I continue to be just as determined, but I don’t write every day anymore—except when I‘m on deadline.

What’s one thing that you know now that you wished you knew when you started your journey as a writer?

I wish I had known more about what happens after you get The Call and what questions to ask. I know what questions matter now, and that’s really important.

Every author has something different to give to their reader with their work. What do you think makes your writing unique?

I like to write about regular people who find themselves in extraordinary situations. I’m a big believer that much of life happens in the gray area between black and white. I love to delve into that gray area. One of my favorite of my books, The Fall, is about a prominent doctor who falls in love with his best friend’s girlfriend. Such a simple premise but with far-reaching ramifications for everyone involved. I love the notion of a man who thinks he knows himself and what’s important until he meets The One and everything he thought he knew becomes irrelevant. I’ll be posting The Fall to Amazon soon. I hope readers will check it out and enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it. Much of my darling Jack’s story involves gray area, too. That’s where all the fun happens for me as a writer.

In the past I have asked my guests to share a favorite character that they have created and why, but in reading your piece “The House that Jack Built,” you answered that question for me. Can you share with the readers your story about Jack?

Ahhh yes, my beloved Jack Harrington! Here’s the story: The first character to take up occupancy in my mind as a living, breathing human being, was a handsome, successful architect named Jack Harrington. Jack and I ran around together for a long time before I ever put fingers to keyboard to tell his story. I wanted to write about a man who has it all—a wife he still adores after twenty years of marriage, three beautiful daughters he'd do anything for, and a life most people would envy. That life is turned upside down when his wife is hit by a car and plunged into a coma. I wanted to show Jack's struggles to rebuild his life as he becomes the custodial parent for his daughters—two of them teenagers with all the accompanying issues—and I wanted to show his conflict when he finds a new love. These issues make up the core of my first book, "Treading Water," which led to two sequels, "Marking Time," and "My Side of the Street." It's "Treading Water," however, that is the book of my heart.

Since I finished "Treading Water," I've thought of my writing as "The House That Jack Built," tying into his career as an architect and the unexpected building blocks that came from "Treading Water." As I was finishing "My Side of the Street" in July 2006, I decided to drive out to Chatham, Massachusetts, so I could finish it in the town where it was set. Yes, this was a huge indulgence, but it coincided with the halfway point of summer vacation and my kids were driving me nuts. I had earned this night away! The first thing I did when I got to Chatham was drive around to check out the four streets I had chosen from hundreds on a map to place my characters' homes. I figured if there was, say, a cement factory on both sides of the street, the people of Chatham would know I hadn't bothered to come out there and check. I am pleased to report there were houses on all four streets, but on the corner of the fourth street, there was something else—a red house with a sign on the side that said, "The House That Jack Built." No, I am not kidding, and yes, I sat there and cried. If ever there was a "sign" that I was on the path I was meant to be on, there it was. It was without a doubt, one of the most amazing moments of my life, and I will never, ever forget it. You can view the photo of the house and read the second part of the story at www.mariesullivanforce.com/writing.php.

After hearing this story, you can probably see why I want so badly to share these three books with readers. In the next year or so, I hope to get them out there!

What are you reading right now? If nothing at the moment then what do you like to read when you have time?

I recently started a Book Club on my blog (http://mariesullivanforce.blogspot.com/) where we feature a new book every week and invite the authors to come out and interact with readers. Most of them offer up at least one giveaway book. Well, Robyn Carr of Virgin River fame is going to be our guest on Dec. 16. As a thank you for having her, the lovely Ms. Carr sent me PROMISE CANYON, the first in her new Virgin River trilogy, out in January. I can’t wait to dive into this book as the Virgin River series is one of my all-time favorites! I’ve also been reading a lot of romantic suspense lately (for the book club), but that is unusual for me. I tend to not read that which I write. That’s why I read a lot of historical romances. Lisa Kleypas is my favorite. I often say that she could write the phone book, and I’d read it. I love every one of her books.

Give us a glimpse into a writer’s life.

My writer’s life is so weird! LOL! I work all day from my home in RI for a company in Virginia. I started with them 15 years ago when my husband was stationed with the Navy in the DC area. When we moved to Florida 12 years ago they asked me to stay on as a full-time telecommuter. I’ve been doing that ever since—from the time my kids were babies until now when the oldest is in high school and the youngest in middle school. So that’s my day job. Around 5:30, I quit work to make dinner, manage homework, drive kids here there and everywhere, make the next day’s lunches, fold laundry and wrangle the crazy puppy. I’ve gotten really good at getting all the chores done very quickly! Speed folding? I’m your girl.

When ALL of that is done, I write. Usually from about 7:30 to about 10 or 11—or until my eyes give out. On any given day, it all depends on whether or not it’s happening. If the word aren’t coming, I quit trying and work on my website or blog or fool around with my friends on Facebook.I also make sure to save a little time at the end of every day to read (yes, I am hard on my eyes!) I’m lucky that my kids are a little older now and like to have downtime of their own, so they are very good about accommodating my writing time at night and on weekends. The only time my schedule deviates is when I’m on deadline—then I force myself to write whether it’s happening or not—and when I travel for work. No writing gets done then. I’ve learned that I need to be at home to be productive. Quiet hotels don’t work as well for me as my own crazy living room. Funny story about this oddity of mine: when I was recently on deadline for FATAL CONSEQUENCES, I was traveling for work and had time at night after my commitments, but it was just too damned quiet in the hotel room. So I turned on the show Parenthood and the chaos on the show was very similar to my house. I wrote 3,000 words that night. See? I told you I’m weird!

Do you have any advice on writing, getting published, or finding an agent?

Perseverance is key. You can’t ever give up. This business is so fraught with hard knocks that you just have to hang in there and keep trying and keep perfecting your craft. Another thing that I think is really important is being open to criticism. SO MANY aspiring authors have asked me to tell them what is wrong with their book, but so few really want to hear it. If nothing seems to be working, if you’re getting rejection after rejection, ask a published author to tell you why and then LISTEN to what they say. Few people find themselves published due to luck alone. It’s a lot more complicated than that, and being open to the truth can make the difference between stop and go for a new writer.

Where can we find out more about you and your books?

You can find me on my website at http://www.mariesullivanforce.com/, my blog at http://http//mariesullivanforce.blogspot.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Force/248130827909 and on Twitter at twitter.com/marieforce. You can find my books on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Force/e/B001JS34LY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1and my Fatal Books are available via http://ebooks.carinapress.com/ under the Romantic Suspense tab.

Marie, thank you so much for the interview. It has been a pleasure having you at Micole Writes Romance.

It was great to be here! Thanks for having me!

I hope all of you take a minute to stop by Marie's website and blog. Wishing you much success Marie. Also Marie will be giving one lucky commenter a copy of her her book Fatal Justice! So get to commenting friends.

Hugs

Micole

16 comments:

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much for having me, Micole! I'm happy to give away a copy of Fatal Justice to one commenter today. Looking forward to chatting.

krisgils33 said...

Congrats on the release. Looking forward to reading it and many more!!!

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much, Kris! Thanks for following me around the blog-o-sphere! You're a pal!

Monie said...

I am so intriqued by the Jack story! I hope you get that published next! Congrats again!!!!

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much, Monie! I told my agent that selling Treading Water is my ONLY writing goal for 2011. Fingers crossed. :-)

flchen1 said...

Marie and Micole, thanks for that interview! I love learning more about favorite authors :) Marie, thanks for sharing the story about The House That Jack Built--and how neat to see how that played out when you visited! How amazing to have a little extra confirmation :)

Congrats on Fatal Justice! Can't wait to read the whole series!

oklanannie said...

Great blog!

Marie, I know I've told you many times that I am keeping my fingers & toes crossed, praying, wishing on falling stars, and singing the Beatles tune, "Let it Be!" that "Treading Water" is published soon! From my first visit to your website I was intrigued by "The House that Jack Built." I want more, more, more of Jack!!!

Your latest ebooks made my holiday reading very very enjoyable!

And FATAL JUSTICE is loaded and ready to read this afternoon! Can't wait to see what's up with Sam and Nick!

Wishing everyone a good day!!!

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much, Annie! From your lips to God's ears (or publisher's ears--LOL) I so hope to see Treading Water, Marking Time and My Side of the Street out there someday. I continue to remain optimistic on their behalf! Hope you enjoy Fatal Justice!!!

Sheri Humphreys said...

Marie, I actually think this interview is the best author interview I've ever read. So much of it resonated with me.

It's all about perseverance--yes!

I'd have loved to hear more about what you wished you'd known when you got The Call.

But the best part was The House that Jack built. Just the best!
Best Wishes, Sheri

Marie Force said...

Sheri,
I am so glad you enjoyed the interview and that you liked the HTJB story. Sometimes when I think about it, I still can't believe that happened!

As for what I wish I'd known when I got the call: things like print runs and distribution channels and other such issues that writers don't give much thought to until they are published, but they can make a very big difference in a career path.

Sharon Lathan said...

Marie! My buddy, my pal!! How are ya baby? :-) Great to "see" you hanging out with Micole. Isn't she the best?

I am way behind on my Marie Force novels and this is a tragedy! I think the Kindle needs to be dusted off. I have some free time for a change and have been wondering which book to read of the dozens on my TBR pile. No better choice than a Marie Force novel! I know it will probably make me cry like LAFF did, but that is all good.

Wishing you tons and TONS of luck on your new ventures, my friend. I hope to see you in NYC and hear all about it.

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much, Sharon! Great to see you here. Hope everything is going well for you! xoxo

Micole Black said...

Marie, thank you for being a guest on my blog. :-) It was a pleasure having you here.

Guests thank you all for stopping by and saying hi to Marie as well as kicking off the new year right.

Good luck to all commenter s.

Hugs

Micole

JenM said...

Marie, I would love to read "Treading Water". Since you are doing so well with True North and The Fall, are you thinking about self-publishing it also?

jen at delux dot com

Marie Force said...

Thanks for having me, Micole! Appreciate it!

Jen, so nice to hear of your interest in Treading Water. Let's just say I won't rule anything out, but that book has never been shopped to publishers, so I'd like to go that route first. We'll see what happens! Thanks again!

I'll get with Micole and choose a winner of the giveaway.

Marie Force said...

The winner of the giveaway copy of Fatal Justice is Sheri Humphries! Contact me at marie@marieforce.com to arrange for delivery. Thanks to everyone who came by to say hello and for all the good wishes!
xoxo