Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Interview with Marianna Morea Author of the Cursed by Blood Saga

Do you have a specific writing style?
I guess I’ve always been a writer, even before I even put pen to paper I used to make up stories in my head, complete with full-blown characters in 3-D with full dialogue. It used to make my parents worry, to say the least, but once I started writing down my stories instead of acting them out, they relaxed about.
My writing style is usually that of a pantster. The stories unfold in my head as I’m writing them, sort of like my own personal movie. I dream about my characters. They tap me on the shoulder mentally, every chance they get…usually when I’m in the shower or driving. Lately, though, I’ve had to cultivate the art of outlining simply because I’m writing sequels and books farther into my series. You can be a pantser when writing a stand-alone book, but you absolutely have to outline when other books can, and often do, refer back to the first one.

Do you write in different genres?
Yes, but under the overall ‘Romance’ umbrella. I have WIPs outlined and partially written in Contemporary Romance, YA Romantic Suspense with a hint of horror and history, and even Historical Romance. The only thing I haven’t tried, and probably won’t, is Steampunk. I just can’t wrap my head around it writing-wise. I enjoy it, but the genre doesn’t ‘speak’ to me creatively.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
Paranormal/Contemporary, as well as Historical with a paranormal edge. I like stories that make me dream about ‘what ifs’, and paranormals, especially those set in contemporary settings do that for me, but I cut my teeth reading books like The Wolf and the Dove, by Kathleen Woodwiss, so Historicals hold a place very dear to my heart, and a genre I will eventually write. I tried my hand at it in Blood Legacy, giving that story a bit of a historical edge when I took the reader back in time through my vampire’s reminiscences. It was fun to write, and something I’d like to do more of.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
My books are usually titled before they are completed, and in some instances, even named before I’ve finished outlining them. For example, book three in the Cursed by Blood Saga is already titled, ‘The Lion’s Den’. It’s just a name that felt right based on the progression of the characters in my saga.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t plan it that way, but when characters have to overcome emotional, romantic and personal obstacles to get to the place they need to be, there’s bound to be some sort of lesson somewhere in the mix. In the Cursed by Blood Saga there is a coming to terms with grief and a deeper need to face one’s own frailty and accept life for what it is, good and bad. In Blood Legacy, there is a search for forgiveness and redemption and to find meaning in what the fates have dealt out. These ‘messages’ weren’t purposefully planned. They just happened as I wrote the story, and my characters developed.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes. Yes, and yes. Everything I write (paranormal elements, aside) is based on me, my life, people I know or have met and my own experiences. It’s the only way I can make the words resonate. Obviously, my imagination embellishes the story and takes over from there, but there is my own truth in every scene and in every character I write. Even people I just meet briefly, or could be standing in line with at the supermarket. If something interesting strikes me, then it sticks. I once referred to my scene writing and characters as being similar to the TV commercial for the pasta sauce, Prego… ‘It’s in there’. My husband and I are avid traveller’s so there isn’t a place my characters go that I haven’t been to myself. All these elements add realism to my stories, and I think that makes a difference to my readers.

What book are you reading now?
I haven’t picked up a new book yet this week, but I just finished Phillipa Gregory’s The Kingmaker’s Daughter and CJ Ellisson’s Vampire Vacation.

What books are in your to read pile?
My TBR pile is very small. However, it’s not because I don’t read. In fact, just the opposite. My TBR pile is small because I can’t stop reading. The only time I don’t read is when I am in the real throes of writing/editing. Then there just isn’t enough time in the day. Right now I have Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Time Untime and Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees and Wannabe’s, next on my list.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My next immediate WIP is an Upper YA novel entitled, Hollow’s End. The book was inspired by the true events that occurred in the hamlet of Sleepy Hollow during the Revolutionary War. Washington Irving wrote a wonderful legend, but it was truly a complete work of fiction, a true tall tale. Hollow’s End is historical, yet it’s got both horror, as well as paranormal elements in it too, and let’s not forget about the romance! I wanted to set the record straight, Plus I grew up in the Hudson Valley not far from Sleepy Hollow, and moreover, my husband’s family is actually from there, so this WIP is more than just another story. It’s personal.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
I took inventory of my face in the mirror, running my fingers over the puffy skin beneath my eyes, trying to ignore the glare from bathroom’s overhead lights. Telltale dark smudges from my late night date with trigonometry were evident beneath my lower lids, making my hazel eyes look a little muddy. “Now, that’s attractive,” I grumbled reaching for my makeup remover. Giving each eye a quick swipe, I checked my reflection for any marked improvement. No such luck.
Most of the time, I liked the way I looked. From my dark curls and high cheekbones I inherited from my dad, to winning the genetic lottery for great skin courtesy of mother’s side of the family. Most of my friends hated that I never got zits or blemishes, but Mother Nature made sure to even the playing field, seeing to it I gained weight if wasn’t careful with what ate.
I groaned thinking about the bag of chips I massacred last night, and pushed the bathroom scale under the vanity with my foot. All the Corbett’s tended to be on the fleshy side, or at least that’s what it looked like in the family pictures. I wouldn’t know firsthand, though, my dad having died when I was little, and his parents before I was born. But, having a mother who leaned more toward the vegetarian helped a lot in that department.
Gathering my hair, I twisted it into a loose bun at the top of my head. There was a peculiar tension building in my stomach, and I didn’t think it was the potato chips. I was out of sorts, restless for some reason and a dull ache throbbed behind my eyes. I grabbed my toothbrush and turned on the tap, breaking one of the cardinal rules of my house by letting the water run while I brushed my teeth.
There was a trig test scheduled for later this morning, but being neurotic over grades wasn’t my style. So why was I so edgy? I rinsed my mouth and stuck the toothbrush back in its holder. That’s when I saw it…or thought I saw it.
I stood motionless with my hand frozen in place as I stared at the water in the sink. Ribbons of red curled and spread like someone was bleeding out into the water. It didn’t look like rust, or red clay or anything else I could think of that made sense. It looked like blood, swirling and coating the white porcelain with streaks and tiny clots. Worse yet, it smelled like blood with a sharp, metallic tang that lingered in my nose and throat. I gagged, squeezing my eyes shut.
A wave of dizziness hit and I gripped the edge of the vanity, taking short shallow breaths trying to work up enough air to yell for my mother. I swallowed back against the sour taste of bile in my mouth and counted to ten, but when I opened my eyes again there was nothing but clear water in the sink.
My hand shot forward hitting the plunger thingy on the faucet, and I held my breath till the last of the water ran down the drain. Did I say half a freak? How about a full-fledged weirdo, complete with psychotic visions? Backing up, I grabbed the towel rack and slid to the floor.
I sat in my underwear, the cold tile adding to my already goose-pimpled flesh. Minutes passed, and though my heart rate slowed, my mind still raced. Was this some leftover image or residual nightmare skewed from Chiller TV? Half of me wanted to tell my mother, but the other half knew she’d make a huge deal about it, and I didn’t have time for a scrying circle or a protection spell, or whatever else she’d think to do.
The clock was ticking, and I needed to get myself together and out the door. Afraid to tempt fate and run the water in the sink, I wet a washcloth under the bathtub tap. “No more sleep deprived delusions for me, thank you,” I muttered scrubbing my face.
The problem was I didn’t know if this was just a byproduct of no sleep. Something had happened with me, I could feel it. Hadn’t Gran informed me the night of my birthday that my aura was bleeding? Happy birthday darling, and by the way… Gee, thanks.
Mom made light of it, telling me everyone’s aura bleeds from time to time, that it’s part of coming into your own. And what the hell does that mean? Was I coming into my own as a strong, independent woman, or did it mean some weird, cosmic witchiness had hit me square in the face courtesy of my messed up gene pool? Right now, I didn’t want to know.
Slapping on some deodorant and body mist, I got dressed, not bothering with any make-up. I finger combed my hair and threw it back into a messy bun, shut the light and grabbed my backpack. Giving myself one last look in the mirror, I hesitated about the no makeup, but decided no amount of cover-up could camouflage my fear induced, chalk white cheeks. Instead, I plastered a smile on my face and headed downstairs, praying my mom’s instincts would be too preoccupied to notice otherwise.
Excerpt from HOLLOW’S END
Copyright, MARIANNE MOREA 2012
ISBN13: 978-0-9884396-3-4
Coventry Press Ltd. Spring 2013

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ISBN: 0988439603
Number of pages: 310
Word Count: 111,000
Amazon          Smashwords

Book Description:

Psychic investigator, Lily Saburi is no stranger to the supernatural. Tough as nails, she’s a hunter in her own right, a once self-proclaimed vigilante that has joined forces with the man she once sought to kill, and now can’t live without. Sexy, Sean Leighton, Alpha of the Brethren of Weres. Their passion surpassed every obstacle set in front of them, yet in the wake of a mysterious virus threatening everyone they love, they are embroiled in an unforgiving scheme of political double dealing, hidden agendas and assassination, with Lily and Sean as primary targets. To stay together, they are forced apart.

But treachery follows hard on Lily’s heels when she returns home to find New York City bathed in a series of bloodbaths. Baffled, the police have no leads, so they call in their last line of defense to work the case. Lily.

Thrown together with homicide detective, Ryan Martinez, dangerous sparks fly as the two uncover the undead truth behind the killings. Long hidden secrets are revealed, as are truths too unbelievable to accept when Lily is kidnapped and Sean and Ryan have to work together to find her.

Revenge and the struggle for power all play a part in this urban fantasy suspense, taking you from the rocky coast of Maine to the heart of New York City, the NYPD and the vampire underground, where Weres and Vampires are forced to work together to solve the mystery of what’s tearing their veiled world apart from the inside out.

About the Author:

Marianne Morea is a New Yorker, born and bred, and for the most part her stories and characters embody the grit and complexity of the city. An avid traveler, she uses her experiences from around the world in all her books. There isn’t a place her characters live or travel that she haven’t been herself, and through her words, tries to transport my readers. Like most authors, her love affair with the written word started as a child with the books she read. Even today, she loves to read almost as much as she loves to write. Marianne’s favorite stories are the ones that transport her, that bring her to places and introduces her to characters that leave readers breathless…the ones that spark the fire of her imagination, allowing her to dream in the world of ‘what if?’ She’s always been a scribbler, and from the time she could write her name, Marianne has been making up stories. So it was no surprise to family and friends when she earned degrees in both Journalism and Fine Art, but after working in the trenches of Madison Avenue as a Graphic Artist, she decided to do what she loves most fulltime. Write.

Her dark paranormal romance, Blood Legacy, is the first book in her Legacy Series, and takes you from New York City to the Costa del la Luz in Spain, to foggy London and the romance of Rome. The story also takes you back in time 300 years to a place rife with conflict and brutality, bringing an historical edge to my vampires, their lives, a love that spanned the centuries and the search for absolution and redemption that carries death in its wake. Hunter’s Blood and Twice Cursed are books one and two in Marianne Morea’s contemporary shifter series, Cursed by Blood. The story is set on the east coast of the U.S., taking you from the rocky coast of Maine to the heart of New York City, the NYPD and the vampire underground. Revenge and the struggle for power all play a part in this urban fantasy suspense, where Weres and Vampires are forced to work together to solve the mystery of what’s tearing their veiled world apart from the inside out.

In the meantime Marianne is also a founding member as well as a former President of The Paranormal Romance Guild, a not-for-profit organization for readers and authors of the genre. She’s now a PRG Board Member and Co-Chair of the PRG Event/Marketing Team. She is still writing, and when not sitting ‘bichok’ (but in a chair hands on keyboard), she’s spending time with her husband and three kids, traveling to exciting, romantic places …for inspiration, of course! Who says dreams can’t come true? 


Anonymous said...


Thank you for having me here today and for the wonderful opportunity to share my work and a bit of myself with your group! I'm honored...

I'm having such a ball on the Bewitching Blog Circuit, that I'm loathe to see it end! I've met such enthusiastic readers and amazing people in the past ten days, that I could definitely see myself having a blast just chatting with them for hours...throw in a bottle of Vampire wine and we'll hunker down all set!

Just 'talking' to these readers via the tour has solidified my hunger for, and dedication to the genre and to writing stories that bring pleasure to anyone who wants an escapist fantasy. Writing has always been cathartic, as well as a creative outlet for me...as hard work as it is. Hours and hours of interviews with the NYPD, plus combing procedural manuals and even a visit to the morgue helped me give the reader a truly visceral experience in Twice Cursed. It's my favorite project to date, and one I hope everyone enjoys reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

Marianne Morea