For today’s Author Spotlight, we’re talking to Marie Andreas! If you missed last week’s spotlight, check it out here!
M.N.: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What genres do you write in?
Marie: I am an indie (aka self-published) author. I currently have nine books out. I write humorous fantasy, space opera, steampunk, and epic fantasy.
M.N.: What do you feel are the biggest challenges you face when writing?
Marie: Getting the words down. Writing is such a solitary endeavor, we work for months on a project, and it’s just us. No matter how much I love a project, it is still hard to sit the butt in the chair and do the time.
M.N.: Do you have any special techniques to help you get those words written? Is there a schedule you stick to, or do you write at whatever pace you can on a given day?
Marie: I try and make it a habit, everyday do something. I do set daily goals and use a spreadsheet to keep on track. If I see that I’m only a hundred words from my goal, it will make me dive in for more. It’s a balancing between keeping on task, and allowing yourself down time. I get up at 4:30 am so I can write from 5-6 before going to the day job.
M.N.: What about your books do you feel is the most special or unique?
Marie: I have a lot of humor, but not slapstick. My books are also fairly fast paced, especially the space opera series. My voice comes through in all of the sub-genres–or so readers tell me ;).
M.N.: Do you have any trouble maintaining an audience across different subgenres?
Marie: Honestly, I don’t think about it. I know some folks love one series, and dislike the other. But I’m writing what I want to write. And it’s very clear they are different series and sub-genres ;).
M.N.: Was there any particular book or author that made you want to write?
Marie: Probably Mercedes Lackey.
M.N.: Do you have a favorite book, or a list of favorites?
Marie: Way too long! I’ll give you my comfort books, the ones I go back to re-read when I’m just tired or feel like a pick me up. Mercedes Lackey – The Mage Winds trilogy; David Eddings – The Belgariad; and Elizabeth Peters – The Amelia Peabody mysteries.
M.N.: Tell me about your current Work In Progress.
Marie: I am working on the sixth and final book in my Lost Ancients series. Drunken faeries, murder, mayhem, and world ending relics. It’s a bittersweet project as I love these characters and have had so much fun writing their adventures. But this was meant to be a six book arc, so it’s coming to an end. I will be having another series with a new adventure for most of these folks in 2020. But still hard to tie up this one.
M.N.: Does anything come between now and the new adventure?
Marie: I’m sure it does–being a pantser means I’m not sure yet! 😉
M.N.: What does your writing process look like? Do you outline, do you invent the plot as you go, or do things land somewhere in the middle of that spectrum?
Marie: I am a wild and untamed seat-of-the pants writer – aka a pantser. I have a few general ideas about the who, the where, and the what, but I pretty much run wild.
M.N.: Has there ever been a story twist in your own writing that caught you off guard?
Marie: Yes, all the time! I just had a fairly big one concerning a secondary character that I can’t tell you. But I was as surprised as anyone!
M.N.: If you could go back and give yourself any piece of advice when you first started writing, what would it be?
Marie: Believe in the work. Keep moving forward.
M.N.: Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve written, or a recommended “starting point” for people looking to get into your work?
Marie: Well, I have three series. LOL. So The Glass Gargoyle is the first book in the fantasy, Warrior Wench is the first in the space opera, and A Curious Invasion is the first (book two will be out early fall) in the steampunk. They are closed series, meaning you really need to start with book one.
M.N.: Thank you for joining us!
Just thank you for having me!