Saturday, May 9, 2015

IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Mariana Gabrielle

My guest today is author Mariana Gabrielle. Mariana is the author of Regency romances Royal Regard and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess and an upcoming series of Regency novellas. She also writes mainstream historical fiction.

Mariana, let's get right into your interview:

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be doing lots of research?

(Mariana) I write historical fiction and historical romance, so yes, research is really important. That said, on the romance side of things, I write entirely in the Regency era, so the more I write, the more I know. This doesn’t negate research entirely, but it does mean that
“Photo credit: James Steidl”
I am researching different things for each book, and that I use a lot of the same sources. In Royal Regard, I spent a lot of time researching ship’s voyages and world travel before steamships. For my upcoming book, La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, I looked into India before the British government took over colonization from the East India Company. In the mainstream fiction world,
I’ve immersed myself in the American Civil War, as well as turn-of-the-century Brooklyn and Tammany Hall.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I consider writing a job, a vocation, a hobby, or a passion?

(Mariana) All three. I have been a professional writer, editor, and designer most of my life, most frequently as a freelancer in corporate and technical. There are a number of things I write as a hobby, including poetry, and I consider forays into new genres a hobby until I decide to commit. If words weren’t a passion, though, I would never have made writing my career.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I sincerely feel about editing, and editors?

(Mariana) Love. Editors. Love them. Love them. Love them. (And not just because I am one.) Any writer who dislikes the idea of editing—or worse, thinks he/she doesn’t need it—should not be in this business. The relationship between writer and editor is extremely intimate and vulnerable, but an imperative part of being successful. This is not to say there isn’t an art to the process, or to suggest a writer should take every editorial suggestion, only that a second set of highly trained eyes on any piece of writing creates the opportunity for improvement. There are no exceptions to this rule. Ever.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I tell a beginning writer to never do/always do?

(Mariana) Always: solicit feedback, especially from trained writers and editors; have work professionally edited AND proofread (two different things); cultivate a thicker skin and a stronger backbone, no matter how indestructible you become about your writing.

Never: believe your writing is perfect; assume anyone wants to read your book (including your mother or spouse); publish a book you have just finished; take any one person’s opinion as fact, even your editor’s, even your own.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I take manuscript rejections well. And how do I feel about reviews, both good and not-so-good?

(Mariana) Rejections are difficult, and a bad review is a rejection of sorts, just as much as a declination from an agent or publisher. But writing is hard, too, and we do that without flinching (much). Good reviews feel much better, because being told I am fabulous never gets old, but arrogance is not nearly as attractive as humility. Thicker skin, stronger backbone. Thicker skin, stronger backbone. Thicker skin, stronger backbone. I cannot repeat this enough.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have any critters that keep me company while writing? (Photo would be good here)

(Mariana) India and Burton are two kittens (okay, they are cats now and do not appreciate being called babies), who I rescued from a window well when they were about a month old. They have no respect at all for the idea of uninterrupted writing time, but they have both learned to sleep on my lap while I type.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be a Pantser or Plotter?

(Mariana) Pantser, almost entirely. I almost always outline, and it has always become irrelevant by the end of the first chapter, never to be seen again.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, If I had a second chance to start my writing career from the beginning, what would I change?

(Mariana) I would not spend twenty years afraid to write fiction. I would start writing novels at age 20, no matter how bad they would have been. (And they would have been very, very bad.)

Learn more about author Mariana Gabrielle and her books at these links:

Royal Regard:
La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess (pre-order):

1 comment:

  1. Great Interview :) And I'm so happy to see India & Burton make an appearance!
    I just love Mari's writing , La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess is in my top favorite books ever !!