Sunday, September 13, 2009

Author Interview: Marissa Doyle

It's my pleasure to announce today my guest is Marissa Doyle, author of Bewitching Season and it's newly released sequel Betraying Season. And can I say before we go on that I love, love, love the covers of both books! Okay, tangent over now. You'll find our interview below with my questions in bold. So without further ado, take it away Melissa!

How is being a published author different that you thought it would be? Or is it exactly what you thought it would be?

I think it's a little hard to understand post-published life when you're unpublished. Because you're so intensely focused on that goal of receiving "the call", it's easy not to think about what happens after... and what happens after is just more writing, complicated by things like doing publicity and worrying about reviews. It's like anything in life--once you achieve a goal (getting published), new goals appear to replace it (like staying published!) But you do gain a certain sense of accomplishment and validation--after all, selling a book doesn't happen to everyone--and that can help you through the black moments that all writers have.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Being able to tell the stories I have in my head. Being able to create for a living. Not having to be "on" all the time--very important if you're an introvert. Being able to wear whatever I want to work (no pantyhose!) Being my own boss--yes, I have to satisfy my agent and editor, but I have to be happy with my work first.

No pantyhose would definately be a plus for me. Do you base your characters off of real people?

Not off whole real people, if that makes any sense...but I think all writers borrow aspects of real people, be it appearance (a lot of writers scan magazine and catalogues to find images of what they think their characters look like) or quirky behaviors (which is why writers often love to people watch) or individual characteristics/aspects of personality. I think writers will often have a character in their head already and maybe borrow some of the above aspects from real people they've observed--yes, I've done that. But I've never transplanted all of a real person into a character...that's no fun!

From your bio it sounds like you’re a regular history buff. Any particular time period you enjoy studying more than most?

I'm not so much a regular history buff as a super-sized, over-the-top, fully-fledged history geek. One of the things I loved most about writing historical YA is getting the chance to show teens that history isn't just dry boring dates and lists of events--it can be vital and fascinating and full of juicy stories. I co-host a blog with fellow author Regina Scott called Nineteenteen (http://nineteenteen.blogspot.com) that focuses on 19th century teen life and culture--and yes, I have to say that I love late 18th and 19 century English history, though early American history also fascinates me as does Tudor England (my first love, back when I was a kid).

Tudor England was definately my first love too. Still is. Now I have this thing where I ask about pets. So what can you tell us about your fondness for rabbits?

Buns rule! They're the perfect pet for a writer since they don't bark, can be litter-box trained, and generally sleep during my peak writing hours (9am-3pm). And they're just ridiculously cute and snuggly and loving and full of personality, once you learn how to read them. Rabbits are not at all like cats or dogs--they have a completely different way of communicating since they don't vocalize (though they do "purr" when happy by lightly clicking their teeth!). It's been fascinating to learn their language.

We discovered rabbits by accident. I'd always been a vehement cat person, but my husband and son are allergic to them. We'd more or less resigned ourselves to being petless when my son's teacher asked for a volunteer to baby-sit the classroom's pet rabbit over a holiday weekend. We volunteered, were captivated and found that no one was allergic, and resolved to get a pet bun. Our first bun, Simon, had a marked fondness for Cheerios and always sat in the stereo's "sweet spot" whenever we played Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado"--he just loved it.

We were devastated to lose our beloved French Lop Maple this summer after a long illness, and shortly will be searching for a new bun (or buns--it may take two to fill his place) because the house feels empty without a furry creature in it.

Wow. Can I say cute overload? I need to get a bunny now! Any plans to branch out into other genres?

I hope so! My editor is looking at a YA fantasy (not historical) of mine right now, and I do have a few adult contemporary fantasies on my hard drive that I'd love to see published some day. But I think YA will always be my first love.

Can you give us any sneak peeks into what you’re currently working on?

I'm nearly done with the as-yet-unnamed prequel to Bewitching Season and Betraying Season due out in 2010 or 2011, which is set during the end of the Napoleonic Wars and features Persy and Pen's mother Parthenope as an important character. Here's a blurb I wrote for it...if anyone is inspired to come up with a great title, please let me know!

It's the spring of 1814 and the girls of England are rejoicing: Napoleon has been defeated and the young men of the army can come home again...and just in time for the balls and parties of the Season, too!

18-year-old Lady Sophie Rosier can't quite join in their glee--what young man will fall for a cripple who must walk with a cane, no matter how pretty and well-born she is? And then there's that small matter of her being a witch...but she certainly isn't about to advertise that fact. Why, oh why, couldn't she just be like everyone else?

Then to her surprise she gains a very eligible suitor in Lord Harry Orford...but does he love her, or just feel sorry for her? And why, now that the War is over, is somebody doing their best to kill off members of the War Office, including Sophie's father? Only Sophie and her new best friend Parthenope can find out...because only they know that the assassin is using magic. And it looks like Sophie might be next on their list...


Sounds like a great book! I'll be keeping my eye out for that one. And thank you for the interview Melissa!

Marissa Doyle originally planned to be an archaeologist but ended up as a writer. But she's okay with that, because both careers allow her to explore the past and bring back to life the people who lived (or might have lived) there. She lives in her native Massachusetts with her family, a ludicrous number of books and antiques which she of course buys purely for research purposes, and a bossy pet rabbit. You can visit her at her website or at the blog on nineteenth century teen life that she shares with fellow 2k8 author Regina Scott

And here's another contest for you lucky bugs were were smart enough to read the whole interview. I have a brand new paperback copy of Bewitching Season to give away to one luck winner. And two runners up with get a super awesome wooden fan advertising Marissa's historical blog mentioned above. I wanted to post a picture, but my camera was being stupid, so take it from me: these fans are cool, and you will want one. So to enter, just leave me a comment.
+1 for comment (make sure you mention that you want to be entered)
+5 for leaving a book title idea that I can give to Marissa for her newest book (see above)
+1 for linking to the contest (MUST post a direct link to count)

Rules: The contest is open until September 30th, 2009. This contest is open internationally! The winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Rules about claiming prizes can be found here.

38 comments:

elnice said...

+1 This sounds like something I would like to read, please enter me! Great interview, it makes me wish I would have payed better attention in history class!
+5 in sticking with the b theme, you could name the third bewitched again

zenfoxflowerATyahooDotcom

Wanda said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

celi.a said...

I adored Bewitching Season, and am waiting for the library copy of Betraying. Please enter me!

+5Magic In Season? Imperiled Season?

Great interview - some really interesting questions and answers!

celialarsen(at)gmail(dot)com

haleyknitz said...

Next in season is the title i suggest, because the girl is "next on the list"

I'm a follower, and i posted this link on twitter (twitter.com/haleymathiot) and my blog (haleymathiot.blogspot.com) and on Pulse It (haleyknitz)

haley mathiot at yahoo dot com

Lindsay's Photographys said...

i would LOVE to read this!
Thankyou! :D:D:D:D

-Lindsay

lindsay15photo@gmail.com

Beth (BBRB) said...

This looks great! Please enter me!

I love that she has bunnies!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

queen of entropy said...

+1: Ooh, please enter me! These books sound *fascinating*! I love historical fiction :)

+5: In keeping with the titles of the other books, and in reference of exactly what the young ladies are trying to do to all the young men home from the war for the Season...how about "Bedazzling Season"? I know it's a bit redundant for those who know what the Season is...but it could also be doublespeak for using magic. I haven't read the series, so I'm not sure how appropriate that is...but anyway, it's a thought!

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying the author interviews. I'm glad to know someone started out wanted to study history and wound up being an author. My youngest (12) has decided that she wants to be two things...a water engineer and dog groomer! I'll talk about this author with her to illustrate that you never know where paths will lead you.

Jenny N. said...

+1 I would love to enter. I have not read this series from Marissa so would love to win a copy of the book

+5 Keeping with the "Be" theme how about Befalling Season

jen4777[at]hotmail.com

Haiku Amy said...

+1 I would like to be entered

haikuamy at gmail dot com

+5 I like the B theme. I came up with Bemusing Season

Cherie J said...

I would love to read this. It is on my wish list. Please enter me. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

+5 My title idea is Bewildering Season.

cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

Pam said...

They sound good! count me in!

+5 How about something like Betrothing Season (since she's looking for a suitor)

melacan at hotmail dot com

Marie said...

Aww, what a sweet bunny, I'm sorry for her loss and I hope she finds a new bunny (or bunnies) to adopt :-)

The books looks excellent!

marielay@gmail.com

Lexie said...

+1 I would like to be entered into the giveaway!

+5 a title for Prequel...Pretender's Season? Killing Season? Assassin's Season? my use of the English language fails me...

I've always thought that its just as hard to be an author who is looking to be published as an author who has been published. I mean you just trade the stress of working towards getting the book snatched up by a House for the stress of producing another book or promoting the first book.

Lexie
Lexie.Cenni(@)gmail.com

Kristen said...

I love Marisa and can't wait to read her newest book!

+5 Beguiling Season

or Beguiling the Assassin

or simply Beguiling - I just LOVE that word. :)

bittahsweetharmony@yahoo.com

Nina said...

+1 I would love to be entered in the contest! Love it!

+5 Magical

nina.happyendings@yahoo.co.uk

lag123 said...

Please enter me. I would love to read this.

lag110@mchsi.com

Kira R. said...

I would like to enter.

kirar59 at yahoo dot ca

Sheere said...

Great interview! i'm bad choosing names so no extra 5 =(

+ 1 tweeted
http://twitter.com/Sheeredry/status/4325449787
+ 1 comment

sheere.dry@gmail.com

katie said...

I would love to be entered. I really want to read these books.

katieb206@gmail.com

Llehn said...

+1 I would love to play please!


lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carol said...

I would love to read this book! It sounds really good! Thank you for the giveaway!

Carol M
mittens0831 at aol dot com

BlackWolf said...

i would love to read this book, please count me in
darksiry(at)gmail.com

YA Vampire Books said...

Great contest! Please enter me :)

Sara
sosarora_11(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

xxsquigglesxx said...

Please enter me for the contest!

squiggles87(at)aol.com

throuthehaze said...

count me in please!
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Anita Yancey said...

Please enter me. I would love to read this book. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Amanda said...

Please enter me for this one! Thanks!

+1- Posted on my blog, A Bookshelf Monstrosity:

http://bookshelfmonstrosity.blogspot.com/2009/09/notable-giveaways-on-blogosphere.html

amanda n.
fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

*Samantha* said...

Awesome! Please enter me!

+5 Name: Befalling (or Befallen) Season. Befalling means to happen by chance or faith. That fits with the love aspect and I also think the
+1 Sidebar: harlequintwilightsbookblog.blogspot.com

HarlequinTwilight@gmail.com

pixie13 said...

+1 Sounds great, count me in please.
+5 Since it's a prequel, how about Becoming Season?

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

MUM said...

I would love to win this. Great interview!

+1 Comment
+1 Tweeted: http://theshadyglade.blogspot.com/2009/09/author-interview-marissa-doyle.html


Marie
utah91960(at)yahoo(dot)com

bookbutterflyangel said...

Count me in, please! These books sound absolutely delightful.

+1 http://bookbutterflyangel.wordpress.com/contests/
+5 I was thinking maybe THE SECRET SEASON, though I'm not sure if this quite fits! Or something to do with "mystery"? I thought of THE MYSTERIOUS SEASON, but I didn't think that "clicked" right!

~Jacqueline (bookbutterfly)
lady.dashti(at)gmail(dot)com

Paradox said...

I loved Bewitching Season and I'd love to win my own copy!

+5 for leaving a book title idea that I can give to Marissa for her newest book (see above)
- Bewildered Season (oops, someone already said this)
- Searching Season
- A Season for Murder
+1 for linking to the contest (MUST post a direct link to count) - http://twitter.com/ParadoxRevealed/status/4484913365

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

beth said...

+1 Please enter me! I've had my eye on these books for awhile.

+5 As for a title...how about Bedeviling Season?

~The Book Pixie said...

Ooooo, count me in please!

+1 comment
+1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/thebookpixie/status/4491294267

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

Melanie said...

I love Nineteen Teen! It's such a fun blog. Betraying Season sounds very cool.

I like Betrothing Season, since she's looking for a suitor.

Erica said...

Please enter me!

:) Erica
thebookcellar@wi.rr.com

Alexa said...

+1 This book sounds really good. I haven't read the other books in the series yet, but I want to now.
+5 hmmm....just from the excerpt, I'd name it Belittling Season(since she's crippled, idk lol)
+1 posted link on my sidebar under contests
http://hookedonyabooks.blogspot.com

lovinfitch(at)aol(dot)com