I am always excited to share a new to you author. Today I have Marsha stopping by to share a little about herself and her writing process. She has a wonderful new romantic suspense release.
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax? I love to watch TV. My husband believes I’m addicted to HGTV. Oh how I wish we had this option when I was a young mom. I’d have been a better cook, too. I don’t watch the cooking shows now because they make me want to eat. :)
If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself? You can’t control everything, and it’s not all your fault.
For what are you grateful? That I have choices. Choices are power. Not everyone has the option to make choices about his/her life. I guess I’d add my education, which is the key to all kinds of options. Of course, my family. I’m really blessed by a wonderful husband who’s increadibly supportive of anything I’ve ever wanted to do. We have great daughters who married neat husbands and the three grands are amazing!
At what age were you the happiest? What triggered such joy? Probably in my early 50s. I was teaching high school theatre and having a ball. There were frustrations, but during rehearsals I’d frequently think, “Wow! They’re paying me to do this.”
What is the number one lie you tell yourself? How is that working out? That I’ve finally gotten a handle on my eating issues. Last year I went on Nutrisystem. Dropped 28 lbs over 6 months. Kept it off for a couple of months then steadily started packing it on again up to 9 pounds. So the lie isn’t working out for me at all! It’s January. Time to start again.
Now about you as an author…What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult? As a kid, I loved Nancy Drew and the Dana Girls’ Mysteries. The first romances I read were my mother’s Emily Loring books. Later I drifted to Victoria Holt, Mary Stuart, and Phyllis Whitney. Loved the touch of susupense these gals added to the romance and I loved the descriptions of romantic locales.
Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer? (teacher, family member, friend) I don’t think so. I was an only child, so playing make-blieve was just basic to me. I recently reconnected with a friend from 9th grade and she reminded me that I said what I wanted to be when I grew up was a playwrite. I didn’t remember that. I remember writing the play. When I sat down to write my first book it was in play form. Character: Line Character: Line. I looked at that scene and thought, “This doesn’t look much like a novel. I wonder if I can add in the other stuff.” 145 thousand words later, I’d added in the other stuff. LOL I didn’t know anything about craft, but was fortunate to have kind contest judges who pointed me in the directions of classes on POV & GMC among others.
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing? The TV on in the background. I can’t write in silence.
Do you have a common theme or item that appears in each of your books? All of my books have second chances as a theme. I tell folks I write: Romance, Suspense, Second Chances. Experience Required. My characters are older than the traditional 20 to 30-year- olds. They are in their 40s and 50s. Love can come at any age.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business? To keep on keeping on. Wherever you are in the business, you have to keep on going. There will be roadblocks, but you find a way around them. Study, learn, improve, and keep on keeping on. You’re the only one who can really stop your progress.
Tell us about your latest release: (blurb, excerpt, cover)
Blurb for ACT OF TRUST
A widow since 9/11 and a mother of grown daughter, Kate Thompson wants to keep her and her daughter safe, but the inheritance of land in Maine pushes her out of her comfort zone in Texas and into the arms of a Maine lawyer.
Maine lawyer and environmentalist, Jim Donovan wants to protect Aunt Liddy’s land and keep it from falling into the hands of the developers, but first he has to convince Kate Thompson she should hold on to the family land when she doesn’t even want to go look at it. However, he’s unprepared for the attraction each feels for the other, but denies exists.
Will they be able to settle the land deal before anyone else is killed or they break each other’s hearts?
Mildred stopped and nailed Kate with a beady-eyed stare. “You do plan to turn over the Thompson land to the Conservancy Trust, don’t you?”
“I don’t know yet, Mildred. My daughter’s coming to visit, and then we’ll decide together what we want to do with the land. It’s possible she’ll want to keep it in the family. Be a nice place for her to get away from the hectic-ness of New York City.”
“Liddy would be pleased with either the Trust or you keeping it in the family, but she’ll haunt you if you sell to Holland.”
Kate leaned away. The venom in the woman’s tone made Kate’s heart rate trip up and her hands grow sweaty. Mildred completely believed her statement, enough to cause Kate nightmares.
“She’s giving every option plenty of consideration,” Jim jumped in. Was he afraid Mildred’s hard sell would reverse Kate’s leaning in his direction?
“I’ve had my say. Good night to you both.”
Amazon print http://amzn.to/1KrBwEK
Apple iTunes http://apple.co/1QoeJjA
B & N http://bit.ly/1PO4pgb
Now back to the questions: How did you decide on your story plot? I always start with the location and then figure out who might live there and what might happen to them. My husband and I spent a week in Maine a couple of years ago at cottage with a gorgeous view. It captured my immagination, and I had to set a book there. It made sense in the series I was working on that the heroine in Book 2 heroine would travel there.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story? I look through the obits and combine names for the characters. Sometimes I check Baby Namess for the year the character would’ve been born. I have a master list of characters and refer to it so I don’t reuse a name.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why? It’s probably the scene at the 9/11 Memorial between Kate and her daughter Blair. My heart was touched by this incident. One of my daughters and her husband had just moved to NYC on the Sunday before the horror of that Tuesday. It was 3 in the afternoon before I knew they were both okay. I was lucky. Im donating a portion of each book sale to the 9/11 Memorial.
About the Author:
Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and threatre arts teacher. She writes Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required. Marsha lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren who live nearby. A new dog, Charley, a Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix recently joined the family.
MuseItUp Publishing released her first book, VERMONT ESCAPE in July 2013; her second book, TRUTH BE TOLD, in May 2014. In the Fall of 2014, Marsha formed MRW Press LLC to provide a print versions of her books. SECOND ACT, Book 1 of the Second Chances Series follows up with a secondary character from VERMONT ESCAPE and begins a four-part series. ACT OF TRUST is Book 2 of the Second Chances Series.
She’s had lots of fun doing book club presentations. If you’re interested, you can contact her at email@example.com or through her web site http://www.marsharwest.com or at http://sistersofsuspense.com/
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Musings from Michigan