I just finished my interview with the lovely Debbie Edwards who is the author of Marvins Curse. Thank you for taking the time to do the interview with me. You can check out the book review that I did on her book by clicking HERE!
Is the book Marvin’s Curse a standalone or will it be a part of a series?
It could be either. I have left the book with a few loose ends that could most definitely lead into a second book. I have actually written a few pages which could well be the sequel and have even played with a title, Marvin’s Gift. At the moment though, I’m focusing on another book which I am hoping to finish later this year.
I know that Marvin’s Curse is about ghosts so is this an area that you are partial to in the paranormal world or what would you say your favorite thing to write about is?
I’m a great fan of all areas of the paranormal and have always loved reading books about vampires, werewolves, ghosts, shape shifters etc. But, I am partial to the ghostly element. Having watched things like The Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Sixth Sense, American Horror, Poltergeist etc, I have been heavily influenced by this side of the paranormal. I’m still into the whole vampire/werewolf thing too, but as so much has been written already, it’s not something I can see myself branching into. Famous last words…
Do you have a favorite author and how have they inspired the writer that you are today?
Tolkein is a favourite author and has been a huge influence on me as a fantasy writer, The way he created his world for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings reminds me of how detailed my own worlds must be to enhance the readers’ experience. I am immensely proud of ‘Moghador’, the underground world I have created for Marvin’s Curse. The detail is often referred to in reviews I receive which suggests to me that I did a good job which is reassuring.
Do you have any other books that you would like to share with us?
I have three middle grade fantasy books in both print and as e-books on Amazon, Aggie Lichen; Pilp Collector. These are stories about stroppy teenage tooth fairies for 8-12 year olds.
The book I am currently working on is The Iron City – Rae Gandos; Dragon Slayer. The tagline is Buffy the Dragon Slayer V The Hunger Games. It’s set in a time when dragon DNA has been discovered and used to clone dragons.
(This is a mock-up of the cover)
Here’s a snippet:
‘You, Raelyer Gandos, are the… slayer, er, the Dragon Slayer as in you are the chosen one, kinda thing.’
‘Shut the hell up!’ was the best Rae could muster.
‘It’s true, Rae. Can’t you feel it, like, inside?’
‘George, what I feel inside is hunger, that’s all.’
‘Hunger, that’s good, hunger for the fight.’
Rae punched his arm hard. ‘Pack it in George. We have enough to contend with without you trying to screw with my head too.’
George took both of Rae’s hands in his and looked deeply into her eyes. “Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the, insert dragons, and the forces of darkness…’
Rae shook her hands away. ‘Don’t go all Buffy the Vampire Slayer on me!’ she said. ‘These are not vampires.’‘But it’s the same principal,’ said George. ‘‘To stop the spread of their evil and the swell of number. She…’’
‘’…is the slayer.’ Look, I’m no Buffy! You’ve got the wrong girl.’
‘Oh, seriously! Have you never looked at your name?’ said George, wearily. ‘It’s an anagram, for crying out loud. Did you never do that, not even in primary school? How sad.’
‘I was at school to learn, George, not mess about like some people.’
‘Okay, well humour me,’ said George, handing her a bag of stones with letters scratched on them. ‘They spell your name. Move the letters around.’
‘I will not!’ said Rae. ‘What am I, eight?’
‘Just move them, Raelyer – please,’ said George, stroking her hand softly.
‘Okay!’ she snapped, tipping the stones onto the ground.
‘Now move them around. See what you come up with.’
Rae rolled her eyes again, but shifted the stones around as George asked. At first she couldn’t find anything that even looked remotely sensible. ‘Lardy oranges?’
‘Oh, please! I’m going to all this trouble for lardy oranges?’ said George. ‘Try again.’
Muttering under her breath, Rae pushed the stones around again. They felt cold against her fingers. ‘Found it!’ she cried after a few minutes. ‘Nasal dry ergo?’ She fell back laughing.
‘You’re just not taking this seriously enough,’ said George, flicking her hand away from the word ‘Nasal’. ‘Put the ‘d’ first, Rae.’
Rae sat up and pushed the ‘d’ into a new line.
George placed the ‘r’ next to it then the ‘a’.
She stared at him unbelievingly then pulled the other letters into position until two words glared out at her. ‘Dragon Slayer?’ Rae inched backwards, her mouth open.
‘I know it’s a shock,’ said George, crawling towards her. ‘Perhaps I should have told you earlier, but there never seemed to be a right moment.’ He knelt in front of her patting her knee. He tried to meet her eyes, but Rae stared at the ground, picking at her fingers.
‘Say something, Rae, even if it’s ‘go away, George.’’
‘Go away, George,’ said Rae, her eyes still glued to the floor.
‘Er, I can’t. I have to stay here… with you.’ He took his hands away from her knees. ‘It’s my job.’
How long did it take you to write Marvin’s Curse?
Marvin’s Curse is my first YA book and took around 18 months to write. It wasn’t published for another six months or so as it had to be edited by an external editor. The script went back and forth between us as I worked on areas that could be tightened up or improved in some way. I truly believe this is a vital part of the writing process and improves the quality of the reading experience for the reader.
Have you ever had anything strange encounters with ghosts in real life?
Personally, no, although those around me seem too. My husband insists that he was ‘tapped’ on the shoulder by a ghostly hand at Canterbury Cathedral, UK. On turning round, no one was there… My son-in-law has also had a ghostly experience, but in the very house I live in which is over 120 years old. He said that on waking up during the night, the face of a women greeted him, making him scream… Whoooooo!
What do you find to be the perfect setting to allow you to open your mind and write on current projects?
I’m lucky that I have a study which is where I do most of my writing. For inspiration though, I might just sit in the garden or doodle in a coffee shop. One thing I do like is peace and quiet. I can’t seem to get my thoughts together if a place is too noisy.
Are you self published or do you use a publisher and what do you find to be the pros and cons of your current situation?
I am an Indie writer and very proud of that. Pros are that I am in charge of all I do. I make all the decisions and no one tells me what I should write, when I should write, how my book should look etc. And I get to meet all sorts of other Indie writers on Facebook where we can discuss and solve any issues that come up with writing and publishing. I also get to keep all the money! Cons, well, it means I have to do not just the writing, but the promoting and marketing of the books. sort out covers, arrange school visits and book store signings and just about everything else, which takes up so much of my time.
What advice would you give to new authors that are just starting out?
1. Keep at it! No matter what hits you, get up and get started again.
2. Get your writing professionally edited. It will cost a bit, but it is so important if you are to be taken seriously as a writer.
3. Keep at it!
4. Don’t rush to finish your novel. Take your time and let it breathe.
5. Keep at it!
6. Read all around your genre as if your very life depended on it. What’s in? What’s out? Who is your audience?
7. Keep at it!