Friday, November 13, 2015
Interview Friday with Marlow Kelly!
Where did you get the idea for your new novella?
I got the idea for A Woman of Courage from reading Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization. Although the book itself is about the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Irish literature, it was my first introduction into the culture of early medieval Ireland. A country that was literate, with a unique society that didn’t view women in the same way as the rest of medieval Europe. I was fascinated by what, for me, was a new version of the country I visited in my teenage years and it was one I was determined to explore.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
I’m only published in historical romance, but would love to write in romantic suspense, or maybe a murder mystery with a romantic twist.
Do you work on more than one book at a time?
Generally, no. I like to finish the first draft of a project before I start on the next. However, I will take a month plotting, planning and researching the next project and then go back and do a second draft of the first one. I do three drafts of each work-in-progress and I like to have a month between each so I can look at it with fresh eyes.
Do you have any words of advice to beginning writers?
I have two pieces of advice. The first is to realize that you need to learn. Writing, for me at least, is about learning. You have to learn about grammar, editing, plotting, and then once you’re published you need to learn about promoting.
The second is to read everything you write aloud. You will be amazed at the amount of mistakes you find in your own work when you do this one simple step.
Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?
I live in Northern Alberta, Canada. I’ve been writing for about seven years. I have always had characters and stories roaming around in my head. One day I woke up and realized if I didn’t write them down soon it would never happen.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
I love where I live right now. It’s beautiful here in Alberta, Canada. But if money were no object I would have another house in Ireland, probably in Kildare because I have family there.
What did you want to be (occupation-wise) when you were a child?
When I was a child I wanted to be a carpenter and make beautiful furniture. Then my father told me that girls couldn’t be carpenters. (I’m showing my age here.) I was devastated. In my early thirties I finally got a job making beautiful wood furniture, and although I enjoyed the experience, I never did become a carpenter.
Name three authors we might find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
• Carla Neggers
• Julie Garwood
• Linda Howard
What do you like best about your hero in A WOMAN OF COURAGE?
Connell has made mistakes in the past. He divorced Fianna at his father’s urging. He knows and accepts responsibility for his actions and wants to make it right and win her back.
What do you like best about your heroine?
Fianna Byrne is a strong leader who puts her clan’s needs ahead of her own. She is logical, decisive and brave.
She has suffered a great deal of loss. Her father and second husband died of fever. Then the Vikings attacked, defeating her people and destroying her home. She accepts responsibility for the defeat and at the same time wants to do her best for her people even if it means losing her last chance to find happiness.
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
I don’t base my characters on real people, not intentionally anyway. They come to me fully formed with their physical characteristics and names. As I write their story I discover them, who they are, what incidents have formed them into the people they are. That’s part of the joy of writing.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
Tell us a little about your current work in progress.
I’m working on a romantic suspense set in present day Montana, entitled Sun Seeker. I entered the first three chapters in the Pages From the Heart Contest and won first place. I’m very excited about this and as I write these words I can’t believe it’s real. I keep expecting to get an email telling me there’s been some mistake and they sent the congratulation email to the wrong author.
That's fantastic, Marlow! Congratulations and all the best with Sun Seeker. Do you have an event coming up you’d like to tell us about?
Today is the release of the third and final novella in the Honour, Love and Courage series. My publisher, The Wild Rose Press will have A Woman of Courage on for half price for the first three days. It’s a great opportunity to pick up a copy.
Tell us about your current release, A WOMAN OF COURAGE.
When an injured Fianna Byrne turns up at Connell O’Neill’s gate twelve years after their separation he knows this could be his last chance to find happiness with the woman he loves.
False accusations against Fianna had strained relations between their clans and forced Connell, under Irish law, to divorce her. Their disastrous three-month relationship left Fianna pregnant and heartbroken. She has avoided Duncarraig and her ex-husband ever since.
But with her home obliterated by the Vikings, Fianna must face her past in order to save her son, and prove once and for all she is a woman of courage.
Connell held Fianna’s hand as he led her inside. Was this really happening or was it a dream? He had to turn around and check. He had imagined this moment for the last twelve years. His attraction to her was more than physical. He enjoyed her fire, and her spirit. She lived by her own moral code and did not bend to the will of others without reason. These were the characteristics his father had abhorred, but then, Seamus had enjoyed weak women. Pretty, mindless things he could hang on his arm.
Had his father been threatened by Fianna’s strength? After she was gone, Connell had come to realize her depth of character made her special. She had been his confidante, lover, and friend. Her intelligence did not overwhelm his intellect, as his father had suggested, but enhanced it. For those brief months he enjoyed her counsel, and had missed it every day since.
He glanced at her again. Even with everything that had happened this night she had the bearing of a queen, an indomitable woman who could never be conquered.
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