Welcome to the Limitless Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors from Limitless Publishing. Today, I am chatting with Marianne Rice from Maine.
Thanks for joining me, Marianne. Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable.
I understand you have a novel that is just being released by Limitless today. Can you give me some details about it?
I signed my contract with Limitless in October of 2015 and will have my first release on January 26, 2016. It is the first book in my Wilde Sisters series, SWEET ON YOU. My other contemporary romance series, The McKay-Tucker Men, was published through Liquid Silver books in the winter-spring of 2015. I write contemporary romances set in small New England towns. So far all of my books are part of a series, however each book is a stand alone.
Congratulations on your new release. Would you describe your goals as a writer to us. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
I’ve been writing off and on for the past nine years, since my son was a newborn and my daughters were two and four. I never had plans to publish. While I always thought it would be a nice perk, it was never my goal. I write as an outlet, an escape. The publishing part is the icing on the cake. To keep myself from getting too overwhelmed, I make my writing goals quite simple. I’ve been writing one book a year and have a large backlist, and when I signed with LSB in 2014 I got motivated to write faster. I wrote three books in 2015 but know I can’t keep up that pace (and my sanity) so writing one book a year is my goal. If I write more it’s just an added bonus. Because I’m OCD about goals deadlines, I don’t make them if I know I will have to sacrifice my family time because I have an obsession with meeting goals.
I understand those issues. My daughter is 11, but I also find it hard to make the time to write, work full-time at the library, and spend time with my family. I get up early and write or edit for an hour each morning before my husband and daughter get up and I have to get ready for work. I hope to publish a book a year, as well. I just finished the sequel to A STONE’S THROW that was published in November and am currently editing it before I submit it. With luck, the second book should be out this summer. I wish I had a backlist. I wrote many novels years ago, but they aren’t on computer, so it would be a lot of work to revive them. Although the Cobble Cove books can be considered standalones, it helps to read them in order. I had started a different book before A STONE’S THROW and hope to finish that one eventually.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
Every single one of my books deals with a real-life issue. Something the everyday person experiences. I’ve covered issues of rape, unplanned pregnancy, type 1 diabetes, alcoholism, death, neglect, adoption etc. While these sound like heavy subjects, my books are light, carefree, and at times, funny. I don’t make light of these situations but try to show how, even when the chips are down, happily ever after can still happen.
Great topics that have wide appeal. Your approach sounds quite interesting.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Don’t stop writing. When you’ve finished your first book, step away from it and start the next. Take some time before going back to edit and revise. Keep writing and learning. Join author groups, whether they be online or in your area.
That’s great advice. I stopped writing after my self-published novel, CLOUDY RAINBOW. I’m very sorry i did that, but I’m making every effort to keep writing now. I’m also starting a writer’s group at my library that I feel will be helpful to myself as well as others. It’s great to have feedback from other authors in person as well as online, as you mentioned.
What hobbies and interests do you have besides writing?
I bake and decorate cakes on the side, but with my 9 year old son’s recent diagnosis of celiac disease (this will make its way into a future book for sure), I may need to stop. Or only do gluten free cakes since we can’t have flour near our son, not even in the air. I love to bake and experiment with healthy alternatives so you’ll often find me in the kitchen concocting something yummy—and usually chocolate based. On the flip side of this, I love finding creative workouts. I’m a huge fan of the mud runs and obstacle races and have completed the mother of all obstacle races, the twelve-mile Tough Mudder, designed by British Special Forces, twice. I’ve worked this into a book as well.
Two of my children have type 1 diabetes (which does NOT run in our families) so I spend a lot of time researching and being active in various diabetes groups.
On a happier note, my children are very active in sports and I’m that loud mom in the stands who cheers and yells out positive reinforcement. We’re currently in basketball season; the Little Guy is on a team, Sports Girl is on two teams; Teenage Princess is a cheerleader. In the spring it will be baseball, lacrosse and tumbling and in the fall it’s soccer, field hockey and football cheering. My interests are guided by my kiddos.
Sorry to hear about your son’s recently diagnosed illness and your diabetic children. I had a cat who was diabetic, and I had to give him insulin shots daily for seven years. It was difficult and costly. I don’t know if your children need shots, but I’m sure it’s a challenge dealing with their issues. I’ve always found researching subjects close to me help me make my fictional books more realistic, and I’m sure your treatment of these subjects may be useful to others facing similar situations.
As far as sports, my family is not very athletic. I’ve started an exercise walking routine and video tapes indoors when the weather doesn’t permit exercising outdoors. I find it really helps me destress, concentrate more on my writing, and also helps with my dieting and weight loss (60 pounds off since last year).
In addition to your baking, I know you run a Facebook page devoted to baking and books called Read, Eat, Drink where members share recipes and reading recommendations. It’s a great idea.
Thanks for mentioning that, Debbie. We currently have 110 members and would be happy to welcome new members.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love everything about being an author: crafting ideas, writing stories, reading for research, connecting with readers and other authors, doing workshops, author signings, marketing…I love it all. There isn’t anything I don’t like but my toughest challenge is definitely balancing between the day job, my children and my writing. And then balancing marketing, writing and editing.
I feel the same. Finding time to do it all is difficult. Before you publish, you don’t realize all the work involved. It’s not just writing.
Can you please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.
Thanks for the lovely chat in Limitless Library Lounge today, Marianne, and I wish you the best with your your new release and those that follow.