MaryJanice Davidson is here today for her next blog tour stop and she’s talking about writing. Her newest release is UNDEAD AND UNDERWATER, which is out now from Berkley.
MaryJanice Davidson — On the Elements of Writing
To begin, can you tell us about some of your personal favorite books/authors?
MaryJanice Davidson: My “desert island three” are It, by Stephen King; Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, and Small Sacrifices, by Ann Rule. Modern horror, historical fiction, true crime…I’m all over the place. I also love Carl Hiaason, who is funnier on his worst day than I am on my best, anything by Andrew Vachss, who’s just a badass in general, anything by Mike Carey, almost anything by Neil Gaiman (I’m probably the only geek in the world who didn’t like The Books of Magic), and almost anything by Philippa Gregory (I didn’t care for The Other Queen, but The Other Boleyn Girl is my favorite historical novel of all time). For the record, I was into the Tudors long before Showtime made them sexy. Also, short, dark-haired Jonathan Rhys Meyers? To play a tall redheaded blue-eyed king? Who ended up being as wide as he was tall? Um…okay…I guess you could just fake a limp in the last season to symbolize the grotesque weight gain…I should probably stop over-thinking this…
Developing a solid back-story for characters is always an important part of writing, and usually requires some research or development of culture in the case of mythical creatures. Lara Wyndham, the heroine of Incomer, one of the novellas in Undead and Underwater, seems to be pretty much thrown into her role of Pack Leader for the Wyndham Werewolves. Is there any sort of preparation? Are Pack Leaders normally chosen, or do they fight for the position?
MaryJanice Davidson: It can be hereditary, which in times of peace it usually is, or it can be through a fight for dominance. To the death, because that’s how they do that stuff onCape Cod. Lara’s father killed the old, mad, bad Pack Leader and took over. Her takeover from him is a huge reason for the conflict in Incomer.
Likewise, setting seems to play a pretty important role in these novellas. Minnesota, Cape Cod, and Boston are all very detailed and noticeable backdrops for the stories, particularly Boston. Do you choose places you know particularly well or are your characterizations of these locales based on research?
MaryJanice Davidson: I’m lazy, so I tend to stick with settings I’m familiar with. I was an Air Force brat and lived all over, but spent most of my time inMinnesotaandMassachusetts. Most of my books are set there, not just because I know them so well, but because I love those areas of the country and it gives me such pleasure to write about them.
You’ve been writing for a long time now. What’ve you learned?
MaryJanice Davidson: To never give up, never stop submitting manuscripts, never decide I wasn’t cut out to write. I had over a decade of rejection slips, so many I could re-paper my house in Rejection. There were many times I’d work hard on a manuscript, then mail it with high hopes only to find the oh-too-familiar rejection slip waiting for me after a ten hour day at the office. What does it take? I’m trying so hard; why isn’t it working? On days like that, I’d do my best to get something new in the mail that very week. Because if you just sit around and watch the pile grow, you’ll never get published. I started writing when I was 13, and starting submitting work for publication in my early twenties. Undead and Unwed sold when I was 33. If I’d quit at any point in my twenties, you’d be reading someone else’s interview. Never quit. Never.
Were there any aspects of writing you found difficult to master?
MaryJanice Davidson: Accepting rejection in good grace as opposed to my more traditional method of, “Yeah? Not good enough for ya? We’ll see who has the last laugh, Harlequin! From hell’s heart I stab at thee, so suck it!” My first instinct is never to be mature and worldly.
So, if you were going to work as something other than a writer, what profession would you have chosen?
MaryJanice Davidson: I’d be a nurse. I’ve always had so much respect for the nursing profession. It would be a source of tremendous pride to count myself among them. But the book thing worked out, so the nursing profession will have to do without me.
MaryJanice lets readers in on her pet peeves and what’s next for her tomorrow,
March 14th, at urbanfantasyinvestigations.blogspot.com!
New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson has written in a variety of different genres, including contemporary romance, paranormal romance, erotica and non-fiction. She lives in Minnesota with her family.
Want to read more from MaryJanice Davidson?
Available March 5, 2013 from Berkley/Penguin
About this Book:
The author of the hit Undead series featuring fan-favorite Queen Betsy, MaryJanice Davidson is a regular on the New York Times Bestseller list. Her riotous, quirky wit shines through again in UNDEAD AND UNDERWATER, an anthology of three original paranormal novellas, including a Betsy Taylor/Fred the Mermaid crossover, a brand new character with unusual superpowers, and an original Wyndham werewolves novella. Fans of the Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake novels will rave about this sexy, laugh-out-loud compilation and its all-star cast of heroines.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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