What do you consider your best accomplishment?
I’m an excellent juggler. I work full-time, have three extremely active children, I read constantly, enjoy cooking well-balanced meals and baking fun treats, work out religiously and write at least one book a year. I truly believe that we make time for what’s important. Do I ignore my children some days so I can meet a writing deadline? Oh yeah. But their schedule comes first. I try to make every game and only miss one if there is a scheduling conflict with one of the other kiddos. Probably the most neglected aspect of my life is alone time with my husband. We haven’t been on a date in over a year. And that was a day I called in sick so we could shop for a dishwasher. Right now the kids rule our lives, as it should be. Our time with them is limited so we try to be as involved as possible. In my book, that’s an accomplishment.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Don’t. Stop. Ever. You’ve sent out fifteen plus query letters and haven’t heard back from anyone. Or you’ve received rejection after rejection. It sucks. There’s no sugar-coating that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you question your talent and skill as a writer. When you question the hours upon hours you’ve spent glued to your computer crafting your precious baby, and then to receive a generic note saying your book isn’t for them.
That’s okay. Keep writing. Because when, not if, you get published, things happen so fast you won’t have time to read for pleasure or make dinner for your family. And then your readers are going to want more, more, MORE. You’ll need books ready to send to the publisher who recognized your book for its value. And if you have built up the courage and done your research and gone indie, your readers are still going to want more, more, MORE.
So don’t stop writing. Thankfully I took my own advice. I wrote faithfully for eight years and have seven books under my belt. I have three books coming out in a four month time span. And to think, three months ago I received four rejections and one contract.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Chris Hemsworth’s bright blue eyes, bulging biceps and six-pack abs make him the perfect model for Connor McKay, the retired NFL player in False Start. I have a Pinterest board littered with pictures of him *sigh* He is a beautiful man.
Meg Fulton is classy, but reserved—you’ll have to read the book to find out why—when it comes to men. She uses a sharp wardrobe to cover up her insecurities. I picture Teri Hatcher from her Desperate Housewives days. So beautiful and poised, but when she’s angry or bound and determined, watch out!
What is your least favorite part of the publishing process?
As a newbie, I feel like I’m on a constant “Look at me! Buy my book!” campaign. I’m lurking on Facebook and Twitter, following more writers and readers and asking for friends. Self-promotion is weird, especially when no one has read your books yet and you don’t have a following. I’m hoping marketing book two, False Hope, that comes out in April will be a little less…awkward.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?
Definitely the love scenes, although they are getting much easier to write now that I don’t have toddlers climbing all over me. I’m more than halfway through my eighth book and I’m finding my love scenes are becoming more descriptive.
Do you drink?
Religiously. Kidding. Having three kids in the house makes me want to drink, but I limit it to social drinking…and then I make up for my long dry spells. Pinnacle vodka is my weakness. I love to create new drink recipes!
What secret talents do you have?
I wish I had super powers or had x-ray vision (although I don’t need it to visualize Chris Hemsworth naked). But sorry, this is going to be a boring answer. I love to cook and bake and decorate cakes in my “spare time”. I’ve done a few wedding cakes, baby showers and special occasion cakes for others, but I really enjoy baking and decorating for friends and family. There’s nothing like seeing their expressions when I give them my masterpiece. It’s very rewarding.
What were you like as a child?
As the neglected middle child, I took on a lot of responsibility raising my younger twin sisters after my parents got divorced. I acted as their mother (I’m only three and a half years older than them). I’ve always been the responsible one. The planner. The organizer. The peacekeeper. Those qualities in me haven’t changed.
I was, however, extremely shy. I had social anxiety disorder—which my Teenage Princess had at a younger age as well. You’d never know it today. I’ve done multiple presentations for work in front of hundreds of people and love it. I don’t remember any pivotal moment in my life when I changed from being an extreme introvert to a very comfortable extrovert, but here I am!
Do you ever write naked?
Who wants to know? Chris Hemsworth? No, I do not write naked (are there people who do?) but you asked, so you’re getting a TMI answer…I do, however, love to whip off the bra when I get home from my day job and write in my sweatpants and baggy shirt. It’s freeing, you know?
Wow, I’m impressed that you’ve read all of my blog! Thanks for listening. Come visit me on my website (www.mariannerice.weebly.com) or on Facebook (http://facebook.com/Mariannericeauthor)
And as a reward for sticking with my ho-hum life, here’s a snippet from the first page of False Start:
“We need to talk.”
Startled by the deep growl, Meg Fulton looked up to the towering stack of testosterone filling her office doorway and cursed the butterflies that fluttered in her stomach.
She straightened her posture, ran her hand through her thick hair in an attempt to put all the strays back in place, and then reached for the lapels of the suit coat that wasn’t there. She felt vulnerable in her silk tank top and wished she had an extra layer to shield her from the menacing daggers targeted at her. Putting on the jacket would only make a spectacle of herself. The thin tank would have to do.
“Sure. Have a seat.” She crossed her legs and attempted to smile. Inwardly, Meg groaned. Connor McKay. She’d noticed him on the football field coaching his athletes and had not looked forward to the expected confrontation.
He remained in the doorway, making no move toward the empty seats across from her desk. His blond hair was short, barely longer than the scruff on his face, and as she looked up she saw his eyes—a fierce, fiery blue filled with accusation and something that ranged between confusion and lust.
Available now wherever ebooks are sold:
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/FalseStartUK
Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/FalseStartBandN
Books a Million: http://bit.ly/FalseStartBAM