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Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About:
the Books/Series/Writing/Publishing

Why did you decide to venture into the erotic romance genre with the Quantum Series?

The move to erotic romance was really governed by the story I wanted to tell for my characters of Flynn and Natalie. Their story led me to the genre.

What’s different about the Quantum Series when compared to your other books?

Quantum is written from the first-person present tense from both the hero and heroine’s points of view, which is a first for me. I have to say I really enjoy the immediacy and the grittiness of the first-person perspective. It was important to me that BOTH points of view are included. I’m not a fan of first-person point-of-view stories that are only from the heroine’s perspective. I love to hear what the hero is thinking, too, so that’s why I wrote both points of view. In the audio versions, the story is told with both a male and female narrator. I love the audio books! The other thing that’s also different in the initial trilogy are the cliffhangers in the first two books. I love a good cliffhanger, but I don’t like to wait for the next book, which is why I released the initial trilogy three weeks in a row. I didn’t want the readers to have to wait, so I worked very hard to get the books done close together and published in the same month. There are no cliffhangers in books 4 and beyond.

So you seem to know a lot about the BDSM lifestyle. That means you’re in the lifestyle, right?

Wrong. I did a TON of research for the Quantum Series, and the words on the pages have resulted from that research. I can write about murder in the Fatal series without having committed one, and I feel confident that I was able to accurately portray the BDSM lifestyle without being an active participant. I loved delving into the psychology of the D/s relationship, understanding the power exchange and exploring the deep emotional bonds that are formed through these relationships. In many ways, the BDSM relationships are much more “healthy” than people thing in that communication is key. How many people outside the lifestyle discuss every aspect of what they are about to do before they do it? Right. Not many!

After reading the Quantum Series, I’m curious about BDSM and finding out more about the lifestyle. How do I proceed?

There are numerous online sites devoted to the lifestyle. For instance, check out FetLife.com for information about how to find others in your area who share your interests. I can’t stress strongly enough that you should approach the scene with the three core tenets of safe, sane and consensual at the forefront of anything and everything you do. Please be careful and be safe. As I say to my kids, “Make good choices.”

I love the Green Mountain Series! (Thank you, so do I!) Will you really write books for all ten Abbott siblings?

I’ve promised at least two more books—one for Landon Abbott and one for Max Abbott. Beyond that, we’ll see! 

How many books do you plan to write in the Gansett Island Series and Fatal Series?
I have no plans to end either of these series, so lots more to come in both.
Do you plan to write more of the Treading Water Series?
Yes, I’m planning to write one last book featuring Maggie Harrington. I hope to have that out in 2020.
Tell us the truth: Will Sam and Nick from the Fatal Series ever have a baby of their own?

I honestly don’t know. I’d love to give them what they want (as well as what readers want), but making Sam a mother to an infant would dramatically change the way she lives her life and would greatly alter the pace of the series. IF (and that’s a very BIG IF at this point), they have a baby, I expect it would happen much later in the series, closer to the end, and who wants to contemplate the end? Not me!

Fatal Series: Will Nick run for president and if he does will Sam have to give up her job?
I don’t know and I don’t know! I guess we’ll have to see what life has in store for them. 
Fatal Series: We’d love to read the story about the night Sam and Nick met the first time around. Will you ever write that?

One Night With You was released on June 2, 2015. 🙂 You can also read One Night With You in the print edition of Fatal Affair, on sale now.

I’d love to see the Gansett Island or Fatal characters in a TV show or movie. Are you pursuing that?

I get this question A LOT. It’s great to hear that readers would love to see my characters on the big or small screen. However, I have very little input into whether or not that ever happens. If it happens, great. If not, also fine. 🙂 

How come some of your books are available in print and others are not?

All of my books are now available in print. Click here for a list of all the books.

We’d like to hear more about the characters in some of your single title books, such as Blake and Honey in Sex Machine, Cole and Olivia in Everyone Loves a Hero, Michael and Juliana (as well as Paige and Jeremy) in Love at First Flight, Georgie and Nathan in Georgia On My Mind, to name a few. Do you have any plans to write follow-up stories for these characters?

I’d LOVE to do a series of Happily Ever After novellas showing all these characters living their happily ever afters. I did add bonus epilogues to Everyone Loves a Hero, Line of Scrimmage and Love at First Flight to follow up with those characters. I do think about revisiting characters a lot and would love to do more. Someday!

Out of all of your books, which one is your favorite?

Ahhhh, such a hard question! Treading Water was my first, so it will always have a special place in my heart. I’d have to say tied for second would be Maid for Love and Fatal Affair, because they launched series that have been very successful and are still going strong many books later. I’ve been on an amazing journey with each of my series, so all of them are special. Georgia on My Mind is another book that is very near and dear to me because it follows the heroine’s story after she loses her mother, something I have unfortunately been through myself. Fatal Deception is a book I am very proud of because of the computer crash that occurred in the middle of writing it. Despite the challenges of overcoming the crash, I’m thrilled with how it came together—and that I somehow made the deadline! I love them all for different reasons. How is that for diplomatic?

I want to make sure I’m notified every time you have a new book released. How can I make sure that happens?

Easy enough! Join my newsletter mailing list at the top of the home page and receive an email every time I have news to report about new books or release dates. If you are a Kindle reader, make sure you sign up to receive alerts from Amazon whenever new books become available. You can sign up here by clicking on the big yellow button under my photo.

Questions About:
Self-Publishing

What first led you to self-publish some of your books?

I had books finished and ready to go and couldn’t find a publisher that was interested in them. Maid for Love, book 1 of the Gansett Island Series, was rejected by every romance publisher. That series has gone on to sell nearly 4 million books. The Treading Water Series, which has been very successful for me and much adored by readers, was also rejected all over the place. 

What do you like best and worst about self-publishing?

I like everything about self-publishing. I like making all the decisions about covers and editing and release dates and prices. There’s nothing I don’t like about it, although it is a lot of work. Luckily, it’s work I love to do, and I have a fantastic team supporting me every step of the way.

Are you still planning to write for traditional publishers?

Yes. I’ve got one more book on my Fatal Series contract with HQN, and I’m doing a single title (not part of a series) with Amazon Publishing’s Montlake Imprint in 2020. 

If you’ve done so well as a self-publisher, why would you continue to write for traditional publishers?

Why wouldn’t I? If I can keep up with the writing schedule, why wouldn’t I want to be everywhere that readers are looking for books, including in mass market paperback, which is only possible via traditional publishers. Plus, I enjoy working with my publisher and I’m pleased with the effort they are making on my behalf. I’m fortunate that I write somewhat quickly, so I can keep up with the demands of both tradition and self-publishing.

I have a book I’d like to self-publish, but I have no idea how to get started. What do I do?

You’ve come to the right place! Check out my Formatting Fairies and get in touch with any questions you have after you’ve visited our website. Join my Author Support Network on Facebook and my indie-focused self-publishing loop on Yahoo.

Still have questions? Email me at marie@marieforce.com.

QuestionsAbout:
Writing

I want to be a writer. How do I get started?

I get this question a LOT, so I figured I’d add it here. My answer is usually the same: Writers write. A lot. Often every day. It takes a lot of practice, trial and error to reach the point where you’re able to consistently produce something that others want to read. It took years to learn my craft, perfect my technique and to reach the point where my books were good enough for others to read. And guess what? I’m still learning and growing and perfecting. It never ends. Once you have something you feel is ready for public consumption, STOP. Join a writing group in your local area, get some critique partners and get ready for the real work to begin. Be ready and able to take constructive criticism. If you can’t take it, you’re in the wrong business. If you want people to tell you your story is a masterpiece, you’re in the wrong business. If you’re unable to hear that your story is anything less than dazzling, you’re in the wrong business. The best thing you can do for yourself as a new writer is to HEAR what people are saying about your work. I used to do a lot of critiquing for other writers, but I stopped doing it because inevitably they didn’t want to hear that their book was anything less than perfect, so I was wasting my time trying to show them where they could make improvements. If you are writing romance, check out the Romance Writers of America for a chapter in your area. Most other genres have similar groups. Finding like-minded writers and learning from them is the best thing you can do for your fledgling career. Good luck!

I also get this one a lot: I want to be a published author. What’s involved with that?

I find it interesting that people say they want to be a “published” author. They’re often thinking about being published before they think about the book or the writing. This is another question I always answer the same way. Have you written a book? Have you had it critiqued by other writers you trust? Do you belong to a writing organization where you can find like-minded writers who can guide you through the very involved process of learning your craft? If not, you may not be ready to talk about publishing. Conventional wisdom says it takes 10,000 hours of practice, trial and error to become proficient at something like writing. I have no doubt I invested more than 20,000 hours in my writing before good things started to happen for me. If you don’t put in the time, you may not get the results you want.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

First of all, a plotter is a writer who plans out their book in advance. A pantser writes by the seat of his or her pants, without a plan. I’m a card-carrying pantser and proud of it! When I wrote my first book, I had no idea there were two schools of thought on this. I had my idea, a conflict, and a main character who had lived as a living, breathing person in my head for years. That was all I needed to get started. The result? An over-written tome that I eventually had to cut by 55,000 words. The lesson learned? Be judicious. Nothing gets in unless I can answer this question: How does this scene I am dying to write move Character X’s story forward? If I can’t answer that question, I leave it out. I think about what’s next but at the same time I lay the groundwork for what needs to happen later. I work within the confines I’ve established while going back and rereading what I’ve already done. The rereading is critical. It never fails to give me new ideas about where I could take the story, and it results in a well-edited manuscript when the writing is done.

Where do you get your ideas?

All over the place! Sometimes they literally just appear in my imagination. For instance, I have no memory of meeting my first main character. Jack in Treading Water appeared in my mind as a fully formed character who demanded I tell his story. Many of my books are sequels to others. Another one sprung from seeing a cute guy driving a black Mercedes convertible into Newport, Rhode Island, on an August Friday night. I wondered, ”Where’s he going?” The answer to that question is my book The Fall. I also love to eavesdrop! Once, while waiting for a delayed flight, I listened into a conversation between two twenty-somethings who were on their way to visit their significant others. They discovered they were on the same flight home. I remember thinking, wouldn’t it be something if they ended up together? That conversation resulted in Love at First Flight. Sometimes, it’s just a germ of an idea that leads to a novel. The idea of a pilot being punched in the face by an irate customer in an airport shop led to Everyone Loves a Hero. Sometimes, I’ll read something in the paper that sets off my imagination. Fatal Affair was inspired by a real-life story about a congressman who was found dead in his D.C. area home. The Green Mountain Series was inspired by a spot on the NBC Nightly News about the real-life Vermont Country Store and the family that owns it. 

Do you know how your story is going to end when you begin?

Never! That’s the beauty of being a pantser. It’s as much a mystery to me as it will hopefully be for my readers. When I was writing my first romantic suspense, I purposely didn’t decide who the perp was going to be until I was three-quarters of the way into the book. I wondered at the time if that was a wise move, but it worked out really well because I ended up with a number of people it could have been. Once I decided who it was going to be, I had to go back and adjust a few things to make it work. That was an interesting learning experience, to say the least. I kept asking myself—shouldn’t I know who’s doing all this? Apparently not!

How long does it take you to write a novel?

The first one, Treading Water, took forever—on and off for three years—and then another year of trimming, editing and rewriting. For years before I published that book in October of 2011, every time I revisited the manuscript, I fiddled with it. The book that was published in 2011 bears very little resemblance to that early first draft from 2005. It’s a much better book now than it was then! The next one, Marking Time, the sequel to Treading Water, took me 90 days. I applied the lessons learned in overwriting the first one and ended up with a solid first draft of the second one that needed very little editing. The book that was published in November 2011 is exactly the book I wrote in 2005-2006 with very few modifications. Years after those initial books were written, I seem to have figured out how to do it. I’ve written a 96,000-word book in 39 days. The romantic suspense novels seem to take longer because they are way outside my comfort zone. But I love that challenge! I wrote Gansett After Dark in four weeks, but that’s book 11 in a series and I know the Gansett Island world really well at this point.

Do you like to write love scenes?

I like them much more than I used to. Back when I was first writing romance, I had to force myself through the love scenes. Now they are much more organic (and frequent) in my books! 

Will you endorse or blurb my book?

No, I’m sorry to say that I don’t do blurbs. I get a lot of requests for blurbs and just don’t have time to do them. I’m honored, however, that you’d think of me.

Still have questions? Email me at marie@marieforce.com.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. 

~ Calvin Coolidge

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