Sunday, 5 April 2015

Meet The Author

K. A. Cross presents...

Marni MacRae

About Marni

Marni was born in the south and proceeded to skip about the states for a few decades before settling in the beautiful Northwest. Having grown up listening to her mother weave magical tales for her entertainment, Marni always dreamed one day of being a storyteller herself. Now at 41, she lives on a small farm, happily married to the love of her life. When she is not mucking out stalls or milking goats, she is chasing one of her six sons around or stealing a moment to hammer at the keyboard.

Want to know more?

1.      When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

When I was ten.  My mother would weave tales off the top of her head to entertain me on long drives.  I was always so amazed that she could just make up stories!  I soon began creating my own adventures and began scribbling them down.

2.      In what kind of environment do you work best in?

Well I have 7 children, 6 of which are boys!  I was raised in a large family and learned early to block out my surroundings to read or study.  My children call it my super power.  I can focus on one thing extremely well.  Of course this has it's downsides too, I once set my kitchen on fire while writing Lady Sun, too much focusing on the book and not enough multi-tasking skills!

3.      What's your favourite thing about being a writer?

Meeting my characters!  I begin thinking I have them all figured out, but as they grow and evolve they surprise me.  I always find it astonishing.

4.      How did you come up with the idea for your latest book?

For Lady Sun I was actually trapped in my home in the middle of winter.  I was truly longing for a deserted island!  I began writing it to let off steam and escape vicariously through Sophia.  It quickly evolved and ended up writing it's self :)

5.      Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

Oh yes, My dreamy husband is always the foundation for my Heroes, and periphereal characters can sometimes be colorful people from my own life.  It helps me to draw on the emotional connection I have to the real people and embue those feelings or characteristics into the characters on the page.

6.      Do you ever wish that some of your characters were real?

Not so far.  My hero is my husband, so I don't think I could write a man who could compete with his awesomeness, however I would like to meet Sophia, we would get along great :)  My current book has a girl in it I would be interested in befriending as well :)

7.      What do your family and friends think about your book/s?

Oh my mom is over the moon.  She brags, I love it.  My sister is really supportive as well.  Oddly though the rest of my family pretends like they don't know I write! My friends are the greatest, they push my book on everyone they meet.  Sweethearts one and all.

8.      Do you plan out your books or do you just go with the flow?

I go with the flow.  I am a research nut so there is A LOT of reading and research and I am one for being accurate in detail, but every time I try to guide the story it just does what it wants to.  Less frustration if I just let it have it's way :)

9.      If you could ask a character from any book a question, who would it be and what would you ask?

I was really effected by My sisters keeper by Jodi Piccoult, I think I would ask the mother (can't remember her name) what she was thinking?  I have many children and it is a balance, I just can't see hurting one for's a tough spot and very visceral, that motherly instinct, but I was stricken by the value placed on her daughters.  Yeah, I would need a few questions answered :)

10.     Who is your favourite author?

Oh man, you want me to choose? Well, I change as my moods hit, sometimes I need romance or fantasy and which ever author feeds my fix is the greatest for the day, but right now I will say Hugh Howey.  That man can write!  His structure and content and mind blowing imagination is so far un-paralleled for me.

11.     What’s your favourite genre?

Nope, can't choose this one.  I was a fantasy nut for years, then got sucked into romance land, and then thrillers.  I love all stories, I grew up on the classic fables and Laura Ingals Wilder and presidential biographies.  I will consume any written word.  I have been known to lose days inside Wikipedia.  So no favorite, just a love of writing well done.

12.     What’s next for you?

I am in the middle of a novel called Nameless. It is a great writing experience as it stretches my abilities to convey information with many limitations.  I am excited to see how it turns out!

13.     What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Don't give up.  Don't ever let someone tell you you can't.  If someone does tell you you can't, question that relationship.  It is hard, but it is also rewarding and it is doable.  Research, push, never stop trying. Most failures are the lack of believing you have what it takes. If you can finish a book, and go through the effort to publish and put it in front of millions of readers to judge indiscriminately, then you have the moxie it takes to do just about anything.

14.     What’s your favourite movie?

Princess Bride (don't tell anyone!)  No wait, Shawshank redemption. Or all of the Lord of the rings.  Oh come on, I clearly am terrible at choosing.  I want them all :)  

15.     If you were stranded on an island which three items could you not live with out?

I had to ask myself this writing Lady Sun!  If I can't choose people, I would choose flint and steel, a knife and a pot.  Boring yes, but I would be way happier with a fire, while my fish cooks and clean water to drink than if I had a library or a feather bed and no food water or fire.  The realist in me beat up the romantic dreamer :)

16.     If you could be born in another time when would you choose and why?

I would say two hundred years ago, give or take a decade.  Because here in America there were more opportunities for land, for growth, less restrictions on freedom (strange but true, not including slavery, which of course was horrid) and there was space, so much space!  Plus if I said anything different my husband wouldn't go with me :)

17.     If you wrote an autobiography about yourself what would you call it?

Tell All.  or Tell Most. :)

18.     What your guilty pleasure?

Dr. Who.  My oldest son sucked me in and I can't miss and episode :)

19.     What’s your favourite season and why?

Spring!  Wel We live on a farm, so little babies are being born, in fact, my Mustang mare is expecting to foal any second!  Also, I love the promise of warmth before the temps hit 90's and everything is so green!

20.     Do you have a nickname?

Nope, don't anyone start now either!  I like my name, and so I am happy to hear it.  My hubby calls me Tigerlily, not sure if that counts :)

21.     How do you handle writers block?

I haven't had that problem so far!  When I get stuck on a direction usually I talk at my kids or my husband and they let me work it out.

22.     What’s your favourite writing snack/ drink?

Coffee, Dr. Pepper and Zingers! 

23.     How do you cope with distractions?

If it's my children, I stop and go play with them.  If it's animals, I stop and go feed them, If it's my husband I stop and, um... well, go play with him :)  Writing is great, but far from my top priority.  Life comes first.

24.     What would be your ideal holiday?

Scotland.  My mother lived in Edinburgh before she was married.  I have always wanted to go see where my ancestors lived,  The MacRae's have a tie to Eilean Donan, so that would be my first stop!

25.     If you weren’t a writer what would your dream job be?

Mother. Done!

26.     Sweet or sour? 

Both!  if you mean food, if you mean my attitude, then Both! You keep trying to sneak in choices!  I will take all please :)

27.     What three words best describe you?

Oh wow, you may have to ask a friend or freinemy for that one, but I will be honest.  Honest.  Bossy. Loving. Wow, that didn't even hurt :)

28.     What your fondest childhood memory?

Road trips with my mom.  We would sing and eat crap food (donuts and pie and chocolate milk) and she always stopped to see neat things along the way, and of course the stories.  She told the best stories!

29.     Would you prefer a quiet night in or a night on the town?

Oh in my twenties I would say out on the town, but now, staying in with my family is the best.

30.     What has been the best day of your life so far?

I can't tell you.  You would be embarrassed, but my second best day was the day I married my husband, everything wonderful blossomed from that.

31.     If you could go back in time what one piece of advice would you give yourself?

Don't break.  I would tell myself to skinnydip more, to be more discerning, to call my brother, and to not take life too seriously.

32.     What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I don't think your blog could take it!  I will say that hitchhiking across three states at 16 was probably the stupidist.  Does that count?

33.     Do you believe in fate?

Yep, I do.  And angels and God and Unicorns.  Seriously. I believe God has a plan, that I was fated for my destiny, that I still have free choice as I travel this road, that angels have my back and that unicorns once roamed the earth. 

34.     If you could be any animal in the world what would you be and why?

Bigfoot.  Can you imagine the publicity!

35.     What was the last thing that made you cry?

A commercial last night.  I am  a sucker.  I cry at the drop of a hat.  The last thing that really made me cry was the death of my brother.

36.     If you could have any super power what would it be and why?

Invisibility.  So I could sneak on a plane and travel the world!

37.     If you only had one more day to live how would you spend it?

Making love.  Lots and lots of love.

38.     For many of us writing is not our full time job, what is yours?

Life is my full time job.  I am a mother, and a farmer and a wife and a sister, daughter friend, I am a mediator a trouble maker a chef and a housekeeper.  Life pays me well, I will never quit, so far my bonuses have been great. :)

Lady Sun

Sophia has booked the vacation of a lifetime. A week on a deserted island. 
Hoping for a retreat and recharge from her life in the middle of a Northwest winter, she sets out to enjoy seclusion and sun in paradise. 
Flying halfway around the world, Sophia boards the yacht chartered to take her to the secluded island in the Maldives. 
There she meets Lucas, a fellow vacationer. Tall, dark, and handsome, Lucas is a cowboy, misplaced in the tropics. 
Shunning Sophia’s attempt at friendship, Lucas keeps to himself until the two travelers are thrust into an unwelcome adventure. 
Sophia soon learns that Lucas may be her only hope for survival, and that paradise is not so easily reached. 

Buy it here:

Wants to know more?
You can find Marni here:

Twitter @marnimacrae

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