Thanks for that, Marie!
1. Please tell readers about your current book.
It’s the first in a five part journey about life, the universe and everything! Drawing together the genres of science fiction, fantasy and the paranormal, we travel together from the 1940s, through the 50s and 60s to modern day, following the lives of five principal characters. Sprawling locations, different character perspectives, electromagnetic fields, measuring the soul, psychic powers and their explanation plus consciousness projection into other worlds all immersed in, as one blogger summed it up, a sci-fi soap opera… that may remind you at various times of Sliders, Avatar, Flatliners, X-Men and Star Trek… all wrapped up in a research saga’! There’s geeky science in there twinned with spirituality, seeking to ask the age old questions – Is there a God? What is the purpose of the universe? It’s a very ambitious project!
2. Who or what inspires your writing?
I think there have been many influences throughout my childhood and as I moved through adulthood. Initially, I always loved The Narnia Chronicles and had a geeky passion for Star Wars, covering both the fantasy and science fiction genres. Through my teenage years, I was an avid reader of Stephen King books, which is more along the horror and supernatural lines. More recently, I would say Star Trek, Lost and such programes encapsulate the story lines and human interest themes that I like. One of my favorite films is ‘Contact’ with Jodie Foster, and in my book there are a few tiny little tributes to it.
3. When did you know you would be a writer?
When I was a child! I was always known for writing stories when I was at school. The teachers would read them out to the class and when I was 12, I expanded an English class assignment to a novella about my class being stranded on a desert island after the cruise ship sank. It was rather Lost-esque, with giant rabbits and aliens, but the class mostly enjoyed all the interactions between the characters, as they were the stars! Since then, I’ve written a few more novel length books but I wanted my stories to have maturity so I waited until I was much older before I put one out. I think it’s best to write with the wisdom of experience, of relationships and of people; it creates stronger characters and enriched interactions between them. So in conclusion, I think writing has always been in my blood.
4. How long did it take you to write your first novel?
The first one that I knew I would release took about four years, partly due to the dreadful inconvenience of full time teaching! So much of this book was written when I had spare time in the evenings after work. Neither did I want to rush; I’m very much a perfectionist at heart and I wanted to craft something that was not only imaginative, but detailed in the cultural and historical contexts, as well as the underpinning scientific theory and the depth of the characters. I needed to know that my creation would be as beautiful as I’d already intended it to be. Readers won’t have to wait so long for the second one in the series though!
5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I don’t suffer particularly from writer’s block, as I understand the ebb and flow in the tides of creativity. But I would say now the challenge lies in juggling the marketing and promotion of the first book while visualizing and writing the second. These tasks use different sides of the brain; one is logical and organized while the latter is about letting go and being receptive. It’s like switching between savory and sweet food, one or the other but not both together!
6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I try to get my social networking done before I write, but I tend to have it on the background; it often allows me a quick breather if writing a long, technical section. In terms of rituals, I would say music is really important, it can really help set the scene. There may be a specific album which fits the flavor of the chapter I’m writing, or the radio on the background. I find BBC Radio 1 night time music gets the imagination free flowing. I also tend to layer my writing, in that the first draft is purely about getting the plot elements and dialogue down and the subsequent edits involve enriching the dialogue, the setting and any technical issues.
7. Have you written any thing else?
I’ve written numerous stories throughout my childhood, teenage years and adulthood, but ‘Seven Point Eight: The First Chronicle’ is the first to go to print and be released to the world. Out of all the potential novels I wrote, I felt this would be the ideal vehicle with which to debut.
8. Any advice to aspiring writers?
Don’t rush; craft your story with care, patience and above all, passion. Pass it to a variety of people to read in manuscript form, and ideally one or two people you don’t know very well, so you can get a more unbiased opinion. Take on feedback and appraise your work with honesty. Then after it’s published, be prepared to work extremely hard promoting it. See it as a journey and enjoy the ride.
9. Who are your favorite Authors?
Stephen Baxter writes some spectacular science fiction, I particularly like ‘The Time Ships’, his sequel to ‘The Time Machine’ while David Zindell writes some extraordinary sci fi too. I like the work of Khaled Hosseini, the writer of ‘The Kite Runner’, as his books are very powerful and moving.
10. What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Difficult to say, I draw my ideas for ‘Seven Point Eight’ from a variety of non-fiction sources and each of these has contributed to it in their own way. I’ve included a bibliography in the back of the book.
11. What are you currently reading?
I’m reading an ebook called ‘Can You See the Music’ by Reagan McGuire. It’s about the effect of an extended lifespan on five people. I’m reviewing it for him and will be posting an author interview on my website.
12. How do readers find out more about you?
You can read my general blog, biography and a sample chapter of my book on my website. I also copy reviews from various sources such as Amazon and Goodreads on there too. I’m also on Twitter @marieharbon and on Facebook too. Please feel free to follow and request.
If you’re not lucky to win a free copy, you can find paperback copies at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also download the kindle version from Amazon or other ebook formats at Smashwords.com.
Please note: Contains some adult material.
Paperback: 466 pages
Purchase at Amazon
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY...
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