Monday, March 22, 2010

Author Interview ~ Margie Church

Hey, everyone, today we have on our couch author Margie Church. Let’s all make sure she feels real welcome. I’m sure our darling Cabana Boys will be at her beck and call… cuz that’s sort of what they’re here for…

Margie, welcome to The Menagerie, it’s great to have you here with us.

Thank you very much for having me today! This is my first visit and I’m pleased to get to know everyone a little bit better.

You’re more than welcome, we really enjoying getting to know new authors and making new friends. So, do you see writing as a career?

Writing is my vocation and career. It has been the core of my life since I was a child and I have a degree in radio and television news writing and editing.

To a large extent, creative writing per se took a backseat for years. I journal for my children, but never made time to write for my own enjoyment until a few years ago. My “creativity” tended manifest itself in terms of marketing communications plans and public relations writing. While that might sound pretty darn boring, it really can be quite a challenge to “spin” your message or product in the marketplace successfully. I rely on those years of plan-writing to help me write erotic suspense novels in my spare time. I want to keep you glued to the page, not frustrate you. I definitely don’t want you figuring out the plot before I’m ready or let you find holes in my logic. Evaluating the plot and subplots with the same critical eye I use to write in my day jobs helps me find problem areas in my books.

Writing professionally can be very lucrative. The demand remains high for talented people who can write well and take a leadership role in communications. Many of us break into freelancing, which also is very lucrative, but it takes quite awhile to build clientele. Many of us, including me, are sweating in this difficult economy. At this point, being a novelist is something I do because it’s a challenge I enjoy. I don’t do it with the intent that someday I can retire, living on royalties. I’d definitely do the zippitydoodah if it happened but I am a bit of a realist. My competition is very talented. I’m keeping my day jobs!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned a million things about technical novel writing. I used to think I’d be able to write a good novel technically because I could write for other media. Not so, at least for me. Learning how to write in active voice (instead of comfy passive) and how to dramatize instead of tell (oh how I love my adverbs…sigh) were huge hurdles. I won’t say I’ve mastered the two, but I can spot the problems.

I also learned that I hate writing jacket blurbs. They have to be so compelling and succinct. They take me forever. LOL

LOL, sorry, from what I’ve seen (and heard especially from Mysti) writing jacket blurbs isn’t really loved by many authors. How long does it take you to write a book?

I write novels part time, so it takes me about six months. I spend about a month of that strictly on editing.

I think that’s still quicker than I do… lol. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Learning to self-edit is an invaluable skill. I want my work to sail onto an editor’s desk and just “smile” because it is so technically good. If the submissions editor isn’t getting tangled up in my writing blunders, it’s that much easier for them to focus on the quality of the story and quickly determine whether it’s worth publishing. My standard is very high standard and sometimes I blow it but that’s my goal.

I also think that beta readers are a real asset, especially to new authors. I found a few people I trust to tell me the truth about my work and I have them read a few chapters at a time as I write the draft. They have saved me from stupid errors so many times. A writer can’t know everything and my beta readers keep me humble.

I have to agree, those are very important things to learn. What does your family think of your writing?

When I decided to give novel-writing a try, initially my husband was, how shall I say—unsupportive. LOL Don’t get me wrong, we pay a lot of bills with my other writing and editing checks, but books? Not too enthusiastic. When I got laid off and spent even more time writing books and I worried I was making a mistake, he told me he knew it wasn’t. When I got that first contract, he asked for my autograph and framed it. He’s never read a word, except for the dedication in my first novel and I’m fine with that.

My youngest is thrilled that a children’s book I wrote for him is coming out. My oldest helped me define the vampire’s characteristics in my WIP. I figured a teen-aged boy would definitely be an asset when I was developing a hot vampire. I don’t, however, let either child read my adult books and won’t be offended if they never do.

My mom is 80 and read both books cover to cover, despite their heat ratings. Many of her elderly friends have done the same. I’m overwhelmed at the number of family members who have sought me out. I grew up like an orphan; we had no extended family. They are finding me now and it’s really heartwarming and remarkable.

Oh, my gosh! How sweet of your hubby! And how great that you do have the support you have found. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My fans are absolutely amazing. When somebody tells me how much they enjoyed my book, it just makes my day. And if they say they can’t wait for the next book, that’s even better! I really love autographing books because it’s such a special way to say thank you. So, to all my fans, thank you so much!

I have also met so many talented authors who share their expertise and time with me. I can’t thank them enough and hope I can repay their kindness some day.

How awesome that your fans are so vocal. And I don’t know what I’d do without my author friends. Okay, now for the “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

Absolutely! I think my profile shots are ghastly! You’ll never see me put one out there. I think I have post-traumatic stress syndrome from my mother taking my pictures “against the wall” as a kid. I had professional shots taken when I created my Web site.

LOL, can’t say as I blame you. About having professional photos… since I have no idea what your profile looks like, lol. What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate?

I say, “eh?” (pronounced ay) all the time. I grew up near the Canadian border and have never dropped the habit. “That’s a great story, eh?” Sounds better to me than, “you know,” or “like.” Could be just as irritating though, eh?

Hey, at least you know it’s there… and hey, if they don’t like it they don’t have to talk to you… just sayin’. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Snails and I won’t do it again. They looked like little black erasers and they tasted like garlic-flavored rubber bands. I put one in my mouth and my stomach immediately said, “Don’t send that down here.” So what was I to do? We were in a restaurant and I was with business associates who were loving the little black slugs. I swallowed. It came right back up. My eyes watered, I grabbed my cloth napkin and ran for the restroom.

Oh, wow! Yeah, I can’t say that I’d have even eaten them. What is your strangest habit?

I am a neat-freak when I cook. I make myself crazy trying to avoid unnecessary mess and cleanup. Here’s a tip you can try if you’re searching for a self-improvement in 2010. When you’re making canned soup, hang the retractable cover on the edge of your cooking pot by its little flip-top ring while you’re scooping the contents out. You won’t need to wipe up a sloppy soup glob off the counter afterward. Yep, definitely neurotic.

Ummm…. Since I have no idea what is involved with canning my own soup… I’ll take your word for it. :-D What do you want to know about the future?

When I die, I want to know if God will say to me, “Well done, my child.” A lot of people think because of the erotic nature of my books, that I embody the behaviors of my characters. Fellow authors laugh about those kinds of remarks but I’ve experienced a few folks being offended by me now that my books are out. I try to be a good person and a good mother and wife. I’m proud to be Catholic and I’m thankful for my God-given talents. I hope I won’t be judged at the end of my life by Chapter 6 in Awakening Allaire.

I’m right there with ya. And somehow, I honestly doubt that’s how we’re judged.

Margie, thank you so much for being here with us today. It’s been great fun getting to know you better and hanging out here at The Menagerie. Feel free to hang out today, let the Boys know if there’s anything you need… yanno like a mixed drink :::wink wink::: .

Margie Church has a degree in mass communications and has been a professional copywriter for 25 years. She was also the editor of a national magazine for 12 years. Margie freelances feature articles for B2B magazines and is a copywriter and editor for a small direct marketing firm specializing in financial markets.

Margie is married and has two sons.

You can catch up with Margie Church on the web at her site and her blog. She's also on Facebook and you can follow her on Twitter.

Avenging Allaire by Margie Church

The exciting love story of Allaire West and Devon Mercer continues in the thriller, “Avenging Allaire.” The couple plans to marry and live happily ever after but everyone from Devon’s father to their pistol-packing nanny, Lucy, is conspiring against them.

Lucy plots, with the help of her lover, to take advantage of Allaire’s psychotic relapses. She’s eager to turn Allie into a lunatic and steal Devon for herself.

Devon’s father calls in his million dollar ransom loan and Devon is forced to return to his father’s firm to repay it. It doesn’t take long for Devon to become suspicious about the revolving door of investors, brokers, and missing information.

In a shocking turn of events, Allaire’s life is in jeopardy again and Devon learns the truth behind Allaire’s kidnapping, the suspicious murders, and the business secrets. Who will survive and who will pay as Devon desperately tries to avenge Allaire. Packed with murder, white collar crime, and plenty of spice, “Avenging Allaire” lives up to the author’s penchant for SASS: Suspense, Angst, Seductive Sizzle.


Carol North said...

Hi Margie:
Love the interview. I learned so much about you and your family.

Your work and pub ethics and standards are admirable. And you do achieve those high standards.

What is your next novel about?

Laurean Brooks said...

Loved the interview, Margie. We have something in common. My hubby was non-supportive of my writing, when I took a lay-off to complete "Journey To Forgiveness." Butn now (I'm told) he tells everyone, "My wife is an author."

I'll try that gimmick with the soup can lid. I detest cleanup! LOL

Best of luck and God bless. I'm blessed to call you "friend."

Margie Church said...

Carol, Gosh, thank you. You know how much I admire you and your work. I'm really humbled.

Margie Church said...

Laurie, it always feels nice when my hubby makes a request for more bookmarks to pass out. Glad your husband saw the light, too! It's been a pleasure getting to know you and it, too, call you friend.

Dominique Eastwick said...

Great Interview, Margie and you know you rock as a writer :)

Margie Church said...

Thanks Dominique, it's nice to be held in high esteem by my collegues!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Margie,
It's nice to get to know a little about you and your work.

But as a Canadian, I have to ask what's wrong with eh? LOL

Best of luck with your writing,

Margie Church said...

LOL Jana! I'm glad you stopped by. Find me on the web. I'd love to get to know you better, eh?