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Monday, July 22, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Author Interview: Marie Landry!

Blogger Book Fair 2013
Marie Landry!

We’ll start with the basics. 

1. When did you first know you wanted to be an author? 

I think some part of me always knew, because I’ve been telling stories since before I could write. The first time I remember really thinking I wanted to do this for a living was in high school when I was taking creative writing and it was different from a regular English class where all I got to write was essays and speeches. I could finally do the type of writing I enjoyed and get school credit for it, along with feedback from teachers. 

2. What is your normal ‘writing routine’? Music? No music? A snack you can’t write without? Do you have to write at a certain time of day? 

It used to be that I could only write late at night when it was quiet and no one was around to bother me. When I decided to really dedicate myself to writing and start self-publishing, I began treating it like any regular job, and I started writing in the mornings and working throughout the day. I tend to get distracted with blogging, reading, and social media (I’m a master procrastinator), but I spend large chunks of the day writing from early in the morning until late at night. I love music and wish I could listen to it while writing, but I work better with silence. I often take little ‘music breaks’ where I’ll put on a favourite song or album, or search for new music to inspire me or get in a certain mood for a specific scene. 

3. Do you base any of your characters on real people you know or are they complete


None of my characters are based specifically on any one person, but almost all of them have traits of certain people - friends, family, acquaintances, even myself. Sometimes it’s good things about a person, sometimes it’s negative traits, sometimes it’s a certain little quirk or turn of phrase. I draw inspiration from all the people in my life, and some of them may even recognize bits of themselves in a character from time to time, but for the most part my characters are creations from my imagination. 
4. What’s been your favorite experience with a fan, fellow author, or book blogger so far since becoming an author? 

Oh wow, that’s a good one. I’ve had so many great experiences, and have met some incredible people since becoming an author. Bloggers are just amazing - they’re so generous and willing to help. A lot of authors I’ve come across have been the same way; the online community is fantastic in that respect. My favourite thing, though, is when I hear from a fan - either via email, in a review, on Twitter, etc - that my books touched them in some way. My first and third novels especially deal with heavy subjects, and it’s so rewarding when people tell me they felt emotionally connected to the characters or the story got them thinking about their own lives and the people they love. If I can touch people and maybe even make some small difference to them, that means the world. 

5. How did you decide what genre you wanted to write? Is that the genre you typically read? 

I adore contemporary. I love reading it and writing it, so it just seemed natural that it would be my genre of choice. When I was growing up, I always thought I’d write romance novels, and even though all my stories have an element of romance, they’re much more than your traditional straightforward romance. I also enjoy reading paranormal and fantasy and would like to try my hand at those genres someday. 

6. What’s the scariest thing about being an author? 

Putting your work out there. It’s a huge thing. You spend months or years pouring your heart and soul onto the pages and then you release it into the world for people to judge and potentially rip apart. It’s terrifying and exciting at the same time. You have to develop a really thick skin in this business, because it’s definitely not all rainbows and unicorns (although how cool would that be?). 

Now for some random questions. 

1. If you could go back in time (and morals were completely not an issue in this situation), what book idea would you write as your own work? Meaning, what book that someone else has written do you wish you’d thought of first? 

I feel like I should say something like Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre or some other well-known, well-loved classic, but to be perfectly honest, I think I’d go with something more modern. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is the first book that comes to mind. To me, it’s the epitome of what good contemporary young adult should be. It’s funny and emotional and romantic and focuses on real issues like friendship, love, family troubles, disappointment, and heartache. It’s such a simple story, but there’s something incredibly magical about it. That’s the kind of contemporary YA I’d love to be known for writing.

2. If you could live out one of your books, which one would it be? 

Ooh, that’s tough. Probably The Game Changer, because it’s the only one that doesn’t deal with tragedy. I’ve lived through the tragedies in my other two books, but I was at a different phase in my life than my characters, and I wouldn’t want to go through that now, if that makes sense. Plus I think Julian in The Game Changer is pretty swoon worthy and I’d have no problem ending up with a guy like him! ;-)

3. All of your main characters from all of your books are trapped in a zombie apocalypse! Which one dies first? Which one saves the day? Who is the most resourceful? Who gets the girl in the end? Which one is the plucky comic relief? Who gets discouraged and just gives up all together? 

Vince from Blue Sky Days would probably die first because he’d try to play the hero and would rush out and get himself killed. Charlotte and Ezra from Waiting for the Storm would team up and save the day because they can both stay calm in a crisis and they’re used to taking care of people, plus they work really well together. Olivia from The Game Changer would be the most resourceful, since she has so many varying interests and is really clever. Julian from The Game Changer would be the comic relief - it’s one of the things he does best, and he knows comedy is a tension-diffuser. Ella from Waiting for the Storm would get discouraged and give up all together, probably because nobody would trust her with any of the big tasks and she’d get bored and frustrated. Nicholas from Blue Sky Days would get the girl in the end - he’d be the one behind the scenes making sure everyone was alright and making the girls fall in love with him with his quiet, understated, but gentlemanly ways.  

4. An oldie but a goodie. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it?  

I’ve always wished I could fly. I know if I was actually gifted with a superpower I should do good things with it, but all I’ve ever really thought about is how cool it would be to fly. Maybe I could watch for people in trouble and swoop down and scoop them out of precarious situations? ;-) 

And now to make some split second choices. 

Chocolate or vanilla?

Video games or board games?
Probably board games. I’m old school; I haven’t played video games since the days of Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo, so I’d probably be clueless with today’s video games!

Salty or sweet?

Night or day?

Hot or cold?

Hardcover or paperback?

First person or third person? 
First person (two of my three books are in first person; I just find it easier to write)

And last but not least. Tell us a bit about your latest book. 

What’s the title? Waiting for the Storm 

Tell us a bit about it! (Synopsis) 

Seventeen-year-old Charlotte O’Dell knows this summer is going to suck. Her mother just died, her sister hates her, and her dad has completely checked out. Fulfilling her mother’s final wish, the family heads to Angel Island for the summer to stay in a beach house her mother once loved.

After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbor, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…

Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?

Where did you come up with the idea? 

The idea came to me in bits and pieces. The first little glimmer of the idea came from a trip my sister-in-law wanted our family to take to Prince Edward Island last summer. I got thinking how cool it would be to set a book there. When the trip didn’t happen, I decided I still wanted to set a book on an island, but since I couldn’t do the research firsthand, I’d have to create a fictional island and use my knowledge/memories of island life from when I was growing up and visited PEI, along with Amherst Island and Wolf Island in Ontario. I remembered a novel I had written in my teens set on ‘Angel Island’ (named after Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who I was obsessed with at the time). I decided since that book would never see the light of day, I might as well use that fictional island for a story that would. The rest of it continued to come to me in little sparks of ideas until I had a place to start - Charlotte losing her mother and her family leaving for Angel Island - and I went from there. 

What was your favorite thing about writing this book? 

The fact that I wrote it in exactly three weeks last summer. When it all finally came together, it was almost ridiculously easy to write. I sat down, the words poured from me, and I was left with what I thought - and still think - is the best thing I’ve ever written. It still amazes me how easy it was. I wish it were always that simple!

What was the most challenging thing about this book? 

How emotional it was to write. My dad died when I was ten, and my Grama, who was one of my best friends, died less than a year before I started writing Waiting for the Storm, so I drew on that grief, and at times it felt like I’d cut open my heart and was bleeding words onto the page. It was hard and painful and I cried buckets, but it was also really therapeutic. 

What’s something unique about this book? 

Is it bad that my mind went totally blank just now? ;-) Well…something several of my readers have told me they love about Waiting for the Storm is that I wasn’t afraid to deal with subjects that many people stay away from, especially in YA - grief, depression, abuse, mental illness, teenage drinking - whether it was a main theme or something that was just touched on. It wasn’t even something that was intentional - I didn’t set out to be different - but I’m glad people seem to appreciate that.  

What do you love about your main character(s)? 

In the beginning, Charlotte’s completely lost, which is something most people have felt at some point in their lives. She doesn’t know who she is or even really what she’s doing anymore. She’s so much stronger than she realizes, and I love that quiet strength and her ability to get through a really horrible time in her life without completely falling apart. 

What bugs you about your main character(s)? 

Probably the fact that she doesn’t give herself enough credit. After being shut away for almost a year taking care of her mother, she’s a completely different person, and she’s developed all these fears, some of which are completely irrational, but then there’s nothing really rational about grief, is there? She thinks she can’t do certain things anymore, but she’s more of a fighter than she realizes.  

Where can we find it? (Links!) 

Pretty much everywhere ebooks are sold! But the most popular places:


Barnes & Noble:



Anything else you want to tell us about you, your books, or just a general shout out to your fans? 

Well, I’d like to thank you Shannen for being such a joy to work with and for being so sweet and fun and just overall awesome. I’d also like to thank all my fans and online friends who have been so supportive and encouraging over the last year and a half. I’m living my dream, and so many of you have had a part in that, so thank you!

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