Today it’s our great pleasure to welcome author Marjorie M. Liu to Book Lovers Inc. She’s very graciously answered all of our burning questions about everything from her writing habits and thoughts on reading to her book series and various writing projects. We really got the skinny on all things Marjorie M. Liu! Big thanks go to the awesome Sullivan McPig for helping create these great questions.
Please give Ms. Liu a warm, BLI welcome (and stay tuned at the end of the post…you’ll find a lovely little surprise ^_^).
BLI: Marjorie can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Marjorie: There’s little that would be of interest, I suspect. I live a very quiet life. I used to be a lawyer and now I’m a novelist and comic book writer. I love poodles. I have cats. There’s nothing better to me than a good book on a rainy day. Also, pie.
BLI: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Marjorie: I get up early and start writing almost immediately. There’s not much planning involved, though typically I have some idea of where I’m headed with the story. Even if I’m clueless, I still keep plugging forward.
Marjorie: Is there a difference? Most readers I know adore books.
BLI: Can you give us a short rundown of what your Dirk & Steele novels are about? How would describe they world they take place in?
Marjorie: Imagine our world…and then imagine that most of our myths and legends are based in fact. That mermen do exist, and dragons, shape-shifters, gargoyles…
Except, all these creatures live in secret, hiding from the modern world and those who would fear them. The Dirk & Steele agency is a haven for non-humans, allowing them to use their gifts for the benefit of others.
BLI: Can your Dirk & Steele novels be read as a standalone?
Yes, though there are some recurring characters who tend to pop up throughout the series.
BLI: What can we expect of Within the Flames?
Marjorie: Dragon shape-shifters! Witches! Magic! Fire! Love! Gargoyles! New York City!
BLI: Within the Flames is Eddie’s story. He has quite a lot happening to him in The Last Twilight. Will people have to read The Last Twilight to enjoy and understand Within the Flames or can it be read as a standalone?
Marjorie: It can definitely be read as a standalone. I try to write most of my novels with new readers in mind.
BLI: I haven’t read all the Dirk & Steele books yet, I’ll confess, but as far as I know Koni still doesn’t have his story told. Will he get his own book?
Marjorie: I hope so!
BLI: I read on your blog you have a new series coming up: Paranormal Romance in an apocalyptic landscape. When will it be released and can you tell a bit more about it?
Marjorie: The first novel, yet to be titled, is a bit of a cross between Prison Break and 28 Days Later. It’s a paranormal romance set in an apocalyptic landscape populated by monsters – vampires, werewolves, and other impossible creatures – who are hunted, enslaved, and persecuted by an elite ruling class of human men and women who possess a magic that allows them to control a vast zombie army.
Marjorie: More mysteries and heartache, I’m afraid. When Zee and the boys – those demons who live as tattoos on Maxine’s body – are forcibly stripped from her skin, she is left in a fight for her life. Also, she’s forced to contemplate the emotional bonds between herself and her demon family. Do the boys actually care about her? Will they stay with her, even without those prison bonds that once kept them confined to her body? What does their freedom really mean? Maxine’s life changes forever after this book.
As a bonus, a brand-new Hunter Kiss short story will be released online in December, bundled with the e-version of a formerly published Hunter Kiss novella, “Armor of Roses.” The short story is called “The Silver Voice” and is told from Grant’s point of view.
BLI: How many books will there be in the Hunter Kiss series?
Marjorie: I’m not sure yet. At least one more.
BLI: You also write comics for Marvel. Is it very different from writing your own series and is it easier or more difficult to have to write for characters that are not your own?
Marjorie: It’s storytelling, at the end of the day. Though, I admit, the difference in format requires a particular focus that shifts depending on whether or not I’m writing novels or comics. Comics are shorter – just twenty pages – and written in a script format. Also, I’m collaborating with an artist who will handle all the visuals. When I write a novel it’s considerably longer – and I’m responsible for describing everything, painting a physical and emotional picture that readers can hold in their minds. As for writing characters who are not my own…listen, I get to tell stories for Wolverine! Black Widow! X-23! Gambit and Jubilee! These are the X-Men, and there’s nothing more fun than that. It’s a pleasure.
BLI: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
Marjorie: I can’t give you reasons why people should read my books, because the allure of any novel is too personal for that. Everyone comes to a novel with different baggage, and unique desires for comfort. Listen, reading is a delight, a way to explore our lives and world beyond our normal experiences. When we read we’re involved, we’re carried along, acting out all these parts in our hearts and heads. All I can ask for is that if some curious soul tries one of my books…well, that he or she finds something in the story that stirs up some warmth and feelings of hope.
BLI: Can you summarize Within the Flames for us, Twitter-style (140 characters or less)?
Marjorie: A young man with incredible powers over fire fights to protect a mysterious – and dangerous – shape-shifter who is being hunted by witches.
Two lucky commenters will win a copy of Marjorie’s book, In the Dark of Dreams (one copy will be available to U.S. addresses, and one will be available to entrants outside the U.S.)!
All you have to do is leave a meaningful comment about Marjorie’s interview or a question for her! Please also state whether your addy is inside the U.S. or outside the U.S.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Giveaway ends on Saturday 10 December 2011, and we will announce the winner on Sunday.