1. Can you give us a brief summary about your series, the Blood Coven, without giving away any huge spoilers?
Angsty, funny, romantic. I think that applies to the whole series and Bad Blood as well.
5. And, of course, the boys. Your pick: Jareth or Magnus?
I love both of them for different reasons. Magnus is so giving and self-sacrificing—always worrying about others before himself. Of course, this puts him in a bad position in Bad Blood, when he’s forced to choose between the vampires in the coven who depend on him and the girlfriend who loves him.
Jareth is troubled—he’s had a hard past and can have a difficult time trusting people. He can also be really stubborn. But deep inside, he’s a sweet, scarred soul who desperately wants to be able to trust Rayne enough to fall in love. You just want to hug him and tell him everything will be okay.
And then there’s Corbin, the arrogant slayer-in-training in Book #5…But I get ahead of myself!
When the publisher decided to publish Bad Blood, they told me they would also be revamping the other books as well. I was overjoyed because I felt the original covers had become dated over time and thought an update would bring a lot of new readers to the series. I didn’t have any say in what they looked like, but I’m THRILLED at how they came out. They’re so gorgeous, especially Bad Blood.
Even more than any of the earlier books in the series, Bad Blood has a MAJOR revelation and plot twist at the end having to do with the twins’ parents, who, it turns out, are not as ordinary and normal as they may have seen. I’m now writing book #5 and this revelation has turned the twins’ lives upside down. I can’t wait to be able to share it!
7. If you could create or claim any existing person for your ideal "blood mate," what/who would he be like?
This may sound sappy, but I'd make my fiance, Jacob, my blood mate! He's the best guy ever and would be the perfect one to spend eternity with! :) He's loving and generous and so much fun to hang out with--and he knows how to fix my computer, too!
8. How did you transition from TV producer to author (or was it the other way around), and how has your other job afffected your writing?
I went to college for filmmaking and became a TV producer after that. I didn't publish my first book until eight years later. But I was always a writer, from the time I was a little girl--too young to even pick up pen. Back then, I'd dictate stories for my mother to transcribe and then draw pictures to accompany them.
I'm lucky that I love both my jobs and both involve intensive amounts of writing. In TV, I'm always meeting interesting people and learning about interesting things and I'm sure some of that comes across in my writing. I've also learned a ton about publicity from my TV job which has helped in spreading the word about my books. These days an author can't just sit home and write. They have to market their books as well. Luckily, I find that part a lot of fun!
9. Your favorite part of being an author and suggestions for aspiring writers?
I love making stuff up. Creating characters that live not only in my own mind, but also the minds of my readers. And I love communicating with readers too - hearing their reactions and seeing all the drawings and videos and stories they send me. I love making art a shared experience in that sense! I feel the Blood Coven belongs to them as much as it does me.
Advice for aspiring writers--make the time to write everyday, even if it's just for a half hour. I advise it be the same time each day to make it into a routine/habit. Also, leave off writing in a place where you know what happens next so it's easier to pick up the next day. And don't berate yourself if you feel writer's block. There are always going to be times when it's easy and times when it's hard. And lastly, if you get stuck plotting, go running (either treadmill or outside) or take a shower or bath. Some kind of mindless activity where you can run a plot over and over in your brain. By the time you're finished, I bet you'll have a new idea!
10. What other projects are you working on right now?
I'm working on Book #5 of the Blood Coven series, which is tenatively titled Slay School. I also just finished an unrelated time travel YA for Dutton called The Camelot Code. A pre-sword and the stone King Arthur time travels to present day high school, Googles himself, and realizes he doesn't want to go back and face his destiny. If all goes well, this should be out in 2011.
And the paperback of Gamer Girl will be out this summer for those waiting for that!
11. And lastly, anything else that you'd like to get out there?
I guess I would say always believe in yourself, constantly evaluate your priorities, don't get stuck in a rut, and don't be afraid to go after what you want. It may take time, sacrifice, dedication, etc, but I truly believe if you're willing to commit yourself a hundred percent, you can get whatever you want in life. Just remember, once you get that thing--whatever it is--to take some time to enjoy the accomplishment before throwing your attention into your next goal. And lastly, don't compare yourself to others and don't let the haters get you down!
Thank you, Mari! (Isn't she so optimistic and sweet? :D)
My review of Bad Blood can be found here.
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And Mari will be dropping by, so I encourage you to leave questions or comments for her! :)