Guest Post – Who has a new book? – Marcia Meara – Harbinger

  Today my guest is Marcia Meara, author/blogger and huge supporter and promoter of fellow Indies. Marcia is a bubbly and dynamic woman. She is the author of 6 books, her latest, Harbinger, Book 3 in the Wake-Robin Ridge series. Once you begin reading a book in her series, I can promise you, you’ll be hooked.   About the author:   Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Three years and five novels later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go! Marcia runs 2 blogs, The Write Stuff and Bookin’ It. The Write Stuff is a blog Marcia shares with other writers to promote their books, share excerpts, and anything else interesting on the craft of writing. Bookin’ It is a blog where Marcia shares reviews on books she has read. Marcia has a ginormous heart to go along with her big personality and great sense of humor. And today we’re going to get to learn a little bit about her and her latest mystery, romance book Harbinger. Blurb: Continuing in the tradition of Wake-Robin Ridge and A Boy Named Rabbit, Marcia Meara’s North Carolina mountain series takes a shivery turn with the Appalachian Legend of Ol’ Shuck, the Harbinger of Death. “. . . he felt the wet slide of the dog’s burning hot tongue on his face, and the scrape of its razor sharp teeth against the top of his head. A white-hot agony of crushing pain followed, as the jaws began to close.” The wine-red trillium that carpets the forests of the North Carolina Mountains is considered a welcome harbinger of spring—but not all such omens are happy ones. An Appalachian legend claims the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck, as he’s often called, is a harbinger of death. If you see him, you or someone you know is going to die. But what happens when Ol’ Shuck starts coming for you in your dreams? Nightmares of epic proportions haunt the deacon of the Light of Grace Baptist Church, and bring terror into the lives of everyone around him. Even MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit, find themselves pulled into danger. When Sheriff Raleigh Wardell asks Mac and Rabbit to help him solve a twenty-year-old cold case, Rabbit’s visions of a little girl lost set them on a path that soon collides with that of a desperate man being slowly driven mad by guilt. As Rabbit’s gift of the Sight grows ever more powerful, his commitment to those who seek justice grows as well, even when their pleas come from beyond the grave. Click Here to Get This Book    And before we get started, I do want to mention here that starting today, Marcia’s Book 2 in the Wake-Robin Ridge series is on Kindle Countdown!!! You may want to grab it now because I promise once you read Book 1, you’ll be happy you already got Book 2!   A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 Kindle Countdown, $.99 Fri, $1.99 Sat, $2.99 Sun, $3.99 Mon,  Back to full price of $4.99 Tues I’m thrilled to have Marcia here today to share some of her writing insights with us and a little about her dynamic self. Some of you may find this post a bit lengthy, but Marcia is so interesting and has so much to share for other writers, I promise it’s worth the read! So let’s meet Marcia! “Thank you so much for having me as your guest today, Deb. I really appreciate the opportunity to meet your friends and followers.”   It’s Never Too Late! – with Marcia Meara   Can you tell us a little about how your inspiration came later in life to write books?   By the age of five, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Things happened. Plans went awry, and by age 69, it hadn’t happened yet. I was bemoaning that the one thing I’d always known I wanted to do was the one thing I’d never accomplished, and I was told I should stop complaining, go home, and write. That afternoon, I started my first novel, Wake-Robin Ridge, and nine months later, I published it. My second novel, was inspired by Jeanne Bell, an eco-tour boat owner, and her photographer husband, Doug Little. I’d enjoyed the tours on their boat many times, and thought their situation would be perfect for the lovers in my next romantic suspense novel. Plus, setting the novel on the St.  Johns River would give me a chance to feature my favorite things about Florida: birds, alligators, and snakes. Not necessarily in that order. I published Swamp Ghosts about eight months after publishing my first book, and it started selling too. Lesson Learned: It’s NEVER too late to follow a dream. I’m 72 now, and halfway through my draft of my sixth book. Who would have ever imagined!   Was there something in particular that led you to write in the mystery, romance genre?   While these days, I read far more fantasy and urban fantasy than I do romance, I always prefer that even those genres have a good love story in the background. I’m a romantic at heart, but frothy romances don’t interest me as much as dangerous ones. I wanted to add the element of fear or tragedy to my books, so I started with Romantic Suspense, though I’m probably easing away from the suspense part a bit, and discovering other kinds of drama to traumatize my characters with. Regardless, at the heart of my books, there’s always a romance. Sometimes two!   Are you a disciplined writer with keeping to a daily writing schedule?   I write every day, as long as I’m at home, and I’m fairly disciplined. By that, I mean, I turn off any and all distractions, even music. I turn down the volume on my computer so I won’t hear email coming in, and I focus on my story. If left to my own devices, I will write all day, so I have to schedule regular breaks. Siri lets me know when it’s time to stretch my legs, walk around the yard, or tackle a household chore. Then I get straight back to the computer. Sometimes, I’m doing research, though, or creating a new character, instead of working on my actual draft. I might spend a half an hour Googling the the statutory rape laws of North Carolina, for instance. I’m not writing legal thrillers, so I don’t need detailed information, necessarily, but I don’t want to make glaring errors that pull readers right out of the story. Other times, I might be working on my Character Sheets, where I keep a record for every character introduced in my books, for consistency purposes, even minor ones. If you call someone a “tall, 20-something man with dark hair,” in Book One, you’d best be sure he doesn’t turn into a blonde 30-year old, of medium height in Book 6. Readers will notice, especially if they happen to be reading your books back to back. But whether it’s writing my latest draft, revising chapters for my editor, researching obscure facts, or creating new characters, I work pretty much all day long, seven days a week. At my age, I don’t have decades to get my stories told, and I have a lot of them bouncing around in my brain, demanding to get out.   Tell us a little about your blog, The Write Stuff, and what do others have to do to be promoted there?   I started the blog thinking it would be about me and my writing, but got tired of that in about three days. What I really wanted to do was create a place where authors of all types could meet, network, share news and promos, learn from each other, and support each other. It has turned out surprisingly well, and I love running it. (If The Write Stuff had a theme song, it would be the one from the old tv show, Cheers.) If you write (at any level) and want to be an active part of the community, simply follow the blog, and comment & share what others post there. When you have something of your own to share (a cover reveal, a new release or promotion), all you have to do is email me, and I’ll post it for you, pretty much any time. I also run two regular features that writers can use to their advantage. One is #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger, for those who’d like to submit a guest post on any topic they feel would be of interest to the group. At the end of the post, they can share their author photo and bio, their book covers and buy links, and their social media links. Another regular feature I do is #ExcerptWeek, which I announce every couple of months. Authors can send me an excerpt from any book, published or not, or a Work In Progress, along with all the info listed above. (Bio, Links, etc.) Since most of the followers of the blog will share these posts on their own blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and more, it’s a great way to get new eyes on your work. If you are an “active part of the community,” we will help you get the word out about what you are doing.   Are there any authors you feel influenced your writing?   I have been a voracious reader for roughly 67 of my 72 years, in many genres, and I’m pretty sure every single author I ever read influenced me in one way or another, even if it was to show me a way I DIDN’T want to write. My favorite writer of all time is Daphne du Maurier. Her breathtaking descriptions still thrill me to this day, and her shocking twists at the end of her books always left me gasping. I do have to wonder if du Maurier could compete in today’s market, where readers often want faster moving, more action-oriented plots, but I still love her style. For my own books, which are far less ambitious, I try to find a compromise that works for both myself and my readers, but I do admit to missing those pages of elegant, descriptive prose. While I understand times have changed, I work to find a balance between action, and visuals that make the reader feel as though he or she is standing right there beside the leading character. I want them to smell the honeysuckle, feel the cool breeze, and see the vivid greens of the deep woods. So I squeeze in those moments when I can, and hope for the best.   I know you’re a visual person when it comes to ideas about how your characters would look in real life. Where do you draw your inspiration from?   Inspiration is all around us, of course, but since I’m pretty much chained to my computer chair, I pull a lot of mine from photos found online. The walls surrounding my computer are covered with corkboards, and I fill them with photos pertaining to whatever I’m working on. Scenery and homes from along Florida’s St. Johns River (when I’m working on stories in my Riverbend series), or from the North Carolina mountains (when I’m writing a new Wake-Robin Ridge book). Pictures of actors, models, and other interesting people are pinned all over the place, each time I run across someone who looks just the way … Continue reading Guest Post – Who has a new book? – Marcia Meara – Harbinger