New year, new interviews! I’m always excited to introduce new authors (new to this blog, not necessary “new authors”), and this month is no exception. As is the case with most of the writers I know, I met Marissa online. Here’s a little bit more about this futuristic YA novelist…
Welcome! Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a middle school language arts teacher who writes young adult novels. My futuristic novel, The First Principle, is about a sixteen-year-old girl who refuses to comply with her country’s mandatory abortion law for underage girls. When I’m not writing or teaching, I like baking, shopping, and playing golf.
Why did you start writing?
God led me to start writing about seven years ago. Writing was a forgotten dream. I went to school to become a teacher and never thought of teaching as my career to fall back on, but gradually I felt I needed to do something more. Writing was the answer, and it’s a good fit because I’ve always been a reader who devours books. I think my years of reading helped make learning to write much easier.
How did you start writing?
I wanted to learn the craft and knew I needed accountability. I didn’t want writing to become something I’d do someday when I had the time. I started by signing up for the Christian Writers Guild Apprentice course. After I completed that I finished the Journeyman and Craftsman classes. During that time I wrote articles for magazines, and some of the articles were published.
How did you select your genre?
I enjoy reading young adult fiction, so it seemed like a good fit. Plus, the first novel I wrote was YA. I read a lot of suspense, so I’m sure there will always be elements of suspense in my YA novels.
What is your writing day like?
Since I’m a teacher, I write when I can. I work mostly on Saturdays and breaks from school. Summer is a great time to write a novel.
How do you organize your writing (outlines/note cards/post-its)?
I keep a file of editing notes while I’m writing my drafts. Then I can keep track of where I leave off and what I need to deal with next. I’ve used note cards to brainstorm scene ideas.
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you?”
I had a character tell me once, “I’m a redhead. I’m not blond.” So I changed her hair color.
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters?
I don’t, but that’s a great idea!
What does your work space/office look like?
I have a laptop, so my work space changes. When the weather permits, I prefer to work on the porch where I have a view of the woods behind my house. I have a shelf full of craft books and resources.
What is your go-to snack when writing?
I like trail mix because of the sweet and salty flavors.
If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why?
I’d recommend Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None because it is full of suspense and twists. I read it in one sitting and couldn’t figure out the ending.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?
I’d recommend Story Trumps Structure by Steven James because it was helpful to someone like me who is an organic writer. He doesn’t like the term pantser (a term used to describe a writer who does not outline and writes by the seat of his or her pants), and I don’t either. He gives helpful tips for people who struggle to write from an outline.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Connect with me on my website at www.marissashrock.com.
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog, Marissa. Have a blessed day!
If you have any questions or comments for Marissa, please leave them below. Thanks!