Hi Marie! Great to have you here and to be a part of your blog tour. I don't think we've chatted before so I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. Lovely pic of you, by the way. I love your top. Gorgeous!
Okay, let's start the interrogation... ;)
Hi, Rachel. Thank you for inviting me to your blog and giving me the opportunity to talk about my latest contemporary romance, On the Rim of Love.
1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?
Despite the fear of sounding boring, I must answer truthfully and say that I always wanted to be a writer – it was just something that I thought I would always do. As the time went on, I realized that unless I actually started writing, my dream would never materialize, so one day, roughly three years ago, I sat down and wrote my first sentence with a deliberate intent of writing a novel. Since then, I have written three books: On the Rim of Love – contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love, Lucky Charm - contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship, and A Chance Encounter and Other Stories – a collection of short stories about love and everyday life.
2) What is the best and worst thing you have learned from an editor/agent?
I believe that editing advice should be taken with a grain of salt – on several occasions, I have received conflicting advice from different editors – one was telling me to delete a scene from the manuscript, while the other one was telling me to keep it.
The best advice that I ever received was to listen to my own inner author voice.
3) Favourite author/s?
I read all kinds of genres – I love romance, but I also enjoy women’s fiction and literary fiction. Some of my favorite writers (in no particular order) are: Richard Russo, Kristin Hannah, Anita Brookner, Kurt Vonnegut, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jennifer Haigh, Jane Austen, Sarah Addison Allen – the list goes on, but I’ll stop now, before I run out of room.
4) What is your typical day?
I try to write every day; sometimes, life gets in the way, but I strive to devote at least two hours to writing / editing (depending on the stage of the manuscript I’m working on) every day.
5) Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us
Maggie Robin has been dating the irresistibly good-looking, successful Jeffrey Preston for two years. But when Jeffrey proposes marriage a week after Maggie’s college graduation, she is no longer sure if she wants to marry a workaholic TV producer.
Her doubts culminate when during a ski trip to British Columbia, Maggie meets Taylor Denton, a handsome, free-spirited big mountain skier who is the complete opposite of Jeffrey. It does not take Maggie long to realize that she has fallen in love with Taylor and she decides to break off her engagement with Jeffrey. But just when she thinks she has found the love of her life, an ill-fated misunderstanding tears Maggie and Taylor apart.
A week later, Maggie is told that Taylor has died in a tragic ski accident; yet, her heart refuses to believe in Taylor’s death. When Maggie returns to Taylor’s native town, she learns that Taylor is indeed alive, but has been seriously injured. Resolved to bring her lover back to life Maggie stands by Taylor’s side, convincing him to embrace life again.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
The bulletin board was filled with countless notices and announcements, but the one that drew Maggie’s attention was a picture of a skier flying down an endless expanse of snow. Taylor Denton having another great day on the mountain, said the caption next to the picture. Maggie stared at the photo, as though she were frozen still. The skier in the photo was wearing helmet and goggles, but the same confident grin shone on his face, the same golden ponytail flew down his shoulders, and the same neon jacket covered his back.
Now, she had a name to connect with the face, and, suddenly, Maggie realized the true reason why she had been so nervous about coming to the Owl Lodge.
“I’m Taylor, Taylor Denton.” The younger man stepped forward without waiting for Jeffrey’s introduction.
I already know that, Maggie thought. For a moment, she was rendered speechless as her gaze remained glued to the dazzling green of Taylor’s eyes: there was something in his open, fearless gaze that unnerved her. “Very nice to meet you, Taylor,” Maggie struggled to keep her voice leveled as she shook Taylor’s hand – his hand was warm, and his grip had just the right amount of pressure. He held her hand in his for a moment longer than necessary, or it might have been just her imagination, but the electrifying sensation she felt at the touch of Taylor’s hand filled her with guilt anyway: her fiancé was standing right there, and she had no business having these kinds of thoughts about some daredevil skier she had just met.
6) Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?
For Maggie I would cast Carey Mulligan
For Taylor I would cast Ryan Gosling
7) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?
I always try to a write at least a rough outline – when I first start working on a novel, there is this urge to delve right into writing, but even though drafting an outline can be tedious at times, it helps tremendously with the writing process. For On the Rim of Love, I wrote out initial outline where I plotted scenes for each chapter, but as usual, once I got to the actual writing, the outline evolved along the way.
8) What surprised you the most when you became a published?
That there were people out there who wanted to read my books! I am very grateful to all of my readers – I write for you and each and every comment coming from you is valued and cherished.
9) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?
My favorite place to write is at home – in my small office (it’s actually a converted dining room) – that’s where I am most productive, but when weather is permitting, I love taking my laptop and heading to the local park and typing away under a tree.
10) What’s next for you?
I am currently reviewing the second draft of my next contemporary romance – it is a love story about letting go of one’s inhibitions, finding true love and learning to tango. The release date is scheduled for March of 2012. Stop by my website, www.marieastor.com, if you would like to sign up to the distribution list to receive updates on future book releases and events.
More about Marie:
Marie Astor is a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why she writes in the contemporary romance genre. Marie is the author of contemporary romance novels, On the Rim of Love, Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories. In addition to being a writer, Marie is an avid hiker, an excellent swimmer, a good skier, and a capable badminton player. Stop by Marie’s website: www.marieastor.com to sign up for book releases and events.
Marie can also be found on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marieastorcollection
and Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/marieastor.
Books by Marie Astor:
On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about unexpected love.
Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.
A Chance Encounter and Other Stories – a short story collection about love and everyday life.
Marie will be awarding a custom made jewelry set (necklace and earrings) to one randomly chosen commenter and to the host with the most comments (excluding the host's and Marie's) -- US / Canada only, please.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/11/virtual-book-tour-on-rim-of-love-by.html
Great interview, Marie! Huge luck with the tour and all the lovely sales I hope it brings - off to find you on Twitter and FB now!
Marie is waiting to hear from you... :)