The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Welcome Young Adult romance writer, Marion Croslydon!

 Hi Marion, you are one of the few YA romance writers I have hosted on my blog but I loved the sound of this book when I read about it on the Goddess Fish Promo site. It sounds such an original concept, love it! Good luck with the tour, I wish you lots of sales...

Thank you Rachel for welcoming me on your blog. I am very honoured.

1)  Who is your favourite author and why?

This question is pure mental torture… If I have to “nominate” my favourite author of ALL TIMES… It will have to be Margaret Mitchell and Gone With The Wind.
No-one—and, yes, I will stand up for that—no-one can compete with Scarlett O’Hara. There are so many things that are wrong with her, and still, she is for me my ultimate role model, not just because of her strength in face of danger and hardship, her beauty, her spirit, her wit, her business acumen, but also her flaws. She’s not going to win the Mom of the Year Award, that’s for sure.
Scarlett is a real woman, an extraordinary one, and she is so modern.
I guess that’s the reason Margaret Mitchell never wrote another book.GWTW is the ultimate writing experience.

2)  When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think it will have to be when I finished the last round of edits for my debut novel, Oxford Whispers.
I often get annoyed when people ask me what I do. I answer that I write romance books. If they’re not snob enough to look down at me because they think my IQ has suddenly crashed down to abysmal levels (romance is the lowest common denominator, I’m sure you already know that ;-)), they say something like: “I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I never had time.” Or “Everyone has a book inside.”
Grrrr… So not true. Creating a story, writing 90,000 words, building a plot, a character arc etc… it’s just not for everybody.
That said, releasing the first book is also another major step in becoming a writer. Being read (whether you sell your books, or you donate them, or your make it free on Amazon or your website), that’s also part of building my identity as a writer and author.

3)  Describe your writing space?
It’s small and stuffy and dark… and I love it that way. Not messy per se, just not spacious. I also write with the shutters closed and a tiny candle light (those Yankee candles with delicious flavors, such as Vanilla Cupcake). Very unhealthy, but I need to retreat into my writing cave. I also have my writing playlist in the background, mostly Country and English Pop Rock.

4)  What are you reading now?
I write New Adult novels, or Upper-Young Adult, or College-lit. So I tend to read in that sub-genre as well. That said, I have just finished The Selkie Enchantress by Sophie Moss. It’s a modern fairy tale based on Irish folklore. Sophie is a very close friend of mine, and I’m usually uncomfortable reading books written by people I care for. But, this book (the second in the Seal Island Trilogy) is beautiful. I highly recommend it.

5)  How many books have your written?  Which is your favourite?
Oxford Whispers is the first book I have written. The idea has been in the back of my mind since I studied at Oxford in my early twenties. That said, I wrote almost twenty drafts of it, so the final story and the writing have nothing in common with the first draft. I’ve been lucky to work with fantastic editors, critique partners and beta readers.

6)  What comes first, plot or characters?
With absolutely no hesitation, I’d say that characters are the most important components in a successful fiction. People remember characters, their choices, their mistakes, their skills, their clothes, not the nitty-gritty details of their story.
That said, I am what we call a “plotter” in our quirky writing world. This means that I outline my story from the first scene to the last before starting the first draft.
Although Oxford Whispers is a romance, the plot is quite complex, with two story lines (past and present) interweaving with each other, and there’s some mystery and suspense. So lots of twists and turning points that I have to plan well in advance.
So, yeah, I’d say the plot should serve the characters and strengthen the connection between the reader and the characters.

7)  Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Not really, I am disciplined and meet my daily word count. I’m a slow writer though, that does frustrate me horribly. I have strict deadlines to meet, so no time for fooling around.
That said, I hate writing the first draft. I try and have it out of the way in three months, then I can self-edit and finally start the team-work with my editor, my critique partners, and my beta readers. That’s where the fun is.

8)  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Humm, I hang up with my husband, my daughter and my close friends. Writing is an all-consuming passion, and it takes a lot from me. I always find time for some episodes of True Blood though, with a nice chilled glass of Chardonnay. Okay, maybe half a bottle ;-)

9)  Tell us about your latest book?
Oxford Whispers is a New Adult Paranormal Romance.
Madison LeBon, an American student at Oxford University, has psychic powers she prefers to ignore. But when the tragic lovers in a painting begin to haunt her, she must learn to accept her gift. Otherwise, life will imitate art and Madison's own first love will be doomed.
I’ve drawn inspiration from my own time at Oxford and my passion as a romantic teenager for a Pre-Raphaelite painting by William Shakespeare Burton, The Wounded Cavalier. It is set during the English Civil War.
Also, there’s a strong Voodoo component through Madison—who is kind of an “Ivy-League Sookie Stackhouse”—because I was born in West Africa where Voodoo originates, and spent a lot of time in New Orleans and Louisiana.

10) What’s next for you?
I’m right in the middle of the second installment in The Oxford Trilogy, tentatively titled Oxford Shadows. It will be released in spring 2013 and will take it right from where Oxford Whispers stopped.

Marion Croslydon


Two star-crossed lovers in the English Civil War
A painting with haunting powers
A murderous ghost back for revenge
  Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong.
But her resolution shatters when the ill-fated lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War.
In misty present-day Oxford, Madison embarks on a quest to unravel the secrets of the past and understand her personal bond with the painting. To protect herself, she must learn to accept her gift before life imitates art, in all its tragedy.
College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting.
With the spirit of a murderer in hot pursuit, Madison comes to realize that her own first love may be doomed…
Based on a real Pre-Raphaelite painting, Oxford Whispers is full of romance, drama and suspense.
Fall in love for the first time… Again


I am a true citizen of the world. I was born in West Africa, grew up in the South of France, and studied in Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Cape Town, and Oxford before finally settling down in London. This wide variety of cities has provided lots of inspiration for my writing. Talk about culture exposure!
In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course. My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.
My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster. Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.


Marion will be giving away a $20 New Adult Reading pack --i.e. selected NA titles on Amazon to one commenter on the tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Over to you guys! Marion is waiting to chat...comments??


  1. Congratulations on your debut, Marion! Your book sounds really fascinating, I've just started to read it and I love the hint of Sookie Stackhouse in your book blurb... Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite authors!
    Here's the US kindle link:

  2. Hello Sally! So good to hear from you. Thanks for giving a chance to Sookie, oops sorry I meant Madison. Did you watch Season 4 of True Blood? I loved the storyline around Lafayette and Mavis, and I guess it influenced me for OW. Marion x