'A soaring tale of life and love, of sacrifice and renewal, and learning to see people as they really are.'I'm thrilled to have Marci drop by Just Commonly for our first author interview, and to give us a little bit of insight into "The One Thing" and who Marci is. Plus, at the end of the interview, a giveaway from Marci.
JC: Just Commonly
M: Marci Lyn Curtis
JC: Marci, thank you for dropping by this blog. I'm thrilled and honored you're Just Commonly's first author interview. Let's start off with something fun. What's one funky thing about you that not many people know about? (Me, I scoop out all the yummy custard inside a tart first, and then tackle the crust, also with a spoon.)
M: Hi! Thanks so much for having me!
Oh jeesh—funky things about me…
I’m what some might call “quirky,” so I could probably have my own wing in the National Museum of Weirdos. Most notably, I have this enormous, ridiculous aversion to spit. (If my husband talks to me through a mouthful of foamy toothpaste, I run out of the room so I don’t gag.) Beyond that, I have this bizarre habit of mentally counting my steps as I cross a room, with the hopes of coming to a stop on an even number.
Yeah. A shrink could probably have a field day with me.
JC: Hmmm, that is the first time I've heard of an aversion to spit. You got it. Top honors for funkiness goes to you.
JC: Coca Cola or Pepsi?
M: Back when I lived on the Left Coast, I would’ve said Pepsi without even blinking. But the East Coast has thoroughly poisoned me, so now I’m all about Coke Zero.
JC: yay! Another Coke person!
JC: Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?
M: Starbucks, but not because of their coffee. Probably that sounds strange, but here’s the thing: coffee is coffee is coffee. Starbucks has these muffins.
These muffins. I mean, if you sprinkled bits of Starbucks muffins on top of Starbucks muffins, you could probably travel back in time.
JC: Dogs or Cats?
M: Would I be cheating if I said both? Yes? Doesn’t matter. I love animals in general. (i.e. I’m a closet-hippie/vegetarian)
JC: Harry Potter or Hunger Games?
M: Nothing against Hunger Games, but there’s no contest here. Harry Potter, by a landslide. Harry Potter is like…a philosophy.
JC: I just love your book and all the characters, because it made it. Was there ever a character in your book that wasn't suppose to turn out the way he/she did, but through your writing process, it sort of just flew on their own?
M: Yes! Clarissa. In my first draft, I made just one quick mention of her—only her name, really. Well, that and the fact that she was too boring to breathe air. But during my first round of revisions, my editor told me she wanted to pull Clarissa into the storyline.
Which was brutal. For weeks. On end. It wasn’t that I disliked Clarissa. I just didn’t feel anything for her. And there’s nothing worse than a character that has…well, no character. So once I finally let go of how I’d seen her and let her true personality come through—BOOM—she cannonballed into the storyline.
JC: I had a lot of LOL moments, especially with Ben's "big man" talk. How did the character of Ben come about? Why is he so funny?
M: I wish I were responsible for creating Ben. Because how great would that be? I mean, Ben is so…Ben. Fact is, he arrived in my brain fully developed (as most of my characters do), and all I had to do was transfer him to the page.
JC: Then there are the emotional moments (I can name a few ‐ but I'll let the readers read the book first). They were so real. My husband gave me a crazy look when I just starting sniffling and tearing up. I always wonder how authors feel when they write those scenes. Were you teary eyed, needed a break to blow your nose type or just breezing through the scene?
M: I’ve never once gotten through this story without bawling. Not while writing it, not during revisions, not during copyedits. And honestly, as writers, I think it’s important that we really feel our stories. It’s through emotion that we connect with readers. So when I was really affected by a scene, I didn’t get up and try to shake it off. I stayed right there and slobbered my way through.
JC: Have you had any feedback yet that you didn't expect?
M: Ah. Well, let me preface this by saying I spent months upon months researching blindness. It was extremely important for me to “get it right,” to be an accurate voice for the visually impaired. I was so paranoid that I even after I finished the story, I spent months obsessing, certain that I’d end up offending the very people I was trying so hard to represent. So when early reviews came in saying “Maggie is the best blind main character I have ever come across”? Well. Let’s just say it was a very happy surprise.
JC: Now, a little more about you to satisfy curious fans (like myself). You've lived in many states, which one is your favorite? Why?
M: A normal person would say Hawaii.
And I did love Hawaii. But I also loved Florida, California, Connecticut, Tennessee, and Maryland—all of which for different reasons. So I guess I can’t really say that I have a favorite, just favorite things about each state, because I always try to look at “what is” instead of “what isn’t.”
JC: Where do you normally write?
M: Everywhere, actually—in the car at red lights, in the bathroom while blow-drying my hair, in line at the grocery store. You get the idea. My best stuff generally comes around when I’m not forcing it. Eventually, I’ll grab my laptop and plop down at the kitchen table with a thousand little scraps of paper and do my best to bring it all together.
JC: What can we expect from you next?
M: Currently, I’m writing a story about an orphan pickpocket forced to live with the uncle who betrayed her family. It’s a twisty little story, and it covers a topic near to my heart, so it’s been a really difficult story to write. After that, I’ll be writing a companion novel to The One Thing, featuring a certain unmentionable character.
JC: Awesome! Companion novel, sign me up! If you need someone to take a peak of your proof copy, let me know. *wink wink.
JC: Any next live events you'll be participating that we can look forward to, location or Facebook event?
M: Yes! I’d love to connect with readers and reviewers, so consider yourselves invited to everything.JC: Thank YOU, Marci. The pleasure is all mine. =) If you're in the area, check out the launch party and meet Marci!
- My launch party for The One Thing is taking place Saturday, September 12th, from 6-8pm, at Barnes & Noble in BelAir, MD.
- On Sunday, September 27th at 9 A.M. I’ll be in a YA panel at the Just Write. Writers conference.
- And on Saturday, October 24th at 5 P.M., I’ll be hanging out at Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, Virginia, participating in a YA panel with Cordelia Jensen, Sharon Huss Roat, and Jenn Marie Thorne.
Thank you so much for this fantastic interview! It’s been an absolute honor.
You can purchase "The One Thing" on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound, Itunes or Indigo. Connect with Marci on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or contact her on your website.
Now for the giveaway. Enter to win an autographed bookplate from Marci.
UPDATE: Winners were selected and emails sent out. Congratulations to WT, AI, LP, NC, DC & MN.