Friday, February 15, 2008

Please welcome Marianne Arkins

I've got something special for you today. I've been fortunate enough to interview Marianne Arkins, who is on a blog tour promoting her newly released novel, One Love for Liv.

One Love for Liv is your first published full length novel. Did it feel different to write a long work instead of the shorter romances you're so well known for?

Actually, I’ve written more novels than I have short stories – it’s just terribly labor intensive to polish a novel for submission! I love to write shorts in between my novels, it’s such a great feeling to write “the end”, especially when you’re struggling through a novel.

Still, there’s a great accomplishment to finish a full length novel and edit and polish it to the point an editor thinks it’s good enough for publication. I loved writing Liv – it was my 2005 NaNoWriMo novel. It needed quite a bit of work before it could show it’s face in public, but I think it was worth it.

I've read nearly all of your Wild Rose Press stories. One of the things that always impresses me about your writing is your characters. They're realistic, with traits that make your reader feel like they're people they could--and maybe do--know. Where do you get inspiration for such interesting characters? Are they drawn from family and friends, or entirely from your mind? And I can't help but Liv completely fictional or is she based on someone you know? You don't have to tell us who Liv might be...unless you want to!

Aww… thanks! I prefer character-driven stories, so try to focus on my characters. I hope I manage to make them all individuals with both flaws and admirable traits. The hardest part for me is to make them all different. I think I have a tendency to like certain character traits over others, and when I think “hero”, I want all my heroes to have a particular trait. Obviously, that won’t work.

I’m sure I must draw on real-life examples for my characters, but no one character is based on someone else (well, except my heroine’s pet rat in a WIP – he is absolutely based on my own pet rat from years ago).

And Liv… what a hoot. Actually, I developed her as the complete opposite of most of my heroines. I noticed I was beginning to make all of my leading ladies tomboys, the kind who didn’t mind getting a little dirt under their fingernails, and lived in their jeans. That frustrated me, so I set out to make Liv as far opposite from that as possible. All my other heroine’s love animals? Fine, Liv hates them. They were all blue collar? Great—Liv became a wealthy, white collar businesswoman. The others cut their own hair with dull scissors and didn’t use makeup? Okay—Liv owns an upscale beauty salon and never looks anything but her best.

Of course, after setting her up that way, I had to throw her into a situation where she couldn’t be any of those things J . She wasn’t very happy with me.

What's next for you? Do you have any upcoming releases we'll want to know about (so we can mark calendars!). Are you working on anything now? Anything you'd like to share with us?

I have a 30,000 word story, “A Change of Heart”, coming from The Wild Rose Press—probably sometime in March, but I don’t have an exact date. I have another story submitted to Samhain, but due to an editor shuffle, won’t hear anything on that for a bit.

I’m working on getting my first mystery completed by the end of February, and also have two more light-hearted romances to polish and submit this year.

Thanks for visiting, Marianne! And good luck with the rest of your blog tour!

To keep up with what's happening with Marianne Arkins, visit her website at Or read Marianne's blog, Reading, Writing, & Stuff That Makes Me Crazy.

One Love for Liv is available at Samhain Publishing.

I've already got my copy. I'm about halfway through and am loving it. As usual, Marianne's written an entertaining story with characters that are so realistic they practically jump from the pages. But what about you? Have you picked up a copy of One Love for Liv yet? Hmm?


Marianne Arkins said...

Aww... thanks... I hope you really enjoy Liv's story from beginning to end.


Anonymous said...

I just looked at the publishers site and this looks like an interesting book. Thanks for the lead! -Pam

Dru said...

Great interview and I picked up my copy of Liv's story as well.

Marianne Arkins said...

Thanks, Pam! Thanks, Dru... I'll be interested in hearing your feedback.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to get a copy too. I've talked with my friend enough to know she thinks this is an author worth checking out. See, I do too listen when you talk! ROFL.

Have a good night,

Unknown said...

Fun interview. Just enough questions to be interesting but it didn't sound like a commercial. Nice. I am considering buying this book, it sounds like something I would like.


Anonymous said...

Sorry I"m so late reading your blog. The kids have been sick-don't ask. Ick.

Going to the Larks right now.