Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marissa Farrar is here! I loved, Alone and Where The Dead Live and after reading Marissa's post I'm looking forward to reading The Dark Road. If it runs true to her style, (and I'm betting it will!), The Dark Road's spooky stuff will tie in with some deeper life issues: that's what makes her characters so awesome; they're totally real, even the supernatural ones have "issues"! Ok, I'll shut up now ...

First of all I would just like to say thank you to Rachel for having me here today, and for her wonderful review of my debut novel, Alone. Her positive words and encouragement since I first met her have been wonderful, and I’m so happy to be here today.
When Rachel first introduced me it was under the header, ‘romantic horror’.
I find it difficult to pigeon hole my writing into one genre, except to say that I write what I love. The problem is that I read vicariously and love so many different types of books.
I grew up on a diet of Stephen King, James Herbert, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice. It was to these authors I turned, and was ultimately influenced by, when I started to write my own stuff.
I loved horror from a ridiculously young age. I remember sneaking downstairs and reading my mother’s horror novels by the light of the fish tank in the front room. Some stories particularly stayed with me; one about a bunch of puppets coming to life and sticking needles into their victims which shrunk them until they too, turned into puppets, particularly stays in my mind, though I’ve no idea who wrote it or what it was called!
But as I grew older and my reading developed, I turned to authors such as Jodi Picoult and Emily Barr, authors who dealt with real life issues, and I know these authors have influenced me now.
It has only just dawned on me, but though I write horror and some fantasy, ultimately I write women’s fiction. The people in my books are normal, real life people. They deal with real life issues; relationships, abuse, even cancer. But running along side those issues is a paranormal world I hope to plunge my reader into. Whatever difficulties and struggles they are trying to overcome will ultimately run parallel to the paranormal dangers they find themselves in.
In The Dark Road, my main character Sasha, has put her life on hold, waiting, while her fiancĂ© ‘finds himself’ in Cambodia. He refuses to come home, so she decides to go out and meet him there. When she gets on the bus to take her from Bangkok, Thailand, to Siem Reap in Cambodia, she meets Josh, a man who is wandering without a home, lost, because of a past he is trying to escape. The bus trip starts well enough, but then, just after crossing the Cambodian border, a lightning storm starts. Shortly after, one of the backpackers goes missing off the side of the road and it doesn’t take long for the group to realize something is after them.
I often get asked if I’ve ever been to Cambodia, and the answer is a definite, ‘yes’. I spent three months backpacking around South East Asia and I actually did the same trip as the characters in my novel. My travelling experiences have influenced my writing hugely, and allow me to make each novel very different from the next.
I’d like to give away a copy (ebook) of The Dark Road today, so please, leave me a comment for a chance to win.
If you haven’t already downloaded Alone, it is currently available for free, for a limited time only, at Smashwords.com And, as if that wasn’t enough, if you go and ‘like’ my facebook page, you will also get an exclusive code which will allow you to download the short story collection Rachel mentioned yesterday!

Thanks for having me Rachel!

Thank you for being here, Marissa. Seriously love your work.

So, have you read any of Marissa's books? What did you think? What about Picoult and Barr, have you read them? I haven't but I'd heard of them. Guess I've a few more TBR's to add to that massive pile!

Oh, one more question, 'cuz ya know I'm nosy, do you like books that make you think? Books that cause you to look within yourself or cause you to question your assumptions?

I'll start. I like them, a lot, but not all the time. I need my 'purely entertainment books' to let my brain rest from all of the thinking! Your Turn!


  1. Great post Marissa! I, too, struggle with where to put my writing -- I've read mostly British murder mysteries, but I write about vampires -- quite the mix! I do so love mixing deeper themes in with the story, and I'm very happy to be blogging with you on our many pages!

  2. Hi Nicole! I'm feeling challenged to write deeper now that I've been 'hanging' around you and Marissa. LOL, me and my cozy mysteries good accompaniment when curled up in the old lumpy armchair with a cup of tea! Since Ring of Lies was a submission call it isn't going to be the standard for me. I am analyzing the cozy mysteries that I love, looking at how they unwrap the mystery over the course of the plot, etc. (I got the quirky cast of characters down!), but even though I love that type of mystery I think my heroine's will have "issues". I took a media class for writers last year and after much soul searching I realized I'm drawn to certain women's issues themes. The biggest is what I said when I reviewed Alone: teaching a younger generation of women not to find or seek their identity through a man and being independent, truly independent not just "my husband doesn't tell me what to do!" LOL, I meet so many women who don't think for themselves ...
    I'm glad I "met" you two, romance writers hanging out with just other romance writers can get a little blind and formulaic, we love our happily ever after! But you deep writer girls keep me real!

  3. Rachel, I completely agree about the ever growing TBR pile! I can't seem to keep up and The Dark Road has been on my radar! My reading preferences vary, depending on the mood I'm in. One minute I might want a Historical Romance and the next a good mystery. Sometimes I will switch back and forth between a couple of books. Right now I'm reading 2 diff books on my Kindle. Oh how I love my Kindle! It has opened me up to a whole new group of authors that I may never have discovered without it.

  4. Hi guys, thanks so much for stopping by! And thanks for having me, Rach!
    Cindy--I am so jealous of your kindle. I absolutley HAVE to get one. A year ago I swore blind I'd only ever read paperbacks, but now I'm eating my words!

  5. It's so difficult to nail the genre sometimes. With mine, I sometimes have trouble deciding between fantasy or paranormal and then you toss in the feisty time-travel element. *sheesh* It's enough to make your head spin. I am so looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the lovely post Marissa and Rach. I'm heading over to Smashwords right now.