The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Marcia Meara


It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with fellow Florida author and blogger Marcia Meara

You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this interview with Marcia Meara:


626smallsDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Honestly, I’ve never thought about it in either of those terms. I just want to tell the stories bouncing around in my head, and do so in a way that will appeal to readers. I spend very little time thinking about current trends or originality, I’m afraid. I tend to focus more on breathing life into characters readers will identify with, and become invested in, regardless of where the story heads.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Tricky, since I actually don’t have a “younger writing self” to advise. I didn’t write my first book until I was 69. I’m not sure I’ve gained enough perspective in the roughly four years since then to offer even my older self any advice. I’m trying to cram a lifetime’s worth of learning in the years I have ahead of me, rather than looking back, but ask me again in another ten years, and maybe I’ll have learned a few tricks to share. 😊

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

RebeccaHmmm. Tricky. I’m not sure I read many books that aren’t appreciated by lovers of the genre in question. My reading time is limited, so I pay attention to reviews and make careful choices. However, I’ve been reading a very long time—over 65 years—and there are novels I read decades ago that I love just as much today, even though not nearly enough of today’s readers have tried them. For instance, Daphne du Maurier, who was very well appreciated at the time, wrote many books I’d love to see more people reading today. In fact, my favorite novel of all time is Rebecca, which was made into a wonderfully dark and noir movie by Alfred Hitchcock, and remains a classic, though under-read, today. So in that sense, you could call it under-appreciated.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Every single one of them, often multiple times. The good ones give me a lift, and inspire me to keep going. I’ve been very lucky not to receive many negative ones, but when I do, I read them extra carefully to see what I can learn. When a less than positive review is a case of someone having read the book as part of a book of the month club, rather by choice, I don’t worry about it. But when there are criticisms regarding my writing, I have to decide if it’s an area I need to work on, or if it’s just that my own style or voice didn’t appeal to the reader. That happens. Reading is extremely subjective, after all. But when it’s something I can improve on, though, I certainly want to do so.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Sometimes I include a private joke, or an event that really occurred, and is recognized by a friend or family member. I gave an eccentric character in Swamp Ghosts a vintage VW bus, painted primer red and gray, and I can tell you my husband recognized that vehicle immediately. He’s owned it for about 35 years! (And yes, it’s still primer red and gray, though it runs like a charm).

Do you Google yourself?

Not really. I did it once a couple of years ago to amuse my granddaughter, but in addition to my writing-related things, a photo popped up from 17 years earlier that I’d never seen before. It was kind of weird, and I decided I didn’t need to do any more of that. As long as readers can find my blog and books when they Google, that’s all I care about.

What is your favorite childhood book?

black stallionOh, gosh. I read constantly from the age of five forward, and by ten, had read every book in the children’s library. All the classics were favorites of mine, from Black Beauty to Lassie, Come Home. I read Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Little Women. And I loved Mary Poppins. Even Treasure Island. But if I had to pick a favorite from that long ago, it would probably have been The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. (If I were a ten-year-old today, it would be Harry Potter, of course.)

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I’m not sure. I was always a straight A student in English, though don’t ask about math, and I read six or seven books a week, even as a child. I don’t think I could have studied harder or read more, so those are out. By twelve, I was reading everything from Poe, Bradbury, Lovecraft, and Wells, to the Brontes, Hawthorne, and my favorite, du Maurier. I was always a people-watcher and nature-lover, too, both of which have helped me with my writing. I guess I could advise myself to ignore my parents and pursue writing from the very beginning, but I think it probably would have backfired. I was very insecure, and probably would have given up after the first rejection letter.

I tend to believe everything happens the way it’s meant to, and at the time it’s meant to occur, so I think I was always supposed to start writing at this point in my life, when I was better equipped to deal with the time commitment, and when self-publishing was an option.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

From draft to publication, six to nine months for most of them, though my Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary, was done in just over two, including editing. The first two years, I published a book in the spring and another in the fall. Last year was a bit slower, and this year is crawling, since we got hit by Hurricane Irma. For some reason, I find having workmen hammering and banging all day long for four months a bit distracting to the creative process. I’m still hoping for a spring publication of my current WIP, Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4, but it’s looking a bit iffy, even though the construction job is finally winding up. I’m going to give it my best shot, of course, but I won’t rush just to meet an arbitrary deadline I set myself.

Thanks again for having me, Don. I’m having the time of my life these days, writing from early morning until late night, and loving every minute of it. Belonging to this wonderful online community of supportive writers and bloggers has enriched my life more than anything I’ve ever done, other than raising my family, and I’m grateful to every single one of you good folks!
About Marcia:

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Today, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!

Marcia’s Books:

Marcia has published six novels, one novella, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:

WRR coverat25%Wake-Robin Ridge

ABNR cover at 50%A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2

Harb 60% cover sized for memesHarbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

Swamp Ghosts Cover @ 30%Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel

Finding Hunter_kindle cover2Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2

TDP 60% cover sized for memesThat Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

The Emissary_kindle cover_final 2at35%The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella

summer magicSummer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Connect with Marcia:

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:

The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/

Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com

Twitter: @marciameara

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/

 

 

66 thoughts on “The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Marcia Meara

  1. Pingback: The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Marcia Meara | Legends of Windemere

  2. Oh my gosh, Marcia, how have I missed you all this time? I LOVED this interview, and felt like I got to know you in a short amount of time. You inspire me, big time. Can’t wait to read one of your books. Which one do you recommend I start with? And I’m going right over to my Kindle and downloading Rebecca. I read it – what? – at least 40 years ago. Time to revisit that book.
    Lastly, is your name pronounced MAR CEE A or MAR SHA? My mom is a Marcia, and for her, it’s only and always MAR CEE A. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw, thanks so much, Rough. (You don’t mind if I call you by your first name, do you? 😀 😀 😀 )

      I can honestly say that my life has never been more fun, so I’m happy to know that inspires you. My two secrets for staying young: learn something new every day, and hang out with people who are younger than you are. 😀 They keep you on your toes.

      Oh, Rebecca! It’s dated in that things were very, very different in those days, but it still a beautiful, powerful story that brings a tear to my eye. The writing is exquisite. You can smell the salt in the air and see those rhododendrons in bloom. And Manderley! As much a character as our unnamed heroine and Maxim. I re-read this every few years, and it still moves me. Hands down, my favorite author of all time. (Daphne du Maurier is who I want to be when I grow up. IF I grow up! 😉 )

      As for which of my books to start with, I have two series going. One is set in the North Carolina mountains, and features a lot of Appalachian legends and the occasional ghostly visitor. The other is set right “up the road a piece” from where I live, in a little Florida town full of characters so eccentric, there’s no need for anything supernatural. 😀 Book 1 of the mountain series is Wake-Robin Ridge. Book 1 of the Riverbend series is Swamp Ghosts. If you decide to check either out, be sure to let me know what you think. 🙂

      As for my name, it’s the old-fashioned, original version, pronounced Mar-sha. (Blame my mother. 😀 )

      Thanks for the great comment, and I’m very happy to have met you! ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      • I can’t reply UNDER your comment, Darlene, but I heartily agree to the idea of having a tea party. Only it will have to be at your place or Rough’s. 😀 Mine is still a disaster area! I’ll bring some custom blended teas, though. How’s that? (If only we really could!) ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      • I go by many names: Rough (not often, ahem), Pamela, Pam, Pammy, Pansy (it’s a long story), Sweetie (my mom’s choice), You many use any. Yes, I will sure read one of your books and let you know. You may want to check out one of mine also: either The Right Wrong Man (set in Boston and the Caribbean) or Twin Desires (romance thriller) set in CA. Page-turners, I’m told. Under my full name, Pamela S. Wight.
        Now, I have to find time for Rebecca, for your characters, and for more blog reading. Take care, Marsha Marcia.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Not sure where this comment will show up, but I wanted to say that I’ll be happy to check out your books, Pam. I followed your blog yesterday, and will be visiting Amazon shortly, probably to start with The Right Wrong Man. (What a great title!) Have a great weekend!! 🙂 Yours truly, Marcia With the CIA. (Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?) 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Good going Marcia

    Don when would be a good time to get an interview myself because I have e-published a book called The Hartnetts and would love to appear on one of these

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Don, thank you so much for this opportunity! I loved answering your questions, and will be sharing this far and wide, for sure. I’ve enjoyed reading many of your interviews, though I’m still running behind on my blog visits, due to the hole Hurricane Irma dropped us into. But I’m slowly catching up, and will get to ALL of them in time.

    Thanks again! Reblogging now!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    I have the great pleasure of being a guest on Don Massenzio’s blog today, and hope you guys will stop by and check out the interview. It was so much fun! Please feel free to share far and wide. Both Don and I will thank you for it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not many people even know who Trixie Belden is, let alone are fans. That series was a favorite of mine when I was young. I had the first thirty-five before I grew out of her stories and moved on to more complex works.

    So nice to have learned more about you, Marcia.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. A great interview with an awesome person. I agree, everything happens when it is supposed to! You have done so much in such a short time, Marcia. Had you started earlier, you may still have accomplished the same amount but spread over more time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What??? You mean starting earlier wouldn’t have resulted in me doing TEN times as much?? Well, shoot. Then I guess it all worked out fine. 😀 And thanks for calling me “awesome.” I can’t wait to tell my kids. And grandkids. (Of course, the GRANDKIDS still think I am, but my son will be shocked. Hahaha.) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Darlene. It’s always lovely to see you. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  8. How nice to see Marcia here, Don. A most interesting interview. I noted that Marcia only started writing at 69 years old. Laura Ingalls Wilder started writing at a similar age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Robbie! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. I love this feature of Don’s blog! And I’m happy Laura Ingalls Wilder and I have something in common. Maybe a Little House on the St. Johns River might be in the offing. You never know. 😉 As for beginning a new career at a later age than most, as a famous man once said, it ain’t over till it’s over. 😀 I’m not ready for the rocking chair yet. Have a great weekend! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Interviews never cease to amaze me as they bring out many aspects of an author’s personality, otherwise unknown to readers. I admire how much you have accomplished Marcia in just few years! Inspiring!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean, Balroop. It’s so much fun to learn what you have in common with your fellow writers, and–in the case of DGKaye & me, regarding snakes–what you don’t. 😀 Thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve certainly written way more than I thought I would. My first book was a Bucket List thing. I never expected to keep going. But now, I don’t ever want to stop! 😀 Thanks for taking the time to comment today. So nice of you! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh yes, I agree! When I started blogging, I thought I wouldn’t last more than a year as I thought I would run out of topics. Same I thought about my poetry. When I published my first book, I thought I am done! But one of my friends said…’this is just the tip of an iceberg’ and I laughed it off. Here I am never running out of ideas, topics or words to write more! That is what we call inspiration, which we draw from each other. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • That’s the thing about inspiration, isn’t it? You never know from whence it will spring. (There. Isn’t that a nice “writerly” way of saying that. Hahahaha.) I’m glad you and I both realized we had more to say, and may we keep right on expressing ourselves for many more years! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  10. That was a great interview! Marcia’s enthusiasm always comes through in everything she does. Excellent job, you two, and Marcia I loved hearing more about your younger self and your interests. I was like you with English and reading, and also detested math. Weirdly, I loved science. If there had been a way to remove the math from science I may have ended up in a related field LOL!
    I’m looking forward to Wake Robin Ridge 4!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Mae! *waving madly* So nice of you to stop by today. Oh, yeah, English was hands down my favorite subject. I like words, doncha know! 😀 Math, not so much, though I usually squeaked by with a B. But now the really bad one was geography. Oh, my. To this day, I can’t tell you what state borders which other one, or where countries lie in relationship to each other. But I’m pretty good at following a map, so I figure it out eventually. 😀 Biology, as you might guess, was the only science I really loved, and that was just because it was usually dealing with animals. 😀

      I’m still mulling over what I want to do with WRR4. I know a lot of people really want another Rabbit book, but I’m still not sure going beyond the tidy ending I concocted for Harbinger is a good idea. No final decisions yet, but I can’t put it off much longer. I need to fish or cut bait, as they say. 😀

      Thanks for stopping by today! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Just saw this, Mae. Sorry! As of now, the plan is to put WRR4 on hold for a couple of months, write a new Emissary novella, and then get back to WRR4 refreshed and ready to write with joy, once again. I do love Rabbit, so I think this will work. And since I’ve already drafted 13 chapters in which the Brown Mountain lights figure prominently, I think that part will remain. (Though it is mostly a backdrop for the actual mystery at hand, rather than a delving into what the lights really are. Rabbit has his thoughts on that, of course, but I wasn’t looking to answer that question in depth.) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Bette! Nice “meeting” you, too. So glad you enjoyed the interview. I’m loving this feature of Don’s blog, and hope to catch up on reading more of them very soon.

      Thanks for following me on FB, and I invite you to check The Write Stuff, too. (Link above). Lots of fun people hang out there, including Don. And thank you SO much for picking up a copy of Wake-Robin Ridge, my very first effort. I hope you enjoy it. I never dreamed I’d keep on going, but I’m happy I have. It gives me a chance to learn more and more about writing with each book.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment today. Have fun on the “Ridge!” 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Mary!! Super to see you here tonight! I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview, and I thank you for such a nice compliment on my books. I hereby declare you officially invited to the tea party, too. I wouldn’t dream of sipping a single cup of Earl Grey without you there! Oh, that reminds me. I got some Scottish Breakfast Tea the other day (from Adagio Teas) and it is SOOO good! For an “unflavored tea,” it might be the best I’ve had. I do like Irish Breakfast Tea, as well. Hmmm. I’m making notes of what to bring to the party. Can we find some way to have it where there are men in kilts wandering about???? 😀 😀 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ooh, yes to men in kilts – leave it with me! I’m back from my trip and still playing catch up with blog posts but couldn’t resist popping in to read your interview.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Welcome home, and so glad you couldn’t resist stopping by! Always lovely to see you! Good luck catching up, though. I’m STILL trying to accomplish that after falling so far behind thanks to a certain big storm whose name I shall not mention (IRMA!!!) 😀 Looking forward to seeing you back in all your usual haunts. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  11. What a terrific interview! I love the vintage VW bus appearance in Swamp Ghosts. Hubby must have been thrilled. Your sense of humor always delights me, Marcia ❤️
    Thank you for bringing such wonderful authors to us, Don ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad you enjoyed the interview, Tina, and glad it made you smile. I have trouble doing anything with a straight face. 😀 Life’s too short not to spend a goodly portion of it laughing.

      My husband’s eyes about popped out of his head when he saw that Victor Willie (his name for his van) had a cameo appearance in Swamp Ghosts. It was priceless. 😀

      And I second your thanks to Don for adding this feature to his blog. I love it, and can’t wait to read more of the interviews, myself. Have a great weekend, Tina, and thanks for stopping by! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Marcia
    Great interview. I did one with Don and he has some great questions that make you think. I’m similar to you in I didn’t start writing until I retired. It took me four years before I published my first book. You are doing great in keeping the manuscripts moving. I also follow your blog. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. HUGS

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Chuck! Thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview, and I will be looking yours up shortly. Always great to meet someone who understands that there as long as we are still here, there are fun and interesting and rewarding things remaining to be done! 🙂

      I was doing pretty good until I got knocked off track by that honkin’ big hurricane, but I’m slowly digging myself out of the hole it put us in. I plan to be caught up soon, and back to writing daily again.

      Thanks so much for following my blog. I hope you’ve been enjoying it, and will take part in some of the things we have coming up. Or just say hi now and then! And HUGS back atcha! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

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