Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Author Interview with Fantasy writer Marisa Mills author of "Andraste"

Marisa Mills's Bio

Marisa Mills (pronounced muh-ree-suh, and known as Reese to her relatives), is a native Tennessean, presently living in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She has written and published various short stories, poems, and novels. A jack of all trades, master of none, she is a writer, artist, photographer, dancer, kick boxer, baker, and occasional cashier girl. She is easily recognizable from her eccentric personality (and equally eccentric hair), and she can often be found dancing around in public fountains, making lame jokes, talking to complete strangers, and scoping out exciting things to do and try. Her favorite genre is fantasy, which she most often writes in, though she also writes horror, science fiction, historical fiction, and romance. 

Author Interview
Questions and Answers

Learn About Andraste: Review of Andraste by Marisa Mills

1. Thanks for agreeing to answer questions @ Book & Movie Dimension a Blog. Really glad to be able to interview you, Marisa,  considering I'm one big fan of your book Andraste.   
For any readers out there who haven't been introduced to your book Andraste what would you tell them they'd surely get?

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it and glad to be interviewed! 
Andraste is about a young warrior queen, government conspiracies, magical gemstones, vampires, and elves.

2. How long did writing Andraste take you and what was it like for you during that time? Did you feel like the time writing went by fast or slow?

It took about a year. I actually wrote it during one summer break and finished it up over the rest of the year. It was, I suppose, a really odd time for me writing it. I'd never written much before. I'd always wrote things. I'd scribble down stories and such in notebooks, but Andraste was my first serious attempt at writing something. It was actually pretty exciting. It was like, 'I'm really doing this!'

It felt like it went fast. I'm one of those people who will sit in front of a computer, get caught up in what I'm doing, and type for hours without realizing it.

3. What would you say was the inspiration for Andraste?

I don't think there was a singular inspiration. I grew up on stories of King Arthur and his knights. I grew up with Welsh fairy tales, so I think I always had a fascination with stories and magic. One day, I decided to write my own story with magic, so I did. The years before I wrote Andraste were rough and filled with different changes. I had to grow up suddenly and help my family. I think with the writing of Andraste, I was able to reach back into my own childhood and find something I'd forgotten. So, I suppose, childhood influenced Andraste more than anything else.

4. In your fantasy book Andraste: There didn't seem to be an overly big amount of romance. Is this your way to keep with the fantasy element of the novel so it doesn't come out as paranormal romance or is there a different reason?
For me , as a reader , really like that Andraste wasn't dragged down with all the romance making it all the more like a fantasy novel to just enjoy.

That's an interesting question. I actually wrote it the first time and went back to try adding romance, but it didn't feel right for the story or the characters. That could be my own preference talking, as I'm always annoyed when romance takes over everything in the book. That's not to say the characters will never have their epic romance sometime, but it didn't feel right in Andraste. There's also the fact that most of the cast is in their early teens or young adulthood. Sure, you have Valiant who is in his fifties, but the majority of the cast is young. I don't believe love has an age boundary, but if I was going to give the characters romances, I'd rather wait until they're older. Not everyone finds love at age sixteen, after all.

5. I really felt that with Andraste there was still more to the story so can we expect a sequel or even more books? Lots more books to come will be something to look forward to! Will we be seeing any of those characters again?

There is a lot more to the story. There is definitely a sequel in the works. I've already begun writing it. It's going to have a more complex plot and more about the Elegem. There also some more characters I'm hoping to introduce. After that, I can't really say. If my publisher wants more books, I'll gladly write them.

6. What can we expect the direction of Andraste's sequel taking?

The sequel is set over a decade into the future. Andraste is lauded as the great warrior who slew Empress Sarai (and those who have read Andraste will understand why that's a slight problem). Elvin decides to return to Latla, and Radiance returns to Nymphia. The story sets off when there's a civil war in Latla, another Elegem is revealed, and the Luminousian Court begins to pressure Andraste into conquering Latla. Sarai also comes back into the picture after having vanished years before. So lots of things happen. There's also time travel involved.

Well, Andraste and Elvin are kind of a given. Radiance will be present, though considerably less and considerably more mature. Elvin's family plays a more important role, aside from his father. The unicorns also have a more prominant role--particularly Beauty and Spinel, though I'm rather fond of Sunfire, also.

7. Moving away from the book itself.
As an Author: Are you an organized writer or make-up-as-you-go writer?

I'm a bit of both. I write with bouts of enthusiasm. When I begin a story, I create a plot on notecards and usually write down backstories. I have a massive file on my computer of tons of characters and backstories that I'll probably never use or fit in, but it helps me. As far as the writing goes, I do drift from my outlines quite a bit, but when I do, I just revise the outline and go from there.

8. On you as a regular person: Do you do anything besides writing since most writers have other jobs besides writing?

Yes! I am actually a college student, and I work on a pirate ship. Seriously! It's like a tour ship that does trips in the Gulf, and we dress up as pirates and entertain guests. I also work at a hardware store and a cake shop. 

9. On you as a regular person: What are your favorite books in Fantasy?

If we're talking more in the classical realm, I really like Le Morte d'Arthur and The Once and Future King. As for the more recent works, I'm very fond of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance series and Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. I also have a secret addiction for Kristin Cashore's works and the works of Cayla Kluver.

10. On you as a regular person: Any good movies you seen lately or you really want to see?

Myself- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games. Both based on novels which have read or heard good things about. In both cases the book to movie adaptation were fantastic.

Oh, dear. The Hunger Games I have to see. I don't want to see it; I have to see it. I'm also excited about The Raven. I'm typically not a fan of the horror genre, but I mean, it's Edgar Allen Poe helping solve the mystery of a serial killer whose modus operandi is his stories. How awesome is that? I also want to see Mirror, Mirror and The Avengers. I honestly can't remember the last movie I saw. It's been a while.

11. What are some previous books you have written and what were they like? What are you currently writing?

Oh, dear. Do I have to talk about those? I wrote a very terrible one about fairies and evil twins when I was a child. Mostly, besides Andraste, I've written short stories. There's a parody--The Great Epic of Bob, a historical romance--The Sapphire Ring, and a couple poems. The only other book I can speak of is sitting on my computer being revised. It's finished, and I'm going back to edit. It's much darker than Andraste and features an alternate universe. I'd best describe it as an urban fantasy set in an alternate universe.
Currently, I am working on the sequel to Andraste. It has no official title, but it's saved in my computer under the name Elvin, which doesn't especially fit, but I'm wary of callilng it Celestine (Celestine is one of those new characters).
I'm also finishing up this massive reimagining of the Arthurian legend, told from the perspectives of the Orkney children and Morgause. For those unfamiliar with Arthurian mythos, those are the nephews of King Arthur (Gawaine, Agravaine, Gaheris, Gareth, and Mordred) and his half-sister. It's been very fun. 

12. Is there something you'd love to mention on the blog?

Yes. I think everyone should follow this blog. It's fantastic, and it's been an honor to be interviewed for it. 

That was one fun interview. Marisa sure seems charismatic!
Don't forget to read: Review of Andraste by Marisa Mills


Gwen Perkins said...

What a great interview!

Working on a pirate ship must provide a lot of inspiration for a fantasy writer. :) I look forward to reading Andraste.

Barbara Mountjoy said...

Pirates are always a draw for me--how fun to play one on a regular basis! You look fabulous in your costume too! Congrats on your release!

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