One of the best things about writing, is the wonderful people I’ve met from all over the world and it gives me great pleasure to introduce Marie Dry who currently lives in South Africa. Hi Marie, welcome to the Write Romantics Blog and thanks so much for taking the time to be an interviewee. Congratulations on the release of your first book, Alien Mine.
Thank you for inviting me. I am very excited to talk about my first release.
• We know that you have been a member of the NWS but we wondered if you could tell us a bit about how you came to join, how long you were a member before you got ‘the call’, the genre you write in and what inspired you to start writing?
I was posted to the South African Embassy in Spain in 2008 and met Rachael Thomas at a writing course at the Watermill in Posara, Italy. She advised me to try and join the NWS. I went to the RNA Conference in 2011 and the next year managed to become a member of the NWS. I returned to live in South Africa and in April 2013 I got the ‘email’. When I received the email I was so convinced it was another rejection I had to read it a few times to realize Black Opal Books were actually offering me a contract.
At the moment I write paranormal romance and although that is where my heart is I have a historical romance I want to finish writing and two contemporaries and several category stories. But my first love will always be paranormal. I can’t say what inspired me to write. Before I could read and write I made up stories and at seven I penned my first story. I’ve been writing ever since although only the last seven years with real purpose.
• We could be in danger of sounding a bit like reality show contestants, but we Write Romantics see the road to publication, by whatever route, as a journey. Please can you tell us a bit about your journey so far, your self-publishing experiences and what is next for you?
I was incredibly lucky to meet the right people whenever I needed guidance. I met Rachael who among all her other good advice suggested I find a critique partner through RWA Australia. Through their critique partner scheme I met Cassandra L Shaw, a brilliant writer, we clicked immediately and have been CP’s for at least four years now. She suggested I join savvy authors and told me about their pitching opportunities. I pitched Alien Mine and several publishers requested a full manuscript. Black Opal Books offered me a contract and I jumped at the chance. I have no experience of self-publishing so cannot comment on that. I am working on Alien Under Cover, the second book in the alien series. I am planning to write three stories set in that world.
I finished a paranormal about an angel losing her wings and a dragon story about a woman with ptsd. The dragon story is really close to my heart and I cannot wait to start with the editing.
• Have you got any advice for other aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. Write every day and learn your craft. Take a good editing course and join writer’s organizations like the RNA and RWA. Follow your heart and write the story that haunts you and don’t give up until you get the call.
• What are your dreams and aspirations as a writer, in terms of your short-term and long-term career?
Short term I would like to have more hours in a day so that I can write all the stories waiting to be told. I am still learning my craft and have promised myself with each book to work harder and produce a better written story.
• What was the single biggest benefit of joining the NWS, do you think?
Meeting other authors and the good advice I received from them. I attended a conference and met the lovely Sara Craven which was a great moment for me. I’m afraid I acted like a real groupie and she was very gracious about it all.
• Can you share a little piece of Alien Mine with our readers?
Yes, I would love to. This scene is set in the first act when the heroine tried to escape from Zacar. The alien who captured her.
She had to get away from the aliens, but running down a mountain in the snow and freezing temperature probably wasn’t the best idea either…
Her muscles ached and her hands felt like frozen claws, even with her gloves, as she tried to grip the rocks and pull herself up the slope. In spite of her need to hurry, she stopped every now and then to scan the area behind her for aliens.
Tired and cold, fed up with constantly feeling afraid, she wanted to just lie down under a tree and forget about everything. Forget that aliens had landed on her mountain. Forget that Zacar was probably hunting her.
Maybe being a breeder wouldn’t be that bad.
A shiver snaked through her at the thought, spurring her on. She tried to pull herself up by holding onto a bush, but she couldn’t feel the branch. Her hand was too numb and weak and it kept slipping from her grasp.
Her feet were cold, and her mind had trouble commanding them to move, to climb. She knew she was risking developing frostbite, but she continued to move on, sluggish and cold. She had to get to town. She just had to.
She fought the nagging desire to lie down on the soft snow and go to sleep.
Just another half an hour and you can rest, Natalie.
Even her own thoughts were starting to sound strange, slurry. She lifted her tired arm in slow motion and gripped the rock above her.
Her glove made contact with something. Even with her numb fingers, it didn’t feel like a rock or a bush.
Confused, she lifted her head, and stared up into Zacar’s frighteningly emotionless face.