Are there any songs that come to mind when picturing certain scenes from your series?
Barrie and Eight in the cemetery are Taylor Swift’s Sparks Fly. Well, a lot of scenes with them are like that. Later in that same scene, it becomes Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up. These two drive me crazy, because they are so meant to be together, and they are so good for each other, but the magic is both pushing them together and tearing them apart, and they are having to battle through their own issues as well as the magic hanging over them.
I can’t blame anyone for my craziness though. I wanted to explore what would happen to a real relationship when the normal things that test relationships in high school and the cusp of college. So often, what we see in books are idealized relationships where the focus is on the fantasy elements and the relationship goes fairly smoothly. Relationships are messy, and teens are facing having to weigh their own priorities and futures and dreams against those of the person they are falling in love. I absolutely believe in love at first sight. My husband and I got married eleven months after we met—and we had a pretty big wedding to plan. We’ve been happily married ever since, so I know it works. But I also know that we’ve had to make a lot of decisions about whether to put my career or his career first, my dreams or his dreams. There are more jobs than there are colleges though, or grad schools, or scholarships. It gets complicated fast, and too often, it’s the girl who’s expected to give things up.
Barrie is fighting for herself in Persuasion, and fighting not to let Eight get hurt, fighting not to let anyone she loves get hurt. I pushed her to the limit, I think, and I’m proud of the way that she held her own!
Which character has been the most fun to write? Why?
I love all my characters. Truly. But fun? Scenes with Barrie and Eight are always fun. Especially the kissing scenes. I have to say that I had the most fun with Obadiah. I didn’t know until I finished writing Illusion whether he was going to turn out to be a villain or a hero, and that was exhilarating to write!
What is your favorite food? (Curious minds want to know 😉 )
In general, that’s Nutella, or creme brulee, or even raspberries. Or licorice. But as far as food goes, lately, it’s been shifting.I started doing the Home Chef boxes because I’d gained so much weight since selling Compulsion—deadline button and stress belly. Le sigh. The Home Chef deliveries have really helped with that, and as a bonus, I’m trying food I normally wouldn’t touch. I made Sole Meuniere the other day, and I’ve been craving it ever since.
If you had to describe Persuasion in five words, what would you say?
Love, friends, family, magic, ghosts.
If you could transform into any magical creature, what would you pick and why?
Pegasus. Horse + Flying + Magic = Win
Is there any type of scene that is difficult for you to write? (Ex: romantic, action, etc…)
The emotional scenes are hard, but the hardest scenes were the ones that dealt with slavery and the Native American and African spiritual and magical systems. I want so much to be respectful of that and to bring in the history that people don’t know and need to know. But I also want to tie it to the present day and to the problems that we are still facing in the world—I want to help build some bridges, if that’s at all possible.
How do you move past writer’s block?
For me, writer’s block is usually a signal that I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere in the story—that I’ve made my characters do something that wasn’t right for them, or that I’ve failed to listen to what they are trying to tell me. The solution for that is to listen to them, so I will do some brainstorming exercises, like asking each of my characters what makes them happy, or sad, or what they hate, or love, etc. Or I’ll make lists of twenty or fifty or a hundred things that could happen in a scene. Before I sold the trilogy, I had the luxury of giving into writer’s block and letting my brain work through things on its own timeline. On deadline, you can’t do that. You have to knock it back on track, so I’ve learned to keep trying different techniques until I find one that helps me find the problem.
Thanks so much for the Q&A, Martina!
There’s also an AWESOME giveaway that you’ll definitely want to check out!
If you like romance steeped in mystery, mayhem, Spanish moss, and a bit of magic, she hopes you’ll look forward to meeting Barrie, Eight, Cassie, Pru, Seven and the other characters of Watson Island.
Don’t forget to check out the other tour hosts!