Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A2A Chat with Marlene Perez

Tip of the Day: Agent Nathan Bransford is doing another contest. This time involving dialogue. You can enter here, or just go get involved in the discussion on what makes good dialogue.

I’m so excited for today, because we have one of my writing friends Marlene Perez stopping by to take her hand at the Author2Author Chat. Same five questions as last week, very different answers.

Marlene has a new book out called LOVE IN THE CORNER POCKET, about a billiards and love triangle. The book is super fun. Don’t you love the title and idea behind it? I do, especially because playing pool was something I used to do all the time when I was in high school. I wasn’t as good as Chloe in the book, but I still tried to beat the guys all the time. Anyway, I think you’ll really like this book, so go check it out. Here’s the description:

“Chloe is used to seeing all the angles on the table, so she's shocked when Alex turns up at Gino's Pizza and turns her life upside down. Not only does he confuse her and steal her best friend Bridget, but -- perhaps worst of all -- he threatens to beat her at pool.”

Now, onto the interview with Mar.

A2A: Where do you most of your writing? Do you have a picture you can show?

MP: I do most of my writing in my office/spare room, which also doubles as a catch-all for the junk I need to hide when company comes. I absolutely CAN'T show you a picture of my office. You would run screaming in terror. I also write in coffee shops and bookstores, which are definitely tidier than my own work space. Plus, I don't ever think about cleaning and/or perishing under an avalanche of papers when I'm at a coffee shop.

Emily: Maybe I should try that, my office sounds similar to yours.

A2A Are you a plotter or a plunger?

MP: I am by nature a plunger, but since I've branched out to mysteries, I am becoming a plotter. I really like starting with a character. Or sometimes an image or phrase. I'm often inspired by art or even conversations overheard. Right now, I have an idea for a book that I got after I heard two high school guys talking about their girlfriends in less than flattering terms.

A2A: What do you do when you get discouraged?

MP: Head for the chocolate and then I get back to work. I think it's how you handle the discouragement that really matters. Whenever something negative happens, I remember my critique partner Terry Miller Shannon's advice, which is "real writers get rejected." And I believe in the power of positive thinking. So I try to visualize success and also keep positive people around me. But I also balance that with a clear idea how focused I need to be to succeed in my craft.

Emily: Sounds like you and Deena would get along. She always tries to tell me to visualize success. And I think you both might be onto something.

A2A: What are you working on next?

MP: My fabulous agent Stephen Barbara sold four books of mine in a very short period of time. So right now, I'm working on a new book for Scholastic/Point with a tentative title THE COMEBACK and revisions for the third book for Harcourt in my DEAD IS humorous paranormal series, DEAD IS SO LAST YEAR. Then I'm going to take a nap.

A2A: What's your favorite part of writing?

Finishing! I both adore and avoid the whole process. I'm a big procrastinator, yet somehow, I manage to write. I find I work well when I reward myself for small accomplishments, like finishing a chapter. I've always been envious of those writers who said that the book just flowed out of them. I've yet to experience that. Every single word is like pulling teeth. But I do crack myself up sometimes, so maybe humor is my favorite part of writing.

Emily: And we like that to, because your books are hilarious!

Thanks so much for stopping by Mar. And to everyone reading, go out and get LOVE IN THE CORNER POCKET. You won’t be disappointed. And if you love mysteries, paranormal, or funny books, check out her DEAD IS series starting with DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK this fall.

And there's even more authors coming to chat with us in the future. Stay tuned.

--Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent


amuse me said...

Great interview, with great questions. I love the titles of her series "Dead is . . " I wonder if she developed those titles or the publisher helped.

Kate Fall said...

Love in the Corner Pocket sounds fantastic. I'll be looking for that one! Great interview, Emily.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Thanks for the great interview! I definitely will have to head out and get the DEAD IS books.

DeenaML said...

Marlene, you are busy! And thanks for chatting with us abt your fab books!

Jessica Burkhart said...

Excellent interview! I love that her fav part of writing is "finishing" lol.

Anonymous said...

Love in the Corner Pocket is a terrific book! Great characters, romance, and pool!

Kristina Springer said...

Great interview!!

And Marlene, how is it writing for two publishers at the same time? Do you worry about the books competing against each other or anything?

Emily Marshall said...

Marion, not sure about the titles. I do know Love in the Corner Pocket was originally I believe Cupid in the Corner Pocket, but was slightly changed. Maybe Mar will see this and answer.

And thanks to everyone else for checking out the interview. You should definitely check out her books, and I'm not just saying that because she's in my critique group. I really love Mar's writing.