Q: Marsha, is so good to have you with us this week. Could you please tell us when did you first know you wanted to be an author?
A: According to my older sister, I wrote from the time I could hold a pencil, and constantly talked about writing â€œmy novelâ€. Although I believe her, I have no idea how a child so young as I was even knew about novels. Be that as it may, there’s never been a time that I didn’t have some kind of story to tell. I was editor of the 4th Grade class newsletter. About that time, I wrote a play dealing with the Acadian peopleâ€™s migration. I wrote a couple of screenplays for a film club I was involved in during my high school years. And of course, my “Great American Novel” began its life in 1965. I didn’t get the commercial I-think-I’ll-actually-let-other-people-read-my-work bug until the 1980s, though.
Q: Wow that is a long time … were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
A: I’m often discouraged. It’s part of the writer’s makeup. I have to muddle through, with a lot of prayer and communicating with other writers to get my balance back.
Q: That is veryÂ inspiring.Â Â What is your writing schedule like?
A: I’m supposed to have a schedule?
I fall into the category of â€œWriters who wish they had a more structured writing schedule.â€
Q: Lol, I see what you mean. Where do your ideas come from?Â How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
A: I get ideas from all over. Mostly I see something in real life, or I read something that interests me. I put ideas into my “idea folder,” then I mix them up, asking “what if?” If a particular idea sticks around, I know I can write about it.
Q: Nice, but we are dying to know about your book, Spinsterâ€™s Folly … tell us about it.
A: Yes. It’s the fourth book in my novel series, The Owen Family Saga. Itâ€™s Marie Owen’s story. Believing she’s getting too old to attract a husband in a location with few choices, she takes a desperate gamble that goes very badly wrong. Here’s the description:
Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but Colorado Territory is long on rough characters and short on fitting suitors, so a future of spinsterhood seems more likely than wedded bliss. Her best friend says cowboy Bill Henry is a likely candidate, but Marie knows her class-conscious father would not allow such a pairing. When she challenges her father to find her a suitable husband before she becomes a spinster, he arranges a match with a neighbor’s son. Then Marie discovers Tom Morgan would be an unloving, abusive mate and his mother holds a grudge against the Owen family. Marie’s mounting despair at the prospect of being trapped in such a dismal marriage drives her into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers.
Q: A spinster? that is certainlyÂ intriguing.Â Â What do you hope readers will get from your books?Â
A: Actually, hope itself. I had an epiphany several years ago when I realized that I write to let people know there is always hope, and to show them through the experiences of fictional characters that they can get through hard times, even really, really terrible times, and find happiness at the end of it all.
One of the hallmarks of my fiction is fast-paced adventure, peopled with believable characters. Readers tell me when they’re forced to put a book down they worry about my characters until they can read about them again. If I can take people out of their own worrisome lives enough to be concerned about fictional folks and see them through to a satisfying ending, then I’ve done the job of relieving some of their day-to-day stress. Isn’t that what books are for?
Q: Now, I read your books before and I want to know whatâ€™s your secret to making the characters in your books come to life?
A: I get to know them very well. I have a sheet of questions I fill in about them, and I also interview them. Then I don’t overwrite them with too much description. I let their actions define them, instead. That way, the reader invests the characters with their own unique qualities and peculiarities, and they come alive in the reader’s mind.
Q: That is great advice. What can you teach other writers who desire to publish their manuscripts?
A: Two words: Indie publishing. There’s nothing stopping a writer from making the connection directly to the reader anymore. Get started by reading the blogs/websites of JA Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith. Google will find them for you.
Q: Thank you I will. 🙂 Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?
A: All the online booksellers, such as amazon.com and bn.com, have the trade paperback books. The easiest way to find all my online eBooks is to go to my author pages at:
Books on Amazon:Â http://www.amazon.com/Marsha-Ward/e/B003RB9P9Q
Ebooks on Smashwords:Â https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/marshaward