I am delighted to welcome a long-time friend to Fiction Favorites. She writes under the pen name Marlena Smith. She is here today to tell us all about herself and give you some perspective on her new book, The Power of Love. So welcome, Marlena, and the post is yours.
Hello and welcome to Day 3 of my tour! I’m so glad you’ve joined us, and hope you’ll share your thoughts on today’s post. Also, please help me in thanking John for sharing his site with us!
Today, we’re having a little Q&A fun!
Q1: How would you describe your ideal writing space?
I would love to have an office dedicated to my writing. An organized desk with the best writing utensils and my stack of notebooks and guides. Of course, ideal doesn’t always happen, so as long as I have either a notebook or a laptop, I can make it work! Because, let’s be honest, most of the time, I’m writing from the comfort of my couch.
Q2: Do you have a specific process to your writing?
In a sense. For the most part, when inspiration comes, I let the words flow. If I create an outline, it’s after the first draft. This is a great tool to show me the big picture in its briefest form. I can see plot holes, timing issues, and so on. After the first draft comes the editing. And that’s always my most tedious task. There are countless rewrites and revisions until I finally send my manuscript to my editor. This is usually when I have grown tired of the whole story.
Q3: Most writers have do’s and don’ts for their writing. Are there any guidelines you follow?
Yes, definitely. My father was a preacher during a large part of my upbringing, and I think that has a lot to do with how I choose to write now. My romance scenes are always mild, and I limit the use of curse words. Honestly, just thinking about steamy scenes makes me uncomfortable. (For clarification, I have read books with adult scenes. And some amazing books, by the way. I simply choose carefully.) I grew up as a goodie-goodie, and guess that’s still who I am today on many levels. Also, I have a bonus daughter that’s only 12, so it’s important to me that she’s able to read my work. She always shares in my excitement, and it would feel unfair to not include her in every way.
Q4: Writing often involves research. Is this something you enjoy?
Absolutely! I love falling victim to the research rabbit hole and can easily get lost on just about any subject. I will often irritate my husband with my newfound knowledge, so it’s a win-win!!
Q5: Your stories often take place in a small town. Are you from one yourself?
I am and have lived here my whole life. I actually live on what was once my grandmother’s property, and my dad is my neighbor. I love living in the country, away from city lights and traffic. There’s this beautiful sense of community. Plus, I’m only twenty minutes from Wal-Mart and an hour from some of Alabama’s major cities and attractions.
Q6: What’s one word you would use to describe The Power of Love?
I don’t want to share any spoilers, but I will say that determination plays a big part for multiple characters. It’s what drives a lot of their actions.
Q7: Were your characters created from anyone specific in your life?
Yes and no. One character is usually several people combined. A little piece of many. For Scarlet, I’ve known a few people that have gone through something similar to what she has. Even I’ve been there, just not quite as severe. These are the stories that really pull at my heartstrings, and I think that’s why I became so emotional while writing. And the same can be said for all of my characters. I include pieces of people from my own life. Someone with a genuine heart, like Lucas. Someone that has a special adoration for military stories, like Mr. Anthony. Someone that never meets a stranger, like Mama Hazel. I couldn’t imagine creating my characters any other way.
Q8: What are your favorite marketing tactics?
As an indie author, marketing isn’t always easy. Social media, of course, is a huge platform. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter. These are great tools for connecting to readers. But, my favorite “tool” is the writing community–the writers I’ve known for several years. The community is all about supporting one another, and it’s amazing. And my writing community grows daily thanks to the social media platform.
Q9: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a writer?
If it’s your passion, stick to it. Don’t worry about word counts or how many finished products you have. Just write. At the end of the day, it’s about doing what you love.
Q10: When you aren’t creating tales, what can you be found doing?
I’m such a homebody! I love relaxing at home, watching the family play video games, or reading a book. When we do venture out, we’re usually taking the boat to the lake.
Q11: What’s something unique about you that many don’t know?
I created a website that focuses on all things related to crime, history, and paranormal. I’ve always had a weird fascination. Add in my love of research, and I figured, why not? It just kinda felt right to do. And in case you’re interested, it’s called Lore & Curiosities. I try to post a few times a month.
Q12: What can we expect next?
Your guess is as good as mine! I tend to go where the inspiration leads. Whichever story idea my mind becomes obsessed with. I have several projects in the works. I think many of them could work as short stories, so perhaps an anthology will be coming soon. I also have a cookbook and a YA novel in process.
She only wants a fresh start and a life away from the big city.
Scarlet finds herself in the small town of Belmont, Montana. It’s a quiet town with a lot of charm. One she didn’t expect to fall in love with, but it offers something magical.
Will her past catch up to her? Will she be forced back into the life she hates? Will she risk everything for a chance at love?
About the Author:
Marlena Smith is a multi-genre author that uses her own small-town life experiences to create stories of the same. Her publications include:
- Ella: A Romantic Novella
- The Intruder: A Short Thriller
- Writing Prompts: to bring out your dark side
Marlena grew up in Alabama with a love of words and creativity. She still lives with her family in that small town today and has never lost that passion. She spends her days working with churches to help them grow and her nights creating tales.
Three Random Facts (I stole this idea from fellow writer D.L. Finn!)
- I started singing in church at a very early age. I had a deal with my grandmother that anytime she asked for me to perform a special, I wasn’t allowed to say no. Ever since she passed away, though, I actually find it difficult to say yes.
- I’ve had a significant amount of paranormal experiences throughout my life. My earliest memory is around the age of 13. I’ve rarely feared whatever it was that surrounded me. I also try to debunk whatever it is. I try to rationalize it. More often than not, though, there is no explanation.
- I love thunderstorms. I find them calming. Unless I’m not at home, and in that case, I will have major anxiety.
If you’d like to connect with Marlena, you can find her online:
Today wraps up the blog tour and launch of my book. Thank you for continuing the journey with us! I’m so excited to share The Power of Love with you. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed creating it.
A special thank you to the hosts–Harmony, D.L., and John. I can’t thank you guys enough. ❤️