Saturday, October 27, 2012
Interview with Marlayne Giron and Giveaway
What kind of research did you do for In Plain Sight?
Being from Southern California (the land of fruits and nuts) and living nowhere near the Amish I had to depend a lot upon resources available on the internet. I visited Lancaster County three times and fell in love with the bucolic scenery and rolling farmland. I even purchased a quilt from an Amish woman whose name I used as the mother character in the book. As far as the Pennsylvania Dutch terminology, I used the glossary lists from other Amish fiction novels.
How did you come up with the plot for In Plain Sight?
I was challenged to write an Amish fiction. Up to that point I had not read much of that genre and when I finally did it reminded me of a G-rated, Christian version of romance novels that involved a sect of people who outsiders find infinitely fascinating. I didn’t want to do the same exact plot line as all the other books; I wanted to try something completely unique that would stand out. I wrote the blurb first and that was my launching point. I also was inspired by other mediums (“Out of the Silent Planet” by C.S. Lewis, the cover of The Host by Stephanie Meyer, Romeo and Juliet and the recent movie, “Signs” starring Mel Gibson.)
Share a brief blurb about the book.
It started with the crop circles followed by the disappearance of cattle. Then he appeared. He was obviously Old Order Amish. He did and said everything right but no one knew what family or farm he belonged to. He worked in the fields and barn raisings like everyone else and was in every respect just like one of them except for his silver eyes. Despite his quiet and respectful demeanor the community of Bird-in-Hand was leery of him. Every-one avoided him; except for Rebecca Esh...two star-crossed lovers whose romance not only endangers the Amish family who takes him in but puts the world he and his brother come from in great peril.
Since this book contains paranormal elements and an Amish community of which I have no real life experience there are none that would play any kind of role in this book however my elderly mother, her car and my brother-in-law play humorous, cameo characters in the book.
Do you see parallels or do you try to avoid using your own personal life as a source of inspiration?
I lead a pretty dull life as an administrative assistant so my books are purely works of my very active and very whimsical imagination. I was actually giggling through major portions of the book as I was writing it I was enjoying myself so much.
What are your own favorite authors? Genres?
My favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien and Stephen Lawhead. I love medieval fiction (knights, chivalry and high fantasy) that show good winning out over evil. That is what my first book, The Victor is about. I also love biographical novels.
How has your passion for reading impacted your writing?
When I was very young my mother worked part-time as a librarian and she would bring me home stacks of books to read every week. I could actually read fluently before I ever started kindergarten. I learned how to write from reading books and began writing myself when I was 12 with my best friend Lisa, who wanted to be a school teacher. She began to red-mark my short stories for grammar and punctuation and it made me so angry I became determined to write stories she couldn’t find fault with. I never went to college and never took creative writing courses except for the ones I had in high school. I was the kid who wrote ten pages of single-spaced, double-sided script in my high school journal instead of the required ½ paragraph. I still have them and my daughter loves to read my teen age rantings.
Describe how you write a book – with your other responsibilities, does it tend to be something you work into your every day, or do you have to “set apart” time to write with open, undesignated blocks of time?
I write best by inspiration. I was inspired by an Amy Grant song to write The Victor 30 years ago. The short stories in Make a Wish were inspired as gifts for other people and I truly believe that book was blessed by God; not only for the recipients of the wish fulfillment stories but also, it seems, by those who read the book who don’t even know the people in the book. Everyone who reads the book ends up crying; I should send out packets of Kleenex to go with the book. I wrote the first draft of The Victor while working as a receptionist at an ammunition factory on an IBM Selectric typewriter when I had nothing else to do. It took me a year. I have worked full time as an administrative assistant most of my life to pay the bills but when I was laid off in 2008 and had no job, I wrote both Make a Wish and In Plain Sight and have almost finished a 4th book. Each book took approximately 4 months. Now that I am gainfully employed full time again, my writing has been set aside so I have time to promote them on social networks in-between taking care of my family, home and 96 year old mother.
What provides your inspirations during that time – i.e. do you go out in nature, do you seek to be in a busy place with people or in a quiet library, etc.?
My computer is in my family room. While I was on a roll writing it was fine but when the books reached their end, the isolation and worry about finances was really getting to me. Fortunately God blessed me with a wonderful job that I love last February before we went bankrupt.
Do you find the internet to be a helpful or harmful resource in research, advertising, reviewing, etc. your books?
Social networking is a wonderful way to meet readers and make new friends. Unfortunately I have also witnessed a lot of mean, judgmental and downright evil behavior through social media by people who proclaim themselves as Christians. The best way to “sell” books is by word of mouth and social media offers that at no cost. I have found that advertising is just a colossal waste of money. Building and making life-long relationships with readers and becoming friends (as I have with so many people all over the world) is one of the great rewards of being involved in social media.
Do you use these tools such as facebook as a means of observing the behavior of others which could be the basis of a character, or are you of the ‘old school’ that relies more on personal relationships and “human” touches?
I make up characters based on character traits I have either read or seen either in movies, other books or just out of “whole cloth” from my imagination.
Ask a question for the readers to answer to be entered into the giveaway
What exotic locale in the book do you think I would most like to visit myself? (It’s on my “bucket list”).
View the video trailer here:
In Plain Sight HD.mp4