Thursday, June 1, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Meet Mari-j Carpenter

The Write Way Café welcomes Mari-j Carpenter, who knows that sometimes books come from dreams.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I had first started writing books in the third grade, then gravitated to journal writing in a diary, but it wasn’t until 2009 that a dream led me to writing novels. And just last year I got serious about writing, and I’ve always been naturally drawn to romance. I’m just a romantic at heart.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on my novel called, Crash into Me. It is ready to be submitted to literary agents.

How do you do research?
The research I’ve done has been majority online all from military to fighting styles to psychology. I’ve also gone to restaurants to observe how people interact and even to colleges on campus to observe how they react in settings, people that is.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
I was drawn to writing a suspense story after writing a fantasy. I wanted to write a more contemporary. I had a dream about two couples and then I went from there.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
I picked the setting After I did the character analysis on each of my protagonists. In Texas, seemed to be the right place.

Are your main characters completely imaginary, or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
The main characters are kind of a combo of imaginary and real people. By this I mean the name, Regan is based on a real person. When I had worked as an auditor. The receptionist name was Regan, and I remember her because she seems so distraught and so beautiful and that struck a chord in me. But the other protagonist is completely imaginary.

What do you consider your greatest writing strengths? What gets in your way of writing?
Wow, this is a loaded question. I would have to say my writing strengths might be the action scenes, and this is, according to my editor, where more my talents lie. But what gets in my way of writing is the distractions that are outside of my control, such as appointments I have outside the home or things that have to deal with my family.

Do you have a favorite playlist for when you write? Classic, rock, pop, none of the above?
Music is my muse while I write. The music I most like to listen to is imagine dragons, but I had to create a playlist for my characters, which are complete opposites. Of all things. I had to use, heavy metal for my main character, Hunter, and then use Sai for my other main character, Regan.

What is your likely choice for publication, a publisher or self-pubbed?
If I can pull love tot his goal, published, that is my choice over self-publishing. Not that there’s anything wrong with self-publishing but it’s all a preference to each writer.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I use a speech to text writing style to do most of my writing, so that I can write wherever and whenever I want, and so I am not confined to one spot.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
The last book I read was Six of Crows by the insistence of my daughter, and then the sequel to it. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. The Graces by Laura Eve was another book I recently just read. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins is another series I liked, and then one of the adult series I liked was the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.

Who is your favorite book boyfriend? Why?
Jericho Barons and then Kaz, because they were great and terrible at the same time and very well drawn out in the books.

Who are your greatest support people for writing?
Probably my children, being my son and daughter. Both are avid readers.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
I cannot imagine myself not being a writer so I don’t know what other would be a dream job I could have, to be honest.

What line from a book left an impression on you and/or your writing?
When I finished reading The Graces, the last line in the book:
"They think I’m powerful? They haven’t seen a fucking thing yet."
That impressed me, but the whole book did.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve done to your character/s?
Hmm. This was a tough one to answer. The quirkiest thing I did was probably that I did see Regan when she got her heel stuck in a drain. And in the aftermath of getting it unstuck.

Mari-j Carpenter is a member of Romance Writers of America and From The Heart Romance Writers (RWA Chapter 177), and has served as a judge in their contests for several years.  You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.


HiDee said...

Thank you for being with us today! I always enjoy learning about new authors!

RT Wolfe said...

What a lovely interview, Mari-j. Here's wishing you many sales. :)
-R.T. Wolfe

Unknown said...

May all your dreams come true!

Marija Carpenter said...

Thank you, Hidee for having me as a guest on your blog.

Marija Carpenter said...

I want to thank everyone for all their comments. I appreciate all of them.

Lara Larson said...

I have read Marija's book "Not dark enough" and it was really awesome. I enjoyed it till the last page. She is a talented writer. I wish you success in your work, Marija.

Mandy Schoen said...

What a fun interview! Can't wait to see CRASH INTO ME on the shelves!

Zari Reede said...

I like your title, Crash Into Me ;-) I love to see the different writing ideals. Great idea to people watch at a cafe.