Today we are visiting with Marianne Jones, who writes, blogs and celebrates life in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Marianne is married, with two daughters and two granddaughters. Although not all her words are carved in stone, three of her poems actually have been, and her work has won numerous awards. When not writing, she enjoys acting, singing and theatre. The Serenity Stone Murder is her fourth book.
Thanks for being with us today, Marianne. My readers are looking forward to learning all about you, so let’s get right to the questions.
You’ve written in three different genres: cozy mystery, children, and an inspirational biography. Will you be concentrating on one of these or branching out for future books? Right now I am working on a brand new genre—a literary novel. But when that is done, I plan to return to Margaret and Louise, my protagonists in The Serenity Stone Murder, and continue their adventures. I had so much fun with the first book, I want to see what trouble those two get into in the future. I’ve also written a sequel to my children’s picture book Great-Grandma’s Gifts, and am looking for an illustrator.
Can you describe your ideal reader?
Each of my books is so different that they tap into different qualities. To read The Serenity Stone Murder, it helps to have a quirky sense of humour! Great-Grandma’s Gifts is for anyone who is a grandma or has a grandma, and anyone who loves sewing and quilting, and is maybe a bit sentimental. To read The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die, the reader needs to be able to grapple with some of the harsh stuff in our world. It’s ideal reading for anyone who has been abused or knows someone who has.
You also write poetry and had a book of poetry in 2010. Can you tell us the story behind your poems being “carved in stone?”
Here, on the Ground, my book of poetry, is still available, although it says on Amazon that it’s not. People can order it directly from me. Anyway, to answer your question, in 2011, the city of Thunder Bay opened a gorgeous new marina park on the waterfront. It’s a spectacular place that locals and tourists alike enjoy year-round. As part of that project, the city put out a call to local writers to submit work for permanent display. It took some encouragement from my daughter to enter my poetry, but in the end three of my poems were selected to be sandblasted into granite benches along the walkways. I received an email from as far away as Florida, from a runner who was in town for a race, and loved one of my poems she saw on a bench. The thrill for me is thinking that the poems will still be there for my grandchildren and maybe great-grandchildren to see after I’m gone.
As an independent author, please describe your greatest challenge.
Earning an income! I have tried many different forms of writing—newspaper and magazine articles, play writing, a bit of corporate writing, fiction and poetry. Although I have usually made a small amount of money, it’s embarrassingly small. Now I focus on writing books, where my heart is. That means I have to market my work, which is time-consuming and hard for a shy person like myself. But I hope that in time it will pay off. And if it doesn’t, I will have no regrets. I will have done what I was called to do.
You like performing. Do you think it helps you in your writing? Do you ever “act out” your scenes?
I think that acting, going to theatre performances and play writing have given me a “feel” for dialogue. They also have helped me to write a story in scenes, which keeps things flowing. Although I don’t usually act out a scene, I admit that I like to write when my husband’s not around, because I do like to read my work aloud as I write, to see how it sounds. And I like to talk to myself as I work. That can be embarrassing when you have an audience.
Are you active in little theater in your home town?
I used to be more active than I am now. Because of the time commitment involved in theatre, I like to take on small, short-term gigs when I can get them. My writing has to be my number one priority.
When can readers expect to see your next book?
My goal is to finish the first draft of my present novel by January, 2017. After that will come the rewrites. After that, I’ll be shopping it out. After that…..well, we’ll see!
Thank you so much for being with us. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I do readings and writing workshops for youth and adults. In addition, Linda Stewardson, the subject of my book The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die, has shared her story in church, mental health and social agencies, in women’s prisons, and on 100 Huntley Street. She has a riveting testimony. We welcome inquiries!
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/MarianneJonesAuthor
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/marianne jones
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/jonesmarianne