Thursday, June 7, 2012

Marni Mann- Don't let the pretty face fool you- Interview & shocking writing exercise!

K-We are so happy to have you join us here.  I read your book, ‘Memoirs aren’t Fairytales’, and I couldn’t put it down.  It’s dark with some fairly gruesome scenes.  How did this book come about?  I’ve read that this is not your personal experience, but it reads quite realistic. Where was the inspiration and how did you research for this book.

M- I’m so happy to be here. Thank you so much for the opportunity, Kathleen. This book wasn’t based on personal experience, but the inspiration was. I have several addicts in my life and one of them overdosed. My pain turned into a novel. The research was, at times, as gruesome as those scenes you mentioned. I spoke directly to the voices of addiction; I interviewed addicts while they were sober, preparing their shots, injecting, and detoxing. It was a dark experience and at times I felt extremely powerless.

K- That was incredible research.  It comes through in the authenticity of the story.

So what is day in the life of Marni?  Please describe your typical day, starting with waking up, food, drinks, everything in between, to bedtime.

M- I wake up around 5:30am and head straight to the Keurig. With my twelve ounces of coffee, I check my email, reply to everything that requires an answer or comment, then I write or edit. Music always plays in the background. TweetDeck and Facebook are minimized, but I check them often. My iPhone is used for work--I work as a property manager, but I work from home--so I reply to work emails and answer calls using my phone. Lunch is eaten around 12:00pm or 1:00pm; some type of rolled up deli meat with a squirt of mustard, sliced fruit, and a granola bar. More emails. More writing, editing, blogging, guest posting, but it’s writing related and that lasts until late afternoon. I throw in a load of laundry, give my dogs some attention, and run a work errand or two around 3:00pm. From 4:00pm to 7:00pm I hang out on social media, answer more emails, put out work fires. I eat dinner around 8:00pm and walk the dogs at 8:30pm. Some nights I go straight back to work. Other nights I relax on the couch with a glass of wine and bad reality TV. I usually go to bed around midnight.

K- How do you balance writing, promotional work & personal?

M- I don’t sleep more than five hours a night. As for food, I rely heavily on things that can be eaten raw or cooked in the microwave. In other words, I don’t balance it well. If you’re reading this and you have the secret formula, please feel free to share the love.

K- I wish I had the secret- that's why I keep asking (laughing)

So you do your own editing?

M- HA! No! Before I queried Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales, I hired an editor. Once I signed with Booktrope, my publisher, I started working with their editors. An editor and proofreader review each of my novels prior to release.

K-Oh, that's great.  Booktrope sounds interesting.  

Do you use Twitter & Facebook to promote your book?  Anything else?

M- I do, but I don’t take the throw-my-books-in-your-face-and-talk-about-them-non-stop approach. I talk to tweeps and peeps and I discuss the things we have in common. I’ve met some incredible friends on Twitter and Facebook and some I’ve even met in person. My manager and I focus on all marketing mediums, not just social media.

K-If you could name one thing that has driven your success, what would that be?

M- Anyone who has told me no, I want to prove you wrong. Anyone who has a dream, I want to show you it's possible. Anyone who has faith in me, I don't want to let you down. So that was three things, but they all have equal weight.

K- Well, they are three powerful thoughts. Good inspiration.

 And now for some fun.  If your book were made into a movie, who would you want to cast in the roles?

M- Mila Kunis would be perfect for Nicole. Nicole’s boyfriend, Dustin, should be played by Mark Wahlberg. Ian Somerhalder would be great for Michael, Nicole’s brother.

K-  I can't believe you said Mark Wahlberg should play Dustin.  That is what I thought from the start.  I really like Mila Kunis as Nicole.

Another fun ritual I enjoy with my guests, is the writing exercise.  I give you a scene and you re-write it in your own special style.  Are you up for it?

M- Heck yeah! I’m up for anything.

K- Okay- here you go:

Anil sat quietly in the dark room, staring down into the amber liquid in the glass he held in his hand. He quickly swallowed the whiskey, in one gulp. Then he screamed out filthy obscenities, while he hurled the glass to the floor. He grimaced as a large glass shard bounced up and lodged in his bare ankle. He reached down and grabbed the glass shard, and pushed it deeply in to his skin, and then pulled the shard through his leg, all the way up to his knee. 


He screamed out in pain and then grabbed the glass shard and threw it back on the floor. He did not notice the blood gushing down his leg and pooling on the floor. He felt a little better now. He had discovered that cutting himself seemed to calm him down. Sometimes he became so irate and agitated it took more than just a few cuts. It was starting to escalate. Like a drug, he needed more and more. The month before he was not able to soothe himself until he had sliced off his pinky finger

M- The darkness began to swallow Anil. Not just from the lack of light in the room, but also because of his mood. With a glass of amber liquid clutched to his chest, his mouth watered for its flavor. His hunger became uncontrollable and he swallowed the whiskey in one gulp. As the burning in his throat subsided, the realization hit. He was out of liquor. Filthy obscenities poured from his mouth as he hurled the glass to the floor. Just as he was about to lick the tiny droplets off the ground, he felt the pain. A shard had bounced and lodged into his bare ankle.

He thought about screaming while he pushed the glass deeper into his skin, dragging it through his leg and up to his knee. “Arrr,” was on the verge, teetering between his tongue and lips. He released a sigh instead, but it wasn’t because he had removed the shard and dropped it in the pool of blood.

His emotions seeped as quickly as his wound. Sometimes it took more than one cut; today’s was deeper than usual. He glanced down at his four remaining fingers and a smile spread over his thin lips. His pinky had been gone for a month, but he didn’t miss it. Like the whiskey, he couldn’t get enough. He reached for the piece of glass, the rush and high within grasp, and a second smile peeked through his lips.

K-Wow!  Okay, that is the most twisted one yet- I applaud you Ms Mann : ))

What projects are you currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us? 
M- I have two novels coming out late summer/early fall: A young adult (YA) version of Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales and its sequel, Scars From A Memoir. I recently started writing my fourth novel. It’s a dark literary piece that follows the lives of two young women. That’s all I can about that one for now.

K-Marni, thank you so much for joining us.  It was a pleasure having you.  I hope you’ll return for a chat, when you release your new books.  In the meantime, where can we find you on the web?

M- Thank you so much for having me, Kathleen. You’ve been an amazing host. I would love to return for a chat once the sequel is out. I can be found on my blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. My links are below.

Twitter: @MarniMann

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