Please welcome author Marcia Meara to Jemsbooks Blog Author Interview Segment.
Thank you, Marcia, for coming today.
Lovely to be here today, Janice! Thanks so much for having me.
I’ll step aside so you can begin, Marcia. I look forward to learning more about you.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I’m Marcia (pronounced Marsha) and I live in central Florida. I’m an ardent lover of wildlife and have spent decades birding and canoeing in the many creeks and streams of my home state, far preferring Florida’s quiet, shady swamps to its hot, sunny beaches.
I’m particularly fond of reptiles, especially snakes, and I enjoy sharing the things I’ve learned over the years. I do two or three Meet the Author slide presentations per month at various local venues, speaking as often about our fabulous wildlife and wetlands as I do about books and writing.
Gardening has been a passion of mine for over 50 years, though Hurricane Irma smashed our entire backyard to pieces, and it’s not back up to snuff yet. It will be, though.
My husband and I have been married 32 years and share our home with four cats and two elderly dachshunds, and—saved the best for last—we just welcomed our third grandbaby into the world. Life is good!
Jjspina: That’s wonderful that you are such an avid supporter of wildlife and wetlands. Sorry to hear about the damage to your backyard, and congratulations for 32 years of marriage. That is quite a feat in itself.
When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
When I was five years old. I spent hours writing long poems on one of my father’s yellow legal tablets, filling many pages with verses about cowboys and horses. And cats. Cats are another passion of mine.
Of course, my parents thought a career as a writer was a pretty shady deal and insisted I get a business diploma so that I’d be able to support myself. Reluctantly, I did. But I got the last laugh, because 4-1/2 years ago, at the somewhat decrepit age of 69, I finally wrote my first novel. It was a Bucket List kind of thing, but it did surprisingly well, so I just kept going—and I’ve never had more fun in my life!
jjspina: I don’t think 69 is decrepit at all! I am also 69 at present. We are 69 years young! Ha! Congrats also on your first novel being so well accepted.
What process do you need in order to write?
Peace and quiet. I have my computer desk set up in our library, surrounded by floor to ceiling bookshelves, photo-covered inspiration boards, and 9 days out of 10, fresh roses from my garden in a vase on my desk. I start work as soon as I’ve taken care of the dogs and made myself a cup of Earl Grey, and when the day goes well, I don’t stop until time to fix dinner.
I love my workspace and that’s very helpful to me, but the most important thing of all is total silence. Any noise at all, even music, pulls me out of my story, reminding me that I’m really sitting here at home, instead of in the North Carolina mountains or out in a canoe with my characters, watching over their shoulders and writing down everything they say. For me, silence really is golden.
jjspina: Whatever works for you is good for your muse. It’s nice that you know when to stop to make dinner. I usually don’t! Sigh!
How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
I’m 74 years old. My head is full to the bursting point with stories of every kind, and I got a really late start on telling them. I figure I’ll have to live to be 135 to even come close to writing them all down.
jjspina: I certainly hope you can live long enough to tell all your wonderful stories, Marcia.
What projects are you currently working on?
Since our lives were turned upside down when Hurricane Irma dropped a tree on us, I temporarily stopped work on my 4th Wake-Robin Ridge book and decided to write my 2nd Emissary novella, instead. The first was a spinoff from my Riverbend series, and was the most fun I ever had writing. Plus, I was able to take it from page 1 of the draft to published book in two months.
I thought something quick and easy would be a good way to get back into my writing routine, now that all the roofers, electricians, masons, carpenters, and plumbers are finally gone. Once I publish The Emissary 2, I’ll revisit the Wake-Robin Ridge book and get that out there, as well. I get lots of requests for more stories about Rabbit, and I hate to leave readers hanging.
jjspina: I read your first book and loved it. Look forward to reading more of your books. The Emissary novella sounds intriguing.
What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
Birding, gardening, and reading, mostly. I used to canoe every chance I got, but my back isn’t happy with that idea these days. Since I don’t have a lot of spare time, what with writing 7 days a week and all, three hobbies are probably enough. 😊
jjspina: Well, you certainly are busy with all the writing and hobbies. That’s what keep you looking so young.
What advice would you give prospective authors?
Read. Read more. Keep reading. You will learn more about what works as a story from reading than just about anything else. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study the craft, if you have a chance. But keep on reading. After a while, you get a pretty decent sense of what a good book should look and sound like.
jjspina: Excellent advice, Marcia.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Yep. I’d like to remind you lovely folks that it is NEVER too late to follow your dream. I didn’t go to college. I never took a writing class. And I had long given up on the one thing I’d always known I wanted to do more than anything else. Then someone told me to stop whining, get busy, and do it. So, I did. And you can, too, no matter what your dream is.
Don’t be that sad person years from now, thinking to yourself, “I wish I’d done this.” Or “I wish I’d tried that.” Whatever it is, give it a shot. After all, your dream isn’t going to plop down into your lap like rain from the sky. It’s up to you to take that first step.
What have you got to lose? I say, go for it! It might turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done. It was for me. 😊
jjspina: Wonderful, Marcia! You are an inspiration to all to get up and do it!
Thank you again for having me today, Janice!
It was my sincere pleasure to have you here, Marcia.
Here is my review of Marcia’s book, Wake-Robin Ridge.
Sarah Gray is the present occupant of this cottage. Things appear to be quiet and peaceful until the past collides with the present involving an angry ghost who is the deceased spouse of the previous owner, Ruth Winn Carter. When Sarah finds a hidden tool box containing letters from Ruth to a man she loved, Frank Everly, Sarah feels compelled to learn more about this mysterious woman and her lover and this disgruntled ghost.
This story is full of richly woven characters along with a creative and beautifully written storyline. I was mesmerized by the way the author incorporated the two fascinating stories together making for a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. I loved every minute of it!
I look forward to more books by this incredibly talented storyteller.
Marcia Meara’s Books & Blurb/Synopsis Plus Buy Links
Wake-Robin Ridge Book 1
“A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news . . . Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help.”
On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive, but very good-looking, MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.
As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of that murder so long ago. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.
A story of evil trumped by the power of love and redemption, Wake-Robin Ridge will transport you to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and introduce you to characters you won’t soon forget.
Wake-Robin Ridge Book 1: http://amzn.to/2x7li87
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
“Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.” The remote mountain wilderness of North Carolina swallowed up the ten-year-old boy as he made his way down from the primitive camp where his grandparents had kept him hidden all his life. His dying grandmother, gifted with The Sight, set him on a quest to find the Good People, and though he is filled with fear and wary of civilization, Rabbit is determined to keep his promise to her. When he crosses paths with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, neither their lives, nor his, are ever the same again. The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power to change the world for everyone he meets, but can he save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him? His dangerous and bittersweet journey will touch you in unexpected ways, and once you’ve let Rabbit into your heart, you’ll never forget him.
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2: http://amzn.to/2gJpOCs
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
“. . . he felt the wet slide of the dog’s burning hot tongue on his face, and the scrape of its razor-sharp teeth against the top of his head. A white-hot agony of crushing pain followed, as the jaws began to close.” The wine-red trillium that carpets the forests of the North Carolina Mountains is considered a welcome harbinger of spring—but not all such omens are happy ones. An Appalachian legend claims the Black Dog, or Ol’ Shuck, as he’s often called, is a harbinger of death. If you see him, you or someone you know is going to die. But what happens when Ol’ Shuck starts coming for you in your dreams? Nightmares of epic proportions haunt the deacon of the Light of Grace Baptist Church, and bring terror into the lives of everyone around him. Even MacKenzie Cole and his adopted son, Rabbit, find themselves pulled into danger. When Sheriff Raleigh Wardell asks Mac and Rabbit to help him solve a twenty-year-old cold case, Rabbit’s visions of a little girl lost set them on a path that soon collides with that of a desperate man being slowly driven mad by guilt. As Rabbit’s gift of the Sight grows ever more powerful, his commitment to those who seek justice grows as well, even when their pleas come from beyond the grave.
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3: http://amzn.to/2w30QQx
Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.
On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunn hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s prepared to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them.
Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1: http://amzn.to/2x6ICm8
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
Before, I never thought about taking a life. Not once. Now, the thought fills my mind day and night, and I wonder how I’ll hide that terrible need, As an old car swings to the shoulder, And stops. ~ Traveling Man ~ Hunter Painter’s darkest fears have shaped his offbeat personality since he was a child, crippling him in ways invisible to those unable to see past his quiet exterior. In a sleepy Florida town known for its eccentric inhabitants, he’s always been a mystery to most. Only one person sees beyond Hunter’s quirky facade. Willow Greene, the new age herbalist who owns the local candle and potpourri shop, has secretly loved him since they were in high school. When, sixteen years later, she discovers Hunter has loved her just as long, Willow hopes her dreams are finally coming true. Soon, Willow learns that Hunter fears happiness at her side isn’t in the cards for him. With her natural optimism and courage, she almost convinces him he’s wrong—that they can really have that life together they both long for—but even Willow can’t stop what Hunter knows is coming. One by one, his worst nightmares become reality, culminating in an unthinkable tragedy, which devastates everyone it touches. Willow’s battle begins in earnest as Hunter is plunged into a bleak, guilt-ridden despair, threatening to destroy not only their love, but Hunter, himself. Finding Hunter is the story of a lost man’s desperate struggle to make his way home again, and one woman’s unshakeable faith in him and the power of their love.
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2: http://amzn.to/2xLLuls
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3
In Book 3 of her popular Riverbend series, Marcia Meara, author of Wake-Robin Ridge, A Boy Named Rabbit,and Harbinger, takes another look at the lives of the Painter brothers—Jackson, Forrest, and Hunter. While Hunter is home again and on the mend, the same isn’t true for his oldest brother. Jackson’s battle has just begun. “There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.” ~Hunter Painter~ The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault. As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive. Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3: http://amzn.to/2w2IS0M
The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella
Was Gabe Angelino, the mysterious truck driver in Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2, really an angel, as Willow Green believes? Or was he simply a good man, determined to help a stranger in need? Find out, as author Marcia Meara reveals the truth in the first Riverbend spinoff novella, The Emissary. An angel’s work is never done—that’s part of the gig. But angels hadn’t been created to deal with such a vastly over-populated planet, rife with misery, suffering, and general chaos. Helping souls in peril has become a nearly impossible job, and even angelic tempers are frayed. The archangel Azrael has had enough. He believes he’s found a way to ease their burden while saving jeopardized humans, too—hired help. When Jake Daughtry lost his life rescuing a total stranger from certain death, he was on the fast track to Heaven. But that was before Azrael pulled him right out of line at the Pearly Gates. Now, as an Emissary to the Angels, Jake is taking to the highway in a quest to help souls in trouble. But the innate stubbornness of human beings bent on self-destruction is a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced. It’s up to Jake and Azrael to bridge the gap between humans and angels. Will they ever convince the Council of Angels this endeavor is worthwhile? Can Jake figure out how to play by Azrael’s complicated rules? Will Azrael ever master the use of contractions in general conversation? To find out the answers, hop on board Jake’s big red-and-white semi and travel the roads from the Florida Keys to north Georgia on an adventure that will make you laugh hard and cry even harder.
The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella: http://amzn.to/2hzoDm3
Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love
Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love is a collection of contemporary poetry about exactly that–life and love. The first part of the book features poems about the magic a young boy discovers while camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The second part of the book has a sampling of poetry about love, life and death, autumn, and dreams coming true.
Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love: http://amzn.to/2xLTrXN
Marcia’s Full Bio & Social Media Links
Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Her belief in the redemptive power of love is a unifying factor in both of her popular series and her poetry. Today, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!
Marcia has published six novels, one novella, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:
You can reach Marcia via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the following social media sites:
The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
Thank you, readers for stopping by. I hope you will go to the above links and check out Marcia Meara’s books today. She is an exceptionally talented writer.
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