PERSONAL FAQ'S

AGE:  When I'm in the middle of revisions or among
teenagers, I feel about 105.

MARITAL STATUS:  Married

KIDS:  One

PETS:  2 dogs

WHERE DO YOU LIVE:  A very tiny town in rural Tennessee.  
That’s as specific as I’m willing to get.  I know YOU are a nice
person, but have you heard about those stalker types? I have
several family members in law enforcement.  I’ve heard the
stories. Repeatedly.  Stalkers are on my list of things to be
avoided.

I
n Random Order:

LIKES:
 Romance books, humor, mysteries, movies, forensic
shows, chocolate, intelligence, generosity of spirit, vacations,
romantic gestures or good deeds for no reason, dogs, cats,
kids, fishing, writing, the color green, the ocean, my family, and
happy endings

DISLIKES:  Liver, golf on TV, cruelty of any kind, snobbery or
pretentiousness (or any other word that means stuck-up),
technical difficulties, The Goodyear Blimp, large crowds,
bureaucratic nonsense, funerals, spiders/snakes/creepy crawlies,
the rat race, and bad hair days.

MEASUREMENTS:  Hey!  This isn’t some centerfold section, you
know. No measurement info.  No favorite turn-on/turn-off.  
<rolling eyes>  Let’s get back on track.

BOOK TASTE:  Well, you must have guessed that one. I love
hot romances.  Frequently, I joke that I started writing for Ellora’
s Cave to pay for my orders.  In addition , I like mysteries,
especially forensic ones.  I would have made a great forensic
scientist, if I weren’t prone to fainting at the sight of blood.

MUSIC TASTE:  I like a lot of different kinds of music.  It
depends upon my mood, much like my reading choices.  I like
rock, country, and alternative rock.  I’ve never learned to
appreciate jazz , blue grass, or heavy metal.  For me, listening to
those three is like overindulging in too much cheap wine – a lot
of confusion, very little feeling good, and a headache in the end.

WORK FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Will you read my manuscript?
I’d love to read it, but I can’t. To be brutally honest, I don’t have
time. I have a kid at home who seems determined to use the
couch as a trampoline and the coffee table as a landing strip. He’
s active, inquisitive, and mobile (three of the most terrifying
words in a mother’s dictionary). <grin>

If I’m not chasing him, I have to grab that little window of
opportunity to do my own writing so that I meet my deadlines
and contracts. If you’d like an opinion on your manuscript, I’d
suggest joining a critique group either in your area or online. A
critique group can provide wonderful support and advice.
Another option is to join RWA (Romance Writers Of America).
The organization is comprised of both published and unpublished
writers who can give you the full benefit of their time, writing
experience, and expertise.

Do you have an agent? Could you recommend a
good agent?
No, I don’t have an agent at this time. I can’t give you the name
of a good agent because I don’t have one either. Hey…if you
know the name of a good literary agent, please email ME with the
name. <grin>

How did you decide on the pen name “MARLY
CHANCE”?
I really love answering this question because there’s a story
behind it. Coming up with Marly was easy. Marly is my real
nickname. I picked it for simplicity’s sake<smiling>

As for why I picked the last name “Chance”? It’s a long story but
bear with me please because it’s funny. If you’ve read my
biography, you know that I submitted my first manuscript (OATH
OF SEDUCTION) to Ellora’s Cave Publishing due to my husband’s
prodding. He was convinced it would be published. I was highly
skeptical because of the tough odds of actually ever getting a
book published.

After I’d sent the manuscript to EC and hadn’t heard back from
them yet, my husband asked me, “When they publish your
book, what will you choose for your pen name?”

He’d been driving me crazy with questions like that one. He
refused to believe the book wouldn’t be published. I fired back,
"I'll call myself Marly Chance. Because there’s not a chance in
HELL that this book will get published.”

But he was right and I was wrong, thank goodness. And when I
picked a pen name? I did what I said I’d do.  I picked the last
name “chance.” <grin>

<suddenly becoming serious> I did have another reason though
that’s actually serious. I picked that name not just because of
the joke with my hubby. I picked it, too, so that I’ll always
remember that it’s important to take a chance in life sometimes
in order to reach your dreams. It's okay to risk.
I picked that
name so that I’ll never forget to take a chance.
<shrugging
and smiling> And now that I’ve told you, I hope you’ll always
remember it, too.:)

Are your characters based on real people?
I make them up. My characters feel real to me but they’re not
based on anyone I know. They're strictly imaginary.

How do you create characters?  What’s your writing
process?
I “hear” the characters in my head. <laughing> And before you
think I’m totally crazed and need medication, let me explain that
statement. Have you ever been in the process of doing
something you shouldn’t and you suddenly hear your mother’s
voice in your head telling you that it’s a bad idea? <nodding>
Yep. She’s not actually there but you somehow know exactly
what she’d say and how she’d say it. You can HEAR her in your
mind. And you can hear other people’s voices in your head, too,
I’ll bet. Your best friend. Your sibling. Your child. Anyone really
that you know very well. <shrug> You have a whole cast of real
people in your head.  We all do. And I do, too. My cast is just
made up of all of those people I love PLUS some imaginary ones.

That’s how I hear my characters and create them. I imagine a
new voice in my head and I live with that voice on a daily basis.
Or voices really. <wincing>  I hear them comment on my life just
as you hear your loved ones in your head, commenting on your
life at times. <grinning> I hear them. Over time, I hear them
more and more clearly. And then I put them together in various
situations for fun. I hear how they talk to each other. I hear
dialogue and I can imagine the scenes in my mind, like an
ongoing play that I’m watching.

Everyone daydreams. My daydreams just happen to be incredibly
detailed (with full dialogue <groaning and laughing>). And as I
think about the characters and live with them and daydream
about them, they become very real to me. I know they’re not
real. But they feel real. Then I put them in the story situation
(the plot) and take it from there. I generally have a beginning
and an end in mind. But I let my characters find their way from
beginning to end. <laughing>

That’s the best way to describe how I write and how I create
characters. It’s like having a whole bunch of imaginary playmates
gone wild. <big grin> And yes, my brain gets awfully crowded at
times. Writing is hard, frustrating, horribly complicated work. But
it’s also very rewarding. When I get it right? When I really fall
into the story and it flows out of my imagination, pouring
through me like the Mississippi River, and out onto the page?
That’s a fantastic feeling. It’s a special kind of joy.

And my greatest wish when it comes to my writing is that I can
somehow give that same joy to you as you read the story. I
consider it a tremendous compliment when someone says, “Your
characters seem so alive and so real.” That’s when I know I’ve
truly written a story right.  When I hear that statement? I know
for a moment in time, through the sheer magical power of
words, somehow my imaginary playmates have become yours. I
LOVE that idea, don’t you? <grin>

I have a GREAT idea for a story/a GREAT idea
about your work in progress. Should I send it to you?
No, please don’t. For legal and ethical reasons, I can’t use any
material from readers in my work. I appreciate it very much when
I hear from readers. I’m incredibly grateful when someone takes
the time to write to me about any of my previous work or even
any other subject. But please don’t send specific plot
suggestions about future books or about an upcoming book
while I’m currently working on it. Thank you.:)

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I'd say tell the story. That sounds simple, but it’s definitely not.
So many times an aspiring writer will write half a book and
suddenly get frustrated or stuck. He/she will go back and start
revising and polishing previous chapters, over and over,
censoring and correcting. It’s a natural impulse to go back over
what you’ve already written when you’re having problems. And I
also think it’s the very reason there are so many people out
there who have half a book in a drawer somewhere that they’ve
never been able to finish. (I was one of those people for a long
time.)

I think it’s important to tell the story first, all the way through,
beginning to end, without censoring yourself in any way. You can
fix problems later. You can correct grammar and mechanics later.
You can revise to your heart’s content, pick it apart, make it
better in any way that you need to make it better. LATER.

But get the story down FIRST while you’re excited and you have
the drive to push past the frustration that comes naturally when
you’re struggling. Every single author reaches a point in the
story (usually the middle) when writing feels like nothing but an
uphill climb. Like you’re pushing a boulder up a mountain and
you suddenly feel you can’t possibly do it. There’s no way. It’s
too hard. It’s too far.  It’s too much work or too impossible. You
have no idea how you’ll get there and you’re so blasted tired of
trying. This is the critical point and it’s where most people
flounder and give up. But don’t give up and don’t go backward.
Finish it first, fix it later.

When you finish the story? Take a week or two off from writing,
don’t look at it, rest, and celebrate. Because you’ve done
something very rare and wonderful. You’ve written a BOOK.
Whether it gets published or not doesn’t matter right now -- no
one can ever take that accomplishment away from you and it
deserves celebration. So take the time to celebrate what you’ve
done. It’s important. It matters.

And then go back with fresh eyes and enthusiasm. Revise and
polish the story until it shines. When you’ve finished making it
your best, submit it to publishers. Read and learn as much
about the craft of writing as you can. Keep writing stories and
submitting them to publishers. Never ever give up on your
dream of becoming a published author. You really CAN do it.
Believe in yourself and go for it. I did it and believe me, if I can
do it? You can do it, too. I wish you all the best.:)

How and when did you start writing?
I’ve been writing creatively since I was in about the fourth
grade.  It’s always been a creative outlet for me.  I write bad
poetry (still), but most of my efforts are now channeled into my
books.  I have a good imagination and I have loved books from
the time I started reading.    In college, I majored in English
literature.  I love words and I love to daydream.  I think those
two things make writing natural for me.  I write because I love
it.  I’ve always done it.  It’s part of who I am.

Where do you get your ideas?
I get ideas all of the time from everyday events and
conversations around me.  I think, “What if…” or “I wonder what
this would be like…”  Eventually, a character will show up and
start talking to me, demanding that I tell the story.  I’m not
crazy in the traditional sense <yet>, but I do “hear” the story
through the characters within my own imagination.  I start
writing and the story unfolds.  When it works, it’s a very special
feeling.

When will OATH OF CAPTURE be finished and why is
it taking so long?
This is the question I get the most often and the one I find
hardest to answer in just one or two sentences.  <wincing and
smiling>  Let me see if I can tell you honestly and yet condense
the explanation down so that IT isn’t book length. <laughing>

First of all, I’m working on OATH OF CAPTURE but I don’t have a
current release date yet.

Now. To answer the WHY of it. <gathering my thoughts here>

Ever had a time in your life when everything slammed into you all
at once? You barely catch your breath from one hard knock
before you get smacked with another unexpected blow? Life
becomes total chaos, and painful chaos at that. <nodding> It
happens to all of us every now and then.

That’s what happened to me a couple of years ago while I was
working on OATH OF CAPTURE. I was absolutely reeling for a
while there, just trying to take care of my family and myself. Real
life didn’t leave a lot of time or energy for my writing. There are
only so many hours in the day and I made a deliberate choice to
put my family first.  I don’t regret it. I also made the choice NOT
to just sling out a book that would have been written fast,
poorly, and without any heart. I can’t say that I regret that
either.

The only regret I have is that readers have had to wait so long
for the story.  I hate it when an author writes a series and leaves
me hanging for years. I swore as a reader that if I ever became
an author, I would never do that to readers. And yet, in this
case I’ve had to disappoint you. I’m truly sorry for the wait.

When my life began to settle down from all of that turmoil, I
took a long look at what I’d written on OOCapture during that
chaotic time and absolutely HATED the story.  The partial draft
was awful. I made the decision to scrap the draft and start from
scratch.  Basically, I went back to square one until I could find
the joy and heart of the story. <shrugging>

Since that time, I’ve written other stories/books outside of the
series  successfully -- and I've gone back to OOCapture several
times, writing and rewriting. Each time, I’ve made some progress
and learned from it. I’m finding my way back to Jadik and Cass.
And it’s working, slowly. When I finish the book? I’ll post the
news on my site and in my newsletter. Until then, I can only tell
you that I’m doing my best to make it a fun story of hope and
laughter and very hot sex. <grin> And above all else? A story of
love:)

Why do you write erotic romance books?
Well, why not write erotic romance books?  They're fun. I enjoy
reading them.  I don’t write these books for children.  I write
them for adults like myself who enjoy a romance that is a little
hotter or less confined by sexual euphemisms and conventional
formulas. At some point I may try writing in other genres. Who
knows? I’m not closed off to that idea at all.  I enjoy challenging
myself and exploring my craft. But I truly love romance books
(of all kinds) and always have. I write erotic romance books
because I love them.  Basically, I write what I enjoy reading. It’s
that simple. <shrugging and smiling>

Do your books reflect your own sex life?
Good grief!  You’re getting awfully personal.  No.  It’s called
fiction for a reason, isn’t it?  MY sex life is…<long dramatic
pause> not up for discussion. <grin>  Next question?

How do the people in your life react to your being a
writer and about the fact that you write erotic
romance?
I’ve had some negative reactions from strangers occasionally
regarding the sexuality level of my books. I’ve been hurt,
angered, and shocked at various times by some of the rude or
nasty comments. However, I’ve also been surprised, amazed,
and dazzled by the generosity and kindness of readers who
enjoy my stories, too. That’s what I focus on and really value.

I’m very lucky because my family and friends are wonderfully
supportive.  They go around all over the place bragging that I’m
an author and persuading people to buy my books. My parents
are especially good at embarrassing me to death by randomly
announcing I’m an author to any poor unsuspecting soul who
happens to be in the line of fire. <groaning and laughing> But it
always touches me when I find out that someone bought a book
because a friend or family member told them about it. Word of
mouth means a ton in this business. Between my family and a
lot of kind readers, I have some of the very best promoters
around. <grinning>

The funny thing is a couple of my relatives have read my books,
but the majority of them haven’t. As one of my brothers once
put it, “Sis, I’m so proud of you. I tell everyone I know that my
sister is an author and then I ask them to buy your books. But  
I'm sorry. I can’t read your books. I can't read some sex scene
knowing the whole time that my SISTER wrote it. Euuuuuuuu.
That’s just wrong.” <cracking up with laughter> So most of my
family and I operate on a “Don't read, don’t tell” policy. They
don't read my books and in return I don’t tell them any story
details that might bring up the icky topic of sex. <grin>

It’s enough for them that I’ve made my dream come true and
am a professional author. If I'm happy, then they’re proud and
happy for me. And when I weigh the support of my loving family
and wonderful readers against the negativity of strangers? That
support wins out every day of the week and twice on Sunday. I
consider myself blessed. :)


Thanks for killing time with me.  I appreciate the
interest.  I hope in spite of my ramblings, you’ll be
willing to try one of my books.   If you do, I hope
you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed
writing it. :)

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