Kicking off a new feature of omg-squee, acclaimed speculative fiction author Marianne de Pierres has kindly agreed to answer some questions about her latest work, her relationship with her fandom, and her personal squeedoms.
Marianne de Pierres is the author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis and Sentients of Orion science fiction series. The Parrish Plessis series has been translated into eight languages and adapted into a roleplaying game.
Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, three sons and three galahs. In 2011 her first young adult dark fantasy novel will be published. Marianne is also an award winning crime author under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her websites at www.mariannedepierres.com and www.tarasharp.com .
Your latest release, Glitter Rose, brings together one new and four already-published stories. Did you encounter any difficulties in making this new story fit with the others?
Not really. They were a suite of stories, and the fourth (new) one gave me the opportunity to bring some closure to the main character’s ongoing struggle to recover from the death of her child. The hardest thing was to keep the mood consistent. When you write stories over ten years, you change as a person, and your voice changes as well. I made a trip to Stradbroke Island when I started writing it, just to make sure that my head was still in the right place.
What led to your uniting the stories in this collection? Was it something you’d always intended to do, or did it come about more serendipitously?
I liked the characters so much that it seemed a natural progression. They were so interesting that I wanted to know more about them, and I wanted to help Tinashi find some peace. I also think I’m very much a novelist at heart. The collection reads almost like a novella.
How would you describe Glitter Rose in relation to your previous works? Do you consider it a departure from what your readers are used to—and, if so, what kind of fan response do you anticipate?
Yes. The language is quite lyrical for me. If you are a fan of the Parrish Plessis and Tara Sharp novels you’ll find it a departure from that style which tends to be short and sharp. A colleague who has read the collection told me the stories were haunting. There’s a kind of tragically romantic thing going on, a stylized but fantastical world in the manner of J. G Ballard’s Vermillion Sands. VS is probably up there in my top two pieces of literature. Glitter Rose is my homage to his amazing stories.
Can you tell us anything about your current project, tentatively entitled Peacemaker?
Peacemaker is a new series based on two characters Virgin Jackson (an Australian park ranger) and Nate Sixkiller (a North American cowboy, descendant of the great Indian lawman Sam Sixkiller). It will fall into the urban fantasy genre but will be kind different; more an exploration of the clash of different cultural myths.
You can read some of my ideas about it here: Ghost Riders in the Sky and my playlist is here: Collecting the Soundtrack.
I’m very excited about writing this series as I was a complete addict of the Western genre when I was younger and have been biding my time until I was ready to weave that love into my writing. The moment has come!
Thanks to an active online presence, you have a lot to do with your fans. What do you consider the greatest advantage—or disadvantage—of being able to interact with readers in this way?
Advantage, without a doubt. Talking on FB and Twitter eases the solitary nature of the work. I also happen to like people – a lot, for the most. If it turns out that readers like your work then there’s a good chance you’ll hit a wavelength with them as people too.
Has this level of involvement with readers influenced your writing in any way?
It’s good to get feedback on future and past projects. I’ve taken polls on my future direction and find it fascinating to hear what people have to say. I’m quite a versatile writer and blithely believe I can write most anything I fall in love with – a kind of childish, blissful ignorance. Sometimes readers steer me straight when I start to get too tangential 🙂
One consequence of publication is that it distributes your private imaginings among a public audience, which leads to other people interpreting your ideas in a variety of different ways. How do you feel about the fanfiction your work has inspired?
I think that the whole concept of fan fiction is wonderful, and the ultimate compliment. However it can bring its own problems. I don’t read any fan fic of my own work to avoid any legal issues cropping up. There is a note on my messageboard that says as much. Many writers cut their teeth on fan fic and get their first break because of it. It is very worthwhile. Eventually though, if you want to write and publish as a career, you have to dip your toes into something original.
What fandoms are you in yourself? Are there any writers, actors, or musicians you squee over?
Oh, yes. Absolutely. Let me see … I had a big squee when I heard Tahmoh Penikett (from BSG and DollHouse) was coming to Supanova. Unfortunately he had to cancel 🙁
I’m a huge fan of BSG, NCIS, Firefly, True Blood, Spooks (early seasons), Farscape and sundry other shows. In fact, I’m finding that TV offers much more entertainment satisfaction for me than film currently.
Are there any parting words you’d like to add?
Firstly, I’d like to say that I love this website, it’s nicely put together. I’ll be recommending it to others. I believe we should celebrate our enthusiasm for one another’s creativity. A big squee goes a long towards making the world a much more harmonious place.
Many thanks to Marianne for taking the time to answer our questions! If you’d like to check out her latest release, Glitter Rose can be purchased here.