Latest Book: False Impressions
Buy Link: http://goo.gl/rqT03b
Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, relaxing with fancy drinks and romance books.
Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: My first book came out on the Monday after a school vacation week (I’m a teacher). I had to work but had a Facebook Launch Party that night. It was so much fun!
Q: Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?
A: Nick Bateman is my hero inspiration for Cole Tucker. YUM. Who cares if he can act? He’s so pretty to look at. And Theo James would play his twin brother. Double yum. I picture Reese Witherspoon as Samantha Chase. She’s adorable, tiny, and strong.
Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: I work full time and have three active children. I write when I can, but get most of my yearly totals done during the summer. I never know when I’ll have uninterrupted writing times so I spend my non-writing time thinking about my books. When I have a moment to sit down, I can bang out my story pretty quickly. I aim for 10,000 words a week in the summer and spend the school year editing.
Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: I haven’t put myself in my books yet but there are tiny bits and pieces of people I know scattered throughout. Nothing obvious, though. A trait here; a trait there. I don’t want to model a character after a family member or friend…too intimate.
Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: From my McKay-Tucker series my favorite is definitely Cole Tucker. He’s hilarious and the king of cheesy pick-up lines, but he’s hurting inside and has a soft, sensitive side that makes my heart melt.
Q: If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
A: I’d lighten it up a bit. Writing Cole’s story in False Impressions made me realize how much I love incorporating humor into my books.
Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: Actually, when I’m on a writing binge it’s kind of like dieting. My fingers are moving so quickly across the keyboard; I don’t want to interrupt my flow so I don’t stop to eat. Or drink. Or go to the bathroom.
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: In my first series, I used names that were on my baby name list that my husband and I couldn’t agree on. In my upcoming series, either the hero or heroine in each book is named after one of my nieces or nephews.
Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Don’t stop writing. When you’ve written your first book, edit, edit, edit, and hook up with an RWA chapter. They’re the best. Attend conferences and workshops to help your craft. And then write the next book. And then the next. The more I write, the more I learn. I’m so glad I didn’t spend years trying to publish my first book. I actually wrote eight books before the first one got published.
Q: What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: I’d love to write women’s fiction, but I don’t have a story developed yet. The contemporary romance stories fill my head quite easily.
Q:. Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: Oh, yes, but not exactly as it played out. My fourteen year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes seven years ago. I tried incorporating it into my current WIP, but it was too close to home. Instead, I used Type 1 Diabetes as a way for my heroine in False Hope to find out about her birth father. It’s not the focus of the book, but an every day lifestyle that hundreds of thousands of children and adults have to live every moment of their life.
Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: Too many. I keep a mental list of my ideas, but they usually branch from one book and turn into a series so the characters make a cameo appearance before “their” book. I keep a character spreadsheet with their traits, flaws etc. and think about their full story while I’m writing. I’m working on book 2 in my Rocky Harbor novels (I project six books) and recently came up with an idea for another series. So, do I write the six books in this series before beginning the next, or start the next series? Decisions.
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas. I love decorating, lighting candles, shopping, wrapping, the smells, and reading stories by the fire. It’s cozy and fun.
Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I love to run in dirty, muddy obstacle races. And the only reason I exercise regularly is so I can get away with sneaking obscene amount of chocolate into my body. I hate exercise, but I have no food self-control. So it’s a must.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A secretary. I thought filing papers would be fun. Then in kindergarten I wanted to be a nurse. Taking temperatures and blood pressures would be fun, right? But then a girl in my class told me nurses have to give shots. Yikes! I’m needle-phobic (ironic that I have a Type 1 Diabetic in the house, eh?) so I quickly changed my career path. Interior designer, chef, baker, and teacher. Teacher won out but I do a lot of cooking and baking.
Q: Favorite food.
A: Anything chocolate. And lemon. And Italian. And Chinese. I have a hard time narrowing things down.
Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: My wedding day. The birth of my children. My first publishing contract. Watching my children play sports. Again, I can’t decide on one!
Q: Favorite drink.
A: Frilly flavored-vodka drinks (love martinis). Frozen mudslides. Green Cleanse Tea to help me detox after drinking the above.
Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Hot summer days. But I couldn’t handle them year round. I do love my winter nights.
Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Is it sad to say I don’t have one? I’d love to make the NY Times Bestseller list some day J
Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: I’d actually like a special toy. A remote control that allows me to pause, fast forward, and rewind the world. I can turn it up, turn it down, and change the “channel”. That would make me happy.
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Recovering alcoholic and former party animal, Cole Tucker would be an idiot to start something with his newly hired right-hand woman, Samantha Chase. It figures he can’t seem to keep his mitts of the sexy, five-foot-nothing single mom who can toss a sack of shingles over her shoulder and rewire a house better than the crew from Extreme Home Makeover. Her incredible strength and self-confidence draw him in; something Cole has pretended to have for years. All he has to show for himself is his uncanny use of pick-up lines, a hand-me-down farm and some small-town rental properties. When he learns Samantha’s husband and daughter were killed by a drunk driver, the shame of his past experience with a DUI and near-death accident is the last thing he wants to mention to her.
Samantha has no problem accepting her new boss, flaws and all. His simple life is charming and exactly what she hoped to find for herself and her son in Newhall, New Hampshire. Cole wins her over by befriending her fatherless son and making her laugh again, something she hasn’t done in four years. When she learns about his shady past with the bottle, her heart tells her to forgive, but the painful memories of her past are too deep to overlook.
Shutting off the ignition, Sam dabbed her lips with tinted Chapstick and hopped out of her truck. Loud country music bellowed from the right side of the duplex. Something about tequila and clothes falling off. Not exactly the song she wanted to make her entrance with.
Her knocking didn’t stop the music or bring anyone to the door, so she turned the doorknob and let herself in, following the music, or rather the voice of the slightly off-key man singing along to the country song. Spotting the radio, Sam turned it down slightly and cleared her throat.
The singing stopped and a man emerged from around the corner. He paused midstride and stared. Mr. Tucker was not the bald, over-weight, wrinkled man she’d expected. It had been years since she felt any type of attraction toward a man. And this one, with dark coffee eyes and Patrick Dempsey dimples covered in a light scruff, did unfamiliar and unwanted things to her body.
“Did it hurt?”
“Did what hurt?” she asked, confused.
“When you fell out of heaven?”
Sam raised an eyebrow and chewed on the inside of her cheek, unsure of how exactly to answer. “It was a pretty big fall, but I made the landing.”
The man tipped his head back and laughed. “So what brings a pretty little lady around this grungy old worksite?”
Great. Already being talked down to. “We had an appointment.”
“We did?” He took off his ball cap and ran his arm across his forehead. “I’m pretty sure I’d remember setting up a date with you.”
“Mr. Tucker, I’m—”
“Cole. Mr. Tucker is my dad.” He turned his baseball cap around and put it on backward, giving him a boyish charm.
“Yes. Sorry. Cole, I’m Sam. You left a message on my phone to meet you here at nine.”
Cole looped his thumbs in the front of a pair of jeans that were worn and torn but fit him like a glove, and rocked back on his heels, studying her from head to toe and back again. She knew what he was thinking and wanted to ward off any doubt in her abilities. “I assure you, Mr. Tucker, that I am highly qualified. Probably more so than anyone else you have working on site. I’ve been doing electrical work since I was twelve—”
“Which was what, last year?”
“I may be petite, but I can carry my own.” Sam placed her hands on her hips and didn’t look away from his piercing stare. “I’ve been wiring homes for over fifteen years, I can fix any plumbing problem you throw my way, I can lift more than I weigh and know my way around any power tool you have. I understand your reluctance to hire someone like me … someone as little as me, but since your family name is so reputable in town, I assume you’re not the type to discriminate against women; so if you want to hire me on a trial basis, I would not object.” She folded her arms across her chest and cocked her head. He had a good ten inches on her, probably a foot, but she didn’t feel threatened.
The man squinted down at her and rubbed a hand across his jaw. “Okay, short stuff—”
“Okay, Sam. We’ll give it a try. I have two more windows to put in upstairs and could use a hand. You ready to work?”
Sam looked at her watch and bit her lip. “I’ll give you an hour of free labor and then time to think about your decision.” She walked to the stairs and took two at a time, waiting for her new boss at the top. He looked reluctant but gestured to the back bedroom where she gave him the best hour of her life.