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Marie Force is visiting today

MarieForce

Marie, Thank you so much for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.

Hi, Greta, thanks so much for having me!

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Let’s see… I live in New England with my husband and two children, a daughter who will be 14 this month, and a son who is 10. I work as the communications director for an organization a lot like RWA. I love to spend time on the water, whether it’s on my father’s boat or at the beach. And I love to read almost as much as I love to write.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve always been a writer, but my path to fiction writing was somewhat long and winding. I majored in journalism in college and spent a couple of years working as a reporter on a small community newspaper before I got married. My husband was in the Navy so I traveled with him for 10 years, and continued to use my writing skills in a variety of jobs. I landed the job I have now almost 14 years ago when we were stationed in the Washington, D.C. area. When we were due to transfer, they asked me to stay, and I’ve been a full-time telecommuter for 11 years now, which has been a great setup while my kids were young. The fiction writing was always in the back of my mind, and I started to write my first book about seven or eight years ago. I finally finished it four years ago, and have written several since then. Fortunately, that first one was the only one that’s taken a ridiculous amount of time to write!

What is your writing process like?

I’m definitely what’s known as a “pantser.” I make it up as I go along. Because I have a busy day job and two active kids, the writing has to get done when there’s time, which usually means late at night, on weekends, holidays, and vacations. Luckily, I write fairly quickly so the time constraints haven’t held me back—yet. I have an office for the day job in my house, but I don’t want to be there after hours, so I write in my living room with my laptop, feet up, Diet Coke handy, the Red Sox on TV, and chaos all around me. Whenever I travel for work, I always think I’m going to get so much done in the quiet hotel room, but I never write a word under those conditions. I’ve discovered I need the chaos!

LAFF

Can you tell us about your newest release Love at First Flight?

I love this book! It all began with a conversation I overheard in the Baltimore-Washington airport in 1999. A guy and a girl, not together, were on their way to visit their significant others in Florida for the weekend. They were discussing the perils of long-distance relationships, and discovered they were on the same flight home on Sunday. They agreed to meet up again to compare notes on how the weekend went for both of them. Wouldn’t it be cool, I thought, if they fell for each other? So I wrote that book! Love at First Flight is an unconventional romance in the sense that we see our hero and heroine with other people at the beginning, and when I say “with,” I mean with, if you catch my drift! I thought it would be fun to have this couple come together in the wake of two failed relationships and for them to find each other in the aftermath of disaster. They both thought they had found their “one,” but they discover together that love can sometimes find you in the oddest of places and at the worst of times. My hero, Michael Maguire, is a prosecutor for the city of Baltimore and is about to embark on the murder trial of his career when he meets Juliana, a hairdresser, in the airport. The trial descends into mayhem, putting both of them at risk as their respective exes pull out all the stops to get them back. It’s a fun book, and I hope readers will enjoy it. So far, the reviews have been terrific, with reviewers surprised by how much they enjoy the unconventional aspects of this romance!

Do you have any other books coming out this year?

I don’t have any other scheduled to come out this year, but I do have several irons in the fire that I’m hoping will come to fruition eventually!

What are you currently working on?

I’ve just begun a series about four brothers and their manipulative mother who wants to get each of her “boys” happily settled. As she picks out a potential mate for each of them, she will find out that the “boys” have ideas of their own about happily ever after and those ideas do not include the women their mother thinks are perfect for them.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

The ideas are everywhere! I’ve learned that the most important thing is to be open and receptive to them so you’ll recognize a good one when it comes to you. I’ve found inspiration in the newspaper, in a song, driving in the car, and in an airport! The idea for my first published book, Line of Scrimmage, came to me in an odd way. I heard boots dropping in a marble foyer and somehow knew those boots wouldn’t be welcome. From that came the idea for my NLF quarterback Ryan Sanderson to arrive home in the midst of his soon-to-be ex-wife’s dinner party for her new fiancé and his parents. From there, I decided that Ryan would blackmail Susannah into spending their last ten days as Mr. and Mrs. together. During the ten days, they right some of the terrible wrongs that drove them apart in the first place and begin to put their marriage back together. All that came from boots dropping in a foyer. I don’t question it anymore. I just run with it!

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

I’m a voracious reader! I love anything by Nora Roberts and her alter ego J.D. Robb. I’ve become a big fan of Lisa Kleypas’s contemporaries. I absolutely loved Sugar Daddy and Blue-Eyed Devil. I’m hoping someone takes the hint and gets me Smooth Talking Stranger for my birthday. I’ve been reading Lisa’s Wallflower series recently. I’ve never been much for historicals until I read one I loved by my fellow Sourcebooks author: Lady Flees Her Lord by Michele Anne Young. That book whetted my appetite for more from the regency era. I also love my friend Kristan Higgins’ romantic comedies. She is seriously FUNNY!

What books are on your keeper shelf?

The entire J.D. Robb series, which I read from start to finish a year or so ago. I had read one here and there, but never from the beginning. Reading that series inspired me to want to write a suspense series featuring the same couple throughout. I’m shopping book one of that series now and finished the second book earlier this year. It’s been so much fun so far to writing a continuing romance for a committed couple, and I hope I get the chance to bring that story to readers.

What was the first romance book you read or the first romance book that has stood the test of time?

I’d have to say it was The Thorn Birds. I remember reading that book over a summer after 8th or 9th grade, and it really stayed with me for years afterward. I’ve never forgotten the forbidden love of Meggie and Father Ralph or the sweeping setting of the Australian Outback. In fact, it might just be time to re-read that wonderful story. I also remember spending a whole summer reading John Jakes’ North and South trilogy, which was full of romance and Civil War-era intrigue.

LOSCover_F

If one of your books’ was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

Line of Scrimmage would make for a great movie. I picture Matthew McConaughey as Ryan and Reese Witherspoon as Susannah. Matthew would play Ryan’s intentionally obtuse character very well!

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why?

Hmmm, I love my characters, but I’m pretty happy with my own life just as it is—relatively drama-free and filled with fun, interesting people. Since I like to torture my characters as much as possible, I’m probably better off not switching lives with any of them!

If you were not writing, what would you be doing?

I’d love to be an editor at a publishing house. Even though their lives sound crazy, it looks like it would be a lot of fun.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

Beach, boat, water . . . I love anything to do with spending time on the water with family and friends.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be?

What makes a book or character unforgettable for you?

****Marie has graciously offered up a signed copy of Line of Scrimmage and a signed copy of Love at First Flight to two lucky commenters. To be considered for either book just answer Marie’s question and state “I would love to have a copy of …”.  Good Luck 🙂

For more information on Marie Force and her books, please visit her website at: www.marieforce.com.

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32 Responses

  1. That’s a hard question, but when I reflect on the characters that I love they almost seem like real people. I have gotten to experience their emotions, insecurites, and triumphs in love on a level that leaves me feeling like I truly know them. It’s what I love most about reading!

    I would love to win Love at First Flight. I have heard so many good things about it!

    cldivineATyahooDOTcom

  2. The characters I remember the most are the ones that are the emotionally twisted and scarred type. The harsher the trials and tribulations for the character to overcome, the more memorable they’ll be to me.

    I would love to win either…

  3. The characters I enjoy most are the ones that can make me laugh and have a good sense of humor!

  4. I would love to have a copy of Love at First Flight.

    For a character to be unforgettable, said character should grow during the story, should have a sense of humor, should not be TSTL (well, sometimes that’s unforgettable, but for all the wrong reasons), and should engage my feelings so I care what happens.

  5. Good morning everyone!
    Nice to see you all here. I love your thoughts on what makes a character unforgettable. I hope you love Michael and Juliana!! Thanks for being here!
    Marie

  6. I would love either book, Marie. I think the characters I never forget are the ones who step over the line just a little, but are vibrant like Rhett Butler and Roark in Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Shana. Sounds like I get hooked on heros, doesn’t it?! My heros have a great sense of humor yet are passionate and tender with the heroine once they convince her how wonderful they really are.

  7. I love the idea of the new book series, Marie!
    Matchmaking mother and children who find love elsewhere. Great concept!

    I think the others have said what makes a character unforgettable quite well already.

    Ash

  8. Hi, Marie! I think what makes a book unforgettable for me is a combination of things–characters I care deeply about, a believable journey for their relationship, and usually a dash of humor. Those stories tend to stick with me, and be ones I choose to reread. I loved Line of Scrimmage and I would love to have a copy of Love at First Flight!

  9. I like unforgettable characters. A good plot will make me want to keep reading, but the characters are what I will remember. That means characters that have a strong belief system and are willing to do what it takes to get things done. I would love a copy of either book. Congrats on the new release and thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  10. It’s hard to say, but some do stick with you long after a book is finished and back on the shelf, while others are gone as soon as you read that final page. I think it’s different for everyone, which is good because that means that somewhere out there is a writer who writes just exactly what you want to read!

  11. Hi Marie!

    The unforgettable characters I remember the most are the tortured and brooding types.

    I would love to win a copy of either book.

  12. The characters I remember the most are the ones with flaws. Something has happened to them that just stuck with me. I would love to have a copy of either book!

    ghurt110 AT bellsouth DOT net

  13. Hi Marie,
    Do you get to choose your own titles?
    I would love to win Love at First Flight.

  14. I would love a copy of LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT. I read the excerpt for this, and yes, sounds like an emotion-filled book. Just the kind I like.

    A book or character becomes unforgettable to me, when way after I have finished, I’m reliving the strong emotions and bond between the hero and heroine.

  15. Thanks to everyone who came out on a holiday to say hello. I love hearing what makes a character unforgettable to you

    Chey, to answer your question, I was heavily involved in the naming process (this one DEFIED naming for quite some time) but ultimately the publisher came up with Love at First Flight, and I ADORE the name and the cover, featuring my favorite color: purple!

  16. I would like Love at First flight if I win…what makes abook unforgettable is the tension between the characters. It is not as beliveable to me if the characters fall in love immediately. I like some build up.

  17. The well written tension between the h/h leading to the HEA make a book unforgettable for me
    I have read Line of Scrimmage , so would love to have a copy of Love At First Flight.

  18. What makes a book unforgettable to me is the chemistry between the characters.
    I would love to have a copy of Love At First Flight.

  19. I’m not sure I can describe what makes a character unforgettable for me but I’ll try. It’s the ones I relate to, the ones that I can see a bit of myself in, whether it’s a personality trait or an obstacle that they are battling.

    I would love to have a copy of Love At First Flight!

  20. I think it’s how the hero/heroine interact with one another. The story line can be anything, but if the hero and heroine have that special something, I’ll remember it forever. There are different things that make IT special, so hard to explain, but the chemistry has to pull me in.
    “I would love to have a copy of Love At First Flight.
    I like this story idea…lol on you listening in and getting a book out of it. That is cool!!

  21. I love a character that is not afraid to examine their self and grow or change to meet the situation.

    I would like a copy of Love at First Flight.

  22. I read Love at First Flight and loved it! I would love a chance to read Line of Scrimmage. For me to love a book, I have to really identify with the characters and feel warmth from them!

    belle2211@yahoo.com

  23. I would love to win a signed copy. I love characters who are brave enough to admit they have feelings for the other character. Guys who don’t go around the bush and just tell the character he loves them is HOT!

  24. I would love a copy of LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT.

    What makes a book unforgettable to me? When it manages to wrangle out a wide range of emotions from me from sadness (crying) and laughing or sitting on the edge of my seat.

    The characters, well they have to be realistic, where they are believable

  25. Many times, what makes a book unforgettable is having one of my favorite plot devices – the best friend/little sister, love/hate, reunion relationships. Other than that, it’s much harder to peg down, but sometimes something about a book or its couple will just captivate me. It’s really a testiment to the author in this case.

    I love to win a copy of either of Marie’s books. They book sound great!

  26. I ❤ characters who are funny. I seem to remember books that have a funny scene…something that really endears me to the character. 🙂 Love it!

    Marie, you characters are always remarkable!

  27. A book or character is made unforgettable to me when I actually care about that character because he or she is so endearing, when the book is written so fabulously that I don’t want it to end. It’s a magic born on the pages and hard to actually put into words but I definitely know when an author puts her heart into a book because I can feel it as I read and thats what puts a book and whats inside it, into that unforgettable catagory.
    I would love to have a copy of…either book as they both sound fabulous!
    On another note, I posted an award up for your blog. Details here: http://ladyvampire2u.blogspot.com/2009/07/awarded-re-awarding.html
    Happy 4th of July!

  28. love line of scrimmage becasue i love football an d men in uniforms

    good to see u here
    congrats ont eh book and blogs

  29. I would love to win a copy of Love at First Flight. Loved your story of your inspiration for this book. Wouldn’t it be great if you could revisit that couple to see if they got together?

    Characters who make a lasting impression on me are those who seem more like real people. Heroines like those written by Michele Ann Young are not ‘cookie-cutter’ beautiful ladies but women who have flaws in figure and face but are not necessarily crushed by those flaws. The same goes for the heros…the less perfect, the better, IMO.

  30. “I would love to have a copy of Love At First Flight”. A book is unforgettable for me when the characters become my friends and I hate to see them part at the end of the book. When I become so involved in their lives that it seems as if I’m there with them every minute.

  31. I really like tortured/scarred etc- theme. Those kind of books are always unforgettable for me, because I know I’ll get to read very heart wrenching moments.

    I would love to have a copy of Love at First Flight.

  32. Thanks for all the great insight into what makes characters unforgettable to you! It was great to hear from you all. One leftover question from Karen H–I’d LOVE to run into the couple who inspired this book and to hear that they did, in fact, fall for each other and are living happily ever after in Baltimore. Wouldn’t that be so cool?

    Okay now for some winners…

    Tiffany wins Line of Scrimmage

    Quilt Lady wins Love at First Flight

    Contact me at marie@marieforce.com to arrange delivery. Thanks again everyone. I had a blast!

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