I'm kicking off the new week by welcoming back a wonderful author I've featured on the blog before.
Here we go...
Marisa Noelle is the writer of middle grade & young adult novels in the genres of science-fiction, fantasy & mental health. The Unadjusteds was released November 2019 and The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep June 2020. She is a mentor for the Write Mentor program that helps aspiring MG & YA authors. When she’s not writing or reading or watching movies, she enjoys swimming. In the pool she likes to imagine she could be a mermaid and become part of some of her make-believe words. Despite being an avid bookworm from the time she could hold a book, being an author came as a bit of a surprise to her as she was a bit of a science geek at school. She lives in Woking, UK with her husband and three children.
Cordelia Blue is afraid of water.
Cordelia is also a mermaid.
It’s been five years since she lost half her family to the ocean, and as the anniversary of their death approaches, Cordelia is determined to conquer her fear. But when she learns of her mermaid ancestry and all the devastating secrets the ocean brings, she no longer knows who she can trust.
Entrusted with a magical relic, she must keep it away from an opposing race, the selachii, and their nefarious intentions. When she discovers that her boyfriend is one of these mysterious shape-shifters, Cordelia is forced to choose between love and race.
Cordelia doubts her every decision and the intentions of those around her. Trusting her heart will lead to a path of betrayal, but she might just get her family back. If she chooses her head, the mermaids may stay cursed to remain in the ocean forever.
Who are you and what do you write?
I am Marisa Noelle and write YA horror, Science fiction (Not space opera), fantasy and mental health. Having lived with anxiety and OCD for a couple of decades, these important issues tend to leak into my writing, no matter the genre. I love YA. I love all that passion and raw emotion and finding yourself, perhaps b/c I still feel I am!
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I’d always been a bookworm and often spent all night reading my favourite author (Dean Koontz). I loved anything creepy or scary. I love how, against all the odds, good can still triumph. It didn’t occur to me what I might be able to write too, as I’d always been on the math and science side of things at school. But when I started having problems with anxiety, I turned to poetry to help me deal with my emotions. I’d always had a book idea or two floating around, and this then evolved in trying to get that story down. Of course, with no training or contacts, I had no idea what I was doing, and so my long path to becoming a writer and learning the techniques began.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
Bumpy! Very, very bumpy. I’m on my third (and hopefully final) agent. When I met my first agent, she was lovely and had some high-profile clients, but she wasn’t editorial. I was a newb and really needed that guiding hand. Things when out on sub before they should have, and of course, no deals. After 3 years, I found my second agent. But that ended very quickly when she didn’t want to rep the remaining 17 books I had on my laptop. I know not to expect to publish everything, but I didn’t want to throw that many books away! After that I found my third agent, the lovely Stacey Kondla of The Rights Factory. We have been working on a MG road trip story about neurodiversity which will be going on sub very soon.! Wish me luck!
In between all that, I have managed to publish 3 books with small presses. The first, The Unadjusteds, is one of my heart books and is the first of a trilogy about the dangers of genetic modification. My second, The Shadow Keepers, had a bumpier road and the publisher folded. So I’ve now just released it as a self-published title. That was a whole other learning curve! And now I’m embarking on Mark Dawson’s course about advertising for authors. The Shadow Keepers is a YA horror about a girl with mental health issues who sees shadowy monsters in mirrors. My third book, The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep, was released June 1st! This is the first in a series of 5, about a 17 year old girl. Cordelia Blue, who is terrified of water after losing her twin brother and mother to a shark, discovers she is a mermaid. I like to think of it as Romeo & Juliet under water.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
I think the hardest part was finding the right agent for me. And although I have published books out there, they are with independent presses. I’m still dreaming of a bigger deal. So the journey continues. The most enjoyable parts are the writing itself. I love bringing a new story to life. And my writing friends. Finding them has made my journey less lonely and they so understand everything I’ve been through. I’ve learned so much from them.
Would you go back and change anything?
Well, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I think I would have done more courses earlier on. And maybe been more disciplined about not sending out queries too early. But each bump has taught me something new and I’m appreciative of that.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
I’d like to have a lot of books available. I’d like my reach to be wider. I’d love to be as popular as someone like Suzanne Collins. (lol). Who knows. I just want to keep writing and keep producing and trust that the universe out there has a plan for me.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
I have two things I always say:
1 – Persevere. Rejections are hard. They hurt. But if you don’t keep going, you’ll never get there.
2 – Find your tribe. Find that other group of writers and critique partners who can journey along with you to share the bums and the successes.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? - MAYO!!!! Of course.
Night or Day? - Night – I am such a night owl.
Inside or Outside? - Inside, while it’s raining, curled up under a blanket with a good movie or book and a cup of tea.
Dogs or Cats? - Dogs!
Twitter or Facebook? - Twitter! I like the bit-sized chunks
e-book or Paperback? - Paperback – I love the feel of a book in my hand. And I love to look at the cover every once in a while.
Sun or Rain? - Both? Depends on my mood.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Keyboard! My writing is illegible and I can’t write as fast as I can type.
Comedy or Drama? - It takes a lot to make my laugh, so I veer toward drama (thriller action kind of drama).
Chips or Chocolate? - Both! I love sweet and savoury together! Ever had chocolate covered pretzels? Yum!
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!