MaryJanice Davidson “continues to put her own unique spin on paranormal romance” (Fallen Angel Reviews) in these hilarious and sexy new novellas featuring Undead Queen Betsy Taylor as she meets Fred the mermaid, an all-new female superhero, and Lara Wyndham, the daughter of the Pack leader of the Wyndham werewolves.
Mary Janice Davidson—On Writing
Where is your favorite place to write?
This is going to sound awful, because I have two beautiful offices to write in, but the answer is my living room in front of the TV. With a tall glass of chocolate milk at my elbow, and possibly a plate of Nutella toast. Sometimes a bagel with cream cheese and tomatoes and coarse salt. I love tomatoes, and also coarse salt.
What kind of music do you listen to while you write?
It’s all 80s all the time on my iPod, except when it’s not. I’m annoyingly eclectic. I’ll listen to Van Halen, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Cold Play, Johnny Cash, Katy Perry, Billy Joel, The Temptations, Dolly Parton, Peter Gabriel, Journey, The Runaways, Prince, Lesley Gore, Marilyn Manson, Tori Amos, Icona Pop, Adele, Little Big Town, Ellie Goulding, Maroon 5, Nine Inch Nails, The Flying Lizards...I’m all over the place.
How do you start writing each book? Do you have a ritual or a regular routine you follow?
Yes, in the morning my assistant and I go over the business side of writing: answering reader mail, responding to speaking or teaching invitations (I love traveling and meeting readers, so it’s always exciting to be invited somewhere), working on copy edits or galleys, paying bills, etc. Around lunchtime, I’ll plunk down on the couch, open my laptop, follow breadcrumbs all over the Web for a bit, write a couple of pages, follow more crumbs, write more pages, and then I look up and it’s 9:30 p.m. and my kids are super-pissed that I’ve forgotten to pick them up and no one’s had supper. But I got twenty pages done!
For me, writing has always, always been a magical escape hatch. When I’m writing, I have no sense of time passing. I can remember being a teenager and being astonished: “It was 8:30 in the morning a couple of minutes ago and now it’s lunchtime! Do I have a tumor? Nobody around me has this happen to them. Congenital insanity, maybe? That sounds right...”
Like any writer, I’ve got good days and bad. There are days when nothing comes, and there are days when I disappear into whatever world I’m building and emerge hours later with 30 new pages to show for it. I guess my routine is grab the tiger’s tail whenever I can, and just hang on.
Was the choice to insert the author’s voice into the narration of your books a conscious decision?
Yes, I’m afraid so. I cannot tell a lie! (About that.) My favorite way to write a story is to tell a story. I’m not good at distancing my voice from my characters. My writing is like my talking: I sit you down and feed you a bagel with cream cheese and tomato and coarse salt and say, “This weird thing happened to someone I’ve made up. Listen.” My brother-in-law nailed it when he told me, very kindly, that he wasn’t in any rush to head out and buy my latest book. “I don’t need to drop $24.95 so I can hear your voice in my head for the next week.” Fair enough. I wouldn’t want that, either. Friends and family have told me that reading my books is like hearing me talk. So depending on your point of view, that’s terrific or a living endless torturous hell from which the only escape is to never go near my books.
Your writing is very humorous in a snarky way—does that voice come naturally to you or is it something you have to work at?
I don’t have to lift a finger to come off as fantastically immature. Or snarky! I can’t not write funny. I even wrote a (funny) non-fiction book about getting published. This would be a huge problem if I was tackling, say, a doctoral thesis. Luckily I mostly stick with fiction.
In Undead and Underwater, you finally got to introduce characters from different series to one another, and wrote about an entirely new heroine altogether. Is there anything you’ve never written about that you’d like to in the future?
I’d love to do a modern re-telling of Greek myths. I’ve loved mythology since I was a kid, and re-telling Hercules’s Twelve Labors or Athena’s birth—she burst from Zeus’s head fully dressed, grown-up, and ready to kick some god-like ass—would be a huge thrill for me. Or re-telling Persephone’s story—she started out as a run of the mill goddess and ended up Mrs. Grim Reaper. I’m getting goose bumps just typing this!
MaryJanice Davidson dishes on her villains on Monday, March 11th at All Things Urban Fantasy.
About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson has written in a variety of different genres, including contemporary romance, paranormal romance, erotica and non-fiction. She lives in Minnesota with her family. Visit her at www.maryjanicedavidson.net or www.facebook.com/maryjanicedavidson.
MaryJanice Davidson is also the master of ceremonies for Author After Dark 2013 taking place in Savannah, GA on August 15th - 18th.