Name Marnie Cate
Age A lady never tells
Where are you from Originally Montana, my heart is in California and my home is Arizona.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just released the third book in the Protector of the Elemental Magic series and I am almost done with the fourth book.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote as a young girl stories that would be called fan fiction now. Through high school and college, I had no interest in writing. In 2011, I was struck by a strong image of a young girl and her grandmother. From this, the series began. It was as if something inside me was unleashed and I had to put my stories to paper.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I self-published Remember and the first paperback copy arrived in the mail.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The strong image I had in 2011 was first a paragraph and then the story began to come to life in my mind. Around this time, I stumbled across the actress Dame Judi Dench. This little woman was such a beacon of light and inspiration to me that I began to believe I could write a book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My first book was just write the story. It came to mind as I went. The next books in the series had a general outline but as I typed more ideas and thoughts would develop. A small scene would take the story in a new direction. Also, I talk out the characters when I am driving and play different scenarios.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Sadly, I don’t remember (no pun intended) how I picked the name of the first book. I decided from day one my series titles would spell out the word REMEMBER. The next books were based on finding the best word to describe the books theme based on the letter.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No matter where your life takes you or how lost you feel, love and family will always guide you.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The protagonist Mara is a bit of me with her conflicting bouts of insecurity to strength. The character, Gram, was inspired by my own grandmother and Judi Dench. The relationship between the sisters, Meg and Mara, are based on the strong bond I share with my sister.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I was an avid reader for most of my life. Authors like Billie Letts, Cynthia Voight, Judy Blume, Gail Carriger and Jennifer Estep inspire me to bring characters to life that you root for, are disappointed in and love.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are so many talented authors I have been lucky to learn about in the indie community. Currently, my favorite author is Jennifer Estep. Her Elemental Assassin series is more than an interesting storyline, she created a world with characters so real it was an emotional rollercoaster in each book
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have several good friends that encouraged me from day one.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to say yes but being an author full-time at this point in my life is a distant possibility. I consider writing my part-time career even though I spend as much if not more time on it than my full-time job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I can honestly say no. I love Mazy and where the series is going. It has opened the door to exciting storylines I can’t wait to share with my readers!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Just an odd thought that called me to write.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
WIP – Envy (Book 4)
Taking a deep breath, I rested my hand on her shoulder. She did not turn to face me. She just stared out the window. The tightness in her shoulders relaxed the smallest amount when I called my element – Air. Silently, I prayed for Air to release her tension. I hoped it would coax her to be honest with me.
I had taken a chance coming here. Being back in the home of my grandmother gave me an uneasy feeling. For the first six years of my life, I had been raised in this cold, lifeless mansion. It was not until I went to live with my half-sisters, Mara and Meg that I knew what family meant. My new family immediately welcomed me and I felt at home. In the Drygen Mansion, I had been taught to only speak when spoken to, to focus my mind on becoming an educated young man and to always use proper etiquette. In all the time I was here, I could only remember one tender moment with my grandmother.
Blanche Drygen was a complete contrast to my maternal grandmother, Mae Veracor. My first introduction to her began with her insisting I call her Gram. Both women were beautiful and intelligent. Where Grandmother Drygen was always formal and icy towards me, Gram wrapped me in love for the brief hours I spent with her. Even though Gram truly was a stranger to me, her death cut me to my core. This small glimmer of love awoken my heart. I decided then I would never be a Drygen and I would become the man Gram would want me to be.
“I know you hear me, Grandmother,” I said, forcefully. “I want to talk to you about our family. I need to know more about —”
“He was a good man,” she said, interrupting me. “He just never knew how to break the bind she put on him.”
I stood still not wanting to stop her from talking. If I listened quietly, she might tell me what I needed to know. She might tell me why the Drygen family had become so dark and cruel. Why they had betrayed the Goddess Danu.
“It was all because of their ridiculous promise to Protect the Magic,” she sneered. “If they would have just left it alone maybe things could have been different. If they would have said, ‘No, thank you’, they could have lived a happy mortal life.”
Her shoulders slumped and she sighed, “No, he would have never known I existed.”
Kneeling next to her, I softly touched her cheek. Her eyes glistened with tears. “Please tell me the story, Grandmother. I need to know.”
“You are from her blood. The Silver line has drowned out any drop of Drygen you had left in you,” she said, softly. Her words were not hateful. She sounded full of regret. “Please get me a sweater from my room and I will tell you how the Drygen’s became cursed to never truly love.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time. There is never enough time.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Only in my mind.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher works with The Cover Collection to make my beautiful covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Proofreading. It is very hard to see the errors. My mind plays tricks on me. I listen to my book and catch the errors. The funny thing is that even knowing the issue, I sometimes still can’t see it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Be confident. Know you are not perfect and you don’t have to be.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Judi Dench would have to play Gram! Vanessa Marano from Switched at Birth would be a good actress to play Mara.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Follow your heart. Write everything down. You can cut it later and never let anyone tell you that your way is wrong if you feel strongly about it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your support. I hope you love my stories as much as I do.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Joe Compton’s Amongst the Killing.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I am sure this is not the first book but Fudge by Judy Blume comes to mind.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I am easily amused so I can find the funny in things easily. Lately, crying seems much easier to come by. From injustice in the world or a sad song, I will find myself tearing up.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Always Judi Dench – she is my inspiration.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
She loved. She Lost. She Wrote.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Is there anything besides work and writing?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love britcoms and British series.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite food – a bloody steak. Favorite color – a beautiful rainbow Music – All of it but am drawn to swing music and more modern electro swing by Parov Stelar (Booty Swing).
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Can’t imagine anything else.
My real-life caticorn and muse
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon page: amazon.com/dp/B01BVSJU5K/