The lovely and talented Mari Collier joins me today to give us a sneak peek into her life and a taste of her work.
Welcome Mari, I’m glad you are here and can’t wait to hear about what got you to this point in your life.
Tell us, who is Mari Collier and where did she come from?
I was born on a farm in Iowa. There was no electricity, no indoor bathroom, and I attended a one room schoolhouse.
Wow, that sounds challenging. Especially the part about the one room school 🙂
I’ve lived in Phoenix, Arizona, and married one year after high school. I had to wait for my husband to graduate as he was younger than I. Our first date was rattlesnake hunting.
How special! Great way to find out just how daring your partner really is. 🙂
I’ve worked at the John Robert Power’s Modeling School, as a bookkeeper, and then realized that a man’s starting salary was $400.00 per month more than mine. A challenge! I proved I could go where they couldn’t and collect where they couldn’t. Confession time. I was a Collector and a darn good one.
Hehehehe, and they say us women are the softer kind of humans. Collect what is due, good for you Mari!
My husband decided to move to Western Washington and I found him the mountain and river he wanted. Silly me! The river could isolate us when it flooded and the mountain, where I knew Frodo and Sam were up there in the clouds with the ring, prevented the sun from hitting us until 12:30 p.m. in the winter; plus, it could and did rain 133 1/3 inches of rain in one year.
The land was finally cleared of brush in four years, my mother-in-law’s health had stabilized (she lived with us for 19 years), and our children were on their own when I went back to work.
Did you know Human Resources people have eyes that glaze over when they realize an applicant is over 50? I joined Kelly Girls and they sent me to Nintendo of America. I didn’t know what kind of company it was. On the second time I was invited to be a full-time employee, I was smart enough to accept. If you ever called or wrote Nintendo or Nintendo Power in those years, I might have helped set up your system, set up a repair, or helped with your game play. They paid me to read, write, and talk and gave me a title of Super Advanced Agent, but no cape.
So you’re not only a great author and person, but a Super Advanced Agent as well? How special is that!
My husband’s arthritis became so deleterious even he agreed to return to the desert. We chose Twentynine Palms in the high desert. Currently, I serve as Coordinator for the Desert Writers Guild of Twentynine Palms, as a Director on the Twentynine Palms Historical Society’ Board, and as our Congregational Secretary.
Mari, that all sounds like you’ve had some difficulties to overcome, but did so with a vengeance and come out on top of things. My kind of woman. 🙂 Now let’s get on with what you really came for.
I have some questions for you and are really curious to your answers.
Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?
I do the happy dance! Sometimes I make a fist and shove my arm up in the air shouting, “Yes!”
Okay, sounds like you know how to party. But how do you work around those moments when the muse has gone and done a runner on you?
LOL. I play a game of Spider Solitaire.
Hahaha, one of my favourites too. 🙂
Now, let’s first do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun. And by yada yada I do not mean boring, or in any other way stupid questions, but just the traditional ones. You know? The ones we secretly all want to know the answer to.
First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
Earthbound, it is the first in my series, even though it was published last. It’s all Anna’s fault.
Very nice cover Mari! Love the type and colour scheme.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
No, the main character is stranded on Earth. He has the means, but not the knowledge to pilot the spaceship through the starpaths. The spaceship is hidden deep in a cave in Texas.
That sounds like a book I might really like. If only my to read list wasn’t already filled to last me three lifetimes. Oh, well, I might pick it u anyway.
If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?
I haven’t done so yet. It’s strange, but the more it looks like I should conform, the more stubborn I become. You can blame that on my German ancestors.
Good for you Mari! It’s called staying true to yourself. 🙂
Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.
What don’t you like about writing.
At one time, I would have said editing. It’s still a pain, but my biggest hurdle is marketing.
What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?
I use the social networks, and have learned to boldly ask people if they like science fiction. I’ll hand out my cards at any opportunity. I’d visit more place to place my novels if they existed in my community, but they do not. So far, it has been the social networking online. The radio and newspaper interviews here generated a lot of interest, but the area is too small and remote to attract a great many people. The local radio interview did help.
Tell me, when you’re on a roll, the muse is in the house and happily guiding your pen, what would seriously drive her/him away?
One of my family or friends showing up unexpectedly would do that.
At least that is a welcome distraction. 🙂
What does your muse look like and does he/she ever play tricks on you?
I really don’t have a muse that I know. The characters in my books tell me their stories. Once the story is complete, that character goes away. Sometimes I have to cause their demise to get relief.
Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?
Not really. They are the gabby ones. Anna, of course, was different. I’d killed her off years ago when I was eleven. I tried again in Before We Leave, but she would not stay dead until I finished telling all of her story in Earthbound. I guess, you might call her the stubborn German woman.
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
So far coffee, beer, and beef hit that mark. The alien man calls beer brew, but it is his drink of choice. The novel is set in Texas so, of course, there is beef. There’s always food, but not necessarily the same item over the century that the three novels travel.
Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!
I had company. That is usually my family on holidays. I do not write then.
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
I’m a closet masochist is a possibility.
Hahaha, aren’t all authors Mari?
Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
Darn, you mean I can’t tell you about our dog that smiled or the one who climbed trees? Okay, all my life I’ve been referred to as “sweet, little, etc.” It’s really irritating. At work, I’d take my revenge by describing life on a farm. It was hilarious to see a bunch of vegetarians and various so with it people vacant the table the minute I talked about butchering, making blut wurst (blood sausage), milking cows, watching piglets being born, or any number of activities. Oh, yes, another annoyance, you forgot to ask me to whoop! Just as well, I used to leave that to my husband as his was blood curdling.
Earthbound is both as Kindle book and paperback available on Amazon
Gather The Children is the continuation of Earthbound and is at two places:
Short stories on Smashwords:
Once A Frog Always A Frog: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/166191
Retail Wedding: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/153282
Okay, and where van we find Mari Collier, the author of these great books?