Welcome, today we are talking with DK Marie! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about DK Marie that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
I mentioned in my bio I love writing stories about my home state, Michigan. My Opposites Attract series takes place where I grew up and love (okay, I don’t like it so much during January and February), but I have lived in other areas. I moved to Kentucky briefly, and Germany for a few years.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I always enjoyed writing, but before trying romance, it was all non-fiction. Fiction happened gradually for me, but once I tried and wrote a complete story, I knew writing fiction was for me.
How long have you been writing?
Around five years.
What have you found most challenging about it?
I find balancing everything the most difficult, and not only my home life and writing, but also editing, keeping up with media platforms, and marketing.
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional or exhausted when you write certain scenes?
It is so much fun. My characters make me laugh, hurt, and fall in love. I love creating them and constructing a world within ours that where no matter the challenges, everyone will have a Happily Ever After.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?
I have a strict schedule. I try to sit down in from of my computer five days a week for at least two hours (sometimes WAY more) to work.
It depends on what is due that gets my attention. Some days it writing an outline or the first draft of a story, others it is editing, and then there I days I need to work on social media content (poems, newsletter, specific posting for certain platforms). Usually, it is a mix of two.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
Once I realized I could write a book from start to finish, I went at writing as a job and not a hobby.
What inspires you?
So much inspires me. Music is my biggest muse, but I also find inspiration in photography, paintings, books, strangers I see on the street, conversations I over hear.
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life.
What is your favorite:
- Animal – Cats
- Food – Cajun
- Movie – Shawshank Redemption
- TV show – I don’t watch much TV, so I don’t have one.
- Singer – I love music so this is a difficult. So, I’ll say my top 5: Kaleo, Mumford &Sons, Lumineers, Jimmy Buffett, and Dan Owen
- Author – It’d be a tie between Colleen Hoover and Christina Lauren
What are your pet peeves?
People who complain but never do anything to change what bothers them bugs me to no end. Oh, and background noise. When I’m writing, I always have my headphones with me and multiple playlists.
Who is your hero?
My parents. They are imperfect, but perfect for me.
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
Most of my bucket list consists of traveling. There are so many places I want to revisit or explore for the first time.
What would readers find surprising about you?
I’m not very romantic. I tend to be cynical, which is probably why I love reading and writing romance. It allows me to indulge in the fantasy and explore what I find important in love.
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
I’d love to visit my grandmother. Not only was she fun and a sweet woman, but she also lived into her nineties and had so many fascinating stories (I love history). I wouldn’t mind visiting with God as well.
Any bad habits?
No, of course not. Ha!
I tend to be on the reckless side. If there is an adventure to be had, sign me up. Great for me, but I’m sure it gives my loved one’s ulcers.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
Hmm. I love to laugh, so there have been plenty, but so many fall under the, you had to be there category.”
Yes. June 3rd.
How long did it take you from beginning to end before your novel was completely finished, and how did you decide on the topic and title?
Fairy Tale Lies took a few years. I’d only written one other book before this one, so I’d made a ton of mistakes and had to do MANY rewrites.
It has been so long since I started this book I can’t remember how I chose it, but I think Jacob was friends with a man from the first book I attempted to write. Now that man will be in the fourth book of the Opposites Attract series (though the story is very different from the original).
The original title was Rework The Fairy Tale. It was a play on saying we want a different sort of fairy tale (we don’t all want a prince, and we aren’t all damsels in distress), and rework is the name of Jacob’s business. I didn’t completely love the title, and my agent felt it was a little too vague. I came up with a few new ones. In the end, we both like Fairy Tale Lies, as did my publisher.
Please tell us a little bit about, Fairy Tale Lies.
The theme of Fairy Tale Lies is finding love with the most unlikely person. Greta and Jacob are each other’s opposite in every way, yet perfect for each other. Also, while I’ve enjoyed the many billionaire romances (the modern-day prince), it was mostly because of the conflict and characters, even the power struggle and problems that arise when one person is wealthy, and the other is working-class. However, my thought was, why does it always have to be the man, and why does the person with the less money have to feel inferior? I wanted something different.
In “Fairy Tale Lies,” I flipped it. The woman, Greta is from an extremely wealthy family, while Jacob’s background is much less affluent. However, he refuses to let Greta’s family, and friends cut him down, to try to make him feel as though he’s lacking. He’s proud his father was a Detroit cop, and his mother was a librarian. Sometimes he sees slights were there are none, but at the same time Greta has to learn that her families wants and desires are not her own.
It is a bit of Billy Joel’s “Up Town Girl.” The story is as fun as the song.
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
In Fairy Tale Lies book, I found Greta more challenging to write than Jacob. She grew and became a strong woman, but it took a while for her to find her way. At times I wanted to shake her, or sit down with her, and talk about standing up for one’s self. Sitting back and watching her mature was, at times, challenging.
In general, I always find when things are starting to go bad the hardest to write. I have this urge to curb the problem, make my characters see reason instead of letting the conflict and disaster build. Those two things are what make the story fun to read, but it battles with my pragmatic side.
What kind of research did you have to do?
My stories are very character driven, so most of my research revolves on them. I do character interviews and picked out their wounds and flaws (to me, this is what drives a good story). Then as I’m writing, I research locations in the book. In Fairy Tale Lies, the city where Greta grew up doesn’t exist, but most every other place does, and I either visited the area or googled it.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
Fairytale Lies is the first of four books in the Opposite Attract series. They are all stand-alones, but the characters know each other and most are friends. The next book I’ll be introducing a new female main character, but the man is a friend of Jacob’s. I don’t want to say who it is because I’m thinking of holding a contest for those on my newsletter or following me on social media. If they guest correctly I will enter them a drawing for a signed copy of Fairy Tale Lies and the next book.
So, what’s next in the series?
Fairytale Lies is the first of four books in the Opposite Attract series. They are all stand-alones, but the characters know each other and most are friends. In the next book, I’ll be introducing a new female main character, but the man is a friend of Jacob’s. I don’t want to say who it is because I’m planning to hold a contest for those on my newsletter or who are following me on social media. If they guest correctly, I’ll enter them in a drawing for a signed copy of both Fairy Tale Lies and the next book.
Love Songs comes out October 14th
Please tell us a little bit about, Love Songs.
While I have no musical talent, I adore it. One of my favorite hobbies is finding new songs and going to concerts. For years, I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a music romance, so when Jacob’s friend took a job as a temporary musician I had to tell his story. Plus, I wanted to give it a twist. He’s a reluctant guitarist, preferring his job as a CPA over the chaos of the music scene. The lead woman, isn’t a shy fan, fawning over a popular singer. No, she IS the popular singer.
What was your hardest challenge in writing this book?
Coming up with a way for Maggie and Tanner to meet in the middle without either giving up their dreams.
What kind of research did you have to do?
I had to research certain aspects of Tanner’s chosen career as a CPA. Also, different states that the band visited. However, the most was stuff regarding music. Since so much of my characters and their story was around it I had to get it right. I am lucky that a musician beta-read the story for me and pointed out the many areas I had been incorrect.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Trust your craft and writing style but also listen to advice. Be willing to learn and hone your craft without losing your voice; that makes your story-telling unique.
Also, find your favorite social media platform and reach out. Not just for selling books but for connecting with reader and writers. The support and friendships I’ve found in writing and reading communities online are priceless.
Thank you for the chance to interview with Coffee Time, great questions! I hope my readers enjoyed learning more about Fairy Tale Lies and me.
Please include the following links:
Blog: https://dkmarie.com/poems-and-shorts/ (I don’t have a blog, instead I release poems and flash fiction twice a week