Welcome back! Today I’m pleased to spotlight author Faith Marlow. She is the prolific scribe of numerous short stories and novels, including the Being Mrs. Dracula series.
Recently, Faith and I discussed her inspiration as a writer as well as her plans for the future.
A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?
I fell in love with writing very young, in the fifth grade, but I didn’t pursue it until many years later. I think I started entertaining the idea of writing a full novel in around 2002, something like that. Being Mrs. Dracula didn’t come along for quite some time after that. I love to read similar stories to what I write, things that are a little on the dark side, but I will read from just about any genre. Dean Koontz and Douglas Adams are my favorite large press authors. I mostly read indie and small press authors, and I try to read as much as I can from fellow CHBB/ Vamptasy authors. Felicia Fox, Skye Knizley, Rue Volley, Lily Luchesi, just to name a few.
Released in 2013, your first novel was Being Mrs. Dracula. When did you first read Dracula, and what in particular drew you into the story of his brides?
I think the first time I read Dracula was somewhere around 2009, when I first started searching for background information on the brides. I have watched countless movies and documentaries about vampires and Dracula (the fictional character and the historical figure) because I have been fascinated with vampires since I was a child. I began to notice that in just about every movie or story, Dracula has three beautiful women at his side. They usually don’t have much to say or do, aside from being loyal followers and eye candy. I had watched the 1931 film of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi years earlier and remembered the brides were not really explained or explored. I wanted to read the book because I was certain there would be more to learn about them there. I was stunned to discover little more is revealed about them. Bram Stoker did not even give them names. I was further shocked to learn that the name of Vlad Tepes III’s (Vlad the Impaler) first wife, whom most believe had at least some influence on the character of Count Dracula, had also been lost to history. Little more was known of her than the circumstances of her death and I found very little information on his second wife, Ilona Szilagyi. Although one is fictional and the other was historical, the women in both of these stories are overlooked. I wanted to know their story and since I could not find one, I decided to write one that would intertwine the information that I did have available with my own imagination. That was the moment of conception for Being Mrs. Dracula.
You’ve written both short fiction and novels. Do you find your approach is different depending on the length of the story?
It is a bit different because in short fiction, I have to find a balance of enough detail while not getting too wordy. In a full length novel or even a short novel/ novella, there is a little more room to stretch. I can give a little more detail, paint a more precise picture as opposed to giving a general impression. I think writing both is good for me, since I try to keep a brisk pace in all of my stories. I have a short attention span and get bored pretty quick, so the last thing I want to do is drag something out for thirty pages that could have been well told in ten. The last thing I want a reader to do is get bored because the pacing was too slow to hold their attention.
If forced to choose, which is your favorite part of the writing process: drafting new concepts, crafting a first draft, or polishing an almost finished piece?
I would probably say polishing an almost finished piece. Coming up with new stories is fun, but it may or may not get off the ground. I have folders full of halfway developed ideas waiting to become stories. The first draft can be stressful because I am still trying to connect all the dots and get from point A to B. When polishing that first or second draft, I can add or remove details, make sure everything is consistent and flows well, add a little dialogue if necessary. It’s when I really start feeling some pride in my story.
You are such a widely published author with stories and novels out from various presses. With so many accomplishments, what writing goals are left on your to-do list?
There are so many things that I want to do! My to-do list never stops. First on my list is finishing the third installment of the Being Mrs. Dracula series. It is my top priority. After that, my next goal is to continue The Dream Journal series and see where Anne and Maddie end up. I have a pretty good start on that. I also have a few new projects in mind that I will have to see how they develop. I know others will pop up that I have no idea about right now. Couples Therapy took me completely off guard and happened very quickly. I started writing it around the end of January or beginning of February, completed the story, my editor (EAL Editing Service) shined it up, Rue Volley created another fabulous cover for me, and it was published in September. For me, that is lightning speed. Books in the Being Mrs. Dracula series always take longer because I try to add in as much historical references and nuances as I can because I want Valeria and company to feel like they are a part of that world. It’s a lot of work, but she is worth it.
What projects are you currently working on?
My current WIP is Being Dracula’s Heir, the third installment of the Being Mrs. Dracula series. For those who have read Being Mrs. Dracula and Being Dracula’s Widow, they will recognize a few familiar faces in Valeria, Lamond, and Emil but will also be introduced to a couple new characters; particularly a young vampire named Astrid and a human with a score to settle named Tackett. Both of these new characters will be instrumental when Valeria is challenged by her newest adversaries. All of this is set against the glamour and decadence of the late 1920’s New York City, as well as the country’s devastating crash into The Great Depression. If there is one thing we know about Valeria, it’s that her past is never too far behind her, even after crossing an ocean to escape it.
Where can we find you online?
All of my work is available at Amazon.com and is available for purchase or Kindle Unlimited users can read them for free.
I am pretty active on social media, particularly Facebook. I post information about my own books as well as other titles available from my publisher, other author friends, and things that I just find fun and interesting. If you like creepy, unusual, or think bats are amazingly cute, you will probably like following me on social media. I am trying to be more active and connect better with readers, so I am always open to suggestions on things that readers want to see more of.
Big thanks to Faith Marlow for being our featured author this week! You can also find her on Twitter and Tumblr!