I'm thrilled to welcome author T.B. Markinson to the blog for an interview today. I met T.B. just recently and immediately knew I liked her. I love that after several years of blogging I can still connect with new friends and fellow writers!
TB is here to talk about her new release Marionette, which I am really looking forward to reading. I appreciate her taking the time to answer my questions!
1. Tell us about your new novel
Marionette. Are there any similarities between this story and your previous
novel A Woman Lost?
Marionette is a novel about a young
woman in her first year in college. Days before graduating from high school,
she slit her wrists. Her girlfriend, Jess, convinces her to go to therapy.
However, Paige isn’t just dealing with depression. She’s dealing with a past
that is full of lies and deception. She feels like she has been manipulated by
her parents her entire life. Paige wants to get control, but feels hopeless
A Woman Lost is also about a woman
who is dealing with her past, but I wouldn’t say it has a lot in common with
Marionette. Lizzie, the main character in A Woman Lost, has to find herself.
Yes her past plays a role, but she isn’t dealing with traumatic issues like
I am drawn to writing about
characters who have their own obstacles to surmount and I love to see how and
if they overcome them.
2. What is your favorite genre to
read? To write?
To be honest, I don’t really have a
favorite genre to read. Two things pull me in: story and character. It can be
science fiction, chick lit, young adult, paranormal, mystery, or historical
fiction to name a few. I’ll read anything just as long as I find the story
entertaining and it has to have character development. I don’t necessarily have
to like the characters or relate them, but they have to be well-written.
For me, I like to write stories
that have strong, conflicted, and troubled characters. I like to see how they
deal with situations and what pitfalls they fall into during their journey in
3. When did you realize you wanted
to be a writer?
Ever since grade school I wanted
to pursue writing. Over the years I would jot down stories and I started at
least one novel but never finished it. Life always interfered. I was working
full-time and whenever I tried to take my writing to the next level, something
would happen and I found myself consumed with everyday life. Then over two
years ago my partner’s company asked us to move from Boston to London. Suddenly
I was unemployed. The transfer was supposed to last two years and my partner
and I decided that I would use the time to give writing a go. So I pulled an
unfinished manuscript out of the drawer and got to work. Now the book is
published and I’ve completed the second one, Marionette.
4. What do you enjoy most about
I like getting inside the heads of
my characters and see what makes them tick. This includes the minor characters
in my stories. I like to learn all I can about them and make them as real as
possible. And what I love about writing is that the story that develops even
surprises me. I don’t plot out my novels. Instead, I just let it happen. My
characters tell me what will happen next. I never get a chance to boss them
5. Anything you don’t enjoy or
struggle with when it comes to your writing?
Editing. I enjoy working with my
editor. She does such a wonderful job getting the story ready for publication
and I learn so much about writing as a whole from her. But the crappy editing,
I’m talking about the commas and all that jazz, can be tedious at times.
6. Which of your characters would
you say you are most like? Least like?
Everyone assumes that I’m like
Lizzie, in A Woman Lost, since it’s
my first novel. I’m nothing like Lizzie. She was commitment phobic and I’m not.
In fact I settled down too much in relationships in my early years and had to
live with the consequences of jumping into things.
Now who am I like? That’s a
difficult questions since I don’t think I’m like any of my characters. I have
certain traits of my characters. Both Lizzie and Paige love history, as do I.
Both are smart asses and I’ve been told I’m one as well. Other than that, I
don’t think I’m like them. I would probably be more like Sarah, Lizzie’s
girlfriend in A Woman Lost. She was
quiet, loving, and didn’t seek a lot of attention. I’ve always preferred being
out of the limelight, which might explain why I don’t make any real appearances
in my stories.
7. Your 50-Year Project
blog details your goal of visiting 192 countries. When did you start this
project? How many countries have you made it to so far?
I started chronicling the project
in 2011. We had already been to some of the countries, but I’m still including
them since travel is expensive and time-consuming. So far we’ve been to 20
countries, including the US (where we are from), England (where we live now),
Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Canada, Spain, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa,
Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic,
Netherlands, Malaysia, and Iceland. I think I got them all. We still haven’t
been to any of the countries in South America and I think that will be our next
8. Do you have a favorite of those
countries? If so, what is it? What country is up next on your list?
Oh gosh, it’s so hard to choose
just one. The first one that always pops into my head is Botswana. This was the
first country we went to where we experienced seeing massive amounts of animals
in the wild. It was mind-blowing to see elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions,
wildebeests, kudu, leopards, warthogs, and so many more roaming free. The entire
time I was there I didn’t want to blink since I was afraid I would miss
something. And the sunsets in Africa—amazing!
I don’t have any plans set in stone
yet, but we are considering Rome over Easter. We’ll see.
9.Can you give us a peek at your next
The next book is about a woman who
had everything going for her. She graduated from Harvard, had a literary agent,
and a deal to write her first book. However, everything has fallen apart and
she’s working at Starbucks to make ends meet. She has a crazy but loving family
and girlfriend. It’s about whether she can find her true path in life and get
everything back on track.
Paige Alexander is seventeen and has her whole life in front
of her. One day her girlfriend comes home to discover that Paige has slit her
wrists. Paige isn’t insane, but she acts like she is. Why?
After the incident, Paige agrees to go to therapy to appease
her girlfriend, Jess. However, Paige doesn’t believe that therapy will help
her. She believes she’s beyond help. Paige doesn’t want to find herself and she
doesn’t want to relive her painful past in order to come to terms with it. What
Paige wants is control over her life, which she hasn’t had since her birth.
During her childhood, Paige is blamed for a family tragedy,
when in fact, her twin sister, Abbie was responsible. Abbie doesn’t come
forward and Paige becomes the pariah of the family.
To add to Paige’s woes while attending a college in a small
town in Colorado, the residents are in the midst of debating whether or not
gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Tension is high and there’s a
threat of violence. She isn’t out of the closet and pretends to be straight at
school since she fears what will happen if her parents find out she’s a
lesbian. Will she end up dead like her best friend, Alex?
About the Author:
T. B. Markinson is a 39-year old American writer, living in
England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than
never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching
sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk.
Not necessarily in that order. Marionette
is her second novel. A Woman Lost
was her debut
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