Thursday, June 4, 2015

No Money Involved (Interview with Marianne Cushing, Author of MAHALAS LANE)

Another quality post brought to you by Steve!
Welcome to the Thursday installment of your favorite blog, everybody!  Today we have a very special guest, good friend of our own contributor Carrie and author of the mystery/crime novel MAHALAS LANEMarianne Cushing!  Rather than tease you any longer, let's just jump right in with the interview!


SK:  Hello, Marianne, and welcome to Across the Board! Obviously, we'd love to make a spot for you as a permanent blogger, so my first question is: if you had to get Carrie "out of the picture" to free up a slot, how would you go about it?

MC:  I would never try to get Carrie out of the way. Ever. Wait...there's no money involved, right?

SK:  If there is, I haven't seen dime one yet.  Did you end up publishing MAHALAS LANE indie, small pub, or traditional? What was that experience like?

MC:  I published my novel through CreateSpace after a long and futile attempt at finding a publisher or an agent. I found self publishing to be pretty simple and, in the end, rewarding. I hired a wonderful editor who made me feel confident about the content. It felt good to have control over the process and I love the way the book turned out. Using my experience in marketing, I've promoted the novel myself and planned my own author events. It's been a labor of love and I am grateful to have met many generous and helpful people along the way.

SK:  I think we can all sympathize with that story.  Speaking of marketing, how much of advertising is like "Mad Men?"

MC:  Believe it or not, I've never watched Mad Men, but I can imagine it has some truths as well as myths about life in advertising. I guess I don't see the attraction of coming home to watch a reenactment of my day on TV. I live the madness! ;) My husband spends his days in court and won't watch courtroom dramas at home either, which I happen to find fascinating.

SK: Ah, yes, like the proverbial pizza maker who can't stand pizza.  If you had to describe yourself as a writer of one genre, what genre would that be? And what's been your experience with that literary community?

MC:  If I had to commit to one genre, I would go with mystery/crime since my second book also falls into that category. I feel like I've been pretty isolated as an author thus far, mostly because my full time job leaves me little time to network or to read other authors' works. Inevitably I have to choose between writing, reading or marketing myself.

SK: Oh, that's no good!  Hopefully we'll get you less isolated with some interviews like this and so forth.  Florida is quite a sea change from New England. Do you ever have/had any culture shock?

MC:  I grew up in the suburbs of New York and spent every summer of my childhood on the Jersey shore; so I suppose it was no surprise that I fell in love with the beaches of Florida on my honeymoon, where my husband and I have resided since 1988. In 2008, we rented a summer cottage on the coast of Maine, the setting of MAHALAS LANE. I was fascinated by the culture and the unique topography of the region. I'd written for many destinations over the years in my specialty field of tourism marketing and yet, of all places, I was compelled to write a novel based on this location.

SK: Very cool.  So what's next for Marianne Cushing?

MC:  As I mentioned, I am currently working on my second novel. It will be a sequel to MAHALAS LANE, taking the main characters to Charleston, South Carolina, where they will find themselves in the midst of a horrific crime that will either shatter their once perfect world or help them discover their true destinies.

SK: Well, thanks for being with us today, Marianne. I usually like to leave the last question an open forum for you to give a shout-out to your fans or say something we didn't get to cover in the interview but you'd like to put out there.

MC:  Thank you so much for inviting me on Across The Board. I've enjoyed answering your questions. I have found that the most fun part of being an author is the opportunity to meet new people who love to read! I hope your readers will stop by my Facebook page and say hello.


Exhausted and dismayed, Madi Lyons arrives on the rocky shores of Maine, hoping for a relaxing respite from Madison Avenue’s relentless grind. Twelve-hour days and the sudden news of her best friend’s engagement have the aspiring creative director’s head spinning. Shortly after settling in at the quaint rental cottage, she is awoken by the local sheriff with startling news: A woman has been murdered on her private beach. A violent encounter next door and an elusive stranger draw Madi deeper into Mahalas Lane’s mysterious past, while a magnetic attraction propels her into the sheriff’s welcoming arms. Will she find the solace she seeks, or will a small town’s dark secrets cost her the ultimate sacrifice—the love of her life?

About Marianne Cushing

Marianne’s career as a professional writer has spanned more than 25 years, 15 of those at the helm of her award winning advertising agency. She currently serves as copy director for the women’s intimate apparel brand, Soma, a division of Chico’s FAS. Her debut novel, MAHALAS LANE, was inspired by her real life 2008 stay in the Maine cottage on the lane that bears the novel’s name. She resides in Fort Myers, Florida, with her husband, daughter and their four fur babies.


Carrie Beckort said...

Oh, no! Plots are underway... I'll be watching my back from now on, Steve!

Marianne, it's great to see you here on ATB! I'm so glad you had a chance to make sense of Steve's ramblings - I mean had a chance to answer his interview questions ;-)

I can't wait for your second book! I'm itching to know what's next for Madi and Josh!

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

I LOVE MYSTERIES! I'm totally reading this! Congrats on your book.

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

You'd be wise to, Carrie. You'd be wise to. ;)

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

Yeah, come to think of it this sounds right up your alley!

Jonathan Schramm said...

That's right, focus on Carrie. Nice intervew, sir! And thanks for stopping by Marianne!

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

Ah, almost forgot about you hiding in the corner over there, Jonathan...

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