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Welcome to NightTide's Author Snapshot! Snapshots are quick, engaging, bite-sized interviews with writers that we love! This week, we chat with the incandescent L. Marie Wood!


1. Give us your best elevator pitch on your work. 

L. Marie Wood creates immersive worlds that defy genre as they intersect horror, romance, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy elements to weave harrowing tapestries of speculative fiction.

2. What was your first published work?

Interestingly enough, it was a poem called "Of Your Music" and it was in Rhapsody in Black in 1998. 

3. Is there a story inside that you have seeds of but can't seem to connect that's dying to get out? 

No. I am a pantser, so I write off the cuff, without an outline or plan.  That, for me at least, means that I don't usually have stories waiting on deck - the ideas either get fleshed out and written or put out to pasture.

4. How do you handle a rejected story?

Roll with it.  I look at it to see if there are any changes that I think it could use, and if not, I resubmit.  Rejection doesn't mean that your story is terrible - it most often means that it is not a fit for that editor at that time.  So, I dust myself off and go again right away.


5. What does literary success look like to you? This is a great question, one that all authors have to really assess for themselves.  In the beginning, you know, most people think that success is monetary, but publishing will quickly disabuse you of the things you think are true pretty quickly.  For me, success means reaching people - touching them, impacting them.  Some of the greatest moments of my career have been when people have told me that they connected to my work, saw themselves in it, were unsettled by it - were terrified, even.  That's the pinnacle for me.  That shows me that I've done my job.

6. Do you read your book reviews and if so, how do you deal with bad or good ones?

How do you deal with bad or good ones?  I do.  The good ones are yummy - it's like having a little bit of candy just because.  The bad ones can bring out a lot of emotions.  I allow myself to have them just like I allow myself to savor the sweetness of the good reviews too.  And then I set them aside and get back to work.  Focusing on either for too long is a distraction.

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7. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?  

Forcing myself to wait.  Once I get started, it is difficult to make myself stop.  So that means I work through lunch, my morning coffee gets cold sitting right there on my desk, I don't sleep as much as I should, all because I want to write, I want to get it out, and I want to do it NOW.  Reminding myself that I have to do all the other adulting things proves challenging, especially when I'm about a third of the way through.

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8. As in most times, the truth is stranger than fiction, what has been the hardest scene or chapter you've had to write, if you were channeling personal experience?

The Black Hole takes place as part of a paintball excursion.  My own paintball excursion came to mind while I wrote the book and let me just say that I am eternally thankful that what I dreamed up didn't actually happen.  But what did happen was pretty amazing in its own right.  There were injuries.


9. What inspired your latest work?

Nothing.  Everything.  I don't know. My ideas can come from something someone says, a look, a magazine article, traffic. If it pops in my head and I like it, I may devise a story around it.  Because of that, I rarely know where my inspiration came from.  Terrible answer, but a true one!

10. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? 

Don't write in dim light... really. 

11. What's the best advice you've received from a fellow writer?

Write the story you want to write. I don't know who said that to me and it wasn't in response to a question.  It was in conversation in a group - not sure how I heard it or who said it, but it resonated with me.  I write for me and I hope people can find common ground with me and enjoy it. 


12. What is your go-to comfort horror/Sci-Fi book? 

 I don't read a ton when I write, and I write a lot, so I typically don't re-read books.  You may also find this interesting, but when I want to relax my mind, I do not read horror or sci-fi - for that I am a James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen, Ruth Ware kind of girl.  That said, I will read anything by RJ Joseph and Rena Mason any day.

13. If you were to genre-hop, which genres would you most like to try writing? Thriller writing has always been intriguing to me.  Psychological horror straddles the line of so many genres, thriller being one of them, that I can't help but kick the idea of trying it out without supernatural elements. Maybe one day...


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