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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Author Interview: Marissa Doyle

I recently had the great pleasure of getting to interview a wonderful author, Marissa Doyle. She is the author of the historical/fantasy series Leland Sisters which so far includes the title Bewitching Season and Betraying Season.

The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Marissa Doyle: Mom of three, history geek, full-time writer, quilter, loves bunnies, collecting books and antiques, sailing and swimming and gardening; not fond of loud noises, shoes with too-high heels, or liquorice-flavored jelly beans.

TBP: What do you love most about writing?

MD: Creating worlds and the people in them. I have a need to make things, which is why I also like to sew and quilt and knit and make painted furniture...but creating with words gives me the deepest satisfaction.

Oh yes--and not having to wear panty hose to work.

TBP: Aside from being a writer, what is another career you believe you'd enjoy?

MD: Probably going back and making use of the museum administration program I studied in and going to work for a history museum of some kind...or being an antiques appraiser...or working as a contract archaeologist. Those are the people who get called in to do a fast excavation/study of an area that's about to be turned into a supermarket or state highway. It isn't perfect academic work, but it's preserving at least some record and rudimentary study of sites that might otherwise just have been destroyed.

TBP: As most may know, Bewitching Season mainly follows Persy while Betraying Season follows Pen. Which of the twins is your favorite? Who is your favorite of the other characters?

MD: I think I identify most with Persy--I was a very shy teen as well--but I like both girls equally. I love Charles and hope to be able to write a story for him some day, and I'm loving writing about the twin's mother, Lady Parthenope, when she was a teen.

TBP: Has anything really interesting or funny ever occurred while you were researching for your books?

MD: I guess what strikes me the most as I do research is how little human beings have changed, even in strange little things. For example, I have a collection of magazines from the 1810s and 1820s, and recently ran across a small article in one of them that more or less poked fun at lawyers. Yes, lawyer jokes in 1825. I love running across tidbits like that.

TBP: Can we expect to here more from the Leland girls? Is there something else you are currently working on?

MD: Yes! The third Leland Sisters book (due out from Henry Holt in 2010 or 2011) is actually a prequel to Bewitching Season and Betraying Season. It features their mother, Lady Parthenope, as one of the main characters when she was making her debut in society, and of course there's magic and romance and a mystery to solve. The title is still undecided--it was The Waterloo Plot, but that will definitely change.

TBP: Describe your ideal place to write.

MD: I have used to be the spare bedroom, but I have fiendishly taken it over. Half is my sewing and quilting space, and half is for writing with my desk and bookcases containing part of my collection of research books (there are too many of those to fit in one place). The bed is still in there, but it's piled with the research materials for whatever book I'm currently working on. I have a window in front of my desk because I like to see the birds in the crabapple tree outside it and the clouds and sky. It's kind of messy, with piles of fabric and cut pieces for my latest quilt on one side, and papers and books on the other, but it's very, very cozy.

TBP: Ok, I'm just dying to hear about your 'bossy pet rabbit'. Could you please tell us about him/her?

MD: We were very sad to lose our beloved bossy bun, Maple, this past summer after a long illness. But he definitely was bossy...when he wanted petting or a snack or just to be paid attention to and acknowledged, you knew it. He had my husband very well trained--he knew that if he nibbled on his shoes, Daddy would give him a clump of parsley to distract him. We had our morning routine of our "C" words--carrot for Maple, and coffee for me--and our morning snack and combing/petting/snuggling session.

Just this past weekend, we adopted two young buns because living without a bunny in the house was no fun. It took two bunnies to fill Maple's place. :) They're very cute, but need socializing (just as Maple did when we first adopted him), so we're working on that. They're brother and sister, and we've christened them Saffron (the boy) and Asuka (the girl--the name of a character in one of my son's favorite anime series).

(TBP: So sorry about Maple. Wish you the best with your new bunnies.)

TBP: You have awoken to the police banging on your front door. What is the first thought to pop into your mind?

MD: My first thought is, "Oh my god something's happened to one of my kids". My second thought is, "Oh no! Someone's figured out I'm not a real author after all--I'm just faking it and got lucky with the books I've published so far and they're coming to take me away because they finally figured it out too." Writers are a weird, insecure lot.

TBP: If you were to make a bucket list, (list of things to do before you 'kick the bucket') what would be the first three things on it?

MD: Hmm. I don't have any unfulfilled urges to do anything like skydive (NO, thank you) or climb Mt. Everest...but I would like to travel more and see several places, like Iceland and the Canadian Rockies and Morocco and Tahiti and Italy and Japan and New Zealand and the south of France, and go back to places I've loved, like Bath and York in England, and Granada/the Alhambra in Spain. I'd love to earn enough money from writing to establish a scholarship fund for young writers. And I'd like to live long enough to someday see my eventual grandchildren graduate from college. I'm sorry I'm so very boring...unless it means that I'm fairly content with my life, which is okay.

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add before you go?

MD: Just that I love visitors to my website ( and blog (, which I co-host with author and fellow history geek Regina Scott and where we talk about 19th century history from a teen point of view. Please stop by!

I'd like to thank you all for stopping by to read the interview and I'd like to thank Marissa for agreeing to do one. :D I also have reviews up on both Bewitching Season and Betraying Season in case you are interested.


Robyn @ Robolobolyn's Universe said...

Aw! Maple the bunny sounds like he was pretty damn awesome! :) He kinda sounds like my friend's rabbit, Chubbz, who could get pretty bossy and stubborn too! It's horrible that he died! :( But good luck to Marissa on training her two new bunnies! :)

Robyn :)

Melanie said...

Maple does sound awesome! I used to have a couple bunnies, but that was a few years ago. I love Nineteen Teen! I have a blast reading it.

Sandy said...

Maple would've gotten along famously with my dog Lady then! my doh just demands attention. xD Oooh, I went to Granada/the Alhambra in Spain too! It really is very beautiful :)

Fantastic interview Bri!

Unknown said...

Hi Briana :)
Thank you for the great interview with Marissa Doyle & thanks to Marissa for sharing. I loved learning more about Marissa.
Is Marissa on Twitter?
All the best,

Kilee's Closet said...

You have an award :D

Staysi said...

Great interview!! Btw, you have an award over at my blog! :) Check it out

Ashley said...

Aww poor pet bunny Maple.. :(

Loved the interview!

About Me

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

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