Author Chat with Rachel A. Marks (Fire and Bone)!
Today we're excited to chat with Rachel A. Marks, author of Fire and Bone. Read on for more about Rachel and her book!
Meet Rachel A. Marks!
Rachel A. Marks is a cancer survivor, a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. Her four kids and amazing hubby put up with her nerdiness with tremendous grace, even when she makes them watch Buffy or Smallville re-runs for days on end. She was voted: Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory.
Check out more about her on her webpage: www.RachelAnneMarks.com
In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.
Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.
As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out whom to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.
A Chat with Rachel A. Marks:
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I’ve been wanting to write a novel based on celtic mythology for a very long time. I’m a huge fan of the lore and have been researching it for a good chunk of my adult life, curious about my Irish heritage. But I never felt like I had that right tale to put it all in, nothing ever quite fit or did the legends justice. It was when I considered weaving it all into our modern world where everything finally started to click and take shape. And I’m so excited that in FIRE & BONE I’ve finally found that outlet for all those strange ideas I’d collected over the years. My very own eclectic celtic soup.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
That’s easy. Hands down, my absolute favorite character in FIRE & BONE is the old monk, Lailoken, the Wise Man in the Wood. I based him off of a real monk who lived in the 6th century, who had been the inspiration for some of the legends of Merlin. He was so fun to write and recreate in my world, and I could totally picture him, with his hat made of twigs, his patchwork robes, and the squirrel on his shoulder. Crazy but adorable at the same time.
3. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There are so many scenes in FIRE & BONE that were a real blast to write. But I think the moment I’m the proudest of is the very end, when Sage makes her choice, that very last line. I really chewed on that moment for a while and rewrote it several times. I was getting a bit panicked that I wouldn’t figure it out or get it right. We’d already gone through most of the editing process and I wouldn’t get another chance to rework it. I’d run out of time. And then, at about five in the morning, after I had written all through the night (rewritten, that is), blurrily trying to meet my deadline that next morning, it came to me. That last line. I pounded it out and laughed out loud, waking up my husband (poor guy, puts up with a lot). All the terror flew away and I knew I’d hit the nail on the head. That’s always the best feeling.
4. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Wow, well, I feel like so much has happened in my life over the twelve years it took me to have my publishing debut, then the last four years of working through my first series, and starting a new one. I’ve learned so, so much. But I think the most vital thing I learned was that I needed to just keep going. Dori really got it right, “Just keep swimming.” Every time I could have given up, I didn’t. Mostly because I’m stubborn. But you have to always believe that the goal, that your aim is possible. Don’t. Give. Up. Learn, grow, move forward. Wash, rinse, repeat.
5. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
Sooooo many amazing books are coming out this year. The two I was fangirling about the most were IRON AGE by Pierce Brown and OATHBRINGER by the story god that is Brandon Sanderson. I’m currently reading them both very slowly because I’ll be waiting another year or more before there’s more in those two amazing literary worlds. There are so many other books though! Too many yummy books too little time. Another book I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this year was THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert. I keep hearing very cool things about that one. And, you know, creepy woods? I’m there.
6. Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
Probably the most difficult scene to get right was the moment Sage finds control over her power, and at the same time her protector, Faelan, sort of “loses control” with Sage. I rewrote that scene about five or six times. It was a fairly big turning point in the middle of the book and it would inform the way the two
characters saw each other from then on, so it needed to have just the right emotions, hints, hopes, pains. I admit, I was being picky about it, but I knew I had to hit all the points just right if the rest of that story thread was going to work.
7. Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
While writing FIRE & BONE I wanted my cast of characters to be very eclectic. So, each character needed his/her own voice/oddities/vision, and that can take a while to develop. The most slippery rascal among the crowd, though, was Kieran. Which was fitting, I guess. He kept to the shadows and didn’t seem to want to reveal himself until I’d gotten nearly half-way through the first draft. And he is a fairly vital part of the tale. He eventually let me know his reasoning and his weakness, though, and I think (I hope) I got him solid by the end of his creation.
8. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Most definitely revising. Drafting always feels like pulling teeth for me because I’m a perfectionist and I usually have a certain vision for a story, but if that vision isn’t playing out right, it torments me a bit. I have to just keep telling myself to grit my teeth and grind through it because I know I can fix it in revisions—which is a beautiful feeling when it finally comes around. I absolutely crave that phase of the process. It’s why I love (and desperately need) my editor. She is my road to clarity.