Come, if you will, and experience a psychological suspense novel set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula wilderness. An excellent novel titled The Marsh King's Daughter. The author, Ms. Karen Dionne, is a member of the International Thriller Writers as board of directors. She is also the co-founder of the online writers community Backspace. She was honored by Michigan Humanities Council for her body of work as a writer and co-founder of Backspace. So far she has written books such as Freezing Point, Boiling Point, The Killing: Uncommon Denominator. Her short fiction so far is titled Calling the Shots. Her latest novel is The Marsh King's Daughter and it will be release to the masses on April 17th 2018. So I hope you take this time and get to know a bit about this great author and her latest masterpiece, The Marsh King's Daughter.
1. What inspired you to write The Marsh King’s Daughter?
I actually woke up in the night with the first sentences of The Marsh King’s Daughter fully formed in my head: "If I told you my mother's name, you'd recognize it right away. My mother was famous, though she never wanted to be. Hers wasn't the kind of fame anyone would wish for--Jaycee Dugard, Amanda Berry, Elizabeth Smart--that kind of thing, though my mother was none of them."
I wasn’t dreaming about this character, she was just there, talking to me. In the morning, I wrote up a few paragraphs in which she told me more about herself, and these sentences and paragraphs are now the first page of the novel.
I’ve always been fascinated by stories of people who rise above a less-than-perfect childhood to make something of themselves, and I think this is one of the reasons this character spoke to me so strongly. Helena is the daughter of a kidnap victim and the man who took her, who grows up in complete isolation for twelve years in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness, so in creating a new life for herself as an adult, she certainly has a great deal to overcome.
2. Was The Marsh King’s Daughter the original title or were there other titles?
The Marsh King’s Daughter is the book’s original title, and I’m very happy to see that it is also going to be the title of the movie. The title comes from the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of the same name, which I used to structure the book.
“The Marsh King’s Daughter” is one of Anderson’s longer fairy tales, in which the main character is the daughter of an Egyptian princess and the evil Marsh King. By day, the girl is beautiful like her mother, but has her father’s wicked, wild temperament, while at night, she takes on her mother’s gentle nature in the guise of a hideous frog.
In my novel, Helena is also the product of an innocent and a monster. Genetically, she is half her mother, half her father, and like the Marsh King’s daughter in the fairy tale, she struggles with her dual nature.
3. What do you want readers to get out of reading The Marsh King’s Daughter?
While The Marsh King’s Daughter is dark psychological suspense, it’s also a father-daughter story, and I’d love readers to reflect on their own parent-child relationships when they finish reading.
Helena loves her father unconditionally for her first twelve years, even though he is a very bad man who doesn’t deserve her love. As an adult, when her father escapes from prison and she is forced to use the hunting and tracking skills he taught her as a child against him, she’s still torn. She knows he belongs in prison for the things he’s done; yet in remembering what she considers to have been a happy childhood, she still has feelings for him.
So, while the novel can be read as a straight-up thriller, Helena’s relationship with her father is very complicated, allowing lots of room for reflection after the book is done.
4. Where is your favorite place to write?
I have a beautiful, secluded writing room in an outbuilding on the back of our property where I do most of my writing. That said, some of my most best ideas have come to me while sitting on a log in a forest. There’s something about being in the natural world that is very inspiring!
5. What was your favorite book when you were a kid? Do you have a favorite book now?
My reading has always been very eclectic. I loved The Boxcar children when I was growing up, though I read anything and everything I could get my hands on, including books from my parents’ bookshelves which were definitely not suitable for a child, such as James Michener’s epic Hawaii.
As for what I like to read now, I enjoy any well-written story that takes me to another world. Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Paulette Giles’ News Of The World are recent standouts.
6. What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
David Morrell, author of First Blood and creator of the character “Rambo,” once told me: “Make it real.” I think this is the key to writing good fiction. Many readers have said that as they were reading The Marsh King’s Daughter, they thought the book was a memoir, and actually had to go back and check to see if the story was true, or if it was fiction. I take that as the highest compliment!
7. What do you think makes a good novel?
Good fiction happens when great characters and storytelling evoke in the reader an emotional response. The reader has to feel what the characters are experiencing in order to get swept up in the story. In my opinion, the best novels are the ones that make you care as much about what happens to the characters as if they were family members, or dear friends.
8. What would you do if you ever stopped writing?
I’d travel the world exploring the various natural environments: the mountains, the deserts, the oceans – the more remote, the better!
9. Congrats on your book The Marsh King’s Daughter being made into a feature film, what are your thoughts about Oscar winner Alicia Vikander as the lead character?
I’m thrilled that Alicia Vikander is going to star as Helena in The Marsh King’s Daughter movie and think she will be fantastic in that role. She’s so incredibly talented, as is everyone associated with this project. I can’t wait to see how she brings Helena to life on the screen.
10. Would you like to make a cameo in the film?
I know a lot of writers have made very brief appearances in their films, but I’m definitely more comfortable behind a camera than in front of one. For me, visiting the set while the movie is filming would be a highlight.
11. What scene from the novel are you looking forward to seeing on the big screen?
While I definitely have my favorite scenes in the book, I’m trying not to think too much about seeing them on the screen, because I know the movie won’t be a recreation of my novel, but rather will be based on the book. No doubt there will be many scenes that won’t make it into the movie for various reasons, so I’ll just have to wait and see!
12. Have you ever considered writing a novella or even writing a screenplay?
I was happy to hand off the screen adaptation of my novel to the people who know what they’re doing because I’m a novelist through and through. I love the way the novel’s long form allows room for extensive character development, as well as getting inside the characters’ heads to really dig deep into what they’re thinking and feeling.
13. Last question, which novel/novella/short story have you read that you would like to see a film adaptation (besides yours, of course)?
I recently read The Hunger, by Alma Katsu, a reimagining of the Donner party tragedy with a supernatural twist, which was FANTASTIC. I’d love to see this tense and gripping story on the big screen!
All the best to Ms. Karen Dionne for The Marsh King's Daughter and the movie adaptation of the novel as well. All of you should definitely give this book a try. I also like to take this moment to thank Ms. Karen Dionne for stopping by to answer my questions. I really hope you all got an insight of her and her novel as well. Take care and I hope you are having a great day so far. Thanks again and stay blessed.
The star and creator of Insecure, Issa Rae, will be in the coming-of-age movie The Hate U Give. A film directed by George Tillman Jr.(Soul Food,Barbershop series, Men of Honor and The Longest Ride). Audrey Wells is writing the screenplay. Other cast members are Regina Hall, Algee Smith, Lamar Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Common, Sabina Carpenter, Kian Lawley, and Dominique Fishback.
Issa Rae is playing a character name April Ofrah, an activist that helps Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) find her voice and speak up.
Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games and Everything, Everything) will play the lead character Starr Carter. She plays a sixteen years old girl that grew up in a poverty-stricken area, but now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she's torn between two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth.
Fox 2000 won the film rights to the New York Times Young Adult best-selling novel. The novel is written by Ms. Angie Thomas and published by Harper-Collins. The novel has spent 22 weeks on the New York Times YA best-selling list.
I'm happy to welcome my first author interview of the new year, Ms. Pamela Samuels Young, the award-winning author of Abuse of Discretion. Her previous thriller Anybody's Daughter won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding fiction. The excerpt of her latest novel, Abuse of Discretion, can be read by clicking the link: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/books/book-aod/index.html So, take this time and get to know the wonderful writer and her current novel.
1. Tell us a bit about Abuse of Discretion and the inspiration behind it.
I was talking to a law school classmate who was lamenting the fact that he had yet another teenage client facing life-altering consequences as a result of sexting. He’s a criminal defense attorney and he explained to me that children as young as 13 and 14 were being prosecuted for distributing child pornography after taking naked selfies and sending them to a classmates. I was floored when he told me that these children faced the possibility of having to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives if convicted. I immediately knew this was a topic I wanted to address in a legal thriller and Abuse of Discretion was the result.
In the book, Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen year old. The naked picture that police find on his cell phone leads to his arrest and a journey into the criminal justice system that could change his life forever.
2. As a young person, who did you look up to most?
I don’t think it was any one person. I looked up to my parents and teachers. I can also still remember reading The Blues Eyeand I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. They were among the first books I read that had African-American characters. So I’d have to say Maya Angelou as well.
3. What were your hobbies as a kid? What are your hobbies now?
I was an avid reader as a kid and I continue to love books. Nowadays I mostly “read” audio books. It allows me to enjoy a book while I’m driving and working out. That continues to be my number one hobby.
4. Where do you write your books?
I have a pretty cool home office with bright yellows walls, inspirational words and a huge MAC screen. Outside my home, my favorite spot is at Panera Bread. I burrow into a corner and can write for hours.
5. What is the best advice you have ever received about writing?
If you want to be a writer, then write.
6. What do you do when you get writer’s block?
I turn to research or I read like a writer, meaning that while I’m reading, I examine the writing, the story structure and focus on things I like and dislike about the book.
7. What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?
That I love crocheting. I picked it up less than a year ago. It calms me down. So far, the only thing I know how to make is a scarf. LOL!
8. Silly-Game question: From Abuse of Discretion (with your eyes close) could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
Page 107: Snatching a child is one thing, but kidnapping an adult—a lawyer no less—could present a whole host of problems.
9. What do you hope readers will take away from Abuse of Discretion?
My primary goal in writing Abuse of Discretion was to educate parents and grandparents about the teen sexting epidemic and the very serious consequences our children face. Based on the book’s early reviews, I’ve achieved that goal. What I really want is for parents to sit down and talk to their teens about sexting. Education and frank conversation are key to saving our children from devastating legal consequences.
10. In promoting your book Buying Time at The Mo’Nique Show (www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/show/index.html), how was your experience at the show overall? Did you talk to Chili from TLC after the show?
The experience was amazing. I was nervous and worried that I would freeze up once the cameras were rolling. But Mo’Nique immediately put me at ease and it all went by in a flash. And nope, I didn’t get a chance to talk to Chili after the show. The audience was mobbing her.
11. Congratulation for your book Anybody’s Daughter NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Literary Work), what did you do to celebrate? Where did you currently put your trophy?
My trophy is in my office, inches away from where I write. I enjoyed a great dinner with one of my best girlfriends.
12. Your novels will make excellent movies on the big screen (and on television); have you contact anyone in the industry to option any of your stories?
I’ve been approached a few times, but nothing has materialized so far. I’m hopeful that once my books are better known, I’ll be able to sell TV and movie rights.
13. You stated in your website that Tyler Perry’s 2010 NAACP Image Awards quote inspired you to self-publish your book; is there any other quote that has inspired you in general that you would like to share?
My favorite quote is “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” That says it all.
14. If Mr. Tyler Perry was interested in making one of your novels into a movie, which novel would you give him to do first?
Anybody’s Daughter for sure. I really want to shine a light on child sex trafficking. It’s going on all around us but most people don’t realize that.
15. Do you have any pet? If so, which type?
Sorry, no pets.
16. Last question, if you were forced to listening to one song, nonstop, for a whole day in your writing room, which song would you choose?
Queen Latifah’s version of California Dreamin’.
All the best to Ms. Pamela Samuels Young and all her writing endeavors for this new year. I hope you guys put this novel on your to-read pile this year. I really hope her works get noticed and perhaps adapted on the movie screen or television. Thanks once again for visiting my blog to read this interview. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day.
Come discover the mystery that is Louis Drax. Read the excerpt of The Ninth Life of Louis Drax here: www.lizjensen.com/the-ninth-life-of-louis-drax/#top
1. How did the idea come?
I’d just finished a novel set in London during the Blitz. War Crimes for the Home was about memory and false memory, and the human capacity for denial. I thought, now it’s time for something totally different. There were two sources of inspiration: First, my kids. My two sons were twelve and seven. They were funny and eccentric and just wildly cool. I especially loved the way they talked. I wanted to mimic it. In fact I sort of wanted to be them. So I came up with a kid who was like their invisible middle brother, and I inhabited his mind for a while.The second source of inspiration was also a brother who wasn’t there. It’s a very sad story. Like the very worst stories, It’s a true one.
When my mother was ten years old, on holiday with her widowed mother and siblings in the Swiss Alps, her 19-year-old brother went missing. He’d had an argument with his mother, walked out of the hotel where they were staying, and never come back. They searched for four days. Then the weather broke. But my grandmother insisted on going out to look for him anyway, in the storm. She was found dead the next morning at the bottom of a cliff. My uncle’s body—if there was one—was never found. He was never seen or heard from again.
From the moment I heard it, the story haunted me, just as it haunted my mother: in some ways she never recovered from the trauma of losing two family members in the space of four days, with no explanation. You don’t have to be a psychologist to work out that the story of Louis Drax has parallels with what happened to my mother’s family in Switzerland: a cliff-side, an argument, a body, a double mystery. But the strange thing is, I didn’t realize it while I was writing the book. It only dawned on me—with a colossal duh!—after I’d finished the last page.
2. Did you know the ending?
When I start a book, I never know all of it. I might know the opening, or the ending, or an element of the central section. With Louis Drax, the ending came to me pretty much the way it comes to you when you read the book: as a revelation that should have been obvious form the start, but wasn’t. How could I not have realized what was going on?
3. Were there alternate endings you considered for The Ninth Life of Louis Drax?
All readers come up with their own alternative endings. And they are all true. The writer doesn’t really write the last page of a story. That’s the reader’s privilege.
4. From your stories you’ve written so far, if any of your characters could come alive and have a dinner chat with you, who would it be and why?
I’d like dinner with the anthropologist Hesketh Lock, the hero of my latest novel, The Uninvited. He’s incredibly good-looking, socially awkward, and a walking encyclopedia. He makes beautiful origami and he’s a talented linguist and he drives people crazy on many levels.
5. Did you have any section in The Ninth Life of Louis Drax that gave you difficulty?
Dr. Pascal Dannachet had me stumped on a few occasions. He’s a complex character, full of doubts and urges and contradictions, and it all kinds of in denial. I was a walking cocktail of emotions on his behalf while I was writing his character. I’m a feminist and I love men. Feminists with sons know how deep the protective urge goes. How it alters the way you perceive your own sex, how empathetic it makes you towards boys and men. There’s nothing like walking a mile in another’s shoes.
6. A huge congratulation for the movie adaptation of The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, what scene are you most excited for your readers to see?
I have seen the movie twice. All I’ll say is that it made me cry, and everyone will have their own favorite scene, and that’s the way it should be.
7. What was your reaction when you first watched the movie trailer of The Ninth Life of Louise Drax?
There are these two cool and very funny guys on YouTube, reacting to it. I like their take on it, which pretty much mirrored mine, though I don’t use the f word so much. I was more like the girl sitting next to them on the sofa with a bandana over her mouth and the eyes look like they’ll pop.
(you can check out the YouTube clip if you want: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9-87zir78k)
8. What book are you currently reading in your free time?
Just one? On my bedside table I have: Joe Hill’s The Fireman, Polly Coles’ The Politics of Washing: Real Life in Venice, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer, T.A. Morton’s Halfway Up A Hill, Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell, Matthew Quick’s Every Exquisite Thing, Jenny Erpenbeck’s Visitation, Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent, Amanda Craig’s Hearts and Minds, and Emma Cline’s The Girls. I can highly recommend all of them.
9. Do you have any suggestions to help one become a better writer?
10. Last question, if you have the power to bring back an author from the dead, for one day, to meet with, who would that be?
Kurt Vonnegut. I’d like his take on today’s world. Might he agree that it’s a dystopia? And that in every dystopia, there’s a utopia in embryo?
Many thanks to Ms. Liz Jensen for giving up her downtime to answer my questions. As you guys can read it was truly insightful and informative. If you want to read more novels from this author go ahead and visit her website: www.lizjensen.com/
Don't forget to mark your calendar for the movie release of The Ninth Life of Louis Drax. It comes out on Sept. 2 in United States, Canada, UK, and Ireland. As always take care and have a blessed week:)
Well Summer is here!! so here are movies available that are based on books.
The Great Gatsby- follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without of the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles
The Reluctant Fundamentalist (out, but limited release) — This story of a Pakistani Wall Streeter is based on the novel by Mohsin Hamid. The film stars Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Hudson, and Liev Shrieber.
Much Ado About Nothing (June 7) — I hesitate to include this — it’s a black-and-white modern-day adaptation of the Shakespeare play helmed by Joss Whedon, of The Avengers fame. Huh?
Tiger Eyes (June 7) —Lawrence Blume adapted his mother Judy’s 1981 novel about a teen coping with her father’s death in a car accident.
World War Z (June 21) — Perhaps, other than Gatsby, the most-anticipated bookish film of the summer. Brad Pitt stars in this $170 million zombie thriller, based on the super-popular novel by Max Brooks.
Copperhead (June 28) — For you Civil War buffs, this story of how the war destroyed a family is based on the novel by the late 19th century novelist Harold Frederic (also penned The Damnation of Theron Ware)). The movie is directed by the same director, Ronald Maxwell, who brought Jeff Shaara’s novel Gods and Generals to the screen.
R.I.P.D. (July 19) — Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges star in this film based on the graphic novel by Peter Lenkov. Entertainment Weekly describes the plot as like a “lost dream sequence from the stoner classic The Big Lebowski.”
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Aug. 7) — The second movie based on Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” young adult fantasy novels, the movie stars Logan Lerman as Percy. Stanley Tucci also makes an appearance as Dionysus.
Austenland (Aug. 16) — About a group of women at a Jane Austen fan camp, the movie, based on the novel by Shannon Hale, stars Keri Russell. Stephenie Meyer, oddly enough, is a producer on the film. What?
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Aug 23.) —Movies based on young adult fantasy series are certainly hot this year (Remember, Catching Fire is out Nov. 22). This movie is based on the first book of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. Protagonist Clary Fray is played by British actress Lily Collins
So check them out (especially Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters!!!!!!) before or after you read the book. You guys have fun reading and watching the movie. Don't forget to check out my novels as well, read the excerpts first and tell others that might like my stories as well. Remember to spend your summer wisely as well as blissfully.
Tweet or Like any post you read on this blog. Thank You:)