Today we have Marin McGinnis on the blog with us. I’m a day late with this and I apologize profusely, but I had a family emergency yesterday. On to the questions!
Tell us a little about yourself, perhaps something people might not know.
I live in the town I grew up in, although I did take a few detours along the way. To this day, many of my friends from high school call me Marv. We had a frequent substitute teacher who could never figure out how to pronounce my first name—she insisted on calling me Marvin, no matter how often I corrected her.
Are you working on another book?
I am working on two others at the moment. They are set in England in the 1850s, both romances, but they explore my interest in mystery and suspense. Following that, I have a cozy mystery series trundling around my brain that I can’t wait to get to.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Who hasn’t? :) I have three—a mystery I started about 30 years ago was atrocious, a romance that I learned to write with, and the third is a romance I will finish one day, but I lost confidence in it when an agent blithely told me it’d never sell. The mystery will remain firmly under the bed, but the other two may see the light of day at some point—after massive rewrites.
What is your writing style? Pantser or Plotter? Pen and paper or computer? Do you write Alone or in public? Music or silence? Goals of certain # of words a week or when inspiration strikes
I am a curious hybrid of plotter and pantser (I like to call it Plantser), and the formula for which side is stronger is different for each book. I write on my laptop (and occasionally on my iPad), and I do my best writing when I’m in public, at a coffee shop or waiting for my kid at hockey practice. I’m experimenting with writing to music, but unless I’m in the right mood I find it distracting. I did NaNoWriMo this year, and the only day I didn’t write was Election Day. I am trying to keep up the habit of writing every day, even if it’s just a few words.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They are purely imaginary, but I can’t help but think of people I know and experiences I’ve had as I write, so I imagine a tiny bit of real people sneaks its way into my characters. I think I’ll probably work that substitute teacher into a book one day, though. ;)
Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? If so, why? If not, what would make you successful?
If the goal is to write and publish a book, sure, I’m successful several times over. If it’s to make enough money writing to give up the day job, then no, not even close. Some days I feel more successful than others, and it’s not necessarily that my situation changes—it’s usually how I feel about what I’m doing, whether it be plotting, writing, editing, or marketing. My son told me today that he didn’t think he did well on a test in school. When I asked why, he said he just didn’t feel confident while he was taking it. Attitude, as they say, is everything, and when I feel successful, I usually am. I just don’t always feel that way. :)
After four unsuccessful London seasons, Lady Julia Tenwick despairs of ever making a love match. With spinsterhood looming on the horizon, she and a friend set sail for America on one last adventure. When her travels take her to northern Maine, Julia meets a reclusive but handsome artist, whose rudeness masks a broken heart Julia feels compelled to mend.
Still haunted by the betrayal and death of his pregnant wife two years before, Geoffrey Jordan is determined never to risk his heart again. Certainly not with the gorgeous and impetuous aristocrat who intrudes upon his small-town solitude, and is far too similar to his late wife to tempt him to take another chance on love.
But when Julia and Geoffrey find themselves united in a reckless plan to save Julia’s friend from ruin, they discover that temptation is impossible to resist.
Cranberry Cove reminded Julia of home, her family’s estate in Durham, where ton rules were abandoned in favor of lazy days riding, reading, caring for her pets, or playing the piano. It occurred to her that she had not played in weeks. Her fingers itched to touch a keyboard, and she flexed her hands inside her calfskin gloves. She vowed to play soon. She thought she had seen a harpsichord in the drawing room of Maria’s enormous house.
Reaching the end of the little lane on which Maria lived, she took a right onto Main Street. It consisted of several houses similar to the one in which she was staying, so she turned left onto Maple Street, which was much more interesting. There was a green grocer, a bookseller, a milliner, a tailor, a blacksmith—everything one could want in a village. The streets were clean—much cleaner than London—and the air was crisp and fresh, even if it smelled ever so slightly of fish.
Julia was staring into the newspaper office—a badly written but oddly gripping tale about missing lobster traps was plastered to the window—when she was nearly knocked off her feet.
“Oh, I beg your pardon!” She managed to right herself, wondering why she should be the one to apologize. She looked up into the hooded eyes of Geoffrey Jordan, who held a book in one hand. “Mr. Jordan!”
“Lady Julia.” He reached out to steady her, the touch of his hand on her arm causing a charge to shoot up her spine. “Please forgive me. Are you hurt?”
“Are you in the habit of running over tourists on your streets?” She freed her arm, flustered by her own reaction, and busied herself with adjusting her hat. When she regarded Mr. Jordan again, he was smirking.
“No, just the ones who stop in the middle of the street,” he said.
Julia opened her mouth to retort, but he held up a finger to silence her. “Nevertheless, I am sorry. I wasn’t paying attention. And the scintillating prose of our local newspaper could halt anyone in her tracks.”
She laughed. “It is not The Times, to be sure.”
His lips quirked up at the tips in something approaching a smile. Julia thought she hadn’t seen him do that before and found it oddly entrancing. “Where are you headed, Lady Julia?”
She forced herself to look away from his lips. “Um. Nowhere in particular. I was in need of a walk after luncheon, so I thought I would explore a bit.”
“The Universalist church, just around the corner, is particularly beautiful, and you will need to sample lobster from the establishment run by the Maclays, on the pier. It will melt in your mouth.”
The way he looked at her as he made the remark made her own mouth dry. Her cheeks burned.
“Um. Yes. That sounds lovely.” She gazed down at her feet until she collected herself. Raising her head, she found herself caught in his sights. She swallowed nervously. “Well, if you’ll excuse me, Mr. Jordan, I really must get back. Constance will be wondering where I’ve got to.” She brushed past him, her shoulder tingling at the contact with his arm.
“Lady Julia?” His tone was vaguely amused.
She stopped and turned to face him. “Yes, Mr. Jordan?”
His thin lips turned up at the corners again, and he pointed behind him. “I believe your house is that way.”
“Oh. Yes. Of course.” She willed herself not to stumble as she passed him, at least not until she’d cleared the corner.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarinMcGinnis (@MarinMcGinnis)
A northeast Ohio native, Marin McGinnis has been a voracious reader ever since she could make sense of words on the page. She’s dabbled with writing for a long time, but didn’t start writing in earnest until she discovered historical romance about a decade ago. Marin has three historical romance titles published with The Wild Rose Press, and is a member of RWA and its Northeast Ohio, Hearts Through History, and Kiss of Death chapters. She will serve as President of the Northeast Ohio RWA chapter in 2017. Marin lives in a drafty 100 year old house with her husband, son, and two standard poodles named Larry and Sneaky Pete.