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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Author Interview & Contest with Marlene Perez!

Marlene Perez is a brilliant writer and I have thoroughly enjoyed her books about the paranormal troubles and tribulations in the town of Nightshade!

Now Marlene is revisiting Nightshade with a spin-off series. Still set in Nightshade and still paranormal the huge change is the POV. Jessica is the new leading lady and even though I will miss Daisy I can't wait to see what the author has in store for this town and the inhabitants.

Get to know the author and the books in this interview with Marlene. Then make sure you check out the books and enter the contest!


Amber - Welcome back to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here again as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your new book, Dead is a Battlefield?

Marlene - DEAD IS A BATTLEFIELD is the first book in the spin-off and is told by Jessica Walsh, Sean's sister, who readers met a bit in DEAD IS NOT AN OPTION. Jessica is a freshman at Nightshade High and has a power of her own. There's also a hot new guy who is a seer and makes predictions through song. I love my musical references and wanted to keep them, but didn't want to make a certain jukebox suffer any longer.

Amber - Does Daisy from the previous Dead books appear in this spin-off? How does this new book tie in with the other Dead books?

Marlene - Daisy and almost everyone else in Nightshade will show up in the spin-off books. Daisy's not the narrator, but she is around. She's Jessica's next door neighbor so it would be weird if Daisy DIDN'T appear. The first book in the spin-off takes place in the fall following DEAD IS NOT AN OPTION.

Amber - Why did you decide to write a spin-off instead of carrying on with Daisy's story?

Marlene - I know that some readers miss Daisy. I do, too! But I felt that high school graduation was a natural stopping place for her as a narrator, but I still wanted to spend time with everyone in Nightshade. There are a few series which take their main character to college, but I've heard it's tough to do and keep a strong readership.

Amber - How long on average does it take you to write a book? Do you have a process you follow? or do you just start at page one and see what happens?

Marlene - It takes about a year to write a book, but that's before the publishing process starts. By that I mean, editing, copy-editing, covers, etc. Every book is different, but I do re-read the other books in the series before I start on the next. I'm naturally a jump in and see what happens kind of writer, but for the series, I submit an outline. That doesn't necessarily mean I stick to it, but my editor has been great about that. When I have a little down time, I work on other projects.

Amber - Will there be more books in the series? Does the Dead series continue?

Marlene - DEAD IS A KILLER TUNE comes out in September. After that, I'm not sure if there will be more books or not. I hope my readers will grow to like Jessica Walsh as much as they do Daisy Giordano. And the DEAD IS boxed set, which will contain the first five books in the series, comes out in November.

Amber - Are you working on any other projects you would like to tell us about?

Marlene - I'm working on a new series idea, but nothing concrete to talk about yet. I've found that if I talk about my work in progress, my mouth tricks my brain into thinking all the work is done.

Amber - If the series was going to be made into a TV series or Film, who would you like to see playing the main characters?

Marlene - Danielle Campbell looks like Daisy to me. I always thought Lucy Hale would make a great Poppy. I have a binder with pictures torn from magazines for each character and I happened to see a photo of her before she did Pretty Little Liars. And I always pictured a younger Joseph Gordon Levitt as Ryan. The first three books in the series have been optioned by the Disney Channel and I'd love to see who they would cast.

Amber - How do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?

Marlene - I research the meanings of both first and last names. And they almost always have special meanings. For example, Daisy, Rose, and Poppy Giordano. Rose is the oldest, reliable, but beautiful. Poppy is kind of exotic and a little high maintenance. And Daisy is gorgeous, but doesn't realize it and thinks of herself as plain and ordinary.

Amber - And how about the titles for your books? Do you always go with the first title or is it hard to come up with the right one?

Marlene - I came up with the first three titles fairly easily because it was originally sold as a three book deal. But coming up with fresh "Dead Is" titles does become more challenging. I think I might be a little different from other writers because I need a good working title to really get started on the project. For me, the title represents the essence of the story. I've been lucky that I've managed to keep many of my original titles.

Amber - What paranormal creatures are you dying to fit into a story but you haven't managed to fit in yet?

Marlene - I have a great mythological creature I'm working on for a new series, but the beauty of Nightshade is that all sorts of creatures can show up. In the spin-off, Jessica's best friend Eva is a horror movie buff, so I'd love to play with some horror tropes/creatures.

Amber - What kind of research have you done for your books? Anything interesting or is the research boring?

Marlene - I research everything. Even high school class schedules, etc. I LOVE research, but I try to remember to move forward in the writing and not get hung up too long on research.

Amber - Who has been your biggest inspiration in life?

Marlene - My mother, who inspired my love of reading. I'm also inspired by the kindness and talent of my fellow writers. And honestly, a huge inspiration is hearing from readers who never liked to read before they found my DEAD IS series.

Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?

Marlene - Music is a huge influence on me. I have a deep abiding love for Leonard Cohen, Sinead O'Connor's new album is excellent, and my new favorite is The Head and the Heart. I'll admit it. I love good television/cable. I love SHAMELESS and I just started watching SMASH, which I think is excellent. And AWKWARD is my new favorite television show. I DVR everything and allow myself to watch something as a treat for finishing my word count for the day.

Amber - Read anything good lately? What authors/series are your favourites?

Marlene - I really like this fantasy trilogy called the Moorehawke trilogy by Celine Kierman. It was published as an adult novel, but it feels like ya to me. I'm reading the third book right now.

Amber - Would you ever be able to write a book together with another author? If yes, which author would you like to work with and why?

Marlene - I would love to write a book with another author, just to have the experience. I'm not sure who, though. The question is who would put up with me?

Amber - What's your favorite paranormal movie of all time?

Marlene - TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY, which stars Alan Rickman before he was Professor Snape. It's really a love story wrapped in a paranormal and it's funny and it makes me cry.

Amber - If you could be any famous person, alive or dead, who would you be? and why?

Marlene - I don't think I'd want to necessarily switch permanently, but I wouldn't mind swimming around in J.K. Rowling's mind for a bit, just to see what her thought process is like. Or Joss Whedon or Felicia Day. I love learning about other people's creative processes, but I wouldn't want to switch for long. Is it weird that I like being myself?

Amber - Thank you for visiting Amberkatze's! I hope you will come by again sometime!

DEAD IS Series :

#1 - Dead is the New Black
#2 - Dead is a State of Mind
#3 - Dead is so Last Year
#4 - Dead is Just a Rumor
#5 - Dead is not an Option

DEAD IS Spin-off Series :

#1 - Dead is a Battlefield
#2 - Dead is a Killer Tune (due out later this year)


Contest Time

Marlene has three signed copies of Dead is a Battlefield to give away! So three lucky winners will be picked next week!

How To Enter

Dead is a ..... (surprise and amaze us with your cool titles!)

No Answer = No Entry

'Please enter me' posts will NOT be counted as an entry

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

Advertise Amberkatze's Book Blog on your site and get an extra entry for this and every other contest!

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Have you 'Liked' Amberkatze's Book Blog on Facebook?

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

Keep the contests going by using the Bookdepository.com and Amazon.com links/Banners below and around the site.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

The contest will stay open until 4pm on Sunday 8th April (Central European Time) and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Aurian said...

Thanks for the interview ladies, that is very interesting.
Now to come up with a title!

Dead is a buzzkiller
Dead is not a dead end
Dead is just a possibility
Dead is a new beginning
Dead is a choice

Ironstrangeprompts said...

How about these:

Dead is wings burned in the ground.
Dead is so 2014.
Dead is so last year.
Dead is seeing everything.
Dead is like duct tape.
Dead is being snarky.
Dead is loving life.


Tore923 said...

Dead is the end of time.
Dead is the beginning of life.
Dead is the end of a physical presence. Tore923@aol.com

Cindy McCune said...

Dead is a MAZE...

Mary Preston said...

DEAD IS A carnival ride
DEAD IS A lame excuse
DEAD IS A poison
DEAD IS A mistake
DEAD IS A coincidence

books first love said...

Dead is a dead end.
Dead is a mystery only when you're alive.
Dead is ours only.
Dead is the thing you can not share.
Dead is loneliness.

The link: http://amberkatze.blogspot.com/2012/04/author-interview-contest-with-marlene.html



Dovile said...

Dead is a Trick
Dead Is a First Stop
Dead Is a Guy
Dead is a Surprise

uklauren said...

dead is forever yours
dead is a new beginning
dead is alive
dead is a myth
dead is so overated

Danetteb said...

I love Marlene's series, Daisy is a fun curious character:)

Dead is how to live
Dead is everywhere
Dead is at the door

Hugs, danette

Nickie said...

Dead is the new blonde.

sienny said...

nice titles :) and my brainstorm is :
dead is a bag of tricks


Unknown said...

Dead is รก la mode.
Dead is not the end.
Dead is just the beginning.
Dead is the new LBD.

Thank you! :-)

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

NHDrummer2017 said...

I love the series. Keep them coming!!

Contest entry-

Dead Is Like Love at First Sight
Dead Is Not Worth My Time
Dead Is the New Fad
Dead Is Just a Trick
Dead Is a Touchy Subject


Unknown said...

I love this series! keep the dead!

Dead is the future
dead is my heart
dead is forever