Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Interview with Marianne de Pierres

To celebrate the imminent launch of Peacemaker, I have an interview with Marianne de Pierres! I have previously reviewed some of Marianne's YA books, Angel Arias and Shine Light and, of course, I posted my review of Peacemaker last month. Spoiler: I liked it. 

Peacemaker started out as a comic (and possibly also a short story). Why start in that format, and how did it end up as a novel?

Actually, it started out as a short story which I then began to turn into a novel. About 60 pages into the novel, I became obsessed with the idea of an online comic. I turned my energies in that direction and managed to find the right artist: Brigitte Sutherland. Then it was a steep learning curve for me on how to write comics. Unfortunately, issue 2 was never released because the artist was drawn away to other commitments and it’s languishing in my files as I write this. I cast around for a replacement artist for a while, but money became tight and so I had to shelve the whole project. A year or so later, I picked up the novel and fell in love with the world all over again. This time the novel took hold of me, and I finished the story.

Why and from where did the idea to make a cowboy/Western themed park in Perth come?

It’s interesting that you perceive that the park is set in Perth. I don’t think I ever really specify where it is in Australia. J As for the cowboy/Western theme … well that was an idea that struck me when I was re-reading the original short story. The SS was actually set in the outback, and I had this huge What if? moment. What if, instead of all that space and sparse population, Australia had become overcrowded, and there was a battle to preserve that last remaining outback? Hard to imagine, eh? That’s what made it so enticing. I talk a little more about that over at Fischblog.

I really liked how Virgin's friendship with Caro was more important to her than any romantic entanglements. Was that focus something you planned from the start, or did it evolve as the story progressed?

Virgin is the kind of character who only has a few significant people in her life. That’s the way she’s wired. She’s not a gregarious, extravert; relationships don’t come easily. When one works, e.g. Caro, it takes centre stage in her life. That doesn’t mean the focus won’t potentially change as the story evolves. But whatever happens, Caro will be an important part of it. In fact, there are some real struggles ahead for Caro.

It seemed like a pretty open ending to me; will there be more books in the series? More generally, what can we expect to see from you in the near future?

Yes, there is at least one more book to come. In book 2, the supernatural element develops as Virgin learns about the otherworld threatening her own. Here is sneak peek at some of the synopsis for book 2.

Synopsis excerpt:
Virgin’s in a tight spot. A murder rap hangs over her head and isn’t likely to go away unless she agrees to work for her mother and an organisation called GJIC (the Global Joint Intelligence Commission). Being blackmailed is one thing, discovering that her mother is both alive and the President of GJIC is quite another.
But in the end Ranger Jackson is a pragmatist who cherishes her freedom. She takes the deal.

Virgin continues in her ranger duties at Parks Southern while working undercover for GJIC, which means building a closer relationship with her designated partner, Nate Sixkiller. This  does not always go well! But the one thing they share is a love and respect for the land, and they find a united cause in protecting Virgin’s beloved park from the threat of the Mythos.

GJIC believe that the Mythos have infiltrated the highest levels of government, public service and religious institutions right through to the lowest levels of criminal and gang circles, in their push to subvert world mythology. Nate and Virgin are assigned the task of identifying key figures in each areas of society and find the links between them. Join the dots and see what shape it draws.

Thanks, Marianne, for taking the time to answer my questions.


You can find out more about Marianne on her website, Twitter or Facebook. She also writes crime and YA books, which you can find out more about at the corresponding links.

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