Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 9th 2014 Contents 4|
| PROFILES |
"IS DRU BENSON really crazy, or is there more to his violent
dreams than he realises? Dru has almost always lived behind
the sterile, heavily guarded walls of Mothron, a Seattle institution
that sells itself as a home for troubled young people who are a
menace to society. But when a strange woman appears outside
his window with a scar on her arm and a story that's hard to be-
lieve, Dru starts to wonder if he's a patient or a prisoner." This is
Marsha Patrice's, The WarPlan, a dark, twisted and thrilling tale,
the high-adrenaline first book of her self-published, The Time
Born in the misty hills and valleys of Santa Cruz, she spent her
formative years in Champs Fleurs, before emigrating to Canada
and attending the University of Toronto.
Marsha Patrice started writing at a very young age, encouraged
by her mother, Cherryl, who she describes as an "artsy type".
Over time, her short stories turned into longer ones and she
wrote several fiction books that were never published. Nowa-
days, the former marketing and communications consultant, has
metamorphosed into a successful novelist who has penned
seven books to date.
WOW - How did you develop your writing skills?
I have an Honours B.A. degree in professional writing and com-
munications. However, my comfort zone is in narrative writing
WOW - Why did you choose the genre of urban fantasy
I never actively made the decision to choose urban fantasy
thrillers. I found out that my books seemed to be in the fantasy
thriller genre after my editor made that comment. In a round-
about way, this pleases me greatly, because I just write the story
that comes naturally to me without the preconceived notion
that, "Ok, I'm writing a fantasy thriller".
WOW - Take us through your writing ritual.
I have a first-step 'secret' ritual that starts with a blank sheet of
paper on which I write my ideas. For fun, I prefer to keep the how,
when and where details to myself. But one detail I can give is
that I write the end of the book before I begin. I see what hap-
pens to the main character in the end, then I build the intro and
plot from this detail.
WOW - How do you research before writing a new novel?
I've never done research before writing a book. The research
kicks in as the plot and story develop, and if I get excited by
adding detail to which I have no real knowledge, then I dig into
WOW - Take us through the publishing side of the process.
I have self-published The Time Clock series. So that means that
I have assigned myself the responsibility of getting all my ISBNS,
formatting the book correctly for print and web, and submitting
to the outlets that I choose to use for sales.
WOW -- Are you affected by, and what is your remedy for
Absolutely! For a long time I was my worst critic. The mistake I
made with all of my books was that before completing the novel,
I'd go back and read previous chapters, and let me tell you, I found
a fault with every single paragraph, sentence and word. When
that fear-energy builds up, you get writer's block and that horrible
bug can last for hours, days or even months.
WOW - What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
I remember reading a book by one of my favourite authors,
Napoleon Hill; he quoted Emerson, saying, "Do the thing, and you
shall have the power". Each time I sat down to write, this short,
succinct phrase came to mind, and without it, The Time Clock
would not have been completed and published. There's no better
advice that I can possibly give to aspiring writers.
WOW - Many writers in this country may be afraid to leave
their day jobs to pursue writing as a fulltime career because
the avenues for viable sustainability seem to be limited. What
would be your approach to this dilemma?
The innate human fear of the unknown and unpredictable is very
normal. People are afraid to go from one company to another due
to the fear of the unknown. Being in your comfort zone is a pleas-
ing thing. But no one has ever stuck out their neck and delved
into what they really wanted to do by remaining in their comfort
zone. Opportunities are endless once you start looking for them
and drawing in that energy. You'll soon connect with a master-
mind alliance of people who will help you reach your goals, but
the success of writing as a career really depends on the time and
energy you put into developing it, like everything else.
War Plan - Part 1 in The Time Clock series is available on Ama-
zon. Part 2 of The Time Clock launches in March/April of 2015.
By Onika Nkrumah-Lakhan
I have a first-step
'secret' ritual that starts
with a blank sheet of
paper on which I write
my ideas. For fun, I
prefer to keep the how,
when and where
details to myself. But
one detail I can give is
that I write the end of
the book before I begin.
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