Today I’m pleased to feature author and blogger Marcia Meara, who is a great supporter of Indie authors and has been kind enough to answer 20 of my questions:
Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Her belief in the redemptive power of love is a unifying factor in both of her popular series and her poetry. Today, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!
Marcia has a blog, The Write Stuff, and has published six novels, one novella, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:
1. Why did it take you so long (64 years!) to write a book?
It wasn’t my idea, believe me. I was in high school before my parents informed me that planning a career as a writer was not a practical idea. They didn’t much believe in college for girls, anyway, and insisted I get a business diploma in high school so I’d be able to support myself. I did end up spending a lot of time in front of a typewriter, though secretarial work wasn’t what I had in mind. Over the years, I did many other interesting things, including running an art gallery for Florida Audubon and teaching decorative painting, but I never got over my desire to write. Five years ago, it was suggested to me that if writing was what I’d always wanted to do, I needed to stop whining about it, go home, and write. I did. Nine months later, I self-published my first book as a bucket list thing, but it did so well, I wrote another. And another. Now, I refuse to quit!
2. Do you think writers should wait until they’re in their sixties before they start writing, after they have experienced many life issues, have travelled, and are generally a little bit wiser than they were when younger?
Not at all. I think each potential writer has to decide that for themselves, and I don’t believe age should be a big factor. While I regret not having had decades to hone my craft, I probably wouldn’t have had the fortitude to stand up to very many rejection letters. Plus, I wouldn’t have had the option of self-publishing. So waiting turned out to be a good idea for me. But we now live in a time where authors can flourish on their own merit, if they are willing to work hard. No matter how young or old, if a would-be author has something to say and is willing to work hard, I say go for it.
3. Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Yes. I’m in the process of editing my second Emissary book, which is part of a series of spinoff novellas from my Riverbend books. The series involves angels, and has been the most fun to write of anything I’ve done to date. I hope to have this one available in the next two weeks or so, and then I’ll focus on my other (half finished) WIP, The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book
4. Some of your books include a paranormal element. Have you ever had any other-worldly experiences regarding ghosts or the spirit world?
Not a one. Ever. I’m open-minded about such things, and love reading about them, but so far, nothing has ever happened to me that I couldn’t explain.
5. Which social media site do you consider is the best for promoting your books?
I haven’t a clue, but I hope to learn more before WRR4 comes out. All I can tell you about social media is that I love blogging, and have a fairly active blog for writers I’d be lost without. I tweet, though not as much of my own stuff as I do for others, and I’m on Facebook, sort of. Doing better at social media marketing is one of my current goals
6. How do you engage with readers?
Online, mostly via my blog, Facebook, or networking with other writers. But I am a firm believer in building a local readership face to face, and that, I love! I do various PowerPoint presentations around central Florida two or three times a month. Sometimes they are related to writing or self-publishing, and sometimes they are about central Florida’s wildlife and habitats. (I have a lot of experience in this area, and am pretty familiar with our birds and animals.) Happily, these events are getting very popular, and I’m scheduled well into next year.
I set up a book table for sales and signing at each presentation, and sell quite a few books that way. But mostly it’s about making new friends and seeing old ones, hearing their thoughts on my work, and sharing some beautiful photos & information with them. And having a great time while we’re at it.
I also do two afternoon teas each year, which include a reading and a Q&A session. Both the food and the company are a great deal of fun. And last, I do Meet the Author boat rides with St. Johns River Eco Tours. That one’s super fun, and I get to do a reading aboard the riverboat Naiad, often surrounded by birds and alligators. All of these events have worked wonderfully for me, and I hope to keep doing them for a long time to come.
7. Where do you find inspiration for a new WIP?
I’m 74 years old. I’ve been a people-watcher all my life, and an ardent reader. My head is so full of stories, it’s a wonder they aren’t leaking out of my ears and making a mess everywhere I go. I will have to live to be at least 125 to get them all written down.
8. You have set up a blog ‘The Write Stuff’ https://marciamearawrites.com/ where authors can share their reviews, resources and ideas. Have you found it to be successful, or has interest waned over time?
Happily, the blog has grown steadily since I started it nearly three years ago. I’ve made wonderful contacts and friends there, and we share each other’s news, promos, excerpts, and releases regularly. That’s the part of social media I love the most.
9. Apart from writing, have you ever had a dream come true?
I’ve had plenty of wonderful things happen to me throughout my life, and enjoyed a variety of careers and hobbies to the max. I have two wonderful children and three equally wonderful grandchildren, and a husband of over thirty years that I’m thinking I’ll keep. But the only thing I’ve ever considered my dream is writing, and I’m so grateful it’s finally come true. There are plenty of things I’ve hoped for over the years—visiting Scotland comes to mind—the true dream was always to write.
10. What’s the most important thing we need to do while we’re alive on this earth?
A long time ago, The BeeGees had a hit record called To Love Somebody. Do that and do it well, and I think you’re good to go.
11. What’s the best job you’ve ever had?
The one I have now. Writing. It’s all I ever wanted to do and I plan to keep it up until I run out of words. (As if.)
12. Would you like to live forever?
Only if I could be a wee bit younger and stronger. (Why do our parts wear out before we’re done with them?)
13. Living so close to Disney World as you do, have you ever visited it or do you tell yourself you’ll go there some day?
Been to Disney World and all the other Worlds many times over the last 45 years or so, but not lately. I would still like to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, though.
14. Which two words would you choose to give life advice to a young person?
It’s pretty hard to restrict me to two words, but I’m still going with Love Somebody. After all, the redemptive power of love is the strongest force in the world.
15. Have you any regrets?
Yes (you didn’t want me to name them, did you?) 😊
16. What do you hate the most? What’s your pet peeve?
Well, I’m still plenty ticked off that Hurricane Irma dropped a tree the size of Milwaukee on our garage, smashing through to the floor, and causing $85,000 worth of damage. And that doesn’t include completely destroying my beautiful garden, a 14-year long labor of love. We were very lucky not to have been killed or seriously injured, so I’m trying get over it, but all other pet peeves pale in comparison.
17. Apart from loved ones, what is the most important possession of yours that you would save in a fire?
I’m lumping the animals in with family, and then after that, definitely my computer. And maybe my ancient copy of Rebecca signed by Daphne du Maurier.
18. What do you wish you could do that you currently cannot?
Paddle my canoe down the Wekiva River, one of my greatest pleasures in the world, but alas. My back no longer lets me do that. ☹
19. Is your glass half full or half empty?
Half full. I don’t spend too much time thinking about what I can’t do. I’d rather focus on the many things still left to enjoy, and there are plenty of those.
20. Where can readers find you online?
You can reach Marcia via email at email@example.com or on the following social media sites:
The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com
If you would like to answer 20 questions, please leave a comment or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org