Friday, May 4, 2012

TBR welcomes Marta Szemik

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Marta. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Marta: Thank you for having me here. Two Halves is my debut YA urban fantasy novel and I’m so proud of it. It’s been part of me for over three years now and I’m glad I get to share it with the world.
I have two wonderful kids and a hubby who supports my writing. I enjoy using my family’s attributes when I create my characters. Besides writing, skiing and the outdoors are my two other passions. My favorite pasttime is sitting on the front porch with a cup of coffee. Powerful writing with colorful characters that make you cry, laugh and wish they were real intrigue me. I have a sarcastic sense of humor, can make a joke out of almost anything, but could never do stand-up comedy.

TBR: Tell us about Two Halves and where it's available.
Marta: Two Halves is a YA urban fantasy available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Blurb: Twenty-one-year-old Sarah is a child of a human mother and a vampire father and has suppressed her dark side with serums. The only memory of her mother is when Sarah killed her, soon after birth. Of her father, nothing—just a hatred for his vampire traits that made her kill her own mother.
When a disturbing nightmare foretelling her bleak future stirs the superhuman traits, underworld creatures are beaconed. On the run with William, a man she knows from her dreams, Sarah tries to learn what’s been hidden from her, for a good reason. Had she known her destiny, she may have continued with the serums that kept her hidden. 

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Marta: In March 2009 I just moved to a new city due to hubby's work. It was our first week at the new house and he rented Twilight the movie. I said "What's that?" (Yes, I lived under a rock.) He said "You like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I read there are vampires in this one so I thought you'd like it."

Then, he poured me a glass of wine and went to put the kids to bed. I watched the movie by myself, loved it, saw that it was based on a book and ran to the computer to find out more. That's when I found Stephenie Meyer's website. I read her biography and how she got to write her novels. I could see myself right there in her shoes *sighs with daydreaming eyes*. I decided I would write a novel too.

The funny part is, just like Ms. Meyer, I had a dream. The first paragraph of Chapter 1 of Two Halves was that dream. I didn't see the characters, but I saw myself as a half breed vampire, who couldn't scar, yet she foresaw it happening. (Yes, Twilight had a huge impact on the dream) I went with that idea for the book.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Marta:  Definitely a panster. For most of my work I have the general concept and idea. I sit down and play it out in my head asking myself “What would happen next?” If I know the scene ahead of time, it’s easier to write, so I guess there’s a little bit of plotting, but it rarely happens. For Two Halves the original ending was at chapter 24. My wise editor advised me it didn’t satisfy the reader. She was right and I spent the next three days writing two additional chapters. I knew exactly what the ending should be at that point.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Marta: “Never say never” - It’s a quote I’ve used for years, used it extensively in Two Halves and believe me, I had it way before Justin Bieber.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Marta: How difficult it is to keep track of everything in the book. From back stories to character descriptions, their clothing, what they carry in their pockets and making sure all the rules you create for your world (especially when magic is involved) are followed. I know as the author you’re supposed to know everything about them, but when you write 110000 words for your first draft, things tend to slip through.  At one point I had Sarah leave the house in her jeans and end up in shorts. That’s why editing is so important and takes a long time.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Marta: The world has three main species: humans, vampires and warlocks. Some warlocks turned into demons and want to get rid of all others. That’s where the main characters come into play. They’re destined to stop the extinction.

TBR: What's next for you?
Marta: I am currently editing a new novel I expect to be available this June and I’m working on two more titles that will hopefully be finished and available this year. I can’t seem to stop writing, which I guess is a good thing for a writer. I hope I’ll be able to write for a long time.

TBR: Any other published works?
Marta: “Marked: A Two Halves Novella” which is also available on Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. The Novella explains where some of the supporting characters came from and why their role was important in the novel. Although it’s a prequel to
Two Halves, it’s meant to be read after the novel.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Marta: Most challenging is the editing. It’s more difficult than writing and drains all my energy.
Most rewarding is receiving emails from readers telling me how much they enjoyed the book. It’s like being on a constant high of happiness. I’m sure I have more wrinkles on my face because of smiling.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Twitter: @martaszemik
TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, Marta. Best of luck to you!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome Marta! Your book covers are so striking.


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