Jen: Today we welcome Marissa Dobson to Romancing the Book. Marissa, will you please share a short bio with us?
Marissa: Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, I now reside about an hour from Washington, D.C. I am a lady who likes to keep busy, and am always busy doing something. With two different college degrees, I believe you are never done learning.
Being the first daughter to an avid reader, this gave me the advantage of learning to read at a young age. Since learning to read I have always had my nose in a book. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I started writing down the stories I came up with.
I am blessed with a wonderful supportive husband, Thomas. He is my other half and allows me to stay home and pursue my writing. My writing buddies Max (a cocker spaniel) and Dawne (a beagle mix) are always around to listen to me bounce ideas off them. They might not be able to answer, but they are helpful in their own ways.
Jen: Tell us about Secret Valentine.
Marissa: Be Mine, Valentine is a Valentine anthology with twelve Turquoise Morning Press authors. My story is Secret Valentine. Here’s the blurb…
Ashlyn Brooks moved back to her hometown of Cedar Grove after a messy divorce. After a month of moping around the house, things take a turn when letters from a secret valentine start arriving at her door.
Can Ashlyn figure out who her secret love is in time for Valentine’s Day? If she does, is she willing to put her heart on the line and love again?
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Marissa: I started writing stories in middle school, and I have been doing it ever since. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I was willing to put myself out there and try to get published.
My first story, The Twelve Seductive Days of Christmas, was published in November 2010, in the Believe Christmas anthology with Turquoise Morning Press. I submitted The Twelve Seductive Days of Christmas to my publisher and the next day I receive an email saying it would be published. I was thrilled. I started screaming to my husband in another room “Guess what? I’m going to be published!” It was an amazing feeling.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Marissa: I come from a family of readers but surprisingly no one has put pen to paper besides me. Well I guess now-a-days it is fingers to keyboards.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Marissa: My writing routine, well I hear so many writers say they work with music on. I can’t do that. I need silence. I am not a morning person, so writing doesn’t start until around 10am when my brain is finally active. I try to stop writing when my husband gets home from work between 3 and 5 so we can spend some time together. I do some writings in the evenings if I am on a roll or really behind, but normally that time is saved for reading.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Marissa: The most challenging aspect for me is trying to get it all down. Sometimes my mind is thinking too fast and I need to stop and make notes of everything I want to put into that scene or chapter. I also have a hard time starting the book, between the first draft and the finished product the beginning always changes at least once.
The easiest would be when it comes to the characters. I have no problem coming up with them. I also love world building. I love to take a town and make it my own, put my own touches on it.
Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Marissa: Hearing from people they enjoyed my story. Also it is incredible to hold your book in your hand.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Marissa: So far I have two romance stories out but I am currently working on a paranormal romance. I would love to expand my writing into paranormal romance. I would also love to try suspense. One genre I don’t see myself writing is historical romance.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Marissa: I would have to say my husband is my biggest inspiration. He has always believed in me.
Jen: What did you do to celebrate the release of this book?
Marissa: That night a had a glass of wine but the next night my husband took me out to dinner to celebrate.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Marissa: Free time, what is that? If I am not writing, I am reading. No seriously I love to travel when we get time. I love being outside, so I try to take the dogs for a walk each night. I also love to cook so I am trying new recipes when I am not wrapped up in my current work in progress (WIP).
Jen: What’s next for you?
Marissa: I am currently working a sequel to the Secret Valentine story, which would be Kasey’s story (Ashlyn’s best friend). I am also trying to revise my paranormal romance novel to submit to my publisher.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Marissa: Site – http://www.marissadobson.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marissa-Dobson/175831712431627
Twitter – http://twitter.com/MDobson84
My Review site – http://www.sizzlinghotbooks.net/
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Marissa: Yes. What makes a good romance novel for you?
Jen: Are we holding a contest during your promo?
Marissa: To one lucky commenter I will give away a copy of Be Mine, Valentine anthology ebook. There are no restrictions. Tell me what makes a good romance novel for you, and you will be entered into the contest.
Jen: Readers, you heard Marissa. We’ll run the contest until Sunday, February 20th. And be sure to leave your email address in your comment to complete your entry.