Interview: Marlon Pierre-Antoine

Jen: Today we welcome YA author, Marlon Pierre-Antoine to Romancing the Book.  Marlon, will you please share a short bio with us?

Marlon: I spent the first seventeen years of my life in Daytona Beach, where much of Wandering Stars is set. I moved to Iowa just before my eighteenth birthday to be with my now-fiancée, which if I went into too much more detail about would constitute a book in itself. A lot has happened since then, some of which have inspired me to begin this series.

Jen: Tell us about Wandering Stars and where it can be purchased.

Marlon: Wandering Stars is about a girl who falls for the “bad boy.” Actually, he’s the ultimate bad boy – he’s Lucifer. The Devil is a figure known throughout the world as this ultimate archetype of evil, and you do see that side of him in Wandering Stars, but I wanted to uncover a different part of him as well, something that perhaps even he didn’t know existed.

Alice is a young woman standing on the springboard that leads to her future, Lucifer has his apocalyptic plans, but love calls all of that into question. Suddenly they’re in a situation where every truth in their lives is thrown up in the air, and they have to find their new truths together.

The ebook version is $5.99 for Nook, Kindle, on Smashwords and World Castle Publishing’s web store. Right now you can get it for $4.79 on All Romance Ebooks. There’s also a paperback version available on Amazon or from the publisher’s website.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Marlon: I discovered writing in my freshman year of high school. It was a way to entertain people, but it was also a way to create something lasting, an extension of myself that actually went beyond me and took on a life of its own. The feeling was exhilarating and I ran with it. Most if not all of my earlier writings aren’t fit to see the light of day, of course, but the character of Alice Valdez in Wandering Stars actually emerged in 2004 as Alice Daysia, then Alice Moreaux. She was different back then, of course, but I think it’s rather interesting to note that I have this character who has basically just grown up with me for the last seven years of my life until she was ready to delve into her true story.

My first publication credit was a piece of horror flash fiction on MicroHorror, entitled The End (Link here: http://www.microhorror.com/microhorror/author/marlon-pierre-antoine/the-end-3/.) It’s rather grim!

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?

Marlon: I’m afraid not.

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Marlon: I prefer to write my first drafts on paper. There are fewer distractions and it allows me to immerse myself in the story in a way that a computer’s word processor can’t.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?

Marlon: I’ll provide two answers and allow the reader to choose which one is real. One, I keep scrap paper and a pen in my pocket at (almost) all times. Two, the Devil reminds me of them whenever he comes over to hang out.

Jen: What is it about the YA genre that appeals to you?

Marlon: Well, I’m only twenty one, so for one I think I’m still in the genre’s target age range. I really got into YA with the Roswell High series by Melinda Metz. I think it just amazed me that the author managed to make going to high school cool. The teenage years are so difficult, they’re challenging enough on their own. So when you add a speculative element, you’re taking all that angst and drama and complicating it even further. To me, that is a recipe for an excellent story.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?

Marlon: The most rewarding aspect by far is the knowledge that the fruit of my labor isn’t in vain, that people are going to pick up this book, that people become readers and readers, hopefully, become fans. The thought of a reader not only enjoying Wandering Stars but also learning something from it is amazing beyond belief.

Most of the time, my writing comes quite easily. I’ll sketch out my outline of where the story needs to go and then write – actually, that’s not entirely true, what really happens is that I outline the broad plan and then the characters themselves seem to fill in the rest. They grow so much, often without my conscious intent, and it’s hard to let them do that sometimes, because they have to enter into situations that are difficult, painful, dangerous et cetera. I know they’re not real people, but sometimes it seems that way.

Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?

Marlon: I haven’t arrived at that point yet for Alice and Lucas, but I anticipate it will be hard for me to close their story. They’re a part of me now, and whether I’m writing their adventures down or not, they’ll continue to have them long after the last installment of the series has concluded.

I have found that it is difficult to kill off a character or even to leave one out of the story for an extended period of time due to the book’s focus being elsewhere. I tend to miss them.

Jen: If Wandering Stars was made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?

Marlon: Just off the top of my head, I’d say Tori Vega (Victorious) for Alice and Casey Jon Deidrich (Days of our Lives) for Lucas/Lucifer.

Jen: Do you do anything to celebrate a sale, new contract or release?

Marlon: Well, “smoke a cigarette” comes to mind but that’s a habit I’m trying to get out of. I like to spend time with some new good friends of mine, one of which is an aspiring writer with a lot of promise, and / or go out on a dinner date with my fiancée.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Marlon: Right now I’m working on Silvernight, the next book in the series. Not only does Alice have to deal with the aftermath of Wandering Stars, but Lucifer… well, maybe I shouldn’t say too much more about that right now!

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Marlon: My website is www.marlonpierre-antoine.com, which also has a link to my GoodReads profile, and I’m also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/author.mpierreantoine) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mpierreantoine.)

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Marlon: I’ll repeat what a reviewer said of Wandering Stars in a review: “Would you fight your way through Hell for a love that could end the world? You’ll find the answer to that question in my book. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.”

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