Máirín Fisher-Fleming on Telling Her Characters’ Story

I’m delighted to host Máirín Fisher-Fleming today. Máirín is a former dancer who recently published Dancing on the Dark Side, a story of a dance student whose TA happens to be a vampire. One of her readers wrote about the book, “There’s a lot to love about this story. I especially appreciated how even though there are references to their physical attraction (and, yes, there’s sex eventually), this doesn’t overpower the sweet and beautifully rendered emotions at play here. Also, all the emphasis on natural environments and nature magic was like a breath of fresh air.”

Read on to learn about Máirín’s journey to publication.

How long have you wanted to be a romance writer? When did you decide to write a book?  

I never set out to a romance writer per se.  I just wanted to tell a story. The romance just kind of developed as the story progressed.

What inspired you to write this story?

Appropriately enough, a song and a dance. As a former dancer,  I often ‘see’ songs in terms of movement.  The song that eventually evolved into ‘Dancing on the Dark Side is Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls, especially the line ‘I’d give up forever to touch you…’

Describe your process for writing this particular book.

I am not a plotter.  I’m a plotting pantser. I knew where the story would go but not how it was going to get there. There were times when the characters took hold of the plot and ran away with it, surprising me and my beta readers.

Was this the first book you had written?

Yes. I have always written, but never did anything serious. Then I started dabbling in fanfic, until I decided that it was time that I stopped playing with other people’s creations and let my own have their say.

How did you fit your writing into the rest of your life? 

It wasn’t easy. I work full time in addition to having a farm.  So writing was done on lunch hours, weekends and in the evenings.  And whenever inspiration struck.  There was a lot of scribbling in notebooks that had to be transcribed onto the computer.  My laptop became a constant companion.  And so did Moleskine notebooks.

Who gave you feedback as you worked through writing the book?

I have an amazing Beta reader (who is also my best friend). S. K. Ryder has been an amazing help and inspiration, offering insights into the characters and their situations that I didn’t catch at first.

What kept you going through the process?

The characters. They wanted their story told.

Did you have a market in mind when you started writing the book?

Originally I had considered writing a young adult story but I thought that market was saturated and often not with the greatest stuff.  I felt that an older set of characters would be more believable and would be easier to relate to, so I aged them up to the New Adult’ genre.

How many submissions did you send out?  

A lot.  But things really came together for me at The Surrey International Writer’s conference when I had some excellent pitch sessions with publishers, agents and editors.

What would you change?

I might have held out for a publisher in a larger house.  It is tough working with a small Indie publisher.  I am such a newb at this whole process and I really have no idea how to ‘get the word out there.  Not having a ‘print book’ is also tough because it’s rather hard to have a ‘signing’ or other such event when you are strictly published. I am really hoping this changes in the next year.

dark dancer 200x300

Spirited college senior Bliss is preparing to make her mark in the world of contemporary dance. She’s thrilled to be training at the prestigious Windhaven College of the Arts in Salem, Massachusetts. But things get weird the moment she sets foot on the campus.
Her new roommate, Rowan, is a mind-reading, storm-calling descendent of the Sidhe, the Fae of Ireland, with a secret agenda.

Ciarán, the charming TA for her performance class, is the most brilliant dancer she’s ever seen. Too bad he hides from the sun and has a taste for human blood. Bliss should have run screaming in terror, but Rowan’s magic has woken memories of a past life she cannot deny.

The more she learns of Ciarán’s tragic past and the family of Sidhe he protects, the more she realizes she is a part of their world and her new ‘normal’ is anything but. Enter the Order, ancient enemy of everything supernatural. To protect Bliss and the Sidhe, Ciarán draws her into the very heart of his magical world. Soon, instead of dancing together, they are fighting a bitter battle to prevent disaster from tearing them apart again. This time forever.




Máirín lives and works on an orchard in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and is slave to several feline overlords. She has a background in theatre and dance and is happiest when she is by the ocean. Dark Dancer is her first full length novel.



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