I’m delighted to introduce Mari Manning, author of romantic suspense and contemporary romances who has recently published her newest release with Entangled Publishing. In this interview, Mari shares her experience with humor and a helpful nudge of encouragement. You’ll appreciate her smart insights into the romance writing world; her explanation of why she writes romance novels is so on target and well articulated, I wish I’d written it myself!
What made you decide to write romance novels?
I write about things that interest me, and the relationships of men and women interest me. The courtship leading to HEA is always a delicate dance of attraction, diplomacy, a little bribery, a little deception, a lot of hope. The expectations of men and women tend to be different, which is fun to explore. I love creating flawed characters redeemed by love. I guess I am just an HEA kind of gal.
What was your biggest challenge when you were trying to publish your debut novel?
Just learning all the rules! I started out as a pantser. I wrote what pleased me, completely ignorant of such things as character arc, backstory dumps, head hopping, deep POV, inciting incidents, etc. It took a while to understand these concepts well enough to incorporate them into my writing.
What would you have done differently if you could start all over again?
I would have joined a writers group sooner. I’ve learned so much, and it’s so nice to have people to turn to when I need advice or have questions. We are all at different places in our writing careers so I have a chance to help people behind on the writing path, and also get help from those ahead of me.
Can you imagine having a different career? What would it be?
I’ve had lots of careers, and right now I am a Director of Marketing. But writing is something I’ve always wanted to do. I also wanted to be a movie star, but even my mother, who’s my biggest fan, had doubts about my ability to do that.
What is the single most important thing an unpublished writer should do to get published?
Do not give up. I think writing success is fifty-percent talent and fifty-percent persistence. I’ve met many amazing writers (far better than me) who have stopped writing because they got discouraged. Don’t do it! If you love writing keep going. Get advice, take classes, find seasoned writers to critique your work. Keep submitting to editors and agents. Woody Allen once said something like, “Ninety percent of success is just showing up.”
What is the single most important thing a newly published writer should do?
If you have just published your first book, think of it as your ticket to the show. Use it to get on blogs, set up author pages on major websites, volunteer to do signings, start a newsletter, etc. Then write more books. For most authors, being prolific is going to be important.
The only thing standing between her and disaster is a man she can’t trust …
As far as Dinah Pittman is concerned, men can’t be trusted. Especially cops. Her own father was a cop and a convicted felon who stole a small fortune before dying in prison. The best part? No one knows where the money is…and someone is willing to kill off everyone who knows anything about it.
And Dinah is next.
Rafe Morales left the Dallas police force to settle down to a simpler life in the small Texas town of El Royo. Instead, he finds himself protecting an infuriating, tough-as-nails, oh-so-sexy victim—and driving himself crazy with a thoroughly unprofessional desire.
But as the body count rises, Rafe and Dinah must find a way to trust each other…before they both end up dead.
About Mari Manning
Let’s start with the fun stuff. I love small towns, mysteries, quiet men, laughter, old-fashioned spaghetti dinners. I love boots and shopping and jokes and Hershey’s dark chocolate and white wine. I love lots of things. But my first love is reading.
I love to read. Just about anything, but it has to be well-written. I go through periods where I am into historical novels or romance or mystery or history or biography. I never know when my desires will suddenly change.
Now for the writer-ish, official stuff: Mari Manning is the author of several contemporary romances and three romantic suspense novels set in the Texas Hill Country. Stranger at My Door is the first in her A Murder in Teas series. The second, Stranger in My House will be published by Entangled later this year. The third book in the series is Stranger in My Bed. Currently Mari is working on a series of cozy mysteries. She and her husband live in Chicago.