Please welcome Bouncer, Marissa Burt! Marissa is another one of our Bouncers that was fabulous enough to be one of my Bouncers last year, too. She's a fantastic writer, and you guys have got to check her out! She's repped by Laura Langlie.
Hi, Marissa! Please share a little about yourself:
I am a lifelong book lover with a special appreciation for fantasy ever since I discovered The Lord of the Rings back in the 7th grade. My favorite stories are the ones that so draw you into the world that it stirs up an indescribable longing, the ones that make you a little sad to say goodbye when you close the final page. I live in the Seattle area with my husband, three sons, and heaps of good books.
Now tell us a little about your book(s) or what you like to write:
STORYBOUND tells the story of Una Fairchild, a girl who discovers a mysterious book that transports her to the Land of Story, a magical world where characters from books are in training to enter Tales of their own. While there, Una must unravel the secret Backstory of the realm and discover who has Written her In to Story and why. The sequel, STORY'S END will be available 4/2/13 from HarperCollins Children's. For more information, you can visit me over at www.marissaburt.com.
What MUST we read? And what's in your TBR pile?
Of course, this is the impossible question for any true book-fiend! Since I'm a middle-grade author, I'll tell you which books were on my must-read pile back in the day: Tailchaser's Song, by: Tad Williams, Solo's Journey, by: Joy Smith Aiken, the aforementioned Lord of the Rings triology, C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, and ANYTHING by L.M. Montgomery. In fact, her journals are on my 2013 re-reading list. Right now, I'm actually working through a lot of non-fiction, but I'm hoping 2013 will also be a year for yet unread classics: Les Miserables is on the top of my list and, following a friend's recommendation, A Prayer for Owen Meany.
What are those crumbs around your computer? And what is that music I hear?
Alas! I'm pretty uninteresting in this category. I actually don't focus very well with music going. If I'm out in a coffee-shop or working at home when my boys are exceptionally boisterous, I'll pop on some classical music - preferably piano - to block out any distractions. You might find some occasional ice-cream smudges or bacon grease on my keyboard. Gross after the fact, I know, but oh-so-delicious!
Is it all about the pants or all about the outline?
I'm somewhere in between. I have a very general idea of where I feel the story is going and then it develops as I write. This means that things can change wildly on subsequent revisions, but that sort of ongoing development suits my creative process.
Any words of wisdom for our brave contest entrants?
Go offline as much as possible. Especially when you're waiting to hear on a contest, query letters, or tempted to obsess over responses to your writing. Unplugging clears your creative space and permits you to write honestly.
Now give up your guilty pleasure!
Waking up, rolling over, picking up a novel, and reading in bed for an extraordinarily long time. This happens once in a blue moon, but it feels so decadent to spend a whole morning reading in pajamas!
Thank you, Marissa!
Thank you for reading! Questions and comments below...