About Marie D. Jones:
I am a best selling author of non-fiction and fiction, and an optioned screenwriter. I’ve written over 15 non-fiction books covering subjects such as science, the paranormal, ancient knowledge, human consciousness and metaphysics. I wrote one book, “Supervolcano,” with my father, geophysicist Dr. John Savino. I have a middle grade novel series titled “EKHO: Evil Kid Hunting Organization” out now, which was written with my son, Max! It’s based on his real life spy group he started in grade school when he was being bullied…and we’ve added a special science fiction story to it. Book Two will be out in 2016! I also have a YA series, “Freak,” and a NA series, “Black Mariah,” debuting in 2016.
I’ve been writing since early childhood and have hundreds of short stories, reviews, essays and articles to my credit. I’m a regular contributor to a number of magazines and blogs, too. My main focus for 2016 is going to be writing for film and television, and producing, which I am very excited about. I have an agent for my non-fiction, and a literary manager and TV/Film agent for the fiction and film writing. A great team is critical!
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by everything around me. A true writer can find an idea for a book or story in just about anything. My son inspires me. I write constantly because I am bursting with ideas that I would like to put down in some format while I’m alive! People inspire me. Places inspire me. Experiences inspire me. But I can be moved to write about something from a tiny snippet of conversation, or a simply news story. Inspiration is like air…it’s everywhere.
Tell us about your writing process.
No matter what I am writing, I do outline pretty heavily. I also come up with a one page pitch, and a longer summary, as if I were going to pitch to a movie producer, because this helps me get the core of my story down. Non-fiction outlining is absolutely essential, as you must know what your chapters will include when you submit a proposal. Fiction and screenwriting allow for a bit more flexibility, but a good three act outline and character bios are a must!
I write all the time, every day, for a living, and rarely take a day off. I have too many ideas and I love what I do. But writing can be done anytime, and you can hold down a full-time job and still find a little time to write. I’m a single mom, and I find a lot of my free time is time I can spend writing. It just depends on how committed you are to writing!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, my characters take on a life of their own pretty quickly in fiction and film, and they stick around for the rest of your life! I love when the characters take over and begin to tell their own stories and make demands. If characters don’t do this, they are cardboard and need to be developed and fleshed out. Give them flesh and they’ll take on form and start talking to you! I often forget that my characters are just that, and start to look for them in real life!
What advice would you give other writers?
WRITE WRITE WRITE. Don’t assume you have talent from the start. Writers must write and read and do it over and over again to really find they style and their chops. Take a lot of advice from those who are doing what you want to do, but take it with a grain of salt and follow your instincts and your gut. Find the best editors you can, because without them, you will never make it! You cannot self-edit! Just stop making excuses and write. Once you begin, it sweeps you up and you don’t want to stop. You just have to overcome the fear of getting started. Tell your critics to shut up, especially your inner critic.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
All of my non-fiction is via traditional publishers. My fiction is with indie publishers. I also for the first time have two self-published books out, one of which was originally traditionally published. I think there are so many options now for writers, and that can be good and bad. Good, because you have chances now you didn’t with trad publishers. Bad, because too much junk gets published by people who don’t have talent and never heard of an editor. So there is a lot more competition to deal with today. The bottom line…what does your gut tell you? If non-fiction, you are best writing a proposal and trying to go trad before self-pubbing. But fiction, all bets are off. If you are prepared to promote the HELL out of your work, and you have the money for a great cover designer, beta readers and a killer editor, go for it and you’ll make more money!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
People will always want and need stories. I am happy to hear that real bookstores are making a bit of a comeback, because some people just have to have a real book in their hands. Digital book publishing has really created a new wave of readers, which always benefits writers. I see it as changing and morphing along with advances in technology, but good storytelling will always be in demand.
What do you use?: Co-writer, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Science fiction, horror, fantasy, science-based fiction, thriller, conspiracy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.