Monday’s Friend: Marsha R West
Today I’m pleased to have fellow MUI author Marsha R West on the blog, on the day she’s revealing her new cover! Welcome, Marsha!
MW: I’d have to say Carla Neggars. I’ve loved her series about the families in the New Hampshire White Mountains that she intertwined with the family in Tennessee. I love her descriptions and think she’s brilliant the way she keeps all the pieces together. Setting plays a big role in her books, and I usually begin with the setting. My first two books are stand-alones, but I’ve sold the first book in a series.
SJT: What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
MW: Well, I’m very glad no one told me how hard the job was. I might not have begun the journey. 🙂 I guess I wish someone had pointed me to classes sooner. I know of people who took on-line classes before ever beginning a book. I made many mistakes with the first two books I wrote that I could’ve avoided. Of course, it’s definitely a learn by doing job! Some stuff I don’t think I’d have understood if it had been presented before I was ready.
SJT: You’ve been a high school theatre teacher. I absolutely loved my drama class when I was in high school and for a while harboured a fantasy of becoming a famous actress. Did you ever teach anyone who went on to become a famous?
MW: I had a student who went on to work in the business as a stunt double, especially for children. And one of my students became a theatre teacher herself. That I think is very cool.
SJT: Your bio says you own dogs (or perhaps, more accurately, they own you). I feel the same way about my cats. Do you think there’s a difference between ‘dog people’ and ‘cat people’?
MW: In actual fact, we lost both our puppies last summer. Simon died one week and the next week my first book came out, and the third week we lost Scout. Very sad time 😦 mixed with the joy of the book release. Basically, I cried every day for six months.
I’m a dog person, but I know folks who have both. I just don’t see how the connection can be the same between the two. Dogs give you unconditional love. Cats seem to have a take it or leave it attitude with their parents. But I’ve never had a cat, so I could be misreading the signs.
I do think that all animal lovers are basically good people as opposed to someone who doesn’t like animals. Animal abuse is committed by some of the lowest of the low in creation!
MW: The short tag for TRUTH BE TOLD is: SWAT member teams with brother’s former LA homicide detective partner to stop a blackmailer. Falling in love wasn’t one of their strategies.
Of course, it’s more complicated than that. The blackmailed person is Meg’s father, the mayor of Fort Worth. Her brother’s partner, Scott, was medically retired from the force when he nearly lost his life saving her brother’s. Scott struggles against the attraction he feels for Meg, who couldn’t possibly find anything of interest in him when he can’t walk without his cane and has no clue what shape his life will take. And all the while the blackmailer inserts himself into the family’s life. Will he succeed in killing one of them before they can stop him?
TRUTH BE TOLD releases next month.
SJT: What’s next for you, writing-wise?
MW: I’ve returned to my theatre roots for the third book, SECOND CHANCES, which I just sold to MuseItUp Publishing. When a member of the board of a non-profit arts agency turns up dead, the homicide detective assigned to the case looks at everyone involved in the organization, including the Executive Director. This book is scheduled for e-release in the winter of 2014/15. It’s the first of several about four women friends all in their mid-forties who struggle to protect their families from the dangers stalking them. They are surprised when it appears they might stumble into a second chance at love.
SJT: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I confess I’m a huge TV junky. Thanks goodness for the record button. I even record House Hunters on HGTV. I love being able to skim through the commercials. Saves me a ton of time.
Reading and Travel are high on my list of things to do when not writing. DH and I love to go to New England especially Maine, which is where my current Work in Progress is set. It’s the second in the series, but I’m only about a fourth of the way through.
Two years after the murder of her husband, someone guns down Jill Barlow’s father, a Texas State Representative. The authorities suspect a connection between the murders, but can’t find proof. Jill longs for the peace she found when she visited Vermont after her husband’s death. With the perpetrators still at large, she flees to the small town of Woodstock.
The gambling syndicate, believing she has damning evidence against them, pursues her, shattering her dreams of peace. In an effort to protect her grown children, she doesn’t tell them violence continues to stalk the family.
Despite having lost so much already, with the lives of her family and friends at stake, will Jill be required to make more sacrifices, even the hope of a second chance at love?
Marsha R. West, a retired elementary school principal, is also a former school board member and theatre arts teacher. She writes romantic suspense where experience is required. Her heroes and heroines, struggling with life and loss, are surprised to discover second chances at love.
Marsha, who loves to travel, lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband. They’ve raised two daughters who’ve presented them with three delightful grandchildren.
Marsha’s current WIP is another romantic suspense. It’s the second of a planned series about four women who met when they were kids at summer camp.
You can read her blog Thoughts on Thursday and Tuesday Author Chats at http://www.marsharwest.com/category/blog
She hopes you’ll stop by. She’d love to hear from you.
Thanks so much for having me today, Sara Jayne.