Interview with Darlene Marshall

What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. One of my fans is 93 years old, and I keep her in mind every day when I sit down to write. She's counting on me to get the next book out in a timely fashion, and I can't let her down!
What do you read for pleasure?
I was tempted to write "fan mail", which would be true, but probably not the answer you seek. I read romance, of course, mostly historicals. I'm a life long SF and fantasy fan, so I read a great deal of that as well, along with history (mostly US and Florida), suspense, biography and some non-fiction on current politics and economics.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've always been a fan of classic screwball comedies, and one of my favorites is BORN YESTERDAY. I wanted to write about a woman who's smart in her own way, and who not only loves to learn, but can teach some lessons of her own.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I started out with a 1st generation Sony, moved on to NOOK, but now I read on a Kindle and I like it very much. I no longer have to keep emergency books in my car trunk in case I have a flat tire, or in my overnight bag in case I miss a flight. I can even read on my iPhone! I love living in the future.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media is fun, great for marketing, and a huge time sink. I love it, but I always have some nagging guilt--I could be writing, or reading a book.
Describe your desk
It's an old leather topped table, passed down from my mother-in-law. Each time I start writing a new book I have a ritual where I clean everything off the desk and polish it well, giving the leather a good drink of conditioner. But my chair is a 21st c. Aeron so I can write all morning without being uncomfortable.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in SW Florida, where it was a short drive to the Gulf. I loved going to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach, anywhere there was water and greenery. Florida history fascinated me--this area's always been a haven for rogues and scoundrels, so my characters fit right in.
When did you first start writing?
I've been a writer all my life, first getting a story published in my junior high school newspaper. In high school I worked for the local paper, I have a degree in broadcast news, I was a journalist for most of my professional life, and it was a quick hop to fiction. The difference between writing news and writing fiction is fiction needs to make sense.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always been published professionally by a royalty paying publisher, but when my rights came back to me I thought I'd give the indie route a try.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Time will tell, this is my first Smashwords publication. I'm very excited about it!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hearing from readers who tell me they enjoyed my writing. I love to hear from readers!
What are you working on next?
WHAT THE PARROT SAW is a follow-up to Readers' Choice winner THE PIRATE'S SECRET BABY. "Marauding Mattie" St. Armand is all grown up, with her own crew, a parrot, and an Englishman she kidnapped from a brothel. Stay tuned, more on this as it develops.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was in junior high school, and was about a family moving into a new house. We'd just moved, and I wanted to express some of what I was experiencing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Beyond "See Spot run"? I do remember some of my favorites from elementary school, especially MARA, DAUGHTER OF THE NILE by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. It had everything! Ancient Egypt, court intrigue, a plucky heroine, a mysterious and hunky hero. Swoonworthy stuff! I still give it as a gift to the girls I tutor, and every now and then I re-read it, just for fun.
Who are your favorite authors?
In romance I like Mary Balogh, Joanna Bourne, Carla Kelly, Georgette Heyer, Edith Layton, Amanda Quick, Jayne Anne Krentz...the list goes on and on.

In non-romance I'm an eclectic reader, with an emphasis on science fiction and fantasy. Some of my favorites are Lois McMaster Bujold, Guy Gavriel Kay, Connie Willis, Terry Pratchett, Sharon Shinn and George R.R. Martin. I also read a lot of history and graphic novels.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing that if I don't get there by a certain time, the puppy will make a mess on the floor.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Like all writers, I'm a voracious reader. I also like long walks, good wine, aged whisky--wait, is this for a date?
Published 2017-02-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

What the Parrot Saw
Pre-release—available February 26, 2019. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 89,880. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Captain Mattie St. Armand needs protective coloration, and naive (and expendable) Englishman Oliver Woodruff will keep the authorities eyes off her as she transports slaves from the Florida Territory to freedom in the Bahamas. It will take her piratical cunning, his growing passion, and Roscoe the parrot to bring these lovers together, despite their coming from worlds meant to keep them apart.
Smuggler's Bride
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 89,550. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical
Julia Delerue and Rand Washburn are each hiding secrets on the Florida frontier that could cost them their lives. They'll have to negotiate the pitfalls of a shotgun marriage filled with deception, larceny, passion, and a possum or two.
The Pirate's Secret Baby
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 113,070. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, New England Romance Writers Readers' Choice Award: Set sail for adventure aboard the Prodigal Son, where knife skills and multiplication tables are included in daily lessons, as feared pirate captain Robert St. Armand kidnaps governess Lydia Burke to care for the littlest buccaneer, "Marauding Mattie" St. Armand.
Sea Change
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,490. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
Charley Alcott’s medical skills are put to the test in a life-or-death situation--her life. She must save Captain David Fletcher’s brother without the American privateer discovering Charley’s really a woman. A war is raging on the world’s oceans, and the two enemies will fight their own battles and their attraction to each other as they undergo a sea change neither is expecting, but cannot deny.
Castaway Dreams
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 117,570. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Historical
A dour doctor (after a fashion), a dizzy damsel (more or less) and a darling (and potentially delicious) doggy embark on the adventure of a lifetime, castaway on a desert island. One may have fleas.
Captain Sinister's Lady
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 99,360. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
EPIC Award, Best Historical Romance--Morgan Roberts, AKA "Captain Sinister", would like nothing better than to settle down with a nice woman. When Amanda Stephenson practically falls into his lap while he's robbing her ship, he's sure it's a sign she's the one for him. Can he convince the proper widow she's meant to be Captain Sinister's lady?
The Bride and the Buccaneer
Price: $3.99 $3.74 USD. (6% off until Jan. 03, 2019!) Words: 93,030. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical
Privateer “Lucky Jack" Burrell’s dreams of revenge against Sophia Deford have to wait while he honors a vow to help the lovely little thief find buried pirate booty. Sophia’s willing to let Jack do the heavy lifting, knowing her cunning beats his size and strength any day. The last thing either of them expects is for love to complicate matters.