Interview with Marilynn Byerly

What motivated you to become an author?
I've always wanted to be a writer. I come by my storytelling abilities and interests naturally. My dad told wonderful bedtime stories about Bushy Tail Squirrel--his variation on the Br'er Rabbit stories, and he wrote an often humorous hunting column for the local newspaper.

Supper involved Southern tale-spinning from various family members. Coming from a large family and being quiet in comparison to my talkative family members, I tended to tell my stories only to myself.

As I grew older, I fell in love with horses and books, and I wrote my first novel about a horse. WINGED KING was a whopping ten pages long in large hand-printed letters.

My inner stories soon involved my favorite TV characters, and I created a whole universe of different characters to interact with them. When I realized that Mr. Spock from STAR TREK and Artemis Gordon from THE WILD, WILD WEST couldn't really meet, I solved my problem by making many of my own characters members of a long-lived alien race of time travelers--the Immortals.

My passion for books led me into graduate school as a literature major, and I used what little time and creative energy I had left to write poetry and an occasional short story, but I promised myself that one day I'd write the novels I had floating around my head.

After my dad died from cancer, I realized that life was too short not to write those novels. A month after his death, I began my first novel.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love to write. I love the movie playing in my head as I type as fast as I can. I love to be surprised by something one of my characters says and does.

After the book is published, I love to hear that some reader made it through a difficult time by reading one of my books, or it changed their life.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a literary omnivore. I read most genres as well as classic fiction. Classic authors--Hawthorne, James Fennimore Cooper, Jane Austin. Romance--Mary Balogh, Ronda Thompson, and Delores Fossen. Urban fantasy--Jim Butcher, Ilona Andrews, and Patricia Briggs. Romantic suspense--Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz. Paranormal mystery--JL Bryan, Heather Graham, and Victoria Laurie.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to read, naturally. I watch way too much TV. I'm also an organic gardener. My extended family is very important to me.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I real lots of reviews and belong to a number of reader lists like paranormalromance@yahoo.com. There's also email lists like BookBub and Fussy Librarian.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
WINGED KING about a race horse and his girl. It was ten whopping pages long, cliched as heck, and I loved it.
What is your writing process?
I'm a plotter but only create a structure for my story and allow my imagination to fill in the rest.

As a writing teacher, I write quite a bit about my process as well as answering writing questions at my blog, Adventures in Writing.

http://mbyerly.blogspot.com
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read quite a bit as a child before one book made a major impact on me. It was a story called THE SECRET HORSE. It woke me to the pleasure of reading, and I've been a bookaholic ever since
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I started with one of the original Rocketbooks. Yes, I've been reading ebooks that long. Right now, I used a Barnes and Noble Nook tablet.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I dreamed of a boat explosion and a woman, aboard it, outlined by its flames, her hair blazing upward like some goddess of death's. The images were so powerful they woke me.

As I lay awake thinking about them, my inner curious writer asked, "Why was she on that boat? Who is she? Why did the boat blow up?" Then the most important question a writer can ask came to me. "What happens next?"

The answers became my romantic suspense novel, GUARDIAN ANGEL.
Published 2016-03-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.