Interview with Mari Kurisato

What do your fans mean to you?
Fans mean everything. I mean, without them buying and reading and reviewing my work I would literally not have a job. I would still write, but making others see the worlds I see in my head, letting them explore the characters the same way I do, that's as close to god as I'm ever going to get, i think. Plus, the reviews, good and bad, push me to write more. To connect to my fans. At this point all of my biggest fans are actually also friends who I met through the internet. And days when the mental illnesses are howling like wolves at the door of my thoughts it's the encouragement of my fans that keeps me connected. Trying harder. Also, it helps that they are literally paying my rent. So yay for that.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've written four novels so far, and each one has been constrained by a sense that I was concerned about what a literary agent might think. There was a lot of hemming and hawing with the early editions of those books. I wrote GUNS OF PENANCE as a sort of cathartic opposite to those books where I wrote it with a "To hell with it!" attitude. I wrote it in like, fifty-four days, or something, whereas my "first" novel took nearly seven years and was still a mess. This book is just sort of my hyperbolic homage to guilty pleasure works, like Mad Max, Kill Bill, Anais Nin's sex stories, and those cheesy 70's-90's giant robot anime from Japan.

It's basically a chase story, with people who are desperate, guilty, afraid, and looking for something beyond just "rescuing/capturing" someone. It deals with loss, new beginnings, and some of the regrets that can really haunt a person in life, but I tried to tie that all in with an action and sexy romance popcorn story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Fear. Hope. Mostly fear. The slush pile is terrifying. I hope to become a hybrid author someday, because there's a certain sense of freedom in indie publishing, in the way that the design, the cover, the words, the marketing, everything is yours to control, for good or bad. But it's also exhausting as a stay at home disabled mom to a preschool boy.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to write a scene, write characters, write a complete story that I find myself enthralled by. I know that feeling because when I'm editing I get carried along with the story, as the writer I'm not really the "creator" just the vessel through which the muses flow and tell their stories. When I write and just sit back and let the muses do their thing, it's an amazing experience. Couple that with my First Reader connecting with the story in the same way that I did, and there is no better high.
What are you working on next?
I have three publishable novels that I want to ship to an agent and see what they think. I also have the novel previewed in Guns of Penance to finish writing. I actually haven't finished that book yet.
Who are your favorite authors?
Anais Nin, Anne Leckie, Rachel Bach, Anne McCaffrey, Saranna DeWylde, Robin Hobb, Natania Barron, Elizabeth Moon, Jay Lake, Jake Adelstein, Jim C Hines, James SA Corey, Ernest Cline, Tim Maughan, Ryan Oakley Michael R. Underwood, William Gibson. I could go on.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The need to pee? Coffee? My son? I'm not sure if my answers are the profound truth, but they are the honest ones.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
reading, raising my son, sleeping, and watching genre shows. And hanging out in MMO's.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Friends' word of mouth, Twitter, Facebook.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I do. It was a a very erotic short story I wrote at the age of nine. And I left it on the kitchen table, sheerly out of absent-mindedness. And both my mom, and my birth father read it. My dad liked it, my mom grounded me for a week. I was so ashamed I later burned the story in the fireplace.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The iPad/ or my iPhone with the kindle software or Apple's iBooks.
When did you first start writing?
Age 7? Age 9? I won a short fiction scholarship prize in college. It was a thousand dollars. I think I won because mine was the only submission, but I'm not sure.
Published 2014-08-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.