Interview with Marlene Dotterer

Your bio states, in part, "Since then, she has earned a degree in geology, worked in nuclear waste, run her own business as a personal chef, and now teaches natural childbirth classes." Couldn't decide what to be when you grew up?
Guilty! There's too much to learn and do to just stick with one thing my whole life. Of course, when I was about 14, my stepfather phrased it with some frustration as, "You never finish anything!" Hopefully I've gotten better at that part!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A deadline. There I was, with a completed novel, several bites from agents and publishers, but no final contract. It was 2011, and April 15, 2012 was quickly approaching.

No, my book wasn't about U.S. taxes. The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder was a time travel novel about Thomas Andrews, one of the builders of the Titanic. He was a kind, generous man who went down with his ship, heartbroken and horrified at the death surrounding him. He probably felt personally responsible for his ship's failure to survive gashes in her hull that totaled almost 250 feet. In the two and a half hours it took Titanic to sink, he did everything he could to save as many lives as possible.

I wanted this novel available for the hundredth anniversary of Titanic's sinking. But by the middle of 2011, I knew it could never happen even if a publisher bought the book that very week. There just wasn't time. So I jumped into the indie pool. I've never been sorry I did.
How do you approach cover design?
I hire someone! Seriously, I couldn't even begin to do it. I know my limitations. Designer Laura Shinn has done all my covers - I found her through the Smashwords list. She's great.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is Worlds Apart, a paranormal romance. I like to read books where characters fall in love. Not necessarily romance books - I have a hard time with the genre's formula, but I liked books with romance. So I decided to try my hand at writing one. I had a modern heroine - a human of our world, who is a compassionate medical doctor with a quirky taste in sexual activities.

It was the hero who ended up surprising me. Years ago when I read the Harry Potter books, I had a strong reaction to the character of Remus Lupin. Rowling never elaborated on it, but she made it obvious there was a strong undercurrent of bias within her witching world. Werewolves, even if they were good people, could not prosper.

I wanted to explore this idea. I based my male protagonist on Professor Lupin - a good man with a terrible curse who pays for it every day of his life. A man who has to cross the street if there are children present, or report his presence to the authorities anytime he goes to a new town. A man who knows he'll never have a good life to offer a woman.

Yet he's also a man who fights back. Despite his society's legal and social restrictions for werewolves, he has gained an education and a good job - he's essentially a border patrol agent. So he holds a respected position, making him walk a careful line between the authority of his badge and the disdain of the populace. And underneath it all, he's a loving and lonely man who longs for someone to share his life.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first story - that was a long time ago! But one book I read at an early age was A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. Blew my little eight-year-old mind. Planets! Tesseracts! Mitochondria! I had discovered science fiction and I never looked back.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I assume you mean besides the books I wrote! Can I cheat and go with my favorite series? I could never pick just five books.

The Pern series by Anne McCaffrey
The Liaden series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
The Modern Witch series by Deborah Geary
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
The Species Migration series by Julie Czernada

These are all books that I've read again and again, totally relating to the worlds and characters.
Published 2013-08-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Worlds Apart
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,050. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
When a one night stand results in pregnancy, Dr. Tina Cassidy is determined to raise the child herself. But death begins to stalk her small town patients, and Tina soon learns that her world has changed forever. For her baby's father is a werewolf, and he's on the trail of a killer, who will stop at nothing to control the power growing in Tina's unborn child. Contains adult material.
Moon Over Donamorgh
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 112,690. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
In 1803 Ireland, Seamus Firnan, a Pagan landowner, is kidnapped. Without his protection, his magical forest becomes a pawn between Irish Catholics and their Protestant overlords. The witches and fairies of the forest enlist the aid of a powerful, but untrained, empathic woman to help them find Seamus, and bring him home before the forest is gone forever.
The Time Travel Journals: Bridgebuilders
Series: The Time Travel Journals, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,450. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
When Sam Altair went back in time to 1906, he created a second universe, one with its own alternate future. When he builds a bridge back to the original universe he finds a world in the grip of climate change, and a human population decimated by famines, wars, and pandemics. Taken prisoner, Sam must find an elusive rebel army, and use his bridges in a race to stop a deadly attack.
The Farm
Price: Free! Words: 8,830. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
In the 25th century, the human race is scattered throughout the galaxy’s Sagittarius Arm. But no matter where people go, they always remain human...
The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder
Series: The Time Travel Journals, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 134,230. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Time travel
(4.86 from 7 reviews)
In the early twentieth century, Thomas Andrews is building the most beautiful ship in the world. On her maiden voyage, she hits an iceberg and sinks to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. When a time travel accident sends two people from the twenty-first century back to 1906, Tom is given an opportunity unlike any other: build his ship so she can survive, and save 1500 lives. Including his own.