Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Marna Reed Swings by to talk about Home Sweet Cocoa


Today we welcome Marna Reed, and her Home Sweet Cocoa book! 

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Hello, hello! My name is Marna Reed and I’m a debut author with Lovely Christian Romance Press. I’m a Canadian, not born, but most definitely bred! It’s the only home I’ve known and will always know. When I’m not writing, or daydreaming about stories, I can be found baking, eating the treats I make, marathoning shows, art journaling, and, of course, reading. Home Sweet Cocoa is my first published story.



Why did you start writing? How did you start writing?
I couldn’t catch up with all the voices and plots in my head. They had to go somewhere, so I started writing them down. What a relief!



How did you select your genre?
I’ve always been drawn to the romance and love in stories. Imagine my surprise when I found some old Harlequin novels tossed aside by my dad. Ha! I skimmed through those titles, but I fell in love. I’m a diehard romantic, even if I’m cynical about my own love life.



What is your writing day like?
I’m blessed to be able to write full-time right now, so a typical writing day starts as early as I can. I’m a morning person. If I can get it down early, I’ve got the whole day to treat myself afterwards. Win-win!
That's fantastic, Marna! I'm more of a morning person, myself!



How do you organize your writing? (outlines/note cards/post-its)
For Home Sweet Cocoa I used chapter outlines, which was a first for me. I used to do tons of chapter outlining before. Really detailed, pages-long type plotting, but I never finished those stories and they continue to gather dust in my USB—so when I tried it out for Home Sweet Cocoa I realized the trick is going back and editing the outline, instead of setting it aside and forgetting all about it when you start drafting the story.



What's the most surprising thing a character has “told you”?
Well, I don’t remember my other stories as clearly right now, and I don’t want to talk much about my work in progress novella, but in Home Sweet Cocoa I was a little surprised Ren didn’t hate or resent Molly. It was weird. I thought there would be more anger to explore there, but it was diluted. Time had sort of tempered his resentment for her and it showed. I couldn’t tap into that anger/wrath. It just wasn’t in him anymore. Interesting, huh?


Do you have a list of characters that you're saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters?
YES! I’m hoping to explore a few characters in the Home Sweet Cocoa universe, and I’ve kept a few notes on them and I’m doing all the fun exploring now. I love following characters in series and seeing secondary characters get their HEAs! I’m so excited to be getting the opportunity to do that now. J



What does your work space/office look like?
Sadly I don’t have an office, but I have my entire furnished basement to myself. That’s where I’m typing up these answers now! See:







Magic in progress. Stand by to be amazed.


What is your go-to snack when writing?
I try not to eat, and I’m not much of a snacker (not a word) when I’m working. I like my hands on the keyboard (or notepad) and not digging through a chip bag. As long as I have my hands in that position, I’ll eventually get some work done. I DO drink a lot of water and sometimes I wake myself up with regular black tea.



If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why?
TOUGH question. If I had to choose one novel though I’d say The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler—it’s an amazing book. Words can’t really describe how funny, beautiful, well-written this story is, and I only wish I could get to meet him in person. Bonus, he’s Canadian!


If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why?
I’m embarrassed to type and admit I haven’t read too many craft books. But I did love NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty’s No Plot? No Problem! I got the revised edition two years ago for my second (more serious) NaNo attempt and it helped lots! I almost reached 50K that year (ended up with 41K) and I really owed it to the book and all its wonderful inspiration, tips and tricks.


Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Nope, and not unless you want to talk about the greatness that is The Office and my Pam x Jim shipping. Now that’s a romance I could swoon over for days. Phew! Great show. Where have I been for the last how many years without it?

Thanks for joining us, Marna!! Leave a comment below with your email address to enter to win $10 Amazon gift card plus a free PDF version of her Cocoa story!