I met Sandra Boutwell-Falcone, an independent author, through one of my Facebook groups wherein we writers like to mingle and talk shop. I invited her on my blog, but before posting the interview, I picked up a copy of her book Marabella: Discovering Magics. I enjoyed it quite a lot, and am going to be keeping an eye out when the author writes the sequel.
Marabella, or Belle, grows up in a tiny village where a group of people who belong to a tribe known as Demalions are known to stop by. One of them, her father, loved her mother for a short time before an untimely accident with the ferry. As she grows, she finds herself able to access “magics” and begin to use their powers. Throughout the book, you learn more about not only her but her family and her connection to the Demalions.
I especially enjoyed the representation of female friendships and relationships in this novel. Belle has a special connection to her mother, as well as to the other women in the village. The extra details around these relationships were my favorite part of the book.
With that in mind, I had a few questions for Sandra about her background, writing, and of course, her book!
Q (Infamous Scribbler): Tell me a little bit about yourself and your book, Marabella, Discovering Magics.
A (Sandra Boutwell-Falcone): I grew up in rural Louisiana and now live in Arkansas. I am a Southern girl. I spent about 20 years in retail in the natural health industry, but I have always been a writer. I started writing stories and journaling at a very young age. Marabella, Discovering Magics is my first novel. Several years ago I found myself out of work and going stir crazy. My husband suggested I write something…anything to keep me occupied. I found some handwritten pages in an old notebook from college. (I never throw anything away.) I had written down an origin story for a Dungeons and Dragons character I played back then. (Yes, I am geek proud!) Her name was Marabella and this series grew from that.
Q: In your bio, you list gaming and people watching as two of your hobbies. How, if at all, do your hobbies factor into your writing?
A: I like the RPGs (roll playing games) that include fantasy and magic. I sometimes get ideas or inspiration from the games. People watching is not exactly a hobby. I don’t get out much but when I do, I like to observe the folks around me. An airport is a great place to see all sorts of characters. My brain just starts churning out back stories for interesting people I see.
Q: In addition to writing your novel, you also write articles for others, including a pet store Web site. How do you go about researching and writing your non-fiction pieces?
A: The pieces I write for the web are generally short informative articles, under 1000 words. Attention spans for people trolling the sites for info are usually short. I use various internet sites, product literature, and books for facts. Where I get information depends upon whether it is an article about a particular kind of animal, a service, or a product.
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of writing and publishing Marabella?
A: I wrote off and on for several years. When I finally put it all together and started editing, I found that to be incredibly challenging. Until I started trying to market and promote my book, editing was the toughest. Promotions take so much time away from writing.
Q: What is something you have learned, that you didn’t expect to, during this process?
A: I learned that even though I have an English degree and I am perfectly capable of editing for others, I need someone else to edit for me. I will certainly hire an editor for my next book.
Q: What is new and upcoming for you?
A: I am putting myself out there to try to get a few more paying gigs writing web articles to pay the bills and I am working on the next book in the series, Marabella, Quest for Magics. (IS Note: YAY! The sequel!)
Q: Do you have anything else to share?
A: I would like my friends and fans to know that I really enjoy getting the fan art. I have a few pieces a young lady drew after reading excerpts from Marabella, Discovering Magics before it was published. I love putting that on the blog. I have not posted much lately, on my blog or anything else as I have tried to give full attention to book 2. See my links below. Please check them out and LIKE or follow.
Check out more about Sandra by clicking here:
Blog – http:/.marabellaspeaks.blogspot.com
Website – http://sbfalconewrites.wix.com/s-b-falcone
You can also follow her on Twitter – @Sbfalcone – and Instagram – sbfalcone!