Monday, August 1, 2011
Guest Author: Zoe Marriott
Please welcome today's guest author Zoe Marriott! Zoe is the author of The Swan Kingdom, Daughters of the Flame, and Shadows on the Moon.
EJ: When did you begin writing?
Zoe: Early. The very first time that I realised I could tell stories with a pen and paper, I was hooked. My father managed an office supply company and my mother was a keen artist, so between them I had mounds of paper, pens and art supplies practically from the cradle. I used to try to *draw* stories, but always got frustrated because, as one teacher put it, my ideas outstripped my artistic ability. When I began to read for pleasure something clicked and I realised that I had found a way to express my stories that didn't leave my imagination behind. Because I have a near photographic memory for vocabulary, most of my memories of my young school days involve teachers gaping at me because I had used the word 'effigy' or 'translucent' correctly in a sentence at the age of seven. That was very gratifying, and more than enough motivation to keep me telling stories!
EJ: What brought you to the paranormal genre?
Zoe: Well, so far all my novels have been other world or 'high' fantasy, but I do plan to write paranormal fiction in the future, and I enjoy it for the same reason that I love high fantasy - because it allows the imagination to unfold to its fullest extent. When you write fantasy you create an entire world with entirely new rules. The reader relies on you to show them a new version of reality. They don't know that the sky is blue, or if grass is green, or even if the characters have two arms and two legs, until you let them know that. Anything is possible. Paranormal or urban fantasy is especially fun because, with a base-line of normal already in place, the writer is free to concentrate only on the freaky, funny and remarkable details of the imaginary world. I love the work of Diana Wynne Jones, Neil Gaiman, Emma Bull, Kelley Armstrong and Patricia Briggs because they take our world and give it a tiny, tiny twist, and extrapolate from that. It's so much fun!
EJ: If you could be any paranormal or have any one supernatural talent, what would it be? Why?
Zoe: Hmmm. Good question. If I was myself, living the life I do now? I would chose the ability to heal people of any illness. But if I was a character in a book or a film, I'd want instant, unlimited teleportation. No one can do anything bad to you if they can't catch you.
EJ: Tell us why readers will enjoy your new release.
Zoe: I hope for the same reasons I enjoyed writing it. Because it takes the character of Cinderella - sweet, patient, obedient, beautiful Cinderella - and peels back all the layers of illusion and deception to see what actually lies underneath such a facade. No real girl, with a real beating heart, could possibly be as bland and perfect as Cinderella is. No girl could go through all that she goes through, losing her family, everything she has, being abused and mistreated, and come out of it only wanting a pretty dress and a glimpse of the handsome prince. A real girl would be changed forever, maybe even broken, by living through such events. And I hope readers will also enjoy the unusual setting of Tsuki No Hikari no Kuni - the Moonlit Lands - a fairytale version of Japan which, even as the writer, I fell utterly in love with.
EJ: If your book(s) were being made into a movie, who would you cast for the leading roles? Why?
Zoe: Um...that's difficult, because I've written several books now and none of them star ongoing characters. I suppose I just have to pick one! My first book, The Swan Kingdom, is probably the easiest. I'd cast either Ben Barnes or Ed Westwick as the hero, Gabriel, and probably Molly Quinn (if she could do an English accent) or Romola Garai (if she would dye her hair red) for the heroine, Alexandra. Dichen Lachman would be perfect for Zella, the antagonist, although, again, she would need to perfect an English accent. Wow, that was tough!
Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott
"On my fourteenth birthday when the sakura was in full bloom, the men came to kill us. We saw them come, Aimi and me. We were excited, because we did not know how to be frightened. We had never seen soldiers before."
Suzume is a shadow-weaver. She can create mantles of darkness and light, walk unseen in the middle of the day, change her face. She can be anyone she wants to be. Except herself.
Suzume died officially the day the Prince's men accused her father of treason. Now even she is no longer sure of her true identity.
Is she the girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? A lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands?
Everyone knows Yue is destined to capture the heart of a prince. Only she knows that she is determined to use his power to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her. Not even love.
Thank you Zoe for joining us here today at From the Shadows!
To learn more about Zoe and her books, please visit her website.