Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Interview with Marcie Steele

Welcome to Comet Babes Books today.

Hello, I’m very pleased to be here!

If you had to write a bio for yourself, what would it say? (5 words or less)
 I am an emotional writer.

Can you tell us about your book? 
STIRRED WITH LOVE is based around the opening and running of a coffee shop. Three women of differing ages work there, so it’s a story about moving on, starting again and coming to terms with loss as well as finding friendships and love along the way. Plus there are lots of mentions of coffee and cake…

Can you tell us about your writing process?
I plan a new book out, both in my head and on paper before I start to write. When I’m drafting it out, I write about 2-3000 words per day. I aim for a first draft of about 60,000 words. Once that is completed, I do several more drafts, each one concentrating on a different thing – plotlines, description, emotion etc. My books finish at around 90,000 words.

How old were you when you started writing? 
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t ever writing. As a teenager, I used to write short stories. But I started trying to write novels in 1999.

Any tips for writers who are just starting out? 
You know I always used to ignore the advice I would hear over and over, which was to write every day. But now I’m going to echo it. I write a little every day, even if it is a few hundred words, to keep me in the story. If I have a few days off, I can find myself completely lost, trying to keep so many plots in my head. And you will be amazed how much a novel can grow if you keep adding 500 words a day.

I also use Dragon Dictate on my phone - for example if I’m out walking (when no one can hear me!) I’ll speak a scene into my phone and email it to myself. It’s another few hundred words that could spark an idea off even if they amount to nothing…

How do you find writing romance different from writing thrillers?
It’s totally different. Writing a thriller, the plots have to be very twisty, fast-paced and cranking up the fear and dread. I want a reader to be sitting on the edge of their seat, scared for what is going to happen, and trying to work out the next move.

When I’m writing romances, I can concentrate on the emotions the characters go through much more. I can also spend time with the characters, add description and, although there are still twists and turns, the plot-lines can be more leisurely. I like to spend time building up the emotion too.  

What's the worst advice you have ever received?
Don’t self-publish. I was turned down by traditional publishers for twelve years, having got several of my books to acquisition meetings yet failing at the last hurdle to get a book deal. So I self-published in 2011 and I haven’t looked back. Obviously, this advice wouldn’t be suggested now as lots of authors have done well going this way.

Have you ever heard a strange/different story that you thought would be great in a book?
Ooh, yes, but I couldn’t possibly tell you what it was… 

Do you like it quiet when you're writing or do you need background noise? (music or TV) 
I have to write in total silence. I shut myself away in my office and switch off all social media. When I am editing, however, I can have noise around me, as it is less creative.

If one of your books was made into a film/TV series, who would you like as the leading lady/man? 
My books are always from multiple characters’ point of views rather than having a leading lady or man. So I’m sure there would be lots of brilliant actresses who could bring my books to life. One of my favourites is Olivia Colman. I would even write a part for her.

Do you have a process for planning your books? Ie do you talk over an idea with a friend or a partner.
Yes, I talk through plot lines with several people. Before I start to write, my agent and editor get a rough idea and we chat it through in general to see if it has legs. Then I chat to my husband and my best friend. I start off with loose ideas and then see what they suggest too.

My agent and editor get the finished versions but then, during a structural edit, they have their say again, making the books much better. Lots of eyes on my books are crucial, even though no one reads a book the same.

Tell us something about yourself that readers won’t know from reading your books or web page?
I have a fear of confined spaces – I think it’s because I have a vivid imagination!

Thank You 

Hi, I'm Marcie Steele and I can be found hanging around any good coffee shop, drinking copious amounts of coffee and nibbling on double chocolate muffins. Whilst doing this I'll be discreetly people watching or not so discreetly enjoying good gossip with my friends.


  1. Aww, thanks for stopping by one of the coolest book blogs around, Marcie Steele! Your daily word count is IMPRESSIVE. I managed to do that pace once when I was running way behind on a book and just had to bite the bullet for a couple of weeks...but I can't imagine your process! That's so strange about your silence and then ability to edit with noise. I'm just the opposite! :)

    1. Thank you for you lovely

      So pleased you enjoy my blog and this interview, I'm so jealous of the word count every day too. xx