Friday, September 16, 2011

Author Spotlight: Marva Dasef Fights the Law

Please welcome Marva Dasef to our Author Spotlight! Okay, I'm ready to find out who won, you or the law...


The Publishing Process: Has an editor annihilated your absolutely favorite line in your book? Did you take it meekly or fight for your words?
I fought the law, but the law won. In a fantasy book (coming up in October from MuseItUp), my husband had come up with the brand of a snowmobile, the Snowshoe 3000 Turbo, but the editor thought it sounded too much like Harry Potter’s broom’s brand. Thing is, it wasn’t anywhere near (Nimbus 2000 and Firebolt), so I argued I could use it as is. Still, she worried over even a whiff of infringement. Knowing how important it is, I did give in. I ended up leaving out the word Turbo. I’ve also had ‛discussions’ when using real brand names. If pejorative, the editor decided it better to use something more generic. For me, using brand names gives more texture to the book. Is it better to say, “She bought a bottle of Tylenol.” or “She bought a bottle of pain killers.” To me, ‛pain killers’ is flat and uninteresting, but ‛Tylenol’ gives a context that makes the story richer. Readers know what a Tylenol bottle looks like. I felt like I had to answer this one since it was my idea on your website. Sneaky!
(I guess I can't use my kids' invention either, the Bug-Catcher 2000 Solar XL D589. Darn.)
Life and Writing: How did you decide to get into writing?
If I define ‛writing’ as the process of developing and capturing a coherent string of words that express an idea or physical operation, then I had no choice. I decided to write fiction after spending thirty-five years writing technical documentation. So I learned how to write from my career, and decided I should continue to play to my strengths. It was a little late to join the Olympics Women’s Soccer Team.
Writing Miscellany: How many unfinished novels do you have?
One. I have ideas and thoughts for others, but I pretty much stick to writing one novel at a time. I don’t know how other writers manage to scatter their attention across multiple open manuscripts. In most things, I’m a parallel processor, doing several things simultaneously. With writing, I’m just a one-book gal.
Writing and Food: Do you snack when you write? And what is that snack?
At around three pm, I have five low-fat Ritz crackers with non-fat cream cheese. Yeah, I just go crazy.

When Kameron McBride receives notice she’s the only living relative of a missing man she’s never even heard of, the last thing she wants to do is head to some half-baked Oregon town to settle his affairs. Her suspicions rise when the probate Judge isn't really a judge and tries too hard to buy the dead man’s worthless property. Kam probes deeper into the town’s secrets and finds almost no one she can trust. Kam must find out what really happened to her dead relative before someone in this backward little town sends her to join him.
And she thought Oregon was going to be boring.
Connect with Marva on her blog and Twitter!

27 comments:

salarsenッ said...

Though Marva ended up losing the battle about the snowmobile name, I'm glad she shared that she stood up for herself. Great to know. Love the cover of the book, btw! :)

shelly said...

Nice interview! It's good to question things. It's also good to take wise advice as long as one's gut agrees.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Good interview, Lydia. I like the cover.

I can only concentrate on one novel at a time. Neither do I know how anyone can scatter their attention across multiple manuscripts.

Nice to meet you Marva.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can't write more than one at a time either.

storyqueen said...

Very interesting! The blurb really makes me want to read this!

Shelley

mshatch said...

love the blurb, esp. "And she thought Oregon was going to be boring." lol.

Stephen Tremp said...

Its great to meet you Marva. I like popsicles for a snack. I stay away from chips because its too easy to eat too many. Good luck with your writing!

Old Kitty said...

Kameron with a K! Love it!!

Good luck Marva and thanks Lydia for hosting! Take care
x

Carol Kilgore said...

I just finished editing and planning two separate projects. And I'm querying a third. All simultaneously. But now I'm gearing up to write the recently planned project, and it will be a one-project affair during the initial draft.

Nice to meet you.

Hi, Lydia!

J.L. Campbell said...

Marva, I see you know how to pick your battles. I'd be disappointed too because I like being specific rather than generic.

The plot for Missing, Assumed Dead sounds interesting.

Thanks to Lydia for hosting.

Marva Dasef said...

How nice of you to all drop by! And a big thanks to Lydia for spotlighting me today.

I'm in the midst of a MG/YA blogathon for next month's release of the Snowshoe 3000 book. It's titled "Bad Spelling," it's the first in a series, and will be released Oct. 14th from MuseItUp. Busy busy!

Heather said...

Great point about infringement and generic names! As a native of the state, I love that your book takes place in Oregon! I'll have to check it out.

lbdiamond said...

Nice post, Marva and Lydia!

I'd prefer Tylenol to pain killers too...pain killers could be anything from Tylenol, to Motrin, to Morphine, to Fentanyl.

Anyway...

Congrats to your success!!!

Munk said...

I think I live in a half-baked Oregon town... its still squishy in places.

Laila Knight said...

Great interview. And I love that cover, bloody and yet nice. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Enjoyed the interview. Marva is right. There is something that is added to the description by being more specific with Tylenol vs pain killers.

Krispy said...

Interesting hearing the answer to that first question. I always wonder about using brand names myself and what that entails.

Loved the story blurb! Very intriguing!

Karlene Petitt said...

I'm excited to read this book! Thank you for the great interview with a wonderful lady.

And for you... an incredible lady... We have honored you with the Versatile Blogger Award! Because you write your truth and educate us all! Thank you for helping writers write!

http://critiquesisterscorner.blogspot.com/2011/09/versatile-blogger-award.html

julie fedderson said...

I feel the need to send you better writerly snacks. You are far too good with what you choose--where is the sugar? The empty calories? Enjoyed the interview.

Carrie Butler said...

Great interview, ladies! I hope you both have a wonderful weekend! :)

LD Masterson said...

Misc. thoughts...I'm also a one book at a time writer, my afternoon snack is usually yogurt, and Missing, Assumed Dead looks like it belongs in my TBR pile.

cherie said...

I love your mini-interviews! The author has great voice, as evident by her answers. Plus the book blurb sounds intriguing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Looking forward to your picks for the blogfest on Monday!

Suze said...

It's so good of you to host authors on your blog, L.

Nas Dean said...

Lovely interview, it was nice to read about Marva. MISSING< ASSUMED DEAD sounds my kind of a book!

Thanks Lydia!

Leslie Rose said...

This book sounds tasty, and Marva sounds like a kick. Thanks for the intro.

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