Friday, 19 April 2013

#OBSpringFling - Author Interview - Marie Harbon



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#OBSpringFling



Please tell us and our readers a little bit about yourself. I’m a UK based author who writes mainly in the science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal genres, although I may break that rule from time to time. Apart from writing, my greatest passions also include fabric and stitching; I create bags, corsets and clothing in the vintage, retro and alternative style.

Describe your book series in a sentence to convince us to buy it. Be prepared for a journey, an expedition that draws together fringe science, psychic powers, alternate dimensions, time travel, past lives, folklore, consciousness, conspiracy and ancient wisdom, in a soap opera for the soul. 

What was your inspiration behind ‘Seven Point Eight’? It amalgamates all the things that interest me and that I’ve read about, including psychic powers, the universe, ancient wisdom and technology, quantum physics, mysticism, conspiracy, the universe. I wanted to create a highly ambitious series that encompasses life, the universe and everything, in an epic story revolving around five principal characters.

The concept revolves around visiting other worlds via the power of the mind, so you don’t need your physical body. Through consciousness alone, it’s possible to explore not only the universe, but your own spiritual heritage. The series involves a group of extraordinary people, and their quest for the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

How many Chronicles will there be? There are five in all. The First Chronicle came out about eighteen months ago, The Second Chronicle has just been released, and The Third Chronicle is scheduled for next year, no specific release day yet.

Each book will feature a main character on the cover, with the story involving them in a significant way. The first book depicted Tahra, as she is the key to beginning this whole journey in many ways, while the second one depicts Max, because I think his story arc is central to the action in the story, and links the character in a very dark and sinister way.

The Third Chronicle will feature Ava and in this book, her purpose and secrets will be revealed, as will her enemies and allies. I have something really wonderful planned for her, although it’ll change her life in ways she may regret. The Fourth Chronicle focuses on Paul to a large degree, because there’s a chunk of his life he hasn’t told us about, and it will be pretty explosive for the people concerned. Finally, The Fifth Chronicle concludes with the focus on Sam, his demons and dilemmas, plus, it wraps up all the story threads and mysteries running throughout the series.

I have some great story arcs lined up for all the characters, they’d better hold onto their hats!

What are your current writing projects? Seven Point Eight: The Third Chronicle is slated for release on the 11th November 2013, although I’m currently working on a soft science fiction/fantasy tale which is more suitable for teens and adults. The book is called ‘Hox’, with a tag line of ‘Even Angels Can Be Beasts’ and it’s scheduled for release around the 19th June 2013.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I like geeky science, but I also love the grand and epic scope that sci-fi offers. Speculative fiction really stretches the imagination and whole creative process, plus you can integrate all kinds of technology, while examining the moral aspects of it. There are many movies and TV series in this genre that remain favourites too, such as Star Wars, Contact, Star Trek, Star Gate, and Fringe.

Marie, was the research for the novel huge or hard? Once I’ve highlighted the needs of the plot, I tend to take notes from the books and web pages I’ve read, indicating how it fits in with my story. Smaller details and any location research are often researched as I progress through the book, reflecting where I need more detail. It can be quite difficult to capture the feeling of a country or city if you’ve never been there, but I find there’s plenty of information online, such as tourism sites and YouTube.

What are the best aspects of writing? In many ways, I’d say the second draft is the most pleasurable, in that you’re not faced with a totally blank page. At this stage, you can really lay down the more emotional aspects of the story, such as the character’s thoughts and feeling in each situation. It’s where you really cut the diamond. I enjoy writing both action sequences and relationship interactions, one because you get to create dangerous and exciting situations where you can kill characters in highly imaginative ways, and the other because you can really touch the soul of the reader, creating joy or heartbreak.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? Like many writers, I find sections of a book where it doesn’t flow so easily and when you’re staring at a blank page, it can be frustrating. The final read through can make you want to gouge your eyes out, so it’s handy to have something else to work on for a bit.

Can you tell us about your main character? Max is a central character in the second book, as it’s his demons and ruthlessness that links the character arcs of Tahra, Paul, Ava and Sam. In the first book, we came to understand him as an enigma with a controlling and narcissistic side however, in the second book, his darker side emerges and runs riot, creating absolute chaos for everyone else. We start to see how his objectives are not only personal, but are tied to a greater over-arcing programme involving a sinister military organisation.  The question is: where will his actions lead, to victory or will they have tragic consequences?

How important do you think villains are in a story? You definitely need some sort of antagonist in a story to provide the conflict, otherwise the story arc can become rather flat. However, I’m not one for cookie-cutter bad guys. Good people make mistakes and can be mean sometimes, while even sometimes the bad guy can have feelings and regrets. In real life, that black-white distinction doesn’t exist, but there are many shades of grey. Although Tahra is essentially a good person at heart, her experiences in the first two parts of the second book draw out the darker aspects of her personality. Should you destroy simply because you have the ability? We see her thoroughly challenged in this novel, her triumphs and her despair. Meanwhile, Max’s character arc is more dramatic as it is sordid. He becomes more the archetypal bad guy, and I’ve taken his traits to the edge in this book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? We get a real sense of karma in this book, in that we eventually have to face the consequences of our actions. What goes around, comes around. I also wanted to explore the notion of toxic relationships, in that despite a very magnetic attraction between two people, sometimes they have very deep seated issues which challenge their ability to love each other. I’ve also begun to introduce more topical discussion around ancient wisdom, particularly from Egypt and India, and notions of age old advanced civilisations. 


Buy at Amazon
Genre - Science Fiction (PG13)
Connect with Marie Harbon on Facebook and Twitter
Like The Seven Point Eight Chronicles on Facebook
Join me on Goodreads
General blog and website

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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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