Saturday, March 30, 2013

Marie Phillips Interview

Next up for your entertainment is Sci-Fi/Fantasy author, Marie Phillips! Marie has a few books out now and is working on 2 more. Please stick around and see what she is up to and how she got there...

Describe your books? What genre do you consider your books?  Mostly Science fiction / Fantasy, though KHAN: A MAINE COON is not of that genre. I suppose it is an animal tale, but is also a biography. It is hard to categorize.

When and why did you begin writing? Who inspired you to start writing? I started writing when I was five, creating picture type stories with a tree as the main character! As I grew older, I even designed my own publishing “firm” called “Sunrise Publications” and it featured a rainbow over a sunrise logo in glorious Crayola crayon! I’ve had the desire to write from the nonhuman point of view for as long as I can remember.

How did the idea for this book come to mind? I started out with the idea of turning Khan’s early months before we adopted him into a fantasy cat yarn, but as time went by I ended up writing his life story from his point of view. I did use some of the fantasy elements, but for the most part stuck to the true events of his life. When he fell ill, the story was no longer just a cat’s tale but a tribute to him, a bit of immortality for such a sweet gentle giant.

Who is your favorite character in the book besides the protagonist and why?  Khan’s best buddy Phantom. In writing this story, I realized just how special this cat was in all our lives. He was Khan’s best friend and in the end, protector.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing the book to life?  In the research, all I had to do was carefully comb my memory, photo accounts, and medical records to keep everything true to what happened. In doing this from his point of view and allowing the characters to speak, I tried to be sure that stayed true to the cat’s personalities as well as the species. I tried to get into their heads.

What is the hardest part of writing the book? The last few chapters, since when doing revisions and editing, it was very difficult reading about the events.

Who designed the covers of the book? I did. It features a photo of Khan when he was two years old.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what is it? I learned more about my own cats and everything that goes into caring for them when they are ill. The book helped heal my heart, and in it, Khan and his best buddy will always live on.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in the book? I think I might have added Phantom’s point of view. But since I did not, it leaves it wide open for another story, this time Phantom’s.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Was there somewhere in the book you felt stuck? My problem is I have more I wish to write than I could possibly ever finish! On the rare occasion I get stuck, I will shift to another project and come back to it. Generally, yhe answers come suddenly and I must write myself notes! With KHAN: A MAINE COON, I never got stuck. The story was already there to transpose to print.

What are your current projects? I have the first two books of my FURLITES OF ARORIEL series out now. Book one is On Matissia Wings and Book II is EARTH-BRED, MATISSIA-BORN. I am working on Book 3-Eyes in the Dark of my Furlites of Aroriel series, short story Fantasy collection, that includes a tale about Old Gent, an ancient Norway Spruce,  a Furlitian Tales collection, Phantom’s tale called F-4 Phantom Wild Weasel, and  eccentric collection of stories called THE SECRET LIFE OF MODEL HORSES.

Which book of yours will be coming out next and when? Could you describe what happens in this book? Can we get an excerpt?  The Fantasy short story collection should be the next book out sometime early in 2012. It features a story called The White Dragons of Suvwilur. Here is an excerpt. If you prefer something longer let me know.

    Feklaar lifted his head, ears pricked and quivering, as thunder cracked suddenly in the high, frigid peaks he called home. A shaft of bright sunlight illuminated the entrance to his lair, telling the majestic dragon no mere thunder reverberated in the mountains. The sounds died away, and Feklaar listened carefully. The unmistakable keen of a dragon followed the last echo of thunder. Feklaar growled deeply, the utterance rumbling deep in his broad chest. Another of his kind killed by the Strange Ones, who appeared in the skies south of the Mountains months ago. He lurched to his feet, allowing a puff of smoke to escape his toothy maw. Unfurling his vast pinions, Feklaar bared impressive cutlery and shot a brief burst of flame.

What book are you reading now? Which are your all-time favourite authors / books? Favourite movies and favourite music band? I am reading Merry Maines: A Shaggy Cat Tale by Garnet Quinn. Also am reading The Land of the Painted caves by Auel. I have many others in the Kindle-waiting. I love Anne Mccaffery’s Pern stories, Robert Sawyers’ Quintaglio series, Shirley Murphy’s Joe Grey Mysteries,  Mercedes Lackey’s Valdamar series,  and have already fallen in love with the Merry Maines feline crew!  There are so many more. I love Science Fiction/ fantasy and one of my favourite movies was ET, and one of my favourite TV shows is Dr Who. I love the old classic rock bands, and Christmas music in just about any genre.

Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you, something you could not read just about anywhere.   I love birdwatching, collect, customize, and show model horses and other animals, and I suppose my political affiliation could best be described as a conservative libertarian.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers? Well, my stories are definitely off the mainstream. I love to write stories from the nonhuman point of view. If you are a reader, like myself, who loves to read stories that feature aliens, cats, horses, trees, fantasy creatures, which tell the story from their eyes, then you will likely enjoy my work! If talking animals bother you, or nonhumanoid aliens bother you, you will likely not enjoy my books.  I had one editor tell me she could not relate to my Furlites because they had tails! She suggested removing them and I laughed. My proofreader and mentor said, “don’t you dare”.  I replied, “don’t fret, I can’t! Cut off a Furlite’s tail and they can’t walk very well!”  We had a great laugh.  You can’t lop off the tail of a Saurian biped!!! So if you enjoy books like Watership Down, Tad William’s Tailchaser’s Song, or Robert Sawyer’s FARSEER, you most likely will enjoy mine.

Quick-fire questions:
ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover? I always loved hardcovers and paperbacks, but since I got my Kindle—its ebooks now.

Cats or dogs? Love them both but choose cats.

Coffee or tea? Coffeeee-where is the IV????

Favorite food?  So many to choose from but I love a nice rare steak!!

Vanilla or chocolate icecream? Chocolate!

What are 4 things you never leave home without? Purse, cellphone, keys, and a special bracelet I have in memory of my Mom.

Laptop or desktop for writing? Mostly desktop, but have a laptop for times working at the desktop is not possible.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing? At my desktop, with the huge 24’ screen, during the day.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you? Dan Marino, Anne McCaffery, Chef Gordon Ramsey

List 3 of your all-time favourite movies?  ET, Star Trek IV and Lord of the Rings

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed? DR Who Christmas episode

Where to find Marie...

My blog:

 Please join me and the other amazingly talented authors over @ Skulldust Circle where we have formed a Writer's Circle that must be seen--a collection of brilliant, up & coming independently published speculative fiction authors with much to give both now and in the future!

All of my work can be found on AMAZON -- Kindle versions here

See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

Please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience, see direct links to purchase my full length novel, Covenant of the Faceless Knights, the short stories: Wothlondia Rising, and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!

All maps, names and content copyright Ashenclaw Studios 2012 unless otherwise noted.


  1. I guess you could call Marie's books Sci-Feline! They sound very interesting. Thanks for a fascinating interview.

  2. Great interview...I'm going to need to add you to my reader.