MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RENA MARIN!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Rena Marin and to be honest, I write a bit of everything although lately I’ve been focusing mostly on YA horror/paranormal and fantasy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My upcoming release is The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge. Crazy Ink Publishing will be releasing it on August 29th of this year. It’s a coming of age story for a young witch named Sadie. On the last day of her senior year of school, Sadie is informed that her aunt, Vivian, who is a dear friend and mentor has been murdered. The story revolves around Sadie and her dearest friends Daria, Willa, and Naomi as they try to find out what happened to Vivian and piece together the truth behind the coven they are set to join now that they are of age.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always loved these types of stories. Anything that involves magic or the things that go bump in the night catches my attention.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I didn’t do a lot of research for this particular story. I didn’t stick to rules for covens or witches. I made up my own in hopes of giving Sadie and the girls their own story.
Can you tell me about your Series?
For now, the plan is four books in the series. Each book will lead the girls farther down their path of becoming the witches they’ve always dreamed of being while fighting for their friends and family and against those who fear what they will become.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Book two is underway but I have to say I think Book One will hold a special place since it’s the introduction to my girls and their world.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I came up with the title first, then the characters and storyline flowed from there.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. I knew it would be a series when I named the girls and gave them their abilities. I knew their story couldn’t be told in one sitting.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Owning my own business and being a mom keep me very busy. I do write every day. Unfortunately, I’m not able to set goals for myself since I never know how much time I have but whenever the chance hits, wherever I am, I start writing.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I am currently working on a YA paranormal/horror novella called “The Piano Man.”
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I drive myself crazy trying to come up with the right names for my characters. In most cases, I have personality traits and physical appearance hammered out before the name ever comes.
Where do your ideas come from?
Some stories I make myself think on, trying to force my brain to form the scenes in my mind. Others I dream of. Lots of ideas come to me while I’m working, and I rush to my phone to put the ideas down for safekeeping.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’ve tried quite a bit, but I would love to write a stand alone horror that really brought out the inner fear in those that read it. I love being scared. LOL.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
In all honesty, finding the time. I wish I could lower my work load, so I could write more but I have to pay the bills. LOL.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer, or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I don’t know if my publisher will create a trailer considering I have no idea how to, but I’d love to see one for my witches.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Being a wife and mom first and foremost, but in the book world, I was thrilled when Skylar McKinzie and I won the best horror award for our book “Halloween Nightmare.”
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The people you meet. I’ve met so many wonderful people I would not consider friends. They are amazing, and I love them all.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still writing and maybe working less so I can devote more time to it.
Have you always liked to write?
I wrote my first story when I was 10. I entered it into my local Language Arts Fair and won. It’s always been in my blood.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
The best advice I ever received was to just keep writing. The rest will come, just write the words.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
My first dream job was becoming an English Lit teacher.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I read them. I probably shouldn’t but I can’t help it. LOL. I’ve never responded to one and don’t think I ever will. When it comes to bad reviews or hearing someone isn’t fond of something I wrote, I try to shake it off. I knew everyone isn’t going to love everything you do.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Marketing. It drives me insane.
What are you working on now?
I have several anthologies releasing over the next few months. I’m also working on Piano Man and part 2 in our Dead Oaks Series, Ouija.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
This is the first part of Chapter Four of “The Piano Man” Please keep in mind this is a rough draft and has had no editing whatsoever lol.
After a quick lunch, Amber found herself up on the fourth floor, trying to get a few of the room ready. She’d dusted, cleaned bathrooms, made beds, and vacuumed so much even her toes were aching. Like her Grams kept saying though, the place would be fabulous when they were done.
She had to admit she was impressed with her mom and grandmother’s cleaning skills. It was clear this had been in their blood. Her Grams could go through the rooms at the speed of light, even at her age. Her mom was steadily knocking them out at an alarming rate, even though she hadn’t done work at the Inn in nearly twenty-five years. Being the newbie to the routine, Amber was pleased at how well she’d caught on, especially considering how much they still needed to do. With hopes of success, Grams had added to the amount of people the Inn could comfortably house.
The newly revamped Reagan Inn would consist of four floors, with eighty-four rooms, the main lobby, breakfast nook, and of course, the indoor pool area. There was no need in having an outdoor pool at The Reagan Inn. There was a creek within minutes of the building that they expected the guests to prefer spending their time in. Amber also noticed no piano in the breakfast nook. Obviously, her Grams wanted to erase the memory of what had taken place all those years ago.
Finishing the last room on her floor, Amber went out to the cleaning cart sitting in the hallway. Now that all the cleaning was finished, it was time to put in all the amenities such as soaps and shampoos. She’d even watched videos on how to fold the towels in the cutest ways in hopes of impressing guests, and her mother and Grams.
Stepping into room 406 with her arms full, she went to the vanity, dropping her load onto the edge of the sink. She carefully placed all the additions on the cute trays her Grams had chosen to showcase them on, then started trying to do the towel swans she’d seen on the video. Once she was satisfied with her project, she absently hung the bath mat on the towel rack near the tub, then turned to walk away. Movement caught her attention, causing her to look back, curiously. The bath mat was lying on the floor.
“Weird,” she mumbled to herself then went over to replace the mat. This time, she made sure it was hanging securely then turned for the interior of the room. Again, movement caught her attention from the corner of her eye. “Seriously,” she huffed seeing the same mat on the floor again.
Walking toward the bathroom, she felt a chill settle into the air. Wondering if somehow the air conditioning unit had kicked on, she glanced around, seeing the windows on the French doors icing over. Wrapping her arms around herself, she shivered, exhaling hard. Seeing her own breath, fear began to build inside her. Something wasn’t right.
Turning toward the open door, she began walking slowly, but steadily for the hallway. The room had quickly become the last place she wanted to be. Almost to the safety of the door, she shrieked out in shock, as it closed hard in front of her, almost taking the edge of her nose with it.
“Mom? Grams?” She called out hoping one of them would answer, telling her they’d been the one who closed the door. Nothing. Instead, the dead bolt at the top of the door slowly turned, locking her inside the now frigid room.
Trying the door, she found it wouldn’t open. The doors were designed to open from the inside without the need of turning the dead bolt. Hoping it was just a malfunction, she reached up, trying to turn the bolt by hand. It wouldn’t budge. It felt as if something were holding it in place or the iciness of the room had frozen it shut.
Rushing over to the French doors, Amber looked out, hoping to spot her mom or grandmother. Instead, all she saw was the sun setting on the beautiful mountain view each room boasted. Kicking herself for leaving her cell on the cleaning cart, she did the only other thing she could think of and ran to the phone sitting on the nightstand. They’d made sure each room had a way to call out in case of emergencies. In her mind, that’s exactly what this was.
Grasping the receiver, she held it to her ear, hearing nothing. Rolling her eyes at her lack of knowledge when it came to these types of phones, she checked all the cords and made sure they were hooked in. Satisfied that things were as they should be, she started punching the numbers for the desk over and over. Still, she was getting nothing until finally a faint sound filled the room. Trying to place the sound, she looked around, fighting the shivering that had taken over. That’s when she saw it. On the window of the French door, scratching through the ice that had formed over it, a single music note was drawn. Far from a music expert, she had no idea what the symbol stood for but had seen it on band friend’s notebooks and jewelry.
“The Piano Man,” she whispered to the emptiness of the room. As if on cue, the lights flickered once, then again. Throwing her hands over her mouth, she fought the urge to scream. She wanted help but the last thing she needed to do was freak out her mom.
Knowing she had to get out of the room, Amber raced back toward the front door, grasping the dead bolt once again. She fought with it, struggling to get it to break free. Feeling the tears that had been threatening her start to fall, she pleaded silently for the door to open. Instead, the soft sound of a piano playing flowed through the room.
“No,” she screamed still frantically working at the door. “This isn’t real. This isn’t happening.”
“Oh, but it is, Amber. I’m playing for you,” a voice called out from behind her.
“No! Mom!” She yelled as she banged on the door hard, hoping someone could hear her. Feeling as though something was near her, she fought the urge to look behind her. If something was there, she knew she’d never find the courage to be in the Inn again. “GO AWAY!” She screamed as the door flew open and she spilled onto the hallway floor face first.
“Baby girl are you alright?” The familiar voice of her grandmother asked as Amber scurrying into the old woman’s awaiting arms, still avoiding looking into the room where she’d just been.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I didn’t really make a choice. I just write what comes to me no matter the genre it falls in.
Where did your love of books come from?
My favorite teacher gave me a copy of The Wizard of Oz. I was hooked after that.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I love all the authors at Crazy Ink. They are amazing writers who are very supportive. Erin Lee is amazing. But I can’t lie, Stephen King is my all time fave and It is my fave book of his. My favorite book of all time however is Wuthering Heights.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
It’s a toss up between Jasmyn O’Connor from Guardians and Sadie from Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Energize. I love getting a flow going.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Sex. Writing sex scenes scares me. I always second guess what I write and wonder if its any good.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I like to say I’m original but I’m a reader myself, so I suppose I’m guilty of both.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Skylar McKinzie was the one who pushed me to submit the first time. She’s always been very supportive. Erin Lee has been another who has supported me without question. She took me under her wing and has tried to help me become a better writer by trying to give me the boost of confidence I need. Ebony McMillan though, she is my rock. She is a writer and my PA but most importantly she’s my friend and the one who is always there guiding me and simply being my rock.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
The Working Stiff…lol
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Wow, I never expect to be interviewed so I have no idea on this one.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thanks so much for allowing me the opportunity!!