Marin Thomas: Managing The Writing Juggle

MarinThomasAuthorPhotoHi-Res

Everyone’s Story welcomes back multi-published author Marin Thomas. I’ve known Marin for several years now and have been so pleased watching her writing career bloom and sparkle, from authoring contemporary short romances to now single title women’s fiction novels. It’s my pleasure to host Marin this week and I hope you enjoy our interview exchange. Also, please check out Marin’s BookGiveaway of 2 of her Harlequin novels, and the blurb of her upcoming release of the Promise Of Forgiveness. Both Marin and I look forward to hearing from you

 

BookGiveaway:

Surgeon's Christmas Baby Original

Marin is offering 1 copy of the book A Cowboy’s Redemption to 1 randomly chosen commenter, and 1 copy of the book The Surgeon’s Christmas Baby to a second commenter. The winners will be announced here on Friday, February 5th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment (you may choose to use the Contact form on the Contact Page to privately send me your email address).

Blurb of The Promise Of Forgiveness:

A novel of love, forgiveness, and the unbreakable bonds of family from award-nominated author

Marin Thomas . . .

When it comes to family, Ruby Baxter hasn’t had much luck. The important men in her early life abandoned her, and any time a decent boyfriend came along, she ran away. But now Ruby is thirty and convinced she is failing her teenage daughter. Mia is the one good thing in her life, and Ruby hopes a move to Kansas will fix what’s broken between them.

But the road to redemption takes a detour. Hank McArthur, the biological father Ruby never knew existed, would like her to claim her inheritance: a dusty oil ranch just outside of Unforgiven, Oklahoma.

As far as first impressions go, the gruff, emotionally distant rancher isn’t what Ruby has hoped for in a father. Yet Hank seems to have a gift for rehabilitating abused horses—and for reaching Mia. And if Ruby wants to entertain the possibility of a relationship with Joe Dawson, the ranch foreman, she must find a way to open her heart to the very first man who left her behind.

PromiseFinalCover

 

Questions for Marin:

I’ve followed your growing writing career from your short contemporary romances now to your first single title women’s fiction and I’m thrilled for you! Does the change feel like a natural extension or more as if you’ve leapt into a whole different frontier?

Hi Elaine—I’m excited to be here today—thanks for having me on your blog!

The change feels like a natural extension. The series books I write for Harlequin American and the women’s fictions novels I write for Berkley/NAL both contain family drama and take place in small-town rural settings. The main difference is that the women’s fiction books focus on the heroine’s journey and are broader in scope, which I love because I have the word count to delve deeper into my main characters.

What’s with your fascination of cowboys, ranches, and all things western?

I grew up in southern Wisconsin and when I was fifteen our family went on vacation to Colorado to visit our “farming” relatives. (I attribute my love of rural life and small towns to my paternal grandmother’s side of the family.) I saw my first real cowboy and my first rodeo in Colorado. And the Rocky Mountains were breathtaking. Then we drove to Arizona and I saw the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. I’ve been fascinated with the American west ever since.

The best way I can to summarize the popularity of cowboys and western settings in novels is a quote I came across on the Internet several years ago:

“America needs the Cowboy both to remind us of how far we have come and to bring us back to the simplicity of the values he represents. He is also needed because he is a piece of who we are as a country. He represents a lifestyle and a time period that is a cherished part of our History. Little boys want to grow up to be him and the little girls want to grow up to marry him.” ~cowboycrew.com

Please share with us a summary of the premise of your new release The Promise Of Forgiveness.

When it comes to family, Ruby Baxter hasn’t had much luck. The important men in her early life abandoned her, and any time a decent boyfriend came along, she ran away. But now Ruby is thirty-one and convinced she is failing her teenage daughter. Mia is the one good thing in her life, and Ruby hopes a move to Kansas will fix what’s broken between them.

But the road to redemption takes a detour. Hank McArthur, the biological father Ruby never knew existed, would like her to claim her inheritance: a dusty oil ranch just outside of Unforgiven, Oklahoma.

As far as first impressions go, the gruff, emotionally distant rancher isn’t what Ruby has hoped for in a father. Yet Hank seems to have a gift for rehabilitating abused horses—and for reaching Mia. And if Ruby wants to entertain the possibility of a relationship with Joe Dawson, the ranch foreman, she must find a way to open her heart to the very first man who left her behind.

Which reading audience would appreciate The Promise Of Forgiveness?

Readers who enjoy family drama, flawed characters and an uplifting ending. Ruby is not your typical heroine. She’s made a lot of mistakes in life but her heart and her intentions are good. If you like to cheer for the underdog then you’ll love rooting for this cast of misfits as they struggle to find their way as a family.

Will you continue to write western romances?

Yes. My next release for Harlequin American Romance is the third book in my Cowboy’s of The Rio Grande series, A COWBOY’S CLAIM (April 2016)

What is it like juggling between shorter category fiction and women’s fiction?

A bit crazy sometimes! My Americans are faster-paced books and I often have to remind myself when I’m writing women’s fiction to slow down and allow my characters time to savor the moment.

Any tricks/tips you’d like to share?

I set weekly word count goals for each book. Some days I work on both books and others days I focus on one. I’m not a fast writer, so I try to build in a few extra weeks into my deadline in case I don’t make my word count each week.

For the writer viewer: Any suggestions on marketing the two different types of fiction you write?

Promotion takes up a lot of time-and some of it I really enjoy—like connecting with people online. I’ve met a lot of wonderful authors and readers on FB and Twitter. The books I write in both genres share a lot of similarities so I’ve been able to cross promote to both reading audiences.

If you can hire an office assistant or you have a social media savvy friend who is willing to help you then that’s the way to go. I have a wonderful author assistant who not only knows her way around social media but she’s really creative and has come up with some fun and unique ways of promoting my books to both romance and women’s fiction audiences.

Also, since selling to Berkley/NAL I’ve joined the Women’s Fiction Writers Association to network with other authors, which has been really helpful.

Try to network with authors in both the genres you write in. Because the name Marin Thomas has always been associated with romance I’ve focused more time on targeting women’s fiction blogs and making connections with other women’s fiction writers, with the goal of having my name associated with both genres. I’m also a member of www.tallpoppies.org a talented group of authors who are very inspiring!

Now that your author career is growing, how are you adapting your daily schedule and still managing to keep the home frontier intact?

I thought when my husband and I became empty nesters day-to-day life would settle down and I’d be gifted with long periods of quiet uninterrupted writing time. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. My two adult kids live in different states so I have to schedule trips to see them around my deadlines, which isn’t always convenient for them. We have 14-year-old dogs still at home—one it blind and can no longer find his way to the water dish or anywhere else in the house for that matter. Some days it feels like I’m running the Four Paws Senior Daycare in my house. More often than not to keep up with my word count goals I have to write on the weekends. Fortunately I have an understanding husband who is more than willing to get out of my hair (code for I’m going golfing).

What’s the one novel you’ve been wanting to read and would plunge right into if given a gift of time without responsibilities or commitments?

OTHER LIES AND ACTS OF LOVE (April 2016) by Kristy Woodson Harvey and LAST ONE HOME (March 2016) by Debbie Macomber.

Marin’s past guest appearance on Everyone’s Story: http://elainestock.blogspot.com/2012/11/marin-thomas-passion-for-american-west.html

 

Marin’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Visit with @MarinThomas as she leaps from writing short romances to #Women’sFicton (Tweet This)

Author @MarinThomas: Juggling writing & marketing tips. (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: @MarinThomas chats on cowboys & new #WF release The Promise Of Forgiveness. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Marin grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin and attended college at the University of Arizona where she played basketball for the Lady Wildcats and earned a B.A. in Radio-TV. Following graduation she married her college sweetheart in a five-minute ceremony at the historical Little Chapel of the West in Las Vegas, Nevada. Marin and her husband currently live in Houston, Texas and when she’s not writing she spends her free time junk hunting and researching her next ghost tour.

Places to connect with Marin:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon

Elaine Sightings This Week:

DivineDetour

February 2nd: Divine Detour Blog

http://kathyharrisbooks.com/blog/

Since I’ll only have 1 chance to announce a debut novel:

AlwaysCoverFinalcopy

amazon_elaine

Additional Fun and BookGiveaways from Elaine to 

Celebrate the Release of her novel Always With You

and this new website:

NewWebsiteContest

In addition to Marin’s generous Giveaway, you also have a chance to  enter the BookGiveaway I’m offering to win either 1 copy of my debut novel Always With You (upon its release) or Christmas Treasures. Just sign up for my NEWSLETTER/Mailing List found on the ABOUT ELAINE page–click on the MAILING LIST house icon on the top right-hand column. US entries will receive a printed copy.  Outside the US will receive a digital copy.

I’m so looking forward to this Giveaway!

I also hope that you will sign up to receive Everyone’s Story blog in your inbox. The SUBSCRIPTION BOX is on the top of this page on the right-hand column. Previous subscribers on the former Blogger blog have not automatically been transferred.

Marin and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. Click “Comments.”

 

75 comments to Marin Thomas: Managing The Writing Juggle

  • Hello Elaine and Marin!
    I’ve read a couple of Marin’s books – both the contemporary and the cowboy and I’ve enjoyed them. Both Cowboy’s Redemption and The Surgeon’s Christmas Baby sound like fun reads. Her characters are always realistic and relatable and I leave her books feeling better than before I read them. That is one of my goals – to learn something, to experience something with a character, or to see circumstances of my own or someone I know lived out in a godly way.

    • elaineadmin

      Delores, thanks for the visit this evening! I’m so glad you enjoyed Marin’s novels and are joining us here to champion her on into this seemingly very natural next step for her.

    • Hi Delores–you just made my day with your comment! I’m glad my books have left you with feeling good or hopeful after reading them because that’s always beanery intent. Enjoy your weekend and thank you for stopping by!

  • Great interview! As always, you do an awesome job, Elaine!

    • elaineadmin

      Thanks so much, Karla, for swinging by tonight. What more, thanks for the sweet words on the interview. I try!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Karla-Elaine’s been a huge supporter of other writer’s and its been such a joy to know her through the years. I’m pretty excited about her first book, Always With You, that just came out!

      • elaineadmin

        Oh, thanks so much, Marin!! If I chewed my fingernails I’d say these past 2 weeks has been big nail-biting weeks for me. I’ve gone from wondering when my book would release to oh-my-it-is-released to is-anyone-reading-this-story?

        But, this spotlight is on you, my friend. And it’s a very awesome time indeed for you!

  • Ann Ellison

    Thanks for introducing another author that I haven’t read her books. I will be adding her books to my reading list.

  • Elaine – thanks for hosting Marin and asking such great questions.

    Marin – the book sounds fabulous, and I loved learning more about Ruby. Best of luck with juggling your two genres!

    • elaineadmin

      Barbara, welcome to Everyone’s Story. Funny, I was just on Twitter and saw that you tweeted for Marin–thank you!!–and then I saw your blog comment shoot into my email box waiting for approval… don’t you just love how social media works? Marin has been my unofficial mentor in helping me juggle sanity and launching my debut novel–she’s a true blessing.

    • Hi Barbara-thank you for checking out Elaine’s blog–some days I feel like I should have gone to college and majored in juggled, but the more practice I have the better I’m getting at it (knock on wood) lol!

  • Elaine – and I just saw your thank-you tweet and followed you back. 🙂 Social media is wonderful when it connects people with the same interests.

    With Marin in your corner, you can’t go wrong.

  • Marin – there’s a long list of things I should have majored in, too, including juggling and so many things to do with being a writer. But who knew?

    I’m glad to know there’s chance for improvement. lol

  • Karen Machamer

    I can’t wait to read Marin’s Latest book. She is one of my favorite authors.

  • Thanks for sharing your tips, Marin. I’m also a slow writer. It sounds like a good idea to add a couple of weeks
    into your goal for word count. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel so behind.

    Great interview, Elaine, as usual!

  • Elaine, thank you for introducing a new-to-me author. Her books sound like ones I’d love to read. So with her on the marketing–wish I could find a good assistant! Thank you for promoting other authors. You are awesome!

    • elaineadmin

      Thanks kindly, Pat! Marin shares a timely message for me, personally, with the launching of my debut novel, promotion of it, hosting blog guests and promoting their features, and trying to desperately write fresh. I’m learning how to ask for help directly, which is not easy for me to do. All this juggling is proving to be another big life lesson!

    • Patricia, thank you for visiting Elaine’s blog! I hope you’re able to find an assistant to work with you in the future-I credit the lovely lady I work with for saving my sanity. She’s a godsend to me when I’m on a tight deadline. Plus it’s really nice having a partner to share the ups and downs of this business with. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

  • Marilyn

    Thank you for the opportunity to learn about another new author. It’s always nice to discover new authors and read an interview on a blog that prompts wholeness, faith and God. .

    • elaineadmin

      Nice to see you again, Marilyn. I’m glad you appreciated Marin’s interview–good feedback like that serves as a guide to help me understand what my viewers enjoy.

    • Marilyn, thank you for stopping by Elaine’s blog and leaving a comment! In each and every book I write I strive to leave my readers feeling uplifted and hopeful. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

  • Thanks for this peek into your writing life, Marin. I write women’s fiction too – great to meet another author.

  • Hi Gail, thanks for stopping by Elaine’s blog! Great to meet you–I’ll be sure to check out your books.

  • Kathleen O

    Marin you always do such great interviews..

  • peggy clayton

    This was a great look into the days of Marin. I can’t wait to read her book!

  • Therese lopez

    I love all your books, they are so amazing to read. They take me on a journey that touches my heart and soul. They have romance, they make you smile, cry, they have drama everything a phenomenal book should have.

  • Hi Peggy-thank you for visiting Elaine’s blog-Happy Monday! If you get the chance to read The Promise of Forgiveness I hope you’ll let me know what you think of the characters and their struggle to find their way as a family 🙂 Have a good week!

  • Lori Payer

    Awesome interview! Thank you for sharing! I’m definitely looking forward to reading her new book 🙂

  • Candy Lyn

    Wow, this was a very thorough interview! It leaves the reader feeling like they really got to know a lot more about an awesome author! I’m going to try figuring out the contact form. If not I’ll just reply to this comment. I can’t imagine losing out on such a fantastic opportunity!

    • elaineadmin

      Candy Lyn, I received your personal info just fine through the contact message–thanks for your sweet words as well as your blog subscription. Wow. I really appreciate that! If by chance you consider signing up for my Newsletter/Mailing List (found on the top right hand corner on the other pages of my website) you’ll be eligible for the contest I’m personally offering of a Giveaway of one of my books.

      But… back to Marin. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview and am excited about her Giveaway offer.

      Hope to see you again 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Elaine’s blog, Candy-hope your week is off to a good start!

  • Candy Lyn

    Do you have a list somewhere of what authors you would like to interview or future interview plans?

    • elaineadmin

      I host guests from Friday to Friday. Sometimes I do interviews, other times I give the floor to a guests’ uplifting message–usually tied in with their novel. I’m currently booking into July. If you’re interested, or any other author you may enjoy seeing me host on Everyone’s Story, please contact me on the Contact Form found on my Contact page of this website–that’s the best way to get to me and I will reply. Thanks tons for your interest!!

  • LINDA/HOTCHA1

    I’VE NEVER HAD THE CHANCE TO READ YOUR BOOKS MARIN, BUT I HOPE TO SOME DAY.

  • Beth Miller

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway

  • Nicole Smith

    Great Interview!

  • Great interview. I always love to read author interviews because I get to “meet” new authors or learn something new about authors I do know. Marin, you’re a new author to me and I’ve added some of your books to my TBR list, but have yet the pleasure of reading it. Thanks for this giveaway and a chance to do so.
    Annie
    justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

  • I knew Marin before she was a FAMOUS author!! So thrilled about her debut single title release!! WOOOHOOO!!!

    • elaineadmin

      Tina, so glad you’ve visited with Marin and me! Sorry I didn’t moderate your comment earlier… I was busy juggling the day job and the better half of me–my writing life 🙂

    • LOL, Tina! We sure had some fun times at your house, didn’t we! And everyone in our critique group hit a home run becoming published–thanks for stopping by Elaine’s blog and enjoy your weekend!

  • elaineadmin

    It’s been a while since so many viewers have taken the time to leave such awesome comments for one of my guests (looks like the blogging world has risen out of the holiday slump!) that it’s been fun for me to get my typing fingers back into better shape. And who do I have to thank for this? The incredible Marin Thomas!! Heartfelt thanks, Marin, for appearing on Everyone’s Story this past week.

    Thanks too for your wonderful and generous BookGiveaway. The winners of Marin’s novels are…

    Candy and Annie. Big congratulations, ladies. Happy reading! Both Marin and I will contact you directly through direct emails.

    Blessings to all.

  • Sally A. Peckham

    What amazing women & great stories! I haven’t had a chance to read any of their books yet, but am looking forward to doing so. 🙂

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