Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Marionette by T.B. Markinson and interviewing her about her YA Title. Enjoy!
Describe a bit of your journey so far as a writer.
When I was in the sixth grade, I realized I wanted to be a writer. However, things in life always interfered. For years I would scribble stories on pieces of paper, but I never had the time to take it seriously. Then I found out my partner’s company wanted to move us from Boston, Massachusetts to London, England. All of a sudden I was unemployed and could focus on my writing. For over two years now I’ve done just that and it has been incredible. I actually put in more hours writing than I ever did at my full-time job (shhh, don’t tell my former employer). And I love it.
I’ve published two novels and I’m sending the third to my editor later this month.
What made you want to write this novel?
I wanted to write a story about a young woman who has a lot going on in her life. Even though things seem overwhelming, I wanted her to stay strong for the most part. Yes, she doesn’t always handle it well, but Paige does have a lot to deal with. Overall, I was impressed by how much she could handle and she proved to me just how strong she is. What drew me to Paige was her vulnerability. Yes she’s strong, intelligent, a smart ass, and brave, but under it all she’s vulnerable. When she allows others to help her, things start to look up for her. Going through life alone is difficult and Paige learns that she doesn’t have to be alone.
Though LGBT related novels are more mainstream their still considered controversial to some (not me) Have you had any naysayers? Has the book been received well so far?
I really haven’t encountered naysayers. To be honest, I expected more people to say they didn’t approve and when I announced on my blog, 50 Year Project that I published a lesbian romance novel I thought I would lose followers. Instead, I gained many more. Everyone has been so supportive and for that I’m extremely grateful and it makes me hopeful about the future.
Why was telling the story during this particular time period important to you?
Paige starts college in 1992, which was when I started college. At the time I was in the closet and there was a debate going on about gay and lesbian rights in Colorado. For weeks, when I would walk to and from classes, I heard the heated discussions on the quad from those for and against. It was an emotional time for me. And it was quite difficult keeping quiet. I realized in high school that I was gay, but didn’t come out until my sophomore year in college. Luckily I had a great support network and my coming out experience, for the most part, was positive. That’s not the case for many others.
What do you hope others get out of reading this book?
First and foremost, I hope they are entertained. For me, novels are about stories, be that sad, funny, adventure, horror, or so many other options. Story is important to me. Second, I would like readers to relate to the story on some level. Not that everyone’s life story is the same, but most, if not all of us, have to deal with adversity. It’s part of life. Paige struggles on some levels with her situation, but she’s strong, even when she thinks she isn’t. Life isn’t easy all the time, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.
What are your future plans? Future books, etc.
I have two drafts right now for book three and four. Currently I’m focusing on book three, which is about a young woman who had everything going for her. She graduated from Harvard, had a literary agent, and a deal to write her first book. However, everything has fallen apart and she’s working at Starbucks to make ends meet. She has a crazy but loving family and girlfriend. It’s about whether she can find her true path in life and get everything back on track.
The fourth novel is quite different from anything I’ve written. It deals with how one mistake alters the lives of many.
Lately, a new story has been percolating in my head. I can’t say too much about it since the idea is pretty fresh, but it will involve a murder.
Paige Alexander is seventeen and has her whole life in front of her. One day her girlfriend comes home to discover that Paige has slit her wrists. Paige isn’t insane, but she acts like she is. Why?
After the incident, Paige agrees to go to therapy to appease her girlfriend, Jess. However, Paige doesn’t believe that therapy will help her. She believes she’s beyond help. Paige doesn’t want to find herself and she doesn’t want to relive her painful past in order to come to terms with it. What Paige wants is control over her life, which she hasn’t had since her birth.
During her childhood, Paige is blamed for a family tragedy, when in fact, her twin sister, Abbie was responsible. Abbie doesn’t come forward and Paige becomes the pariah of the family.
To add to Paige’s woes while attending a college in a small town in Colorado, the residents are in the midst of debating whether or not gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Tension is high and there’s a threat of violence. She isn’t out of the closet and pretends to be straight at school since she fears what will happen if her parents find out she’s a lesbian. Will she end up dead like her best friend, Alex?
About the Author:
T. B. Markinson is a 39-year old American writer, living in England, who pledged she would publish before she was 35. Better late than never. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. Marionette is her second novel. A Woman Lost was her debut novel.