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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Meet Marilyn Baron

Welcome multi-talented author Marilyn Baron. Marilyn writes suspense/thrillers and comedy. 

Marilyn, please tell us about yourself.



I’m a Public Relations consultant in Atlanta, Georgia, and a member of Georgia Romance Writers. I’ve been writing since I was in the fourth grade. I have a degree in Journalism from the University of Florida with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Creative Writing. I worked in corporate public relations for AT&T and then for a variety of clients in my own public relations business.  


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?  

Read. I’m never without a book. I read while I’m watching TV, standing in line at the post office, at the doctor’s office, at the dinner table and right before I go to bed.

What does your family think of your writing? 

 I think they’re proud of me. My two daughters are my greatest fans, which I love, because I raised them to believe they could accomplish anything and they both have fulfilling careers. One of my sisters always prefaces our telephone conversation with a warning: “This better not end up in your novel.” The other one, who is my occasional writing partner, got me a sweatshirt that says, “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel.”
I have used funny stories my girls have told me in my books so they know to be careful what they say around me. My husband will only read books about spies and World War II so I had to write one that was set in World War II Bermuda so he would read it. It’s called Under the Moon Gate.  

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? 

To date, I’ve published three full-length novels with The Wild Rose Press [Under the Moon Gate, a historical/romantic thriller set in contemporary and WWII Bermuda; Significant Others, a humorous women’s fiction set at a retirement home in Boca Raton, Florida; and Sixth Sense, a psychic suspense novel, Book I of the Psychic Crystal Mystery series]. The Wild Rose Press [TWRP] has also published the prequel to Under the Moon Gate, called Destiny: A Bermuda Love Story.  I’m now in edits with TWRP on the second in the Psychic Crystal Mystery series called “Homecoming Homicides,” which will come out in 2014. I’m working on Book III of the series and a new women’s fiction, which I’m excited about.

My sister Sharon, a Florida artist, and I have coauthored a short comedic mystery called Murder at the Outlet Mall (Things get deadly when three women come to blows over a single Coach bag at the St. Augustine Premium Outlets®); a humorous women’s fiction with elements of murder, mystery and romance, also set in Florida, called The Edger; and we’ve just released a new musical called Memory Lane about Alzheimer’s that takes a light-hearted, but poignant, look at this global epidemic.    

In addition, I’ve published four humorous supernatural e-short stories with TWB press about angels and devils, love and death, weddings and funerals.  Happy endings guaranteed. So far, my favorite novel is Under the Moon Gate. I also love Significant Others, which is a great holiday story.   

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...? 

I always start with a title that I love, write the back cover blurb or develop the concept, then start naming the characters. At that point, I start writing. I don’t plot, although my novels are plot driven. I’m pretty much of a pantser.

If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be? 

Finish the book. Learn your craft. Join a writing organization. Submit. Don’t ever give up on your dream. 

What are some jobs you’ve done that would end up in a book? 

I was an Information Specialist for the Florida Department of Offender Rehabilitation for a year. Basically I did PR for the state prison system. My first day on the job four inmates escaped from a women’s correctional institution. We had so many inmates in the state we had to house them in tents in a “tent city.” Also, I was a reservationist at the Downingtown Inn in Pennsylvania for the summer, which was just like living the movie Dirty Dancing. 

What two authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing? 

I read so many authors and genres, that’s a difficult question. In romance, I love anything by Nora Roberts, Amanda Quick or Sandra Brown. In the international thriller and espionage genre, I love Daniel Silva, Ben Coes and the late Vince Flynn. One of my favorites was The Book Thief, a young adult book, which was brilliant. And another YA book, The Fault in our Stars. Both are being made into movies.

Tell us about your latest book. 

 My latest book is called Sixth Sense. It’s considered a psychic suspense but it’s really a romantic suspense with paranormal elements. Book I in the series—called the Psychic Crystal Mysteries—deals with serial killers and a secret society of psychics, but it has romance and humor, which all of my books have. It is set in Atlanta, Sydney, Australia, and a fictional seaside community of psychics in Florida called Casa Spirito. 


Blurb for Significant Others
For Honey Palladino, the holidays have lost their magic. She is sure her husband is cheating on her. Her daughter plans to spend the time with a friend. Her widowed mother sees the image of Jesus in a live oak tree. As if that’s not enough, her mother is also talking about going on a Christmas cruise with some old geezer, without benefit of marriage. That would be right after she signs away the family business—the real estate agency Honey’s father built into a company worth millions, the job to which Honey has devoted her life.

At her mother’s condo in Boca Raton, Florida, many have recently lost a spouse and are now with “significant others,” and Honey is intrigued by the promise of new love even at an old age, but doubts she’ll ever find another significant other after her inevitable divorce. When her mother reunites with a lost love from years before, Honey is completely undone, but the “Jesus tree” puts into motion a series of holiday miracles. Discovering what’s important in life brings a message of hope for lovers of all ages.


Excerpt from Significant Others


“So, Mom,” I began casually, wondering how I would approach her, before I gave up the pretense of delicacy and succumbed to my habit of hurtling right to the point. “Donny says you saw Jesus in a live oak tree on the golf course at Millennium Gardens.”

“That’s right,” she answered, as if seeing Jesus was a normal, everyday occurrence. “I called Mrs. Kane from 401—she’s Catholic—and she came down to see it. She couldn’t actually see Jesus, but she said it reminded her of the time she saw the Shroud of Turin. Then she turned to me, crossed herself, and whispered, ‘Oh, Dee Dee, this is very important. You’re blessed.’ “Mrs. Kane thinks I should take a picture and sell it on eBay, like that woman who saw an image of The Virgin Mary on a potato chip, but I want to keep it quiet,” my mother whispered into the telephone.

“Well, then maybe you shouldn’t have told the town crier,” I couldn’t help pointing out.

“She promised not to tell anyone.”

“Let’s hope she doesn’t. You shouldn’t be spreading this around.” Until you’ve had a thorough
psychiatric workup.

 “Mrs. Rubin in 415 thinks the face in the tree looks more like a bearded rabbi carrying a Torah.”

Oh, so it was a non-denominational holy tree.

“Honey, did I mention that two of the tree branches overlap in the shape of a cross?”

“No, I don’t think so,” I said evenly. The situation was even worse than I thought. My mother was either going to have to convert or be institutionalized.

“If people find out, they’re going to be flocking here, especially at Christmastime,” my mother added. “I don’t want to start a riot or turn Millennium Gardens into a circus.”

Too late, Mom, it already is a circus.

In case you didn’t know, Millennium Gardens got its name from the approximate age of its 15,000 residents. Gardens was really a misnomer. Other than some broad-based palms scattered around the complex like an afterthought, the sparse pink hibiscus bushes and some less spectacular landscaping, the complex seemed more guard-like than garden-like. Practically every city in South Florida had its own version of Millennium Gardens. When my mother first saw the condo, she referred to the complex as “the barracks” because of its “Early American Army” architecture and the cookie-cutter four-story tan stucco and concrete block structures that stretched into infinity. Since then, she and “the barracks” had come to terms with one another. But it was still a love-hate relationship.
 
Significant Others is available at:


One last question, Marilyn. Where can readers find you?  

Readers can find me on my Web site at www.marilynbaron.com

Thanks for being here, Marilyn. It's been great getting to know more about you.


12 comments:

  1. Hilarious excerpt. Love the idea of a daughter thinking she'll never find romance and wishing her mother hadn't.

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  2. Thank you Margo. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And thank you Diane for hosting me.

    Marilyn Baron

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  3. Great interview...very interesting that you start with titles. I have Sixth Sense on my Kindle, just need to find time to read it....I don't read nearly as much as I would like to, with the editing, writing, day job, etc, :)

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  4. Alicia, thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I agree it is hard to find time to read with all the writing, editing, etc. we do, but I hope you enjoy Sixth Sense when you get time to read it.

    Marilyn Baron

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  5. I'm looking forward to seeing the Book Thief. Lovely post. :)
    -R.T. Wolfe

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    1. RT,
      Thanks for your comment. I saw The Book Thief and it was wonderful.
      Marilyn Baron

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  6. Oh, you're lucky you can come up with titles first. That's usually one of the last things I figure out. LOL Great interview!

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  7. Jessica,
    Since I'm in PR I am able to think of titles and usually I'll come up with a title and write a book around it. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.
    Marilyn Baron

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  8. I really liked your voice in the excerpt! Thinking I'll have to download the Boca Raton one!
    Kim

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  9. Thank you so much, Kim. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt and I hope you enjoy the book. Thank you for visiting the blog.
    Marilyn Baron

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  10. I love the humor in your writing, Marilyn. Great interview. I do think your name needs to be bigger on books going forward. With the number of books you have out now, fans are going to be looking for your name rather than a title. That said, I do love the cover of Significant Others.

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  11. Carol,
    Thank you so much for commenting and for the lovely things you had to say. I'm glad you like the cover. So do I.
    Marikyn Baron

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