Sunday, 14 July 2019

DK Marie



I love that a story you wrote for your son
awakened your muse! What was the story
We were living in Germany at the time and there
was this place called Siebengeniege (7 hills, 
it is where the Grim brothers came up or found
the snow White and the seven dwarfs story). 
Two kids, a boy and a girl were out exploring in 
the woods of that area and tumbled into a secret 
portal or just deep in the woods, I don’t remember,
and they came upon a community of animals that 
have the characteristics of humans, and they were 
all at war with each other. The three main ones where
the Cat, Dogs, and Mice (all were written with German
spelling) if I remember correctly they (the kids) 
were friends with the dogs, and eventually the kids 
helped all three communities become friends and live
in harmony, but first lots of fighting and mayhem. Lol.
That sounds amazing!!! Not your genre, though!
No, it was fun creating, but I didn't get
the same enjoyment from it as I do 
with romance.
You're a fan of romance, as well as a writer of it:
who are some of your favorite romance authors?
Christina Lauren, Colleen Hoover, and
Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
What makes them your top 3?
SEP was the one who made me fall in love with 
romance stories, before her, I read thrillers, 
mysteries, American literature. Then I stumbled 
across her at the library. She made me laugh so 
much and fall in love with all her characters. 
After I devoured all her books, I needed more 
and began reading those, if you love this book, 
you'll love lists, finding more contemporary 
romance authors.

Christina Lauren writes the funniest books and
offers up lots of steam, which is a perfect 
combination, in my opinion. They've written a 
few stories outside of contemporary romance, and 
those are spectacular as well, those two know how 
to create fantastic characters.

Colleen Hoover writes books that make me feel 
everything. She has a way of writing emotions that 
isn't over the top but pulls me in and places me in 
the shoes of her characters like no other author.
I feel your passion in these words!

OK, last one:
What do you like to paint?
Scenery and  abstract.
Thank you for taking the time to do this!
I loved getting to know you!
Thank you for interviewing me. It was fun.


1) Where do you live?

2) What is the first thing you remember writing?

The first piece of fiction I recall writing was a kid's fantasy story for my son as a birthday present. This was about eight years ago. While I enjoyed creating something special for him, I wasn't excited about the writing, didn't get lost in the story. It wasn't until I wrote what I loved to read (romance) that I had the spark, that addiction to writing.  

3) Why do you write?

For the spark, that rush of creating. I love seeing the characters in my mind come alive on the page.

4) Have you published any of your work?
Yes.  Fairy Tale Lies was released on June 3rd. The next book in the Opposite Attract series (there are 4 but are stand-alones), is due out in the fall.

5) What are you currently writing?
I’m doing different levels of editing for books two and three. For book four, I am starting to develop more of the characters (both main characters are in other books but are secondary).

6) Are you currently querying?
No, all my focus is on writing and marketing the Opposites Attract Series.

7) Finish this sentence (three lines or less):
As danger and delight raced through her veins, keeping pace with the wind and rain, as she took in his volatile and sinful smile.

8) Which activities do you like to participate in, in the Twitter writing community
(VSS365, etc.)?
I adore VSS365. There is also a new one, VSSPoem that I really like. I also try out romance writing prompts such as LilLuvStory, SeduceMeSunday, CarnalVerse Romancewritinglines (I’m not sure If I have the prompt name right for that last one.)

9) Do you have any formal training/education for writing?
I do have a bachelors, and I minored in English writing

10) Do the people in your life know that you write?
Yes. Even before I was a published author, most of my family and friends knew. I was determined to share my books with the world, so I figured the more who knew, the more I'd hold myself accountable and not give up.

Although at times, it was (and still is) frustrating because they didn't understand the process and how long everything takes, from editing to publishing.

11) Tell me about the people in your life. Family? Pets?
I have a wonderful and supportive family.

We tend to travel a lot, so we've never had many pets. We have a cat and two birds.
(My family prefers to stay out of social media so excuse the scarceness of my answer)

12) Where do you wish your writing to take you?

I’d like my writing to sustain me enough to become my career. Allowing me to focus on it 100%.

13) What did you expect when you joined the Twitter writing community? Did it turn out
as expected?

I stumbled upon the Twitter writing community. Publishers and agents all said writers need to have a social media platform, so I signed up onto Twitter. For a while, it sat lonely and empty as I figured out what to do with it. One day while scrolling, I saw a prompt story,  I clicked on the hashtag and started reading more. I love them and decided to try my own. I commented on peoples work, and others did on mine. We started chatting and meeting more people in the writing community. I think the person that first reached out to me was @Craytusjones. Not only is the man super talented but is a gift to the writing community.

14) Where do you write?
Depends on the week and what I have planned, though most of the time I write at my kitchen or dining room table. I like to be where there are windows.

15) How much time do you dedicate to writing, weekly?
Lately, quite a bit of my time is dedicated to writing. Probably thirty hours or more, depending on what is due.

16) Do you have other talents?
I am decent at drawing and painting, but I am slow.

I do not mind when other writers ask for advice.
I’d rather keep to myself!


DK Marie and her friend, celebrating the release of "Fairy Tale Lies"

DK Marie’s a voracious reader. Her number one love is romance and devours any and all of its genres, but also enjoys thrillers, horror, and non-fiction. Basically, if there are words on a page and a spectacular story, she’s diving in, heart and soul.

However, there’s one thing she loves even more, and that’s writing her own steamy contemporary romances. They’re a mixture of heart, heat, and humor. Brimming with confident heroines and kind heroes, all living, loving, and lusting in and around her hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

When not falling in love with her characters, DK Marie is laughing, relaxing, and planning her next adventure with her family. Okay, and also drinking boatloads of coffee, chatting on social media, and dreaming about her next travel destination.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Catherine Arguelles



Hi! I'm going to ask a few
questions for your interview. No
pressure -- answer as you are able!

1) You mentioned your pre-teen daughters
are your harshest critics (I can relate). What is the
harshest feedback you've received from them?
 Harshest from daughters:
when my older one said "kids
wouldn't do this!" Basically
trashing the believability of the 
whole book! I made some
changes and she went to the 7th
grade and realized kids actually
might do that... I
guess that sort of illustrates 
why we need an "upper MG"
category- there's a huge difference 
between 4-5thgraders and 
7-8 graders!
Yes! Huge! Luckily you were
vindicated. That time 😆 

2) Do you remember any of the
writing you did in your college
creative writing course? Anything
similar to your work today?
Yes! My final project for
Creative Writing doubled as a
final project for my Women's
Self-Defense class AND
included themes from Gothic Lit
class. It was a short story about
a woman using the skills she learned
in self-defense to fight off an
incubus. Kinda dark! It's similar
to my work today in that it's
fiercely feminist and features women/
girls using skills and smarts and
triumphing. I wonder if I still have
that story somewhere...
Love that idea! It's fun to hear
your writing personality has
stuck around.

OK, last one:
Is there an idea for a story you've 
been rolling around in your head
that hasn't hit the page, yet?
Yep! A few - my former agent
wanted me to keep doing
Contemporary MG with 
friendship themes, so I have
notes on a mystery set in 
the world of competitive 
swimming. I also would love 
to write one of those old-house
stories for MG, like, couple of
kids find old letters leading to 
answers to a mystery that was 
never solved kind of thing...
Also, my older daughter's BFF
has Alopecia Areata and lost
all her hair in 6th grade. It was
devastating and there are no role 
models or characters with alopecia in
 contemporary MG lit. I found one 
book from the early 2000s but it 
was preachy and uninteresting. I don't
want to write a book about alopecia, 
exactly, just have a character who's 
having her own story and happens
to not have hair, maybe in the 
swimming mystery.
Love this idea.
Characters in books and media
help normalize things, so much 💜

OK, one last thing.
I would be missing a huge opportunity
if I didn't mention that you hold
the dubious distinction of being the 
only writer on Twitter who went as 
my husband's date to his Jr. Prom.
As friends!!!! Haha that was a fun
time. I still sometimes can't
believe you married him! I mean
I believe it cuz you're both 
great but wow, high school!
Sometimes the world is a tiny,
weird place.

Thank you for taking the time to do this! 

Catherine and my husband 
Circa 1992


1) Where do you live?
Northern California – Sacramento area

2) What is the first thing you remember writing?
Specifically, I remember writing a story about friendly aliens when I was around 3rd grade. I think it was a school assignment, but I kind of ran with it

3) Why do you write?
I’ve always been an avid reader, so nuggets of story ideas have come to me over the years in various forms. I didn’t sit down to write them until after my kids were born and I was a full time stay at home mom. I found that having a story in my head and something creative to work on was a good way to keep my anxieties at bay amid the more mundane tasks of motherhood. 

4) Have you published any of your work?
I self-published my first adult novel to Amazon in 2017.

5) What are you currently writing?
I’m focusing on Middle Grade. I’m doing some revisions to a contemporary feminist adventure, and just beginning to draft a post-apocalyptic MG in epistolary style. 

6) Are you currently querying?
Yep – I’m querying the MG adventure to agents, doing revisions in between rounds. I’m also querying a separate MG mystery/magic novel to publishers who accept unagented submissions. I had an agent who subbed that novel and then sadly left the business. I struggled to find a new agent for it so I’m trying the small pub route. We’ll see how it goes.

7) Finish this sentence (three lines or less):
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT… is the first line of Madeline L’Engle’s middle grade masterpiece, A Wrinkle in Time! During this dark and stormy night, a stranger resembling Reese Witherspoon appears dressed in white sheets, and adventure ensues, forever marking dark and stormy nights as a literary device (of which I am guilty) to signify change and inner conflict.

8) Which activities do you like to participate in, in the Twitter writing community (VSS365, etc.)? 

I like pitching events! I got my first agent from a #PitMad like, and one of my CPs got a book deal that began with a #PitMad like. I try to participate in all the pitching events my ms qualifies for. Even if I don’t get any likes, I always get new friends and followers. I also check#mswl regularly to see what agents are looking for and find new agents or editors that might be a good fit for my ms.

9) Do you have any formal training/education for writing?

Yes, I have a BA in English and took a Creative Writing course in college. But that was a long time ago.

10) Do the people in your life know that you write?

Yes – my mom is my first reader because she’s the gentlest, followed by my husband because he catches factual errors, and then my daughters because they are HARSH.

11) Tell me about the people in your life. Family? Pets?

I have two tween/preteen daughters who absolutely influence my middle grade writing! They really help me with slang, style, kid interests, and keeping it real. Now that my older kiddo is reading YA, we read some of the same stuff and I LOVE it. My husband is fully supportive of my writing, and he provides the fantastic benefit of having a spouse who has health insurance, which is a privilege many writers don’t have. I’m very lucky. Oh, and we adopted two kittens last year: Sirius and Lupin. We adore them.

12) Where do you wish your writing to take you?

Geographically, I’d love for my writing to take me to cool travel locales! I love the idea of doing a book tour where I can drive around the country and do signings, or go to one of those cool Cons or festivals like ALA or Book Expo. Non-geographically, I’d like for writing and editing to be a legitimate part-time job. Something that brings in a little income and introduces me to cool people and places. 

13) What did you expect when you joined the Twitter writing community? Did it turn out as expected?

At first I expected that I would read every tweet from all of my followers all the time! I wanted to soak up as much info as possible. That lasted about a day. I still learn a ton, though. The biggest benefit for me has been learning about writing diversely from people from cultures other than mine or from oppressed/marginalized groups. It’s helped me be more thoughtful in my writing. I’ve also learned lots of good writing tips like eliminating filter words and other revision strategies.

14) Where do you write?

At home, on my laptop at the dining room table. I have a desk in the guest room but it faces the wall and is a bit cramped. I like open space. I have trouble writing at coffee shops because I get distracted, but sometimes I can work at the library, particularly if I’m editing.

15) How much time do you dedicate to writing, weekly?

This varies SO much for me. Drafting a WIP, anywhere from 0-20+. When I had an agent and was hard-core revising it was more than 25. I don’t feel like I need to work on a WIP every day, but I do write something or do something writing-related nearly every day, even if it’s just checking #mswl or reading an article about writing. I just volunteered to be the PTO President at the middle school, so I find I’m writing a lot of emails and letters asking for things! It’s not the same as creative writing, but I work pretty hard to use correct grammar and make everything sound good. As for my WIPs, even if I don’t write every day, I can’t just wait for the mood to strike. Sometimes I have to make it happen because I have time even when I’m not feeling it. 

16) Do you have other talents?

I am a fantastic marshmallow roaster. I never burn them or drop them in the fire. Crisp and brown every time.

A. I do not mind when other writers ask for advice.
B. I’d rather keep to myself!


I am a mom and an active member of SCBWI in Northern California. The Writer’s Digest Annual Competitions of 2015 and 2017 each brought me an Honorable Mention award for Children/Youth Fiction. I've worked in fundraising and middle school counseling, which turns out to be the perfect combination for serving on the PTO of my children's schools. When I'm not writing, editing, actively parenting, or screaming at the PE teacher who told me male privilege isn't his fault, you can find me peacefully volunteering in classrooms, safely navigating my minivan through the middle school dropoff lane, or researching ways to train my kittens to stay off the kitchen counter. I've self-published an adult novel that boasts a readership of nearly all of the residents at my mother's senior village, but my heart is in middle grade fiction.

Community 92 (adult spec fic):

Twitter: @arguellescath
Facebook: arguellescath

I'm recently open to taking on editing projects! Details here:

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