Author Interview: Marie Landry
Hi, Marie. Thank you for allowing me to interview you. I am honored and pleased to have you here on my blog.
Would you take a moment and introduce yourself to us?
I’m twenty-eight, and I live in Ontario, Canada. Writing has always been my greatest passion, and even though I’ve written several books over the years, Blue Sky Days is my debut novel. I love to read almost as much as I love to write, and I have a book blog so I can share my passion for words with other people who feel the same way.
How long have you been writing?
Pretty much my whole life. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing stories.
Would you mind telling my readers a little more about Blue Sky Days?
Blue Sky Days is a story about love, friendship, courage, and strength. It’s a story about one girl’s journey to find herself and discover her place in the world. With the help of her aunt Daisy, her new love, Nicholas, and a few new friends, Emma learns what life really has to offer, and she feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time. When Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, Emma’s journey takes a new turn, and she has to use what she’s learned about life and love to help Nicholas get through it.
How did you come up with the idea for the story?
I had little bits and pieces of it floating around in mind for awhile. I don’t know what finally made them click together, but once they did, I knew exactly what I wanted to happen. I had the idea for Emma, this girl who was lost and lonely and unsure of herself, and the idea for Nicholas, who was free-spirited and sweet and a bit old-fashioned. I thought they’d make the perfect pair and really balance each other out. Blue Sky Days is their story.
Do you have a favorite character from the book itself?
To be honest, it changes. I love them all – they became so real to me, and were such a huge part of my life for a very long time. I think Emma is my ultimate favorite though, because she’s the one I spent the most time with. I also put a lot of myself into her, so I have a very personal connection to her.
Your character, Nicholas, is diagnosed with cancer during the course of your story. Was it difficult in touching upon that topic?
Very. I drew from personal experience, because my dad was diagnosed with leukemia when I was eight, and was sick for two years before passing away. I also had a friend who was diagnosed with leukemia right before I started writing Blue Sky Days, so even though I knew that cancer would be a part of the story, it was still painful to write.
What sort of research did the book entail?
Well, because I did have personal experience with leukemia, I already knew quite a bit about it, but I had to do some research to make sure I got certain facts straight. Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of research involved except for a few little details here and there.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can tell my readers about?
Right now I’m about 10,000 words into my next project. It’s very different from Blue Sky Days, which is a YA contemporary romance. This project is an adult book, and I guess it would be categorized as women’s fiction or chick lit. It wasn’t what I expected to work on next, but the idea came to me a few days before Blue Sky Days was released, and I just ran with it.
What’s your favorite movie?
I’m a sucker for a love story. The Notebook, Runaway Bride, Notting Hill, Serendipity, Crazy Stupid Love. Those are just a few of my favorites.
Your favorite food?
Pizza or lasagna. Why can’t my favorite food be something that doesn’t have hundreds of calories per serving??
If you were to have the ability to heal someone, would you take that chance and rid a person of whatever ails them?
Absolutely. I’ve watched a lot of people I love suffer over the years with ailments that medicine can’t cure or heal. Every time I’ve watched a loved one suffer, it kills me inside to feel helpless and hopeless, and know there’s nothing I can do other then lend support and show love. If I could have taken away their pain and made them well again, I would have done it, no matter the cost.
Do you have any recommendations for books that you think the blog’s readers may enjoy?
A few of my all-time favorite books that I recommend to anyone who will listen are the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery, and Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. Recent favorites that I, again, recommend to anyone who will listen: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.
What do you do in your spare time?
I don’t have a whole lot of spare time. I work pretty much seven days a week, and my life is basically write, read, eat, sleep, repeat. Other than that, I love spending time with my family, especially my nephews, and when I get the chance, I enjoy going to movies and concerts, and road trips are pretty much my favorite thing ever.
Do you outline your stories or go with the flow and see where it takes you?
It depends on the story. With some, I outline them from beginning to end, others I’ll get the bare bones down on paper so I have a guideline, and with some others I just fly by the seat of my pants. Regardless, my characters always seem to take on a mind of their own and go places I never expected them to go, so sometimes I wonder if there’s any use in plotting or outlining!
Do you have any tips, or thoughts, that you would like to offer to the blog’s readers?
If you want to be a writer, start writing. Don’t wait, don’t make excuses, don’t let fear hold you back, just do it. Believe in yourself, write what you love, and don’t worry about other people. Don’t listen when people tell you that you can’t do it. If I’d listened to those people, I wouldn’t be a published author.
Marie: Thank you for having me here today, LizzieBeth, it’s been a pleasure!
Thank you so much for such a lovely interview, Marie. I wish you the very best with your future works. Looking forward to what’s to come.
Synopsis: A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother – studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing – and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn’t have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn’t know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn’t helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it’s time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she’s stepped back in time.
When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes – he’s unlike anyone she’s ever met before, the kind of man she didn’t even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don’t always need a plan – sometimes life steers you where you’re meant to be.
Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it’s time for her to help Nicholas the way he’s helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.
About The Author:
Marie Landry has always been a daydreamer. She has created imaginary worlds for as long as she can remember, so it only seemed natural that she would become a writer.
With a passion for words that started in early childhood, Marie has written a varied range of works, and has been freelance writing since 2009. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews.
Connect With Her Online:
Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Landry-Writer/168611883159780
Book Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Sky-Days-by-Marie-Landry/247217741981921