ENTER the dark, intoxicating world of Ixion and Marianne de Pierres’ Night Creatures trilogy will horrify and enchant at every shocking turn. There’s a magic to MDP’s work, whether it’s her evocative YA fantasies, her fast-paced Tara Sharp crime series or her Parrish Plessis spec-fic adventures. I was ecstatic to learn she’ll be speaking at the Bundaberg Regional Library on May 17 and Bundaberg WriteFest on May 19 and couldn’t wait to pepper her with questions…
Cheryse: What inspired you to write the Night Creatures trilogy?
Marianne: Night Creatures was the intersection of a number of ideas and experiences: my life at boarding school, my interest in nocturnal lifestyles, my fascination with architecture and attraction to the gothic sub culture. These things coincided and became a story. It’s funny how writers do that; like potters at a wheel, re-shaping clay.
C: Have you always been fascinated by the dark and when did you start writing?
M: Yes, the dark distorts, scares and masks things. There is so much room for imagination. I began writing at the age of eight or nine – an Enid Blyton rip off, in fact. After that it was just bits and pieces for a long while; poetry and always adventure stories. I love adventures and used to inhabit the persona of my favourite characters in books and TV for a long time after I’d done with the text. When I was done with writing Aussie outback adventures, I moved on to space adventures.
M: Books that inspired me when I was young were Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven series, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I also read a TON of boarding school books and horse books. Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby series ranks among my all-time favourites. Current fav authors: I’m having a bit of a crime binge at the moment and am loving Tana French, Michael Connelly (still!) and Stuart MacBride (tho’ his last one was odd). Fav TV series (I could really go on here – I love my TV!): Saving Grace, Scott and Bailey, The Closer, True Blood, Leverage, Spooks, The Wire, Burn Notice, BattleStar Galactica, Farscape, Firefly. OK I’ll stop there ….
C: Were you a bookworm or a party girl when you were younger? Do you have a fav band?
M: Bookworm always! Managed to be a party girl as well, tho’ later, when I hit my twenties. Fav band? Hmmm, hard one. More recently I’ve really embraced hip hop and The Hilltop Hoods are one of my current faves. But I’ve loved everyone from U2 through to Regurgitator and then artists solo like Seal.
C: Does writing YA fantasy alongside your crime or sci fi novels strengthen your writing?
M: I think it keeps me fresh and challenged. I hate getting stuck in a groove. Meeting my writing goals in each genre is about respecting and understanding the genre itself. I read as much as I can – that is the key, I believe. I work mornings from 8am -1pm, then it’s back to being a mum!
C: Seriously, are you an Edward, Jacob, Damon or Stefan-type girl? Or would you prefer Lenior or Markes?
C: Are you a Retra, Naif, Ruzalia or Suki?
M: All of them, I think, at least in part. Or they have been part of me at some stage.
C: How well have Angel Arias and Burn Bright been received in Australia?
M: The YA readers in Australia have been amazing – I love them for their enthusiasm and willingness to share their love for books. They’ve embraced the fact that the series is only available here so far and are trying hard to share it with readers all over the world through their own giveaways and blog tours. I’m so glad I started writing YA or I would never have met some of these marvellous young people.
C: Yunya’s music is amazing. How did you connect?
M: Actually, through friends at Supanova Pop Expo a few years ago. After I watched her song trailer for Lenore’s Song, I fell in love with her work. I love Yunyu as a person too, she has a great sense of humour and a brilliantly twisted mind (in a good way). I was delighted to get a chance to work with her. We had fun!
C: Do you have a trailer for Shine Light (the third book in the Night Creatures trilogy) yet?
M: I’m not sure there will be one but I’m hoping there will be a song because I love Yunyu’s work so much. I think Shine Light will be released in November 2012, but I haven’t had a final word on that yet
C: Finally, congratulations on your recent Ditmar nomination! Did you expect it?
M: Dark Space was nominated for a Ditmar a few years ago which was lovely, but this nomination for Burn Bright really took me by surprise because it’s a teen novel on a shortlist amongst adult fiction nominees, I’m really thrilled that it inspired some votes.
M: It will be a general chat about my journey as a writer and I’ll be offering tips for anyone embarking on the same path. I hope I can save some emerging writers some heartache.
C: Have you visited Bundaberg before?
M: On holidays when my kids were little – camping at Bargara. It’s the first time I really understood the significance of cane farming to Queensland (being a native West Aussie). Bundy is cool.
Marianne’s visit to Bundaberg was made possible thanks to the support of the Bundaberg Regional Library and the Queensland Writers Centre. Find out more about her free Bundaberg Library talk here or register for WriteFest here.