author interview · historical romance · romance

Good to meet you…author Marina Neary

I’m delighted to introduce author Marina Neary today. Marina and I have become cyber friends, but I’d love to meet Marina in real life. She’s led an interesting life, is a great story-teller, she’s funny, and could keep me enthralled for hours.

Here is Marina’s bio (taken from her Goodreads page)

Marina Julia Neary is an award-winning historical essayist, multilingual arts & entertainment journalist, published poet, playwright, actress, dancer and choreographer. A specialist on the obscure works of Victor Hugo, she has lectured at the French Alliance. Her historical tragicomedy Hugo in London featuring the adventures of the French literary genius in England during the Crimean War was produced in Greenwich in 2008 and recently acquired by Heuer Publishing. A sequel, Lady with a Lamp: an Untold Story of Florence Nightingale, premiered in 2009 as a theatrical benefit for The Wyatt Foundation.

Thanks so much for taking time out to visit today, Marina!

marina neary, helena fairfaxWhere do you live, Marina? I live in one of the snootiest, wealthiest, most miserable parts of the United States – Fairfield County, Connecticut. Home to hedge funds, $30K a year private schools and some of the finest psychiatric institutions.

I’m intrigued to know how you came to live there!

Where is your favourite place in the world? (I’m guessing it’s not Fairfield County) There are several of them. I love the Baltic riviera – Palanga, Klaipeda.  I was born and raised in Central Europe, to a couple of classical musicians.

I would love to go to the Baltic some day. Such a beautiful coastline.

Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? To me being a writer is not a job. It’s a nervous tick, more like it.  If I don’t write, my head will explode, and I’ll join the ranks of psychiatric patients at one of the local clinics. The worst job is working for someone who is arrogant and condescending.  In my early days, I’ve had a few horrid secretarial jobs. I don’t mind working long hours or having to bring my own toilet paper.  But if the person I work with repeatedly reminds me that I am a worthless worm, I won’t stay at a job like that for too long.

There are too many bosses who only feel good about themselves by putting their staff down.

What book do you wish you’d written? Oh, I don’t just wish. I write.  If the Muse starts pulling on my skirt, I comply.  Unless, you are referring to something from the classical pantheon?  But even then, I would never claim credit for another person’s work. I never would have told the same story the same way.

You’re right – everyone tells a story in a different way!

What’s your favourite song? There are too numerous.  I am a huge fan of German heavy metal band Rammstein. I always blast their stuff in the car, with my windows down.  They are so good-naturedly offensive.

My son used to like Rage Against the Machine for the same reason.

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? Since I write about the Irish revolution, I would love to meet some of the historical figures and see if they liked my depiction of them. Bulmer Hobson, the hero of two of my novels, is very much alive to me. I still have conversations with him.  (As you can see, it’s a good thing we have so many psychiatric institutions.)

If you visit Dublin you’ll find that period is still very much alive to a lot of people, as though everything only happened yesterday.

What’s your happiest childhood memory? Seeing my 2-nd grade bully fall off her bike and skin her knees to the bone. That made my heart sing. That girl tormented me.  I would hold my pee in for hours, because I’d be afraid to go to the bathroom.


If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? Possibly Pierre Gringoire from Victor Hugo’s “Notre-Dame de Paris”.  I have a weakness for skinny, neurotic, blond intellectual men.  But I succeeded in real life and married a chap like that, my beloved Mr. Neary.


What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? It’s funny, but whenever I think I’ve learned a lesson, something happens to prove me wrong.  You learn – and then you unlearn.  You have to keep an open mind and condition yourself to be willing to re-evaluate your convictions.

That’s an excellent lesson!

marina neary, helena fairfax, saved by the bangAnd finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website
My latest book is something outside of my previous repertoire.  My first five books deal with the Anglo-Irish conflict in one way or another, but my sixth book is autobiographical. It was published by Secret Cravings Publishing. I was honestly surprised and grateful that a romance publisher would touch something so raw.

Here is the synopsis:
Welcome to 1980s Belarus, where Polish denim is the currency, “kike” is a pedestrian endearment, and second trimester abortion can be procured for a box of chocolates. Antonia Olenski, PhD, a catty half-Jewish pianist and leading cock tease of the Gomel Music Academy, wavers between her flamboyant composer husband Joseph and a chivalrous tenor Nicholas. The Chernobyl disaster breaks up the love triangle, forcing Antonia into evacuation in the cumbersome company of her ugly eight-year old daughter Maryana. After a summer of cruising through Crimean sanatoriums and flirting with Afghan veterans, Antonia starts pining for the intrigues and scandals of the Academy. When the queen of cats finally returns home, she finds that another woman is wearing her crown. In the afterglow of nuclear fallout, artistic, ethnic and sexual rivalries emerge. How far will Antonia go to reclaim her throne?

Buy link: Amazon US / Amazon UK

* * * *

Marina, it’s been a delight getting to know you. Your novel sounds exciting and original. I’m so glad your publishers took a chance on it. Thanks so much for visiting, and for your excellent answers to my questions.

If you’ve enjoyed Marina’s interview, or have any questions or comments, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “Good to meet you…author Marina Neary

  1. Interesting interview, Marina and Helena. My immediate question is why do you live in one of the snootiest, wealthiest, most miserable parts of the United States – Fairfield County, Connecticut? You’ve changed jobs you’ve disliked.

    Amazingly, I could relate to a lot of what you were saying: The Baltic states, Rammstein, Rage Against the Machine, Dublin.

    Best wishes for your novels.


    1. I wondered this, too, Susan!
      I’m so glad you could relate to a lot of Marina’s interview. Her answers were certainly interesting and wide-ranging. Thanks very much for dropping in!


  2. Intriguing interview, Helena. You have a very vivid imagination, Marina. Good luck wiht your writing.
    However, having visited Fairfield County, I must point out what a really beautiful part of the country it is. :)


    1. I have to admit my ignorance, Marsha, and say I have no idea where Fairfield County is! I’m sorry to say I’d also struggle to point to Connecticut on a map of the US, but after Marina’s interview I’m intrigued to find out more. Hosting these author interviews has certainly widened my education in lots of ways. Thanks very much for dropping in, and for your comment!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.