Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym of Mari Christie, a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience. Published in dozens of nonfiction and poetry periodicals since 1989, she began writing mainstream historical fiction in 2009 and Regency romance in 2013. In all genres, she creates deeply scarred characters in uncommon circumstances who overcome self-imposed barriers to reach their full potential. She is a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her first Regency romance, Royal Regard, was released in November 2014.
I’m delighted to introduce Mariana today. (I love the sound of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers!) Mariana will be giving away an e-copy of her latest release, La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess, to one lucky commenter today, too, so I hope you can join us!
Where is your favourite place in the world? Venice, Italy.
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? I picked strawberries for a few days when I was about 13—in knee-deep mud the day I told my grandmother I would rather not eat than do that again. (Go figure.) (To be clear, I wasn’t in any danger of starving.)
Oh, I used to hate strawberry-picking, too. Blackberrying wasn’t so bad, because you don’t have to stoop all day.
What book do you wish you’d written? The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop. The Beauty Trilogy (Quartet) by Anne Rice. (I know that’s seven and all outside my genre, but still.)
I haven’t read either of those. Intriguing titles!
What’s your favourite song? That’s like asking favorite book or author. I refuse to answer on the grounds it is an unfair question. ;-)
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? My great-great uncle, Percy Whaley, who was a world-renowned journalist when very few people did anything globally. I would ask him to tell me about his life.
What’s your happiest childhood memory? My various goody-two-shoes awards and honors. I had my essays picked in contests. I was teacher’s pet in gifted and talented classes. I was in a lot of “citywide” things—drama, choir, band. I studied and performed in musical theatre from a very young age—it would not be an exaggeration to say first grade to college level. I took voice lessons from age ten to twenty. I loved to perform.
Nothing wrong with being a goody-two-shoes! Sounds like you worked hard.
If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? I have a few book boyfriends—Roxton from Lucinda Brant’s Noble Satyr, Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind, Aldridge from my friend Jude’s upcoming series. A fictional spouse, though, is an entirely different question. Richard Gere seems kind and emotionally stable, the most important traits I would want in a husband. (George Clooney runs a close second in Hollywood.) When I was a kid, I wanted to marry Billy Joel or Ringo Starr.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? If I am afraid of something, I must do it. Sometimes that turns out to be a really stupid thing to do.
My husband says, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.”
La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess is about the natural daughter of a British peer and an Indian tawaif, traditional courtesan to the nobility. The legendary Kali Matai knows well the many ways a woman can be put to use and brought into compliance. But when everyone she loves is put in danger, and she has nothing to lose, she learns how to wield power she doesn’t know she has.
Mariana Social Media
Facebook Launch Party, June 10, noon – 8 pm EDT
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Thanks for coming all the way from Denver today, Mariana. It’s been lovely getting to know you!
If you’ve enjoyed Mariana’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you! And don’t forget, Mariana is offering a FREE copy of La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess (.epub or .mobi) to one lucky commenter!