Interview with Marsha Briscoe, Author of A FAMILY MATTER and A STILL POINT IN TIME

Marsha Briscoe has been involved in some form with reading and writing most all her life. Having taught a variety of college English courses, spanning the range of composition to British literature and world literature, she is a published poet and essayist. But she did not try her hand at writing a novel until the mid 1990's when the idea for her reincarnation romance, A STILL POINT IN TIME, came to her in a dream. From this dream emerged a haunting and deep-seated conviction that the characters she created in A STILL POINT IN TIME had indeed known one another in the past.

Soon after she completed her first novel, the idea of re-visiting the ancient Greek Phaedra myth struck Marsha one day as she was teaching, in one of her college world lit courses, Racine's 17th century play entitled Phaedra. Thus sprang the beginnings of her second novel, A FAMILY MATTER, which brings the rudiments of an ancient myth into a 1990's eastern Kentucky setting.

Senior Editor at Whiskey Creek Press, Marsha is a member of Authors Unlimited, All Star Scribes, LeditSlip, and World Romance Writers. The proud mother of three grown sons, she lives in Kentucky USA with her lifetime soul-mate husband and three dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys tennis, golf, and piano.

Visit Marsha’s author website at http://www.marshabriscoe.com



INTERVIEW WITH MARSHA BRISCOE

Thank you so much for being with us, Marsha! Tell me, when did your passion for writing begin?

I have been involved in some form with reading and writing most all my life. Having taught a variety of college English courses, spanning the range of composition to British literature and world literature, I was a published poet and essayist. But I did not try my hand at writing a novel until the mid 1990's when the idea for my reincarnation romance, A Still Point in Time, came to me in a dream. From this dream emerged a haunting and deep-seated conviction that the characters I created in A Still Point in Time had indeed known one another in the past.

Do you write full time?

I write when time permits.

Can you tell us a little about A STILL POINT IN TIME?

Yes this book is about a single, childless, 43-year-old college English Professor, Laura Bouvoire, who is determined to have a baby by in-vitro fertilization. But her plans meet opposition when she falls in love with her thirty-year-old college student, Dante Giovanni. Even though she becomes pregnant, she is shocked at Dante's opposition to "test-tube babies" which he deems morally repugnant. Yet the two are drawn together by forces neither understands, forces they later learn stem from a past life. Obsessed by dreams of lovers in another century, Laura delves into that past life. There, tormented voices from another age reveal century-old karmic debts...

Can you tell us a little about A FAMILY MATTER?

Yes. This book is a modern adaptation of the ancient Greek Phaedra myth and it is set in the late 1990s in the eastern Kentucky coal field area. The heroine, Salina Graves, has recently married a man twice her age and is bent on vindicating the stain on her deceased father’s name. But when her coal-baron husband, Lyman Graves, is injured in a mining accident, his grown, estranged son comes home to tend his comatose father and falls in love with his father's new, young wife, Salina. Salina must choose between her professed vow of family vindication and her rapidly escalating attraction to her stepson.

Who published your books and how has your experience with them been?

Whiskey Creek Press has published both my books (http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/) and I have been extremely pleased with this dynamic and rapidly growing publisher.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind the books?

The inspiration for my A STILL POINT IN TIME, a PEARL Award Finalist, actually came to me in a dream after I’d been teaching the Victorian poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in one of my college literature classes. Rossetti also was the leader of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in Art. The tragic story of Rossetti’s beloved, though doomed, model and lover and wife, Elizabeth Siddal, kept ringing in my ears and haunting my dreams. Their twelve stormy years of passion and pain became the impetus for my reincarnation romance. Because the past-life characters in my contemporary romance, A STILL POINT IN TIME, are indeed based loosely upon Rossetti and his beloved Elizabeth Siddal, I had to write a special disclaimer to replace the standard disclaimer in the front matter of this novel. On the cover of my A STILL POINT IN TIME, the woman’s lips are modeled after the women in so many of Rossetti’s paintings, “lips that have been kissed”—full, sensuous lips. Kate Winslet (actress who played in the movie TITANIC) has often been compared to Rossetti’s portraits of women and their “lips that have been kissed”.



Can you tell us ways you are promoting your book? Have they been successful?

I am a member of 2 major promo groups, All Star Scribes (http://www.allstarscribes.com/) and Authors Unlimited (http://www.authorsunlimited.net/). Additionally I purchase static ads, usually every month, at the Romance Studio (http://www.theromancestudio.com/), rotating the books one at a time there. I have had front-page coverage of my books in two local newspapers and my A Family Matter received a feature review in the January 2005 issue of the print magazine Kentucky Monthly Magazine. This magazine has subscribers in not only Kentucky but also in 3 states bordering Kentucky.

Both my books have been previous #1 Bestsellers at Whiskey Creek Press and have been on the list of top 10 Best Sellers at WCP during several months since their release, so I must be doing something right.

I do a lot of hand-selling of both my Trade Paperback books. I do not hesitate to approach friends, business associates, or colleagues to purchase my books; I often phone them. Only 1 person I approached showed no interest. I have sold well over 300 copies of my books in this manner alone. Additionally, my books have been sold in 3 stores (a major supermarket, a florist shop, and a gift store) in the small town where I live.

Who are your favorite authors and why do they inspire you?

I have so many favorite authors, it would take reams of paper to list. But I will mention one who had a great bearing on my second book, A FAMILY MATTER. That author’s name is Jane Smiley. When I read Jane Smiley’s book, A THOUSAND ACRES (which was made into a movie), I told myself that if Jane Smiley can re-write the King Lear story and set it in an Iowa cornfield in the late 1980s, I can treat the Phaedra myth in a modern setting. Thus began my quest to conquer the Phaedra myth and turn it into a modern story.

Do you have a mentor?

A: I have a dear friend who is an accomplished writer; this friend has played a major role in my fiction writing.

What future projects do you have in the works?

I have a medical thriller on a back burner.

Can you give aspiring authors words of advice towards getting published?

My mantra has always been, “Never give up your dream.”

Can you tell us where we can go to buy your books?

Go to Whiskey Creek Press, and you can “search” by author “Marsha Briscoe”. That search will take you to my author cart page where my books can be purchased in electronic download and in Trade Paperback. Both my books are also available in 7 different electronic formats from Fictionwise. At the time of this writing, both my books are listed in the TOP TEN HIGHEST RATED list for the Whiskey Creek Press books at Fictionwise. The direct urls to my Whiskey Creek Press Author Cart are:

A STILL POINT IN TIME

A FAMILY MATTER

Thank you very much for your time!

Thank you for the interview, Dorothy.

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