"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

FORMER DEBUT: Marissa Doyle, Class of 2k8

I adore Marissa Doyle! And that's why I'm so happy to feature her today as my former debut. Marissa was not only a co-president of the Class of 2k8, it was also my class. Thanks for being here, Marissa! And if having Marissa here isn't good enough, today she launches a brand new book, COURTSHIPS & CURSES! Woot!

Okay, here we go...


Name: Marissa Doyle
Debut Group: Class of 2k8

Hi, Marissa! It's great to see you again!

PJH: Okay, so it’s been 4 years since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to in the last few years? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?

MD: I totally know what you mean--I went into withdrawal after the Class of 2k8 wrapped up. I tried to get over it by being one of the founders of the Enchanted Inkpot, and now I'm an Admin at the Blueboards (Verla Kay's Children's Writers and Illustrators Message Board) which I love, because it keeps me plugged into the kidlit world, and I've also been busy with the YA chapter of RWA. Oh yeah...and writing. :) Betraying Season came out in 2009 and actually got a lot of recognition in the YA romance world, winning several awards, and now Courtship and Curses, which is a prequel to my first two books, launched August 7. I don't want to say too much about what might be coming down the road from me because I'm superstitious that way, but let's just say that there will be more. Oh..and since you asked, new pets! We adopted another rescued bunny to keep our bun Saffron company, and it's been a hoot watching them--they're totally in love and adorable as anything. I talked a little bit about it on my history blog, just for fun, here and here.

COURTSHIP & CURSES (Henry Holt, August 7, 2012)

PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?

MD: Having a group of people who understand all your anxieties and share your questions was wonderful. You can ask questions that you might be afraid to ask elsewhere, and share information about process, and never be alone. You'll also have a group of writers with whom you share a bond that never really goes away, and when you happen on each other at conferences or whatever, you'll smile and hug and remember what you went through together.

PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?

MD: Oh, I agree--though it was fun being the "bride", I'm definitely enjoying the benefits of experience and gained knowledge. I would say not to let the excitement of your debut year derail your writing. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of this new experience (and I'm not saying you shouldn't enjoy it--you only have a first book once!) But it's important to remember that your next book, and the book after that, have to get written, and they have to be good. Do your best to maintain discipline, and keep writing.

BETRAYING SEASON (September 29, 2009)

PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.

MD: Oh, more books, definitely...and I'd like to slip in some adult and tween fiction as well as YA. I'm also looking forward to doing some travel, as my younger kids will be in college and I'll have more time free...there are a bunch of places I'd love to use as settings for future stories. I'd also like to spend more time in volunteer work for my local rabbit rescue, because rabbits are wonderful creatures but don't get as much attention as cats and dogs do.

PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!

MD: Only that I'll be continuing on my sooper sekrit stealth mission to get more readers interested in the rich stories of the past by writing more historical fiction and fantasy...but you didn't hear me say that, did you?

BEWITCHING SEASON (Henry Holt, April 28, 2008))

PJH: Thank you so much for being here! And good luck with everything in the future!


BIO: Marissa Doyle graduated from Bryn Mawr College and went on to graduate school intending to be an archaeologist but somehow got distracted. After working in a nursing home, in fundraising, and as a stay-at-home mom, she finally figured out what it was she really should be doing (apart from the mom part), and started writing a romance novel. Three books later a perceptive contest judge told her that her story would make a great young adult book, and she hasn’t looked back since.

Her young adult books Bewitching Season, Betraying Season, and Courtship and Curses, all from Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan, blend history (remember that archaeology background?) with a dash of magic and a heaping tablespoon of romance, and have won multiple awards and recognition in both the romance and children’s literature worlds. She lives in her native Massachusetts with her family, including a pair of litterbox-trained pet rabbits, and loves making quilts, sailing, and antiques. With fellow author and history geek Regina Scott she hosts the long-running (in its sixth year!) teen history blog NineteenTeen, is an Administrator on the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Message Board, and sits on the board of the New England Chapter/RWA.

Please visit her at her website, and at NineteenTeen.


Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!

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