|Marissa Brim, Local Author|
Here we go:
"When my mother first moved us to Richmond, her hometown, my grandparents helped to raise us and make us feel a part of the community. They helped enroll us in Seton Elementary School in Richmond, and really gave us as much as they possibly could.
One memory in particular is of my grandfather, Leroy Atkins, taking me to Paulee's for breakfast, and then to the Farmer's Market next to the Depot, under 9th St. bridge. It was great quality time with my grandfather. He bought me a small cactus, which actually thrived for a few years, until my mother and I somehow managed to kill it. Since then, I've been enchanted by the Depot district, and I'm so excited to see it coming back to life, as well as downtown."
How did you set off to become a writer?
"I can't say that one day I just woke up and said to myself "I'm going to be a writer now." I can say I've always been a dreamer, and have read books & imagined stories that seemed to make my childhood more interesting. I've always been an "in-my-head" type of person, as I'm not a great social speaker. I can't formulate witty responses on the spur of a moment, but I can come up with a whole conversation if I'm left alone with a piece of paper, a pen and a situation.
Mostly, I decided to start writing again after elementary school because a story had started forming itself in my head, and it was taking up too much of my thoughts. So, as a "cure," I decided to write it down, just to get it out of my head. The initial outline was somewhere around ten thousand words. I put it away for a while, until a tragedy in my family spurred me to finish the story."
Could you tell us a bit of what your book is about?
"Daughter of the Red Isle is a novel with two story lines: Lexi, a homeless young woman struggling to make it on her own and Leo, a wealthy businessman, learning life's lessons through tragedies. While Daughter begins with tragedies, I think the main focus is on the characters surviving and learning to live through their hardships. Within the first chapter of the book, Lexi learns that her mother has finally succumbed to her addiction, dying from an apparent drug overdose.
Leo's story, on the other hand, is revealed much later. He is the author of some "love letters" in the beginning of the book, and his tragedy hits closer to home with a lot of readers, myself included."
|The Cover of Marissa's First Book|
"The publishing portion of the book was actually the easiest (once I decided I was going to go the Indie route, that is). I looked up several different options, including contacting one of the local printers in Richmond to print copies for me. After all was said and done though, I started with an eBook, available only through Amazon Kindle.
After a few months, I decided to get a paper version as well, as people who either didn't have eBook access, or didn't have a Kindle, kept asking me for paper copies. I used CreateSpace, a sub-company of Amazon, to publish the book. It had multiple options, including a generate your own cover for the book feature, that really appealed to me."
Your book, although titled as somewhat of a romantic novel, touches on some big issues.
What inspired you to delve into things such as homelessness, drug abuse, etc.?
"For lack of a better explanation, personal (not me) experiences. Substance abuse was a big player in my father's side of the family, mostly alcohol, but some drug use as well. My grandmother had also a cousin who had lived on the streets of New York City for a time. He built his own business, and the last I heard, was a millionaire, living on the same island as Julio Iglesias.
While they had some personal relation to me and my family, more people can relate to these issues. Homelessness affects more people every year, and substance abuse seems to be within nearly every family. They are tough issues, but people can survive and overcome them. I have known for years that my father was an alcoholic, and knowing that, I was determined to never fall into that kind of addiction. I have no desire to drink and drink and drink. I'd rather spend that money on yarn for knitting!"
What's next on your agenda. I hear this may become a series?
"Yes, actually I'm somewhere around thirty thousand words on book 2 of The Isles series. The title is Son of the Emerald Isle, and focuses more on Lexi finding "new" relatives, and it will explore further social issues. I'm working on the end of the book, and I have actually surprised myself with the end. There's a lot going on. This installation in the series feels different than the first book.
I'm also working on a few other things. Most notably an urban fantasy-type novel, which is published entirely on my blog, as I write, chapter by chapter. The title is Death of a Fairy, a modern fairy tale, but it's not like any fairy tale I've ever read. After it is finished, I will publish it on eBook and in paperback so others can read it as well."
Thank you again Marissa for your time and your company! I wish you much happiness and success in your writing career! May you sell many books and dream many more stories!
<3 the Local Gal
For more information: You can follow Marissa Brim, the author on Facebook Here.
Here Debut Novel is available at Two Sister's Books & More, as well as Richmond's local Hastings store.