"When it comes to authors,we may hide ourselves from others but within our pages, our true souls emerge." - Nicole Hill
"I want a Vampite of my very own. Until I find him, I'll just keep writing him into existence." -Nicole Hill
" I write like people talk. It may not be perfect but it's damn entertaining." - Nicole Hill

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Indie Author Spotlight of Marie J.S. Phillips

The Author
Marie J. S. Phillips
The works of art:
 The Furlites of Aroriel Series: Book one On Matissia Wings, Book Two Earth-bred. Matissia-born. 

Where she creates:
Northwestern Connecticut 

The genre that gets to claim her:
 Mostly Science Fiction / Fantasy, and animal stories.

The heart of the story:
These books follow the adventures of a family of furry dinosaurian aliens on their first voyage to the stars. They encounter humanity in its full spectrum of good and bad, but end up returning home with a unique treasure bequeathed to them by a lost Maine Coon cat. The controversy they cause on the peaceful prosperous homeworld shocks the entire Clan, but eventually logic wins out over fear. There is a lot of romance and exploration of relationships in these books, though I would not call them romances. I also have a book out about one of my Maine Coon Cats that passed away in 2002. His story, Khan: A Maine Coon, is told through his eyes. In the works I have a short story collection of science fiction/fantasy and one semi-fictional biography about a Norway Spruce tree. It should be out this fall if I can get my crap together! Did I mention I am very eccentric??

Her muse is Eccentric:
Eccentric. Yep I said it again! Rough notes followed by a rough synopsis and then I start on a rough draft or first draft, depending on how long and complex the story might be, and I absolutely allow the characters take me on their journey.

Has she ever written anything and thought: The world has got to see this?
Not really. Just want readers to enjoy the books as much as I did writing them. I’ve been writing stories since I was 5-6 years old, just for the joy of it. My first little picture books in a comic style I did in the first grade, and through most of my elementary school days, called Treea and her Flower Friends. I even designed a publishing logo with a rising sun and a rainbow and called it, yeah, Sunrise Publishing, but never had a thought about the world seeing my work until much later, when I wrote my set of dog tales based on a huge blue-eyed German Shepherd in High School and college. I didn’t think the world has to see this but only hoped the publishers I sent the manuscripts to would like them! But alas, not. I still had a lot to learn!

Who can we thank for the look of her novels?

I had a great editor and proof reader in my literary agent, Mr. David Ayscue, who I met in 1997 after several years of trying to publish the Furlites of Aroriel. He loved the books and helped me polish them to a fine glitter. Sadly, he passed away late in 2010. He taught me a great deal, not only grammar, but taught me to become a much better editor, a skill I sorely lacked prior to meeting him. But with his passing, after viewing commercial after commercial of Amazon’s Kindle, I decided to go Indie, rather than try and find another agent that would appreciate my eccentric work. No more wasting tons of $$ mailing out and /or reprinting lost manuscripts. I sank it into the full distribution on and instead.  All artwork, book layouts, including my covers, I created myself.

Her favorite Author:
 I LOVE Anne McCaffrey and she has been a great inspiration. As a child, I loved Albert Payton Terhune’s collie books. 

The hardest part for her.
Trying to record and polish everything I wish to put to print, feeling like I am running out of time. Book Three of the Furlite saga Eyes in the Dark is in the first draft stage and I really hope it does not take me a decade or more to finish! I ain’t getting any younger!!!

Her characters do what they want:
They definitely write themselves through me. Even Khan my Maine Coon, and Old Gent, the Norway Spruce, made sure I told their stories right!!

She is a full time writer:
 It is my” job”, as low paying as it is,  but only because I’ve been able to pursue it full time thanks to my husband whose dedication to his own career and his ability to excel all his life, gave me the opportunity to be a stay at home writer the last twenty years. I am very thankful for his love and support all these years. Yes, we were High School sweethearts, and are still together after almost 4 full decades.

If she had a time machine who would she meet?
Wow, that is a tough one. Hard to choose just one out of human history. If I am honest, and in accordance to what I love to write about, my dream travel back in time would be to the Mesazoic Era to see Dinosaurs in the flesh.

What makes hers stand out from the masses:
Its an alien family saga-an epic tale, the story of a Furlitian family, done from their point of view, and not from humanity’s ego-centric one. It is eccentric, and as one reviewer put it, a journey into a unique and original world. Heck they are not even humanoid aliens! I think the Felakoons will be the ones that sell these books. Who wouldn’t love to have a giant telepathic Maine Coon??

What marketing has helped her:
 I think using The Independent Author Network and other sites like it are very helpful with VERY affordable advertizing rates. Having a Twitter account is very helpful as well. But only time will tell if any of the avenues I chose, including more expensive Cat Fancy and LOCUS ads will actually boost my sales. I am still a greenhorn when it comes to all this! (Yes, I am a HUGE Deadliest catch fan)

Where to stalk her at:
Facebook Page: 

(Note-I am a real greenhorn when it comes  blogging!! Its very new and a writer friend did most of the work putting it together for me.)

Where to purchase: