After his mother’s death, Brian suffers severe trauma from his abusive father. When the abuse becomes too much, Brian’s mind splits into multiple personalities and starts him down a path of murder and destruction. Lizzie ’s life is turned upside down when she is tortured by a serial killer. Now she has to learn to cope with a new school, new friends, and a new life with a sister that she didn’t meet until recently. As Lizzie struggles to discover the identity of the man who ruined her life, people think she’s crazy and suffering from delusions. But when Lizzie finally discovers that Brian was her attacker, the two collide in a battle of survival…
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Katie Marshall whose book The Blackbird’s Song thrilled and captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love thrillers and crime but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Katie Marshall will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Katie Marshall!
Katie Marshall received her BFA in creative writing and English from The University of Maine at Farmington. During her time there she also interned and later freelanced for a local newspaper as a journalist. Katie has had poems and short stories published in several collections. Besides her novel with Black Opal Books she has 4 self-published books, two poetry chapbooks, a collection of short stories, and a novella. Katie is a member of the International Thriller Writers and several social media author groups such as the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. When she isn’t writing, she is a veracious reader and prides herself on her private library she has gathered over the years. She still lives and works in her beloved home state of Maine.
Now, how wonderful does Katie Marshall sound?! Katie Marshall is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Katie Marshall’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
The Blackbird’s Song revolves around two perspectives, Brian a serial killer with a troubled past and Lizzie, one of his victims. Each perspective takes you on the characters journey separately and then how they wound up intertwining. This book was my first novel and it was a ten year project. It all started with a dream I had. I’ve always been a vivid dreamer and I had this dream where there were two women sitting at a kitchen table. Around the table there were rose petals and broken glass and things scattered all over the floor. So I started thinking about what happened to this woman and how she got there. That’s how Lizzie’s story came into being. With writing Brian’s I felt more and more curious about who he was, where he came from. I think what inspires my work overall is that everyone has a story and some of them aren’t happy. People have these dark places too and I felt that Brian’s story should be heard. I want my work to make my reader’s think about people more. There is no black and white, good versus evil. You could be the hero of your own story and a villain in someone else’s. I don’t believe evil is born. I believe it is created through a combination of environment and personality. The point I try to make with all my characters no matter what genre I’m in is to show how this dynamic creates and shapes them both the superior qualities and the imperfections.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
I think the best advice I can give aspiring writers is to write. I’ve seen many times when people are starting out they have a lot of questions about how to start, sentence structure etc. I think the best thing to do if you have an idea is write down everything you can think of for that idea. Don’t worry if it doesn’t start as sentences. If you have to take notes then do that. If you need to draw, do that as well. Whatever works but get the idea down somewhere on paper and once you get out all the original stuff, you can start working on shaping that into fuller thoughts and scenes.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
By far the most important thing to me about a book is the characters. You can have great plot and pretty scenery but if I’m not invested in your characters then all of it seems pointless to me. I won’t commit to a book with characters I don’t like and I feel most readers feel the same way. Even if there are villains, I still want to see something in them that triggers my attention. Make them stand out. Make them interesting.
What is your writing process like?
My writing process has been different for each book. I think of it like having children or pets. Each one has its own personality and needs. When I wrote The Blackbird’s Song, I started with one of the end scenes and worked my way back through. I initially wrote all Lizzie’s story then wound up going back and writing Brian’s.
One thing that is consistent in every piece is I handwrite everything in cursive first then go back and type it up. This has led me to catch some of my worst mistakes and to create better editing overall.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I actually don’t wait to research before writing. I usually write down everything that I know already and as I’m going back over it, I look things up. Mostly it further educating myself about the certain topic. When I started writing Brian’s story in The Blackbird’s Song I was in college so I took an abnormal psychology class and read books particularly interested in dissociative identity disorder. I don’t think there’s ever a set time for research as long as you take the time to make sure your knowledge of the subject is accurate.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
As life has become more and more busy, I find that I have to carry a notebook with me to quickly jot down ideas when I think of them. I used to have more free time so it was easier to write when I was inspired. Now I have to set a scheduled time in so I can get an hour in when I can. This can be a challenge if the inspiration isn’t there so the notes help with that.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I read a lot and I’m open to a lot of different genres so it’s hard to narrow down favorites. For classics, I love Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet. For more modern, I really enjoyed Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Lauren Willig is a terrific historical romance author.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I’m working on several projects right now. I have submitted for publication a young adult novel at the beginning of this year so I’m hoping to start the publishing process for that soon. I’m also working on a new thriller novel and I’m hoping to have that ready for submission by the end of the year.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Katie Marshall! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,