Friday, December 10, 2010

Author Interview: Marlene Perez!

Author Interview w/ Marlene Perez

Marlene is the author of the amazing series Dead is the New Black. She has also written The Comeback, Unexpected Development and Love In the Corner Pocket. Marlene has also released a couple books under the pen name Lana Perez, those books are, Bella Goes to Hollywood, Bright Lights for Bella, and Figure in the Frost.

Love In The Corner PocketUnexpected DevelopmentDead Is the New BlackDead Is a State of MindDead Is So Last YearDead Is Just a RumorDead Is Not an Option 

Hi Marlene thank you for stopping by the blog today for an interview.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your Dead is the New Black series? 
The Dead Is series starts with DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK and is about Daisy Giordano and her psychic sisters, who solve paranormal mysteries in their high school in Nightshade, California. There are five books featuring Daisy Giordano and she will graduate from Nightshade High in DEAD IS NOT AN OPTION, which will be out in May, 2011. After that, there will be (at least) two books featuring Sean Walsh's sister Jessica, beginning with DEAD IS A BATTLEFIELD and then DEAD IS A KILLER TUNE. Both of those books will be out in 2012.

Q. What inspired you to write such a fantastic series? 
I read mysteries, romance, paranormal, fantasies, etc. and I wanted to write something that kind of spoke to those genres. Plus, the title came to me and then the first few lines of DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK, which are in the book exactly as they first popped into my brain. Inspiration is a tough one to pin down. Sometimes it's a song or a piece of art or a tiny little article I read in the newspaper. Sometimes it's a bunch of little things that come together.

Q. I love Daisy, she is independent and self- sufficient, is Daisy based on any one that you know?
I love Daisy, too! I never base my characters on anyone I know, except maybe myself. But Daisy is a lot different from me. Maybe she's someone I'd like to hang out with, if that makes sense.

Q. What is your favorite character in Dead is the New Black and why? 
I love them all! Daisy and her sisters, of course. I'm very fond of Ryan Mendez, Flo, and Slim.

Q. Where is your favorite place to write? 
I write everywhere, but when I can, I like to get out of the house and go to a coffee shop or bookstore to write. Of course, the danger of a bookstore is that I spend more time browsing for books than I do actually writing.

Q. You also have books under the pen name Lana Perez, why do you publish under two different names?
I'm no longer writing for them, but a few years ago, I wrote several books for Wizards of the Coast/Mirrorstone under a pen name because in those books, the world and characters were already created. I learned a lot about plot from my editor there. Also, my first novel, UNEXPECTED DEVELOPMENT, was an edgier teen novel and those books were middle grade. And I think pen names are fun!

Q Do you have a specific routine when writing? 
Yes and no. I do TRY to have a routine, but I have four children, so that routine is often interrupted. But I write every day, at least a little, and set daily word count goals for myself when I'm working on a first draft. I use a spreadsheet to keep me accountable.  It's easy to put off writing when life gets in the way.

I also like to create a soundtrack for every book. I turn on the music when I sit down to work and it helps me to get into the world of my novel quickly. I think turning writing into a ritual has its benefits, but there are also drawbacks. If you make it too much of a ritual, you limit when you can write. So I take a notebook with me everywhere and don't need quiet or candles or anything. Mostly, I need an idea and a deadline, even if it's just a deadline that I set rather than one requested by a publisher. I also like to write in longhand sometimes because I think it helps with creativity.

Q. What is your favorite writing snack? 
Coffee or chocolate. Or some combination of the two!

Q. I love your writing and I also know a few others that have been inspired by how original your stories and writing are, how do you keep surprising fans of your work? There always seems to be something new and surprising going on in your books. 
Thank you! I think that I am often inspired by existing mythology, but I try to tweak it and put a humorous or quirky spin on something everyone recognizes like vampires or zombies or doppelgangers. I take it as a huge compliment that you think I've been able to surprise my readers because my favorite novels, songs, and television shows all have something surprising in them. Also, although I don't have the same amount of time that I used to, I think that reading amps up your creativity. I love to read obscure reference books and old out of print stuff when I can find it.

Q. Do you have any advice for those who want to write a book? 
Perspiration before inspiration. The words won't flow every single day, but that's okay. Keep that butt parked in your chair. And to quote my critique partner Terry Miller Shannon, "Real writers get rejected." Hone your craft, of course, but eventually, you need to take a chance and be willing to get rejected. It's just part of the business.

Q. What can we expect to see coming out next from you and when will it be released? 
DEAD IS NOT AN OPTION will be out in May of 2011. I am working on the DEAD IS spin-off right now and those books will be out in 2012. And I'm working on a new trilogy idea, but that's not a contracted manuscript (yet!)

Thanks Again Marlene :) 
    Thanks, Mary! Great questions!

It was awesome to be able to do an interview with Marlene Perez, she has become one of my all time favorite authors and I can't wait to dive more into the Dead is the New Black series. also I really want to read Love in the Corner Pocket. Marlene never fails to surprise her fans with her writing and is always inspiring others to write. To me that makes an excellent author. Plus she seems like a a sweetheart. I have dealt with some authors that can't care less about their fans.... Marlene cares! I am so happy she was able to do an interview with us! 

Don't Forget To Leave Some Comment Love!


  1. Great interview, Mary. I enjoyed learning about Marlene. I love her book titles. :-)

    Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
    bestselling author

  2. Great interview. I've got most of the books in this series but have yet to read it. I tend to collect at least 4 to 5 in a series and then have a marathon reading feast. Love that you are doing a spin-off. I think this is a great way for an author to keep a series ongoing and still stay fresh.

  3. Hi :)
    Thank you for the excellent interview with Marlene Perez & thanks to Marlene for sharing. I really enjoyed the back & forth and the in-depth responses. I had only vaguely heard of this series and now I've put 'em on my ToBeRead list.
    Thanks again!
    All the best,

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