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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Reasons for Writing: Author Interview with Marius Cipolla

Your bio says your first published writing was steamy romances to finance your college debt. What made you decide to write in that genre?
I started with that genre because I assumed romances would be quick and easy to write and would give me time to do my academic work. That was all true. What I didn't foresee was that I would enjoy writing so much that I soon became addicted, and wanted to do nothing else!

Fast-forward to your current writing which is historical romance and dealing with the rise of Hitler and the Nazis and WWII. What made you decide to write about that period of history?
This is the history of my parents' and grandparents' generation, and thus intimately connected with my own family history. I found it fascinating to write about their lives.

How long did it take you to do the research for these books? 
Research for my books can take anything up to two years of reading and travel. 

Part of your storyline includes Christian Dior, a real-life character who designed dresses for Nazi wives and French Collaborators. Why do you think that many wealthy people were drawn to Hitler's regime and ignored the atrocities he did?
Hitler's power was based on the carrot and stick technique – rewards if you followed obediently, a concentration camp if you resisted. As a famous American general once said, if you have their balls, their hearts and minds will soon follow.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? Starting? Creating a scene? Dialog? Tension, etc?
The hardest part for me is saying goodbye to my characters when I have to stop writing.

What made you choose the indie-route for publishing for your latest book?
Most of my books have been published by major publishers – at the moment I am with Amazon Publishing's Lake Union imprint – but I am always happy to take over independent publication of the books which publishers consider no longer in fashion!

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
No question – it's from the readers themselves. Both their praise and their criticism has been a major force in educating me as a writer.

We have all experienced rejection. Give me an example of one you’ve had, and how you learned to write past it.
Every novel involves a degree of rejection since the editing process invariably means sections need to be cut or rewritten. Someone else takes a hand in reshaping your work, and that can be hard to accept.

What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing? What frustrated you the most?
The most surprising development I've seen in the last decade has been the success of self-publishing, and the arrival of so many talented new authors whose work was not considered worthy by conventional agents or publishing houses.

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
The loneliness!

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
The harsher the criticism you get, the more you need to listen to it.

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
Write from the heart. Nothing else matters.

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
Since The Designer, I have published two novels, The Ocean Liner (2018) and The Parisians(just out, Jan 2019). They are set in a similar time period, and once again, involve some very famous historical characters.

That’s all for today’s interview. If you would like to learn more about Marius’s books, here are two links to get you started. 

The Ocean Liner on Amazon:

The Parisians on Amazon:

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