Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Soapbox Spotlight: Marita Fowler

Thank you for joining me!  Today's Soapbox Spotlight is with Marita Fowler, the author of a series of size positive adventure books. Her titles include Fat Assassins and Fat Bodyguards. Marita lives in Virginia with her husband, David.  She has worked in the computer and security industry since 1992. While she continues her professional cybersecurity career at Department of Homeland Security - she enjoys writing in her free time.

How did you come up with the title?

My husband and I always have interesting conversations on road trips and the idea for Fat Assassins (and the rest of the series) spawned from one of these sugar and caffeine filled roadtrips. If I remember correctly, the conversation started with a funny bumper sticker I’d purchased.

    Fat people are harder to kidnap.

I love this bumper sticker because it’s true. I couldn’t imagine someone trying to shove me in the back of a non-descript van. My size and my fight are the two reasons I think a kidnapper would find it difficult to snatch me. So, the discussion evolved into stereotyping and how two fat people could be great assassins and nobody would suspect them. And the idea for Fat Assassins was born.

Haha! How interesting, and true!  How do you come up with new novel ideas?

The series is called Fat Adventures, so I look for book ideas that embody friendship, confidence and excitement.

Tell us about your latest work.  Can you share a little of it with us?

My second book, Fat Bodyguards, will be released in June. It continues to follow the misadventures of two curvy country girls - Shasta and Ulyssa - after they accept another job with the mob. This time they’re guarding the mob boss’s daughter!

Does the writing get easier with each new book?

The writing gets tougher with each new book because there are expectations (at least in a series).  Your first book is nerve shattering because you’re worried readers won’t like it, but you’re an unknown, and there are no real expectations. The second book is where readers decide whether or not to add you to their ‘favorites’ list.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

I’ve hit writer’s block a few times. I usually move to a different scene that I’m excited about writing, then I revisit the problematic scene later. If I’m still having problems, it’s usually because the scene doesn’t belong there or I need to change up the wording a little to get it flowing again. My writer’s block is usually my brain’s signal that I’m off track.

What do you look for in a cover?

I have a fantastic cover artist (Les Toil) who paints BBW pinups, so this is an easy question for me. I like the covers to have strength, sexiness and comedy rolled into one image. I usually pick out a few key elements from the book and my wonderful cover artist does the rest.

Have you developed a specific writing style?

With my current series, I have a slapstick humor approach to storytelling. I try to make myself laugh at least once in each chapter.

What do you love about independent publishing?

The indie community is fantastic - from the bloggers to writers. Bloggers invest their reputation in the blogs and build communities of like-minded fans. They’re often willing to introduce indie authors to their blog fans through spotlights, reviews, interviews and giveaways.  Forget the pen wielding, surly editor at the publishing house - bloggers are driving the book market. The support from fellow indie authors (such as yourself, Dalya Moon, and Áine P Massie) is extremely helpful. Many indie authors are willing to share tips and tricks to help others succeed - they’ll also tell you if something didn’t work for them.

The other thing I love about indie publishing is the flexibility to control content, design, pricing and release dates. I enjoy working with my team to get a book out to readers in a timely fashion. Nobody likes waiting 12-24 months to read the next book from their favorite author.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out?

These are some of the sites that have been extremely helpful for me: SheWrites, KindleBoards, and GoodReads. New authors should cruise around the sites and get a feel for strategies that might work for them. They should also find some writer conferences or blogs for their genre and listen to other authors talk about their experiences. Lastly, they should start building their social networking presence. Social networking sites are great ways to connect with fellow authors, fans and other community members.

Your writing space: neat or messy?

It gets messier with each chapter I write. When I finish a book - I clean off my workspace, organize my notebooks and start fresh. It’s kind of becoming a ritual.

Thanks for stopping by, Marita!

My pleasure!  Thanks for having me, Ray!


You can find Marita at the following sites:

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Assassins-Adventure-ebook/dp/B006HWFA8W
Web: http://www.maritafowler.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/maritafowler
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fat-Assassins/222813677789949

You can purchase Marita's book at the below link; Fat Bodyguards available soon!

Available for 99-cents at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Assassins-Adventure-Series-ebook/dp/B006HWFA8W

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