Cups, Cakes & Conversation

Introducing a new feature on the blog: Join me as I brew a cup of coffee and pull up a comfy chair for…

A Writerly Chat with our friend, Marie Jones

My own focus in writing is historical fiction and romance, but I enjoy reading across several genres. I also enjoy friendships with writers all across the world, who are following their own dreams, and I’m happy to share their stories with you. Today, joining us from the United Kingdom, is my friend, British writer Marie Jones, to celebrate the upcoming release of her novel, THOSE WE TRUST.

Hello Marie! Glad you could join me. THOSE WE TRUST is releasing so soon! Let’s get right to it – can you share your elevator pitch with us?

Thank you so much for letting me share a virtual cup of tea with you and a chance to talk about my forthcoming book, Those We Trust. It releases worldwide on May 18th, 2021 with GenZ Publishing. My elevator pitch is:

“After a break-in occurs at the friend’s house she’s staying in, a young computer programmer down on her luck finds herself implicated in a larger crime she took no part in. Connecting with a detective, she works with him to solve the crime all the while falling in love.”

THOSE WE TRUST is a romantic suspense / thriller. What attracted you to writing in this genre?

I think naturally you tend to write in the genre that you alleviate towards as a reader. I absolutely love reading mixed genres, especially thriller/suspense, crime, detective, and of course romance (because I am a born romantic!).  I also enjoy historical and fantasy novels, as well as YA dystopian novels (mostly down to my teenage daughter’s influence on me!)

Tell us about your publication journey.  What have been the highlights?

It’s certainly been a very long journey to get here. One thing I’ve learnt is that you can never give up and you must develop a very thick skin! I studied creative writing at college and open university.

I self-published my first book, Into The Shadows, a few years ago and that helped me learn first-hand what goes into publishing and marketing a book. Since then, I continued to write, rewrite, take feedback, edit, and constantly improve my writing, and I’ve never stop trying. 

It’s a very tough market to break into.  I had a lot of rejections along the way from agents and publishers, as does any writer, but it has all been worth it for that moment when I received an email from my publisher offering a book contract!  Holding my book in my hand for the very first time was an unbelievable, pinch myself kind of moment! A 20-year dream of mine come true.

Let’s talk about the novel’s setting.  Have you been there?  What details from your own experience did you include in the novel?

The book is set in one of my all time favourite places in the world – Scotland, specifically in  Inverness at the base of the Highlands.  I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot of the world and many stunning places.  But for me, nothing compares to the mystical, wild, and staggering beauty of Scotland.  I would happily move there tomorrow if I could!  I really love Inverness as a small city and was able to draw in from personal experience to bring it alive for my readers.

There is a scene in the book where my character Sophia climbs a Munro mountain.  I actually got to climb a Munro myself two years ago, Schiehallion.  That was an incredible experience!

Do you have a favorite character within the story?  What endears them to you?

Along with my main protagonist, Sophia (who has much of me in her, bless her), one of my favourite characters is Cathy. With a sick husband, and an absent daughter, still she remains quietly strong and humble despite difficult circumstances.  She remains positive and loyal to her family.  I really admire her.

What is something you learned about yourself while writing this story?

I learned that I can always push myself further. I pushed myself to create new ideas, new plot twists, and new characters, that constantly adapted and evolved the story.  That, plus the need to remain focused! There will always be distractions, especially when you’re a mum as I am (it was an interesting time for us during lockdown and home schooling…)

What do you hope your readers will gain or take away from your story?

I would love for my readers to enjoy not only the story itself, which I hope will come immediately to life for them, but to also find themselves immersed in Scotland and its exceptional beauty.  I also would love for them to fall in love with Marcus and Sophia and be rooting for them along the way.

What does your writing space look like? Do you have a vision board?

My writing space consists of a notebook, a desk (that invariably other family members leave their bits on) and a computer. And that’s all! I’m always impressed with writers who have vision boards and are very organized.  I do use photos that I’ve taken of the setting; otherwise I plot out the story in my notebook.  Sometimes a speech line or plot idea will come to me and I’ll write that down.  I often find as I’m writing that a new scene will come into my head. I try to make the most of quiet times at home, but I’ve certainly had to learn the knack of writing around the business of family life.

What projects are you working on?

I’m currently working on adapting Those We Trust for a limited TV series.  I’m also working on the sequel to Those We Trust.  Hopefully lots of exciting things coming everyone’s way!

What’s in that mug? And what kind of delicious treat did you pair with it?

My mug has my favourite all time drink in it – a strong brewed cup of Yorkshire tea. I’m a true Brit with my love for tea!  My favourite delicious treat with it is a salted caramel bar if I was trying to be good, or a large slice of carrot cake if I’m being naughty.  Also rather love a scone cream tea – but it must have jam first then clotted cream.  There’s always much debate here in England whether it should be jam or cream first on the scone!

Thank you so much for having me! xx, Marie

Thanks for joining us. Best, Rebekah

If you’d like to learn more about Marie and THOSE WE TRUST, you can find her on www.mariejonesbritishwriter.com

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