IT IS OUR PLEASURE TO WELCOME…
~THE GUEST HOUSE~
MBA&M: Please tell our readers a little about yourself?
Hello everyone! I’m a native New Englander, raised in Maine, and now am living in North Carolina with my husband, a biologist, and our two daughters. I’ve been writing novels since I was in high school and submitted 14 different manuscripts over 20 years before getting my first contract with NAL/Penguin. When people ask me my best advice to becoming published, I always say perseverance above all else—and now you know why!
MBA&M: What was your inspiration behind writing “The Guest House”?
I love books set on the water. I grew up near the coast of Maine and the ocean is in my blood and in my soul. There is something about walking the beach, about staring out into the surf and surrendering my thoughts to the sounds and smells and sensation of the ocean that moves me like nothing else. I think there is something inherently romantic about coastal settings/resort towns, because of the transient nature of many of their visitors—the sun and the beach and that sense of time as fleeting and full of possibilities makes for wonderful drama and very passionate affairs of the heart.
MBA&M: How did you pick your setting for “The Guest House”,did Harrisport,the Cape Cod area have special meaning to you?
Growing up in New England, I was fortunate to spend time on Cape Cod, but the real inspiration for The Guest House actually came from a summer I spent on Martha’s Vineyard after my freshman year in college. I worked at a bakery and stayed in an apartment above the stables on the property of a gorgeous, rambling shingle-style house just like the one in The Guest House. I knew the people who lived in the big house so I spent time in it and fell in love with the historic interiors and, of course, imagined all the secrets and stories that had taken place over the years inside it. It was one of those experiences I kept tucked away, but always knew I’d revisit it in a book someday.
MBA&M: Instead of summer fun, you have rivalries,family dramas and of course old love,what was your inspiration behind this plot?
So often my stories evolve out of a single relationship, but I am always drawn to love stories and how we fall in love, how we stay in love, how we find love after losing it, how we do or don’t move on from it. I think many of us find our first loves are often the ones that set the course for our romantic future, and very often our first loves happen when we are young and long before we truly know ourselves and what—or who—we really want. For many of my characters in The Guest House, lost loves have kept them tied to the past—but this summer will bring them unexpected opportunities for new romance and the kind of passionate love they thought was lost to them forever.
MBA&M: What was your favorite spot for summer fun?Your favorite memories of the summer,and your favorite all time gotta have beverage,food,music,etc for the summer?
Oh there are so many! Growing up, we spent so much of our summer days on the beach, since we lived close enough to visit it regularly. I was raised in a wonderful small town, in the village, where there were always kids out playing and summer events and festivals going on or neighbors having big cookouts or picnics. There was a frozen custard stand in town that was a staple and we’d always end up there and see everyone we knew. Most of all, I think summer meant staying up later, which is why my favorite time of day is still dusk in the summer season; that soft, warm night air, the pastel light of the setting sun, the glow of the moon in a not-yet-dark sky, and the knowledge that even as the world is drawing to a close for bedtime, there are still a few extra moments to savor, to sneak in another minute with friends outdoors.
MBA&M: My family and myself enjoy Atlantic Beach,North Carolina on the Eastern seaboard,do you see yourself ever having a novel set in that area?
Absolutely! I have heard wonderful things about Atlantic Beach and it is on my must-see list, for sure! Now that I am living in North Carolina, I am looking forward to shifting the settings of my novel to reflect my new home. I have fallen in love with the Carolina Coast. In fact, I’m now writing my fourth novel which is set on Folly Beach, SC—a place my family and I have been lucky to spend time at in the last few years—and it’s exciting to be writing about new beaches.
MBA&M:If you could have dinner with one of your characters in any of your books or one in your head, who would be your favorite to dine with and why? Where would you go?
What a fantastic question! The character of Camille Bergeron from my first novel, Little Gale Gumbo, immediately comes to mind. She’s a remarkable Creole cook who fled New Orleans with her teenage daughters to escape a bad marriage and found herself on a small island off the coast of Maine where she opens an authentic Creole café! So of course we would have to eat in her Little Gale Gumbo café, and I’d love to sit a while in her company. In the novel, she is such a force of strength and comfort and love and home for all the characters, not just her daughters, but the island residents too—including a divorced single father who she falls in love with—so I can’t imagine a richer meal, in both taste and conversation.
MBA&M: How do you see yourself in 20 years or so?
Having more and more adventures with my precious family—my husband and our two daughters—and, of course, still writing novels about the stories of our hearts.
MBA&M: We are so happy to have you visit with us and our readers today. Please tell our readers where to connect with you and where to purchase “The Guest House”?
It has been such a pleasure to be here, thank you for having me! I love to connect with readers. I am on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ErikaMarksAuthor), twitter (@erikamarksauthr) and you can always find me at my website, www.erikamarksauthor.com. I also love speaking with book clubs—either on the phone or via skype. The Guest House and my other novels can be purchased through any of your favorite retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes&Noble, in print or e-book format!
Erika, do you have anything to add today?
I want to wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful summer season. May it be filled with lots of sun and LOTS of great books!
Barnes & Noble link:
Oh,thank you for such a wonderful interview and such wonderful stories!
THE GUEST HOUSE (NAL Trade Paperback, on-sale June 4, 2013) by Erica Marks is the perfect way to enjoy a lazy summer day. Set in Cape Cod , Massachusetts , one of the most popular summer getaways on the East Coast, THE GUEST HOUSE by acclaimed author of Little Gale Gumbo and The Mermaid Collector is a powerful tale about a summer beach town torn by old love, rivalries, and family drama. For fans of Marisa del los Santos and Adriana Trigiani, THE GUEST HOUSE with its themes of love and loss is sure to be a summer favorite!
As Edie’s youngest child, Lexi Wright should have known better than to fall in love with a Moss, but at nineteen, she falls hard for Tucker’s son, Hudson — only to find herself jilted a few years later when Hudson breaks off their engagement to marry his high school sweetheart. Now, fifteen years later, Lexi has just returned home, secretly nursing a broken heart after another failed romance. But when Hudson ’s younger brother, Cooper, arrives unexpectedly to reclaim the Moss cottage after his father’s death, an unlikely attraction forms between the two, and Lexi finds herself torn once again between passion and family loyalty.
And then, renovations at the Moss guest house reveal a forty-five year-old declaration of love carved into a piece of framing — a truth that will force two women and the men who love them to confront the treacherous waters of their pasts.
Available now from:
About the author:
A native New Englander who was raised in Maine, Erika Marks has worked as an illustrator, an art director, a cake decorator, and a carpenter. This is her third novel.
Check out “My Thoughts” at:
(Sponsored by the publisher)
Thanks to Jessica at NAL, we are offering 1 lucky commenter a print copy of THE GUEST HOUSE. Sorry, open to US residents only! Giveaway will run from June 15 until June 22,22013.
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