Today, I’m pleased to present an interview with Marva Gregorio De Souza.  Hope you enjoy!
1. When did you start writing?

My earliest memories of writing of course were at school. I particularly remember a teacher being impressed with a poem about a candle when I was around 10 years old and when I was 8 or 9 my classmates being amused by a story where I walked into a lamppost in the fog and banged my head then in the ensuing confusion went to the butchers instead of the bakers. Doesn’t seem quite as funny now! At home, with my sisters, we would also write and produce plays for the sole enjoyment of our parents.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?

When it comes to screen and stage plays I will plan. Novels and most definitely short stories I’m a pantser all the way in draft one – then correct it all in the following drafts.  I enjoy the pantser style more as I find the planning a little stifling.
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?

With short stories, I sit down at the computer and almost hear the first line then let my fingers follow the sound of the words or the voice of the character.  For every other writing mode I get ideas here, there and everywhere then struggle with developing it into something that maybe I might like to read again after a month.  Maybe.  Draft one is the hardest because I try not to get caught up in making it the beauteous masterpiece I imagined but just get the story down. Often times I feel physically sick with the utter trash I’ve produced which of course makes it difficult to come back to it without quoting my mantra along the lines of ‘it’s the first draft, just get it down’.
4. Which authors have influenced your work?

For the style of my work, James Frey has released me to be odd.  I would reign myself in and try to be at least a little normal and certainly as correct as possible with grammar, until I read ‘Bright Shiny Morning’ and was inspired by Frey’s use (or lack of) punctuation and spaces to control and assist in the telling of the story.  It just let me know it was OK to be me… a little twisted. For actually producing work and completing projects, my sister Jacqueline Malcolm (author of Slave: Escaping the Chains of Freedom) is absolutely my influence and inspiration and conscience! Jacquie writes at an incredible rate, sets deadlines and sticks to them and is a most brilliant dramatic storyteller (think Philippa Gregory) our styles are completely different but she inspires me to just get on with it.
5. What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?

In August 2013, Rum Runners, The Musical will be staged at Brukka Theater in Reno NV. This is a project I worked on with Bill Quinby, following the story of Capt Harry ‘Lucky’ Peters a rum runner during the Prohibition in 1930’s America. We wrote the script together, Bill composed the music and we both worked on the lyrics. Very excited about seeing it come alive especially after the reading went so very well.  I am also working on a novel, ‘Living Scars’ courtesy of the NaNoWriMo challenge.  It’s about a man, Valentine Jones, who is covered in lots of scars of different shapes and sizes that pretty much tell the story of his life. This time I’m seriously considering self-publishing it. We’ll see.   And in between all this I’ll be working out all the logistics for the shooting of the short screenplay I’ve written called ‘Going Forward’.
6. Any tips for new writers?

Don’t let anyone else read or see your work until you love it.  This way, although you’ll still need, desire, appreciate and loathe feedback from others – it won’t be devastating if they don’t like it, because you LOVE it!
7. Any tips for old writers?

See 6. And walk away from the light!

Rum Runners facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rum-Runners-The-Musical/309965669034591
Jacqueline Malcolm’s website: http://www.jacquelinemalcolm.com/