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Today, I’ve got another Bloomsbury Spark author with me; Marie Langager, author of the achingly beautiful BEYOND OUR STARS, is here to talk shop. Enjoy!

1. When did you start writing?
I wrote a different ending for To Kill A Mockingbird in the sixth grade, and devoured books as a kid. I majored in English in college and wrote a lot in those classes. But those were papers, dissections of other stories and writing. Teachers used to encourage me, but for some reason it just didn’t occur to me that I could be a writer. I spent so much time making up stories in my head, but I didn’t write them down. I started writing with actual publication in mind a little over 3 years ago.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?
PANTSER!! I mean, I’ve made outlines, but I trash ‘em and veer off if the right emotion strikes me. Writing for me is all about the emotion. What do I want to feel right now as a reader? (I know I’m the writer but that’s always what I’m thinking) What would make me feel the most?
“Never fear quarrels, but seek hazardous adventures.”
-Alexander Dumas, The Three Musketeers
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
Hmm…it’s been a bit different for all three manuscripts. But typically, it’s fevered and kind of painful. Ha. No but really. It’s when my brain just won’t shut off. Small moments from the day turn into big things in the book and I vent all my frustration and emotion into one rough draft…that then needs to be fixed.
I pace the room and talk out chapters, sometimes act them out too—speak out dialogue (like a crazy). I also have a live-in critic not scared to tell me what he thinks is good and what he thinks is crap.
“Be kind, aim for my heart.”
-Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
4. Which authors have influenced you work?
Well, Alexandre Dumas, for one! 😉 I’d name classic authors, favorites, you know. Not that I think I write like them, only that they inspired my love of stories. Jane Austen, Daphne du Maurier…I loved War and Peace in high school. There was this annoying, cocky guy I went to school with (now husband) who didn’t read it but wrote an awesome essay about why he couldn’t finish it ‘cause the book attacked him, and he got an A. I call bullsh** on that.
I was actually really surprised by what came out when I started writing. Young adult? Fantasy and science fiction? But at heart, it’s really all about the human experience, emotion, and adventure for me.
BeyondOurStars_FINAL_Rev5. What are your plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
BEYOND OUR STARS, my YA sci-fi is out now! Adventure, aliens, first love, first heartbreak, and spaceships!
“We must never expect discretion in first love: it is accompanied by such excessive joy that unless the joy is allowed to overflow, it will choke you.”
-Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
I’m working on a couple other things right now that I’m terribly excited about. One’s nearly there and one’s a baby.
6. Any tips for new writers?
Read. And keep writing new stories. BEYOND OUR STARS was the third MS I wrote. I woke up one morning feeling like I was getting nowhere and within a month I had an agent and a publishing contract. But, as soon as that happens you go from “struggling writer” to “struggling author”—hoping people read and enjoy your work. There is always a next goal and a next book…so, just write because you love it.
Also, want to see some of my mistakes and laugh at me? Read this post on my blog.
7. Any tips for old writers?
No. But I’ll take ‘em if people are giving them out.