Today is Featuring Friday and I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite authors, Marisa de los Santos. Marisa is not a romance writer although her novels are peppered with romance in language and storyline. She began her career writing poetry, but once she discovered “the wide open expanse of the blank page” of novel-writing, she knew that she was meant to write novels.
Known primarily as a writer of literary fiction, Marisa recently partnered with her husband (writer David Teague) and wrote a middle-grade YA novel entitled Saving Lucas Biggs. I’m not generally interested in reading anything remotely YA, but since I was jonsing to read something new by her, and I’m a sucker for a time-traveling story, I picked it up. The story focuses on a teenager’s trip to the past to save her father. Despite the young target audience, I’m enjoying the story. Like all of her books, it’s shaping up to be a page-turner.
Why I love Her Writing
Simply put, its beautiful. Her writing has an elegance to it that I find unusual, and it’s probably attributable to her years of writing poetry. Interestingly, once she began writing her first novel she knew that writing fiction was what she was meant to do, and she’s never returned to writing poetry.
What Makes Her Voice Unique
She uses her love of the “sound and texture” of words to paint vividly honest images on the page.
The kind of Books She Loves
Check out this brief interview in which Marisa discusses her love of books.
My Favorite Book
Belong to Me is Marisa’s second novel in a two book series. Continuing the story of Cornelia Brown, the storyline focuses on Cornelia’s struggles to adjust to her new life as a newly married suburbanite. As if marrying her former brother-in-law wasn’t drama enough, she must find the right balance between motherhood and friendship with her ex-lover’s young daughter. “Belong to Me” is my favorite novel, but read “Love Walked In” first which is the beginning of Cornelia’s story!
What She’s Taught Me About Writing/Best Motivational Quote
Do what you love and everything else will follow. I love her stories and the way she uses language, but it’s this quote from an online interview at Literary Mama that hits me where I am right now.
“I suppose it’s possible that one day I’ll have another writing experience that is as pure and as purely joyous as writing Love Walked In was, but I sort of doubt it. I didn’t identify myself as a novelist. I didn’t even identify what I was writing as a novel until I was pretty well into it. I was just loving the newness of it; I was drunk on the newness of it and felt so much love for the characters and for the privilege of writing their story that it didn’t even scare me that I knew breathtakingly little about writing fiction. Even the simplest thing, like getting someone from one room to another, I had to learn, and I was so eager to learn it all. I hoped people would read the book when it was finished, but I had absolutely no certainty that would happen. It was just all about the process, words on the page.”
One Word (Besides Courageous) That Describes Her
Determined. She knows what she loves to write and she trusts the voice in her head. In her words, she “writes to make people happy”. Trust me when I say, she’s terribly successfully at it.
Find out more about Marisa on Facebook.