The long wait is over! Some of you might know that NY Times Bestselling Author Marian Tee has agreed to do an interview for the The Booksnake Etc. And here it is right now!
Let me just say that Marian Tee is hands-down one of my favorite authors. Definitely in the Top 3. She takes me on a roller coaster ride every time I read her books. She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, she makes me nervous...all in a matter of minutes!! Her talent can trigger hyperventilating. This is a true story. I always cry so hard when I'm reading her books that I end up hyperventilating, and causes my fiancee to threaten me about taking my books away. Well that ain't gonna happen beyotch!
A little bit of background about this lovely author:
- She's Filipino-Chinese, but she's lived in the Philippines her entire life.
- She has a long-time boyfriend. 12 years according to her blog.
- She studied in an all-girls school from preschool to high school. (hmmm,,,interesting)
- She loves all things Japanese. (Come on, who doesn't like US, right? LOL)
- She's multi-lingual. Fluent in maybe half a dozen or so languages. (pretty, talented, and smart)
Okay. So without further ado...
1. What or who is/has been your biggest inspiration when writing?
Hi Ara! Before anything, I’d like to thank you for your support and, of course, for having me here.
Regarding inspiration – I’d say there are two things that keep me writing: the stories that I want to read but can’t seem to find (which is why I end up writing them for myself) and my loved ones. My work is my passion, but it’s also my bread and butter so, as much as possible, I don’t allow myself any ‘off’ days. If I’m not actually writing, I’d be plotting, blogging, or I’d go read a book or watch a movie to kick-start my imagination.
2. Do you let family members or friends read your books? Because you have to admit, some of the scenes you write are R-18.
Haha! If you’re thinking if you were in my position, you’d never let your family or closest friends read your R-rated books, well – I’m like that, too. If they want to read steamy romances, they can read someone else’s. Mine’s off-limits! Haha. ;)
3. What are the trials you went through before finally being a NY Times Best Selling Author?
Oh, a lot!
All the usual problems that authors after a trad pub deal experience, I experienced as well.
All the worries, misgivings, and doubts that most authors suffer from when they’re rejected by an agent, editor or publisher or when they’ve received a particularly nasty review – I had – have - tons of those, too.
Having to give up (albeit temporarily) on my dream because I lost confidence in myself? Check.
Forcing myself to take a job (article writing) that I enjoyed but didn’t exactly love just to make ends meet? Check.
Feeling incredible guilt for not being able to help provide for loved ones as much as you want because you were pursuing your passion? Yep, totally experienced this, too.
Being compared to other people with “real” jobs and made to feel inadequate and directionless in life? HUGE CHECK haha.
So, you see, life wasn’t exactly a bed of roses but the important thing’s not to give up.
4. Which female (obviously) character from your books can you relate to the most?
I’d say…Mairi (The Art of Catching a Greek Billionaire) because of the way she goes after her dream with such tunnel vision, KC (Drawn) because of how in love she is with her work, and probably…Bobby (Heart Racer) because I can be terribly manipulative (and snarky) when I’m armed with the best intentions.
5. If given the chance, which author would you want to do a collaboration with?
LYNNE GRAHAM. Because Greek billionaires, hello. :D
6. Where did your "obsession" with hot greek billionaires come from?
Oh, hey I think I already answered this. Haha.
But really, it started with Lynne Graham (a Harlequin author), and from there I obsessively searched for other authors who had Greek billionaire heroes, too. Other really great Greek billionaire romances that I fell in love with along the way include Sharon Kendrick and Lucy Monroe.
I love how, even with shorter books (category length), they still manage to sweep me off my feet and – at times – I even cry at their endings. I think of those times, and when I start to write, I want my readers to feel the way I felt when I was reading those books.
7. I assume, like some of your characters, you also like all things Japanese. What is the most fascinating thing about Japan, or its people, do you find the most interesting?
Yes, I love, love, love all things Japanese, probably because of the way it feels so “pretty” to live in Japan and be Japanese. I love the idea of wearing yukata to festivals, the cute bento boxes, the tradition of giving chocolate to the guy you like on Valentines Day, the way they draw such exquisite characters for shoujo manga (oh, please don’t get me started with their bishounen haha)…
If I were so blessed to be able to live in Japan with my loved ones, I feel like every day would be an adventure. And boy oh boy, the stories I’d be able to write! Haha.
8. Would you ever do a meet-and-greet with your fans?
Possibly. Someday. When I’m not so shy anymore. (I am so sorry for being shy, though. >.<)
9. Has your life changed at all since you became a NY Times Best Selling Author?
The ‘NYT bestselling tag’ changed the way certain people looked at me, is all. But what really changed my life was self-publishing.
10. Do you have any message to your fans who are aspiring to become writers as well?
When I was aspiring to be an author as well, I remember feeling really frustrated at times when an author’s answer to this question was so vague. But now I realize it has to be that way because what worked for one author may not work for another, and of course you’d want to avoid offering any false hope or misleading advice.
So the safest advice I can give would be…to figure out what works for you, one step at a time if you will. Figure out what kind of book you really want to write – the kind you’d enjoy writing your entire life. After that, decide how you want to get published. And finally, write.
You may commit mistakes along the way like I did, maybe even get on the wrong path for a while (like I did, too), but if you keep writing and keep working on improving yourself (I’m still working on this, too), then I sincerely believe, with God’s grace, it will happen.
Thanks for this, Ara! God bless!
So that is our interview with the incredible Marian Tee. Hopefully it won't be our last, though. :)
Alright-y, that is that, and like I've been saying - do read her books! They are great and so worthy of your time.
Feel free to share your thoughts.