– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Bonds’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Marie Anne Cope is an author of contemporary and paranormal fiction. She grew up in Manchester, moving to North Wales in 2005, where she lives with her three cats, Jasmine, Texas, and Stoker.
She writes for women who want to read gripping stories that combine strong female leads with powerful, provocative storylines, which take them to the edge of their comfort zone.
Marie has always had an interest in the darker side of fiction—particularly in crime and the supernatural—but it wasn’t until her mid-twenties that she began taking a serious interest in writing. She published the first novel in her dark paranormal BONDS series in 2013 and followed it with the second and third novels in the quartet, BROKEN BONDS in 2015 and BONDS RE-BOUND in 2018. The journey ended with ETERNAL BONDS in November 2021, the Kindle edition reaching number one in both the Vampire Suspense and British Horror Fiction categories, as well as number three in Contemporary Fantasy Fiction.
The BONDS series is set against both contemporary and historical backdrops, following the story of the complicated and unusual relationship between Becca Martin, a reluctant witch forced to face up to who she is and accept her gift of the Craft, and Antony Cardover, a man who traded his soul for the chance of vengeance and paid the ultimate price – eternity bearing a vampire curse.
BONDS was a finalist for the 2020 Golden Stake Literary Award at the International Vampire Film & Arts Festival, as well as a quarter-finalist for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Marie has published two collections of dark short stories under the series title TALES FROM A SCARYGIRL. The first volume, entitled DARK AND SCARY, moves from the realms of the supernatural into the borderlands where folklore and superstition meet real-world fear, while volume two, entitled DARKLY SINSITER, delves into the darkest vaults of the human psyche, daring the reader to question what lies beneath the surface.
DARKLY SINISTER came out on Hallowe’en 2020, with the Kindle edition reaching number one positions in the Horror Short Stories, British Horror Fiction and British & Irish Short Stories categories, as well as number two in Psychological Thrillers.
Under the pen name M A Cope, she has also published her first children’s book called THE MISFITS. The story follows an unlikely group of supernatural misfits as they embark on an adventure that teaches them it is okay to be different from who they are expected to be; the important thing is to be happy in their own skin.
Marie is working on several other projects at the moment, including a screen adaptation of BONDS and a contemporary romance novel called CHASING RAINBOWS.
At the heart of everything she writes is a simple aim – to tell stories that captivate the reader.
A four-century-old secret. A vampire curse.
Can she uncover the truth about her family before it destroys her?
Following the death of her grandmother, Becca Martin comes face to face with an ancestor she is unaware of; an ancestor who threatens her very existence.
Antony Cardover bears a vampire curse, and he will stop at nothing to sever his ancient bindings.
As she uncovers the dark truth about her family, can Becca embrace the legacy she now bears?
Or will the mistakes of the dead return to kill her?
If you like A Discovery of Witches and The Vampire Chronicles, you will LOVE Marie Anne Cope’s BONDS series.
Step into a world of magic, mystery and mayhem, buy BONDS today!
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
(In addition to my author bio)
As well as being an author, I run my own accountancy business and am also a qualified yoga teacher, although I haven’t gone back to teaching following the pandemic. I care deeply about the plight of the planet and changed my buying and eating habits to reflect this. I have also started growing my own fruit and veg. I only have a small garden, but I am looking to expand what I grow to provide me with some vegetables all year round. It’s definitely a work in progress!
I have been an avid reader since I was a child, ever since my mum brought my twin brother and sister home from the hospital. Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter were my go to authors, but as I grew older, I read through the contents of the children’s section of the library quickly, forcing the librarian to introduce me to more grown-up books. Her selection as my first foray into this area was Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews—I loved it!
I’m a big fan of the theatre, with Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Blood Brothers being shows I will see time and time again. Pre pandemic, I probably went to a concert a month, feeding my wide taste in music. My first concert post Covid was Corinne Bailey Rae, closely followed by my all-time favourite Bryan Adams (17 May). Plus, I’m going to see Anastacia later this year.
This isn’t everything about me, obviously, but I feel I best move on to the writing!
I haven’t always written, which I know is unusual for an author. I did dip my toe in the water at primary school when I penned, and graphically illustrated, my version of Jaws. My teacher was horrified and rapped me on the knuckles with a metal ruler and told me never to write anything so horrid again. And I didn’t, not a word, not for over 15 years. Lucky for me, the voices in my head became too overpowering in my mid-twenties and I put pen to paper once more, penning short stories—some of which were published. But it was my attendance at a wedding and the discovery of a stone sarcophagus at the back of the church that changed my course as the storyline for Bonds revealed itself to me during those nuptials.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, Enid Blyton was my sanctuary, with the Famous Five and the Ring O’Bells Mystery being particular favourites. I’ve even watched the recent drama series on children’s television based on Malory Towers—I loved it!
As an adult, I err towards thrillers with James Patterson’s Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series being favourites, along with Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series, John Grisham, Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels, amongst many others.
But I am not faithful to one genre.
I love anything by Kate Morton as she has the ability to draw you into her novels, so it’s as if you are following the main characters around. I’ve recently discovered Veronica Henry, falling instantly in love with her stories and style of writing. I love Nora Roberts, Erica James, and Julia Quinn (of course).
My all-time favourite author is Jeffrey Archer, a true storyteller. His Clifton Chronicles blew me away. His writing makes me feel like I’m curled up on the sofa with a huge mug of tea and a fleecy blanket, and Kane and Abel will always be one of my favourite novels.
My other favourite is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I believe to be the greatest love story ever told.
I could go on for pages about the books and authors I like!
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Stephen King, because it was On Writing which gave me the kick in the pants to give it a go.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Oooo, this is a hard question because there are several I would invite, but if I have to pick one, I will go with Kay Scarpetta (Patricia Cornwell), but I would ask her to cook dinner, as I am dying to try her Italian cooking. I find her a fascinating character with far more to her than shown in the novels. I would also like to get underneath why she is so hard on herself.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I do! I always write to music, the choice dependent on the book. Whilst writing the Bonds series, it was Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell III that kept me company. For Chasing Rainbows—the novel I’ve just completed—it’s been Natalie Imbruglia’s White Lilies Island.
I also like to burn an incense stick—white sage, Nag Champa, and dragon’s blood being my favourites. Plus a steaming mug of coffee.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, including the deep dark recesses of my mind. Bonds was inspired by a stone sarcophagus I saw in an old village church, whereas Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay quartet of novels gave me the confidence to write Chasing Rainbows. For short stories, however, the voices in my head always provide the inspiration.
As for whether people in my life should be worried… maybe. 😉
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I have a pretty specific process whilst writing a novel, which is why I only produce a book every few years! Plus, I write longhand which slows everything down. I am trying to embrace technology more, but I struggle to create through a keyboard; I find my Mont Blanc fountain pen and notebook much more conducive.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
The best advice I can give is to write your story in its entirety, from start to finish, before you review it. If you stop and review after each chapter, you’ll never finish, as you’ll just keep reviewing it over and over. It’s best to get it all down. Once it’s written, the reviewing and editing can commence.
What are your future plans as an author?
You’ve seen me mention a novel called Chasing Rainbows in my answers above. Well, this is my first foray into the contemporary fiction genre, and it is the first of a series. I’d never thought I’d be able to write in this genre, but it’s the most excited I’ve ever been with any of my writing. I’m taking this as a good omen!
I’m not leaving the darkness behind, though. I’m also writing a spinoff from the Bonds series, called The Headhunter, which centres on the character of Ellie Lawrence and her life after, and before, she met Antony Cardover and Becca Martin.
I’ve also written a screenplay for Bonds, which I want to bring to fruition, as it’s always been a dream to see Bonds on the silver screen.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Here’s a teaser from Chapter 2 of Bonds…
‘B…E…C…C…A…’ A voice carried on the wind, making her jump. She whirled round, expecting to see the priest, but there was no one there. Becca continued to walk across the churchyard, tripping every so often on the uneven ground and upended graves. Her gaze remained fixed on the barren tree ahead of her, her conversation with Father Michael forgotten. Something was drawing her to this place and she felt powerless to stop it.
She stopped not far from the tree. The ground here was black as though recently burned. A small moss-covered stone marker was the only thing to break the harshness of the earth. She felt a slight tremor under her feet and her skin erupted in goosebumps as though someone had brushed past her. She shivered.
‘B…E…C…C…A…’ A warm breath caressed her left ear and she screamed, losing her footing. The crows, roused from their slumber, rose into the air again, circling the tree, their cawing echoing through the air. Becca spun round and stumbled away from the tree and the dead ground around it. Her mind was whirling. Had she really heard her name or was her mind playing tricks on her?
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Marie Anne Cope.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!