Interview with Shirley Marr

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today, I am really happy to have the very talented Shirley Marr stopping by to answer a few questions.  Shirley's is the author of the amazing book Fury which was released in 2010.

1.Why YA?
I didn’t purposely set out to write YA. I had the basic story and theme and when you look at the concept of a wronged woman… it can sorta be told by anyone across a broad age group, in any genre for that matter of fact. I thought I was going to write an adult fiction. It’s only when I started writing and the narrator came to me that I realised how young the voice was! And because the first chapter was so much fun to write (seriously – who doesn’t like being a teen bitch) I knew I had to finish the whole novel like this.

Although mind you, Fury as an adult pirate fiction would be kinda awesome. 

2.  What were your inspirations for Fury?
I wanted to write something really angry and mad. I guess at that time all the books I were reading had really feminine and somewhat passive heroines and I just wanted to go against the grain and do something completely different. I wanted to write from the point of view of a villain and have it OTT dramatic. That sounded like fun. As you can tell, I only write stuff I really love. The theme “Fury” came to me first and I explored it from all the different angles – as an emotion and also as a personification – I looked at the Greek mythology of the three “Furies” – Goddesses of Vengeance. And it all fell really nicely into place!

3.  Eliza is an unforgettable character.  Describe her in three words.
Furious, Fearless and also quite Fabulous!
4.  In the first sentence of the book we find out Eliza is a murderer and from therefore she tells her story.  Was this always the plan or did you intend to tell the story a different way?
You know what, Fury went through four drafts with my editor Melissa Keil from black dog books and looking through all of them, huge changes happened in each one – but the one thing that has remained exactly the same is the opening sentence! Melissa loved the opener both in terms of impact and the place in the novel the story starts. I never considered telling the story any other way – I like a story actually that just admits from the onset what it’s about!

5. What was the most challenging part of writing Fury?
Having to change the ending for sure! I actually had an entire chapter that said a lot more and had more of a sense of resolution. Me and Melissa agreed that a quick and hanging ending would be much better. It just took me a while to get used to because in my head the story played out (and still does sometimes) the way I had originally planned. It was a hard decision to make, Melissa was a bit gutted to change it because Eliza does something funny and cute in the original ... but you have to sometimes Kill Your Darlings.

6. If Fury had a soundtrack name one song that would be on it?
“You Stole the Sun From My Heart” by the Manic Street Preachers (I think this answer might please Nomes from Inkcrush ‘cos Nomes used to love the MSP). For the line “But there’s no real truce with my Furies/You don’t have to believe me/I love you all the same”. I think that’s a song Neil would dedicate to Eliza.

7. What are some of your favourite Aussie YA titles?
I love “Letters From the Inside” and “So Much to Tell You” by John Marsden and “The Changeover” by Margaret Mahey because those are the ones I grew up with. I think I decided I definitely wanted to become a writer after reading Letters – in much the same way a kid listens to a particular album and decide they’re going to be a rock star. Recently I’ve been reading some great stuff by debut Aussies writers – Steph Bowe’s Girl Saves Boy and Rebecca James’ Beautiful Malice in particular.  

8.  What are you working on next? Can you tell us anything about it?
At the moment I am working on about three or four different projects! And I seriously have no idea which one is going to happen first! It’s like someone has finally let me officially into the dress up box known as the publishing world and there’s a billion outfits I want to try on – YA romance, YA comedy, middle grade fantasy, YA-Adult crossover. Yes. I said that right… I may attempt to write a YA romance. Please don’t laugh.

Thank you Shirley for answering my questions.  

Can't wait to see which project gets published first (crosses fingers for the YA romance ).  For more information on you can visit Shirley Marr's website.  Don't forget to check out my review for Fury as well.


Elodie said...

Thanks for this great interview Nic!! I really need to find Fury !! =)

Rachel said...

Great interview! I'm pumped to read Fury, and the author seems really cool.

Nomes said...

hahahaha. Shirley Marr is just so much fn! her answers are so full of life and energy. You asked some awesome questions Nic!

And yas! I do absolutely love the sound track for Fury :) Great question and what a fab answer! I was so thrilled and a little gob-smacked to find the Manics mentioned in her book.

I love that Shirley's having a blast with writing. her book was really fun (and slightly crazy) to read :)

x Nomes

Romy @ said...

I'm loving the interview Nic, I can't believe Shirley changed the ending and she's working on more books, oh happy days! I'll read anything that Shirley writes :)

Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews) said...

Haha! The Manics are mentioned in this book? I am a big fan!

Love this interview. I loved your review of Fury and have added it to my wish list. I wish books by Aussie YA authors were easier to get over here. Beautiful Malice was one of my favourite books of 2010 and I would love to check out more Aussie fiction. Maybe I will give The Book Depo a second chance some day and order a couple of Aussie books!

Misha said...

I loved the interview! Thank you, Shirley and Nic! Fury is one of the Aussie books, I really want to read. I hope it's available internationally soon.

Jenny said...

Lovely interview Nic and Shirley! I love that even though the story underwent drastic edits, the first sentence remained the same:) I'm really looking forward to reading this book, I hope to get my hands on it soon!

Alexa said...

Great interview! I really can't wait to get my hands on this book! And now I also want read the first ending :)

Missie said...

I'm still on the hunt for Fury, and I will not rest until it is mine. :D

Awesome interview. I loved the answer to number 7. I think it is so great when a book inspires you to do anything! Totally looking forward to a YA romance from this author.

Good Golly Miss Holly said...

I would love to see you write a YA romance/comedy, that would be awesome.

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

awesome interview! loved the questions and answers. i've had an eye out for Fury since reading a couple reviews :)

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

This book truly sounds phenomenal, and I loved her answer for why she writes YA. I think reading author's take on things is the coolest thing in the world.

Great interview, Nic :)

A Canadian Girl said...

Great interview. I love the cover too so I'm off to check out your review.

A.J. said...

Love the cover of Fury, and hey...a YA romance sounds good. ;)

Really enjoyed the interview, Shirley & Nic!

Sarah Billington said...

Great interview ladies. :) And Shirlz I'm looking forward to your YA chick lit! :)


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