I recently read Marianne de Pierres's debut YA novel, 'Burn Bright'. This is the first book in what promises to be an exciting and mesmerizing new Australian fantasy series, called 'The Night Creatures'.
'Burn Bright' absolutely blew me away, so I am beyond thrilled to have Marianne here and willing to answer my fan-girl questions!
Q: How long did it take you to write ‘Burn Bright’ – from concept to final manuscript?
Hi Danielle! Burn bright took almost ten years to write, but in that time I was writing and publishing other novels. It was something that I worked on when I had an inbetween moment. Definitely a labour of love.
Q: How were you first published – agent or slush pile?
Agent. I submitted Nylon Angel, my first novel to Curtis Brown Australia. It was a post apocalyptic cyberpunk novel of the kind that nobody was publishing in Australia, and I was lucky to send it before an agent who knew the international market well. It sold in the UK and they bought World Rights.
Q: Your book covers are amazing! ‘Burn Bright’ is beautiful and steampunk-esque, and the sneak-peak of ‘Angel Arias’ is spine-tinglingly wonderful! Who is your cover artist?
The images were created by the amazing Jaroslaw Kubicki and the design was by Design Cherry. It was a case of my publisher discovering Kubicki’s artwork and knowing instantly that it was a perfect match for the books. I feel very lucky that the pieces fell into place.
Q: Ixion is a paradise for the young. A place where the only beliefs are music and partying. Did you go out and get some first-hand partying inspiration for the various clubs and raves of Ixion?
Well, I was young once ... J and I have three teenage sons. I had a lot of resources to draw on with them.
Q: ‘The Night Creatures’ is your first Young Adult series – is it harder to write for adults or young adults, and what’s been your biggest challenge in writing for a younger set?
Actually, I’ve found it very comfortable. Writing for Young Adults makes you more honest in your word choices. I’m not quite sure how to explain that, other than to note that it’s important to get straight to the heart of what you are saying – teens won’t put up with any rubbish. I like that.
Q: So, while ‘The Night Creatures’ is your first YA series, it’s not your first foray into sci-fi fantasy. You have also written the ‘Parrish Plessis’ and ‘Sentients of Orion’ series’. What is it about Science Fiction and Fantasy that you love so much?
Freedom! I love the imagination and the liberation. You can go anywhere and be anyone in your books. You can bend the rules or make up new ones. It’s challenging and stimulating.
Q: Can you tell us what we can expect from second book ‘Night Creatures’ book, ‘Angel Arias’?
Angel Arias takes place mainly in Retra’s home city, Grave. So it has a creepier tone than Burn Bright. There are no parties and bright lights, only rules and fear. It’s the kind of book you hold your breath all the way through, hoping she gets out.
Q: You have a new Cyber-Western series coming out called ‘Peacemaker’. Can you tell us a bit about it and when we can get our greedy little hands on the first book?
I’m very excited about Peacemaker but its had to take a back seat while I finish the Night Creatures trilogy and write my next two crime novels. I hope to have some news on it later this year but you can read about it here:
I also have an outline for a new YA series called Emo-Trader. I love the ideas behind this one and can’t wait to get to it.
Q: ‘Burn Bright’ is sci-fi with hints of steampunk fantasy. Your other series are cyberpunk mash-ups, and your upcoming series could be called cyber-western. What do you think it is about these dynamic new genres’ that is so fascinating for authors and addictive to readers?
I think cross-genre novels offer unique worldviews that stretch the imagination. It’s just another level of escapism that readers need.
Q: Favourite author(s) of all time?
Q: Favourite book(s) of all time?