Marion Webb-De Sisto - Myth and Masks

Hello everyone!  Today we have the fascinating Marion Webb-DeSisto, who is generously giving away a copy of her story Taken to one lucky commentor!  Give her a big welcome!

Marion: So… Er, Marion, tell us a bit about yourself!

Well here we are, two Marions chatting back and forth. I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity for spreading the word about myself and my books.
I was born and grew up in England, but spent many years working and raising my family in the USA. After taking early retirement in 1999, I was finally able to find time to write and began pursuing a life-long dream. At the present time, I live in the Greater London Area of England with my American husband.
I believe my writing career was inspired by my passion for reading from a very early age, and I describe myself as a people watcher. In particular, I’m fascinated by males who appear to be somewhat dark and threatening, but have a core of goodness within them. I use my many years of working and communicating with people as a blueprint for 'fleshing out' my fictional characters.
My Fantasy novels are filled with demons, angels, shifters and mythical creatures. Some are erotic. My non-fiction books offer information on metaphysical subjects. Last year, I was invited to write a short Horror story for an anthology that was released at the beginning of this month. Horror is a new genre for me, but I’ve always been interested in it.

Marion: What was the first book you ever read that really blew your mind, that you couldn’t stop thinking about after you’d finished?

In my early teens I read The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy and was thoroughly intrigued by someone who could present himself to the world as being completely opposite to his actual true character. I re-read the book several times.

Marion: How do you start thinking about a book? Is it the characters that first pop to mind, or the setting, or the plot? Where do you usually start?

When I write Fiction, the hero of the story always seems to ‘appear’ in my mind first, followed soon after by the heroine, and then comes the plot. Chapter by chapter is revealed, almost as though, while writing, the two main characters are telling me their story. As I begin each new chapter I have no real idea what will happen within it. I guess you could say I feel much more like the ghost writer of the tale rather than the author creating the hero’s and heroine’s story.

When I write Non-Fiction, the process is quite different. I take time before I begin writing to set out a detailed plan/draft of what each chapter will contain, as well as an overall view of how the information will progress.

Marion: If you could invite five writers, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?

Shakespeare, Stephen King, Dennis Wheatley, Jane Austen and Emily Brontë.

Marion: Have you ever tried to shake up your writing routine? Writing at a different time? Writing in new places? Writing nude? *waggles eyebrows*

I usually write in the mornings and early afternoons, the brain seems to be more in gear then. However, on a few occasions, I have written very late at night and was surprised how easily the words flowed. Last year, I spent some time in hospital and decided to begin a new story while there. Again, to my surprise, I was well-able to achieve my goal. As yet, I haven’t tried writing nude. :-)

Marion: What one scene do you think you spent the most time editing? What was it about it that you couldn’t seem to get right?

In my book – Taken – it’s the scene where Dreydon tells Esther about Cymllon, what a mejin is, also what would have happened if he hadn’t rescued her. I didn’t feel I was getting it wrong, but I needed to present these important details to the reader in a manner that revealed more of Dreydon’s character, was interesting and didn’t appear to be little more than a check list of information.

Marion: How do you ‘get into character’? Are their certain characters you find it harder to write than others?

I have more of a problem with heroines than heroes. I try very hard not to have a heroine react to a situation in the same way I would respond. That may sound odd, considering I’m a female, but I don’t want her to be merely a reflection of me dealing with trauma, fear, happiness, etc. In contrast, when ‘fleshing out’ other characters, I try to draw on my observations of people’s reactions to various circumstances. Once in a while, however, a character will behave unexpectedly, reinforcing my thoughts about merely being the ghost writer.

Marion: If you could choose one writing related question you never, ever wanted to hear spoken again, what would it be?

Whenever some people see me sitting and working on my laptop I’m asked, “Are you writing a story?” I might be answering an email, filling out a form, or blogging, but they always presume I’m working on my next book.

Marion: What’s your favorite book title?

May I have two? The Shining and The Stand. I love the way Stephen King can bring many different characters into a story and ‘head hop’ without confusing the reader.

Marion: What project are you currently working on?

It’s another story set in the world of Cymllon – a magical place where demons, angels, lycans, demgels {half demon, half angel}, other mythical creatures and some humans live. A fire daemon, Garr, is placed in the protector role of Beccah, a human woman, who is at risk of being abducted by a demgel who wants to make her his sex slave. A relationship develops between Garr and Beccah, even though they are so different and it would be frowned upon.

Marion: About how long does it take you to get from first draft to polished manuscript? What does that process look like?

As already explained, I don’t write a draft for Fiction. I feel as though I’m the ghost writer, putting down what happens as the characters ‘tell’ me their story. Depending on whether I’m writing a novella or novel, it usually takes about five to nine months.

Marion: What did your “favorite” rejection letter say?

“Don’t tell the story.” Hmm, does that mean “Don’t write.”?

Marion: Is there a writer whose style or talent you envy? What is it about their writing that draws you in?

I’ve always admired Shakespeare’s works, but don’t think I’m envious of him. He knew how to draw in the audience by way of his words and dramatic situations so that they would feel almost a part of each play. In my opinion, that is a tremendous literary gift.

Marion: Any parting words?

Many thanks, Marion, for allowing me to tell others about this Marion. Of course, my ego thoroughly enjoys that. :-) Also, just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the lovely cover you designed for my book – Taken – for which I’ve had compliments. You highlighted the waterfall that is the background for a significant scene within the story; a naughty-but-nice major occurrence.

Marion:  It’s been a pleasure to have you!  And I’m thrilled that you like your cover!  I had a lot of fun working on it!  Readers, you can find Taken at MuseItUp and Amazon, and remember to comment and maybe win a free copy!


Thanks for having me here today, Marion. I'm waving at you from across the pond.
Interesting interview, M&M. I really like paranormal and any other story that features strange and wonderful creatures. Yours have been added to my wish list. I too am originally from England and still have relatives there that I would love to visit. Good luck with your books.

Mary C.
Thanks, Mary. Yes, I also love "strange and wonderful creatures." BTW, I visited Nova Scotia back in 1970. It's a beautiful province.

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