Sunday, July 10, 2011

Marsha Canham interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

Hmmm. It used to be very late at night when the house was quiet and no one was watching TV or clanging around in the kitchen. But I live alone now with my dog and birds, so early morning has become the time when I read what I wrote the previous day and either crumple it for the bin or nod and think, yeah, not bad, keep going.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

When I first started writing, there were no computers *s*.  Final drafts were typed on an old Underwood typewriter, so for the sake of saving fingers and ribbons and ink, I wrote everything in longhand first, then typed it.  It was a good habit to have because a lot more thinking goes on between writing and typing and often, even now, when I'm typing what I think is a final draft into the computer, I get ideas that send me off in totally different directions.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

Just about anything.  I've written books based on a catchy phrase that turned into the title of the book. Another came from listening to my neighbour talk about an obscure incident in Scotland's history.  I draw characters from the people around me, friends and not-so-much friends.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

Nope. I don't believe in forcing creativity. If I walk by my office door and don't feel like going in, I don't go in.  In my experience, any time I force myself to sit and write X number of pages in a day, they suck and I end up tossing them anyway.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I have had 17 books published in print.  I have the rights to 13 of them back and have been self-pubbing them over the past few months.  I do the covers myself, searching through stock sites until something catches my eye.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

I initially started writing on a bet from a neighbour.  I was reading a crappy book that she had given me and raved about, and when I told her I thought it was crappy, she challenged me to write a better one.  Took me four attempts, four unpublished manuscripts, but by then I had caught the bug and knew what I wanted to do.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

Yes I do. An android, a Pandigital Reader.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

I read everything Wilbur Smith and Michael Connelly write. Grisham used to be up there too on the auto-buy list, but not so much anymore. Leon Uris is terrific. Alastair MacLean, Clive Cussler, Joseph Finder are a few more.  And no, I don't read romance novels even though I write them.  Or maybe because I write them.  I just don't want to be influenced by someone else's plotline or characters or story.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

If they work for other people, fine. I don't view them and don't have any plans to make any.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

The Following Sea?  Again, I read it in an article or something and the phrase jumped out at me. I was mulling over the sequel to The Iron Rose and it just seemed to fit perfectly.  And that would be the book I'm working on now and one I plan to release myself, straight to ebook.  I put in my time debating with editors and following rules and deadlines, and I much prefer following no one's rules but my own.

Thank you so much for the interview.  If you want a complete list of my ebooks, check my website at  I have a page there also if anyone is interested in book covers.  My blog can be found at and I'm on Twitter as @marshacanham

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