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Monday, September 21, 2015

In Her Own Words – Marie Marshall, Scottish Author and Poet

(Reblogged from Silver Threading on Wordpress)

In Her Own Words – Marie Marshall, Scottish Author & Poet

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 Author, Marie Marshall

I’m a middle-aged, Anglo-Scottish author, poet, and editor who likes her written works to speak for her. When asked for a bio I usually reply with a version of the famous telegram sent by the artist Balthus:


And that’ll have to do! ~ From her Amazon author page.

Marshall’s the name, writing’s the game. It really is as simple as that. I don’t talk much about myself – I’m a very private person – I let my writing speak for me. My basics are this: I’m middle-aged, Scottish (though born and brought up in England), and have been writing since 2004.

Ah – writing! Now you’re talking! How did it all begin? Let me see…

I’m confused. Maybe that’s something to do with growing old. I’m trying hard to remember whether it was a friend saying to me “You should write a novel about a female gladiator,” or saying “I have an idea for a short story for you to write,” or pointing me to a BBC writing competition, or my accidentally happening upon an on-line community of women writing love poetry, or my happening on a blog of erotic stories and reckoning I could write better…

Author, Marie Marshall. A photo from her Twitter page

Och, help ma boab, I cannae remember. It was one of those anyway…

Here in Scotland I’m best known for my macabre short stories. Since 2008 I have been amongst the winners of the ‘Fearie Tales’ competition (yes, that’s ‘fearie’ not ‘faerie’) at the Winter Words festival no fewer than six times – tales such as Chagrin where an old man remembers a demon lover, Vae Victis in which horror comes in the night to Rome’s northernmost outpost, The Place of Safety which blended love with magic and insanity, On the Platform set in a haunted railway station, Da Trow i’ da Waa in which old stones are possessed, and Voices in which a scientist sets up equipment on a mountaintop to measure ‘random voice phenomenon’. All these and more, by the way, will be published in a collection soon by Honeymead Books.

I really want to be known as a novelist. So far I have written four, three of which have been published. I’ve slightly painted myself into a corner there, because I have allowed the direction of my novel-writing to be… hmmm… not quite dictated by others but at the very least influenced.
That initial suggestion from a friend that I write a novel about a female gladiator – that developed into my first novel Lupa.

My second novel, The Everywhen Angels, came about when I dared to criticise the Harry Potter novels to a group of friends who were all dedicated fans. They said I would only have the right to make such criticism if I could myself write a fantasy set in a school. I took up that challenge, met it head on, and produced a stand-alone novel that I would say is every bit as good as any by my illustrious compatriot!

My third, From My Cold, Undead Hand was a direct response to my publisher’s request for a ‘teen-vampire’ novel, and my fourth, KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE, is the sequel to that.

I am writing a fifth novel now, purely of my own devising, written in an unusual style, with a nod to twentieth-century modernism. I won’t give you any spoilers, but sometimes I feel, as I write it, that it’s actually a novel-length prose-poem…

I suppose I am best known, more widely, as a poet, either through my two published collections, Naked in the sea and I am not a fish, or more specifically through my regular blogging.

I try to write a fragment of poetry every day, and share it on line. Some fragments are better than others, of course, but the exercise itself sharpens my use of language and hones my power of expression.

I have also worked as a poetry editor. I started out, as I said, writing love poetry with a collection of other women. In the beginning I wrote what can loosely be described as ‘free verse’, but I soon began to develop a love of shape and structure, and taught myself to write formal poetry.

When that had given me a stiff boost of technical power, I returned to free verse, and to more experimental forms of writing. I tend now to present my on-line poems in a stark Courier font, as png or jpg images; this forces me to concentrate on the words rather than any fancy-dan mixed-media gizmos.

Really, however, I don’t construct any ‘Chinese walls’ between one sort of writing or writing-related activity and another. My poetry and my novels are one, my short stories and my articles are one, my authorship and my editorship are one.

What more do you need to know? Ask me and see what I say!


Facebook Marie Marshall – writer and poet
Twitter @MairibheagM









Thanks for popping in to meet Marie. If you love poetry, you will want to follow her blogs! ;-)

Silver Threading

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