I had the pleasure of meeting Marjorie as a co-panelist on the Scifi Roundtable Podcast. She is impressive with her knowledge of science fiction and due to her engineering background, a fine scientist herself. I’m pleased to introduce her on No Wasted Ink.
Hey everyone! I’m Marjorie King. I grew up on Asimov, Star Wars, and Star Trek. House Ravenclaw (with a little bit of Slytherin). I love reading, making memories with my family, cooking, and hiking the US National Parks.
When and why did you begin writing?
I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer. I actually loved painting and chemistry. I graduated in Chemical Engineering and painted as a side hobby. I thought that would define the rest of my life.
But then I lost my brother to a skiing accident–please, please wear helmets when you ski–and that was a devastating year. After that year was over, I had journeyed through my grief, but there was still something left. Something I couldn’t put into words, but something that needed working out. At that time, this story formed in my mind, and I couldn’t stop picking at it. I kept developing the characters and their adventures. It wouldn’t leave me alone.
So, January 2015 I made a New Year’s resolution: I would write the story. It helped heal me in hard to define ways.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I wrote “The End” on that first story in May of 2015, I was hooked. At that point, I didn’t consider myself a published, polished author. But I was a writer.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
Rogue Invasion is book 2 in the Maverick Series. It starts a few months after Maverick Gambit left off. The crew has finished their mission. Brant is starting his new job as a teacher at a school for adapted children. But it isn’t the dream job he’d always hoped. And the hidden assassins the crew fought at the end of their last mission are plotting their revenge.
What inspired you to write this book?
It wasn’t until the book was finished that I realized I had put a teacher on the pedestal of the story. But in hindsight, it made perfect sense. My mom has retired from years of teaching high school math, so I got to see behind the scenes how much teachers sacrifice for their jobs and their students.
I think teacher appreciation is understood a lot more now, with all the remote learning that took place during the quarantine.
Do you have a specific writing style?
The pacing of the sentences and paragraphs has a strong stage dialogue feel. It’s my short time in a theatre showing through.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
A Rogue group of assassins is plotting to Invade the school. Ta-da! Rogue Invasion.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No one is all good or all bad. You have to treasure the good and cope with the bad (sometimes from a safe, healthy distance).
Are experiences in this book based on someone you or events in your own life?
Well, my mom being a teacher influenced it heavily.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Asimov got me hooked on SciFi. I love Aliette de Bodard’s poetic style. I go to Terry Pratchett when I need a laugh. Murderbot, by Martha Wells, has absolutely won my heart. When I want something slower and more contemplative, I turn to the Three-Body Problem series. The Thrawn series by Timothy Zahn is an old favorite that’s been resurrected.
I also enjoy Mark Twain’s wit, CS Lewis’s insight, JK Rowling’s magic, JRR Tolkien’s worldbuilding… you get the idea.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
May Dawney Designs. I’d lost the cover artist from my first book. He’d changed careers. So I went to the SciFi Roundtable Facebook group and begged for references. Several recommended May Dawney, and when I checked out her website, her art was brilliant and in my price range! She worked hard to match book 2’s cover to the feel of book 1.
But between you and me, I like hers better than the cover for book 1. In a few months, I might hire her to redesign book 1.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read books on writing.
Test the advice.
Apply what you like.
Toss what you don’t.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
cover artist: May Dawney Designs