Rising Star Spotlight: Marie F. Crow

Marie F
Crow

The Risen Series was born after watching yet another horror movie where the main theme was a lackluster, unbelievable cast coupled with an ending that left the whole movie more comical than moving. I was told, after complaining about it, if I thought I could do better, then do it.
Did I think I could do better? Absolutely not, but I started on a journey developing characters with flaws and fears, throwing them into a harsh world where two things which are universally craved, human interaction and a home, almost always turns out to be the things which are the most deadly. Using zombies as a catalyst, I tear apart the question for readers – what is morale when survival is the most important thing?
Did I do better? Well, that’s not for me to say. After winning many awards and achievements, I feel secure enough to say I’ve held my own.
What led you into the YA  fantasy genre? Tell us about that!
At the time of The Siren Series, my youngest daughter was still not of the age to read the other series. This left her feeling left out of all the excitement. Upon asking her what she thought a good book should contain, she proudly informed me mermaids, but not happy mermaids. Those are boring. She said to make them pretty but scary, just not too scary. Which was fair. We both knew if they were too scary, it would be my bed she would be sleeping in.
Little did we know at the time, her little book, “Crown of Betrayal”, would turn into a fan favorite, having readers desperately waiting for the rest of Verona’s story this summer, with the highly anticipated release of “Crown of Conquest” and “Crown of Remorse”.
And finally - children's books?  What are the reasons for jumping in on that front?
The Abigail and Her Pet Zombie Series is honestly a spin off from The Risen Series. The children in this story were the children featured in the start of “Dawning” and further highlighted in the novella, “Margaret”. I thought it would be amusing to use these children for a purpose other than haunting Helena.
Having been a mother of young children, I will admit I hated reading the same cute little books at bedtime over and over again. How fun would it be to have something everyone enjoyed reading? Something which could teach a lesson, but sneak it in under adorable illustrations and quirky fun? The first book was a test. It surpassed any expectations we had for the series.
With an amazing illustrator and feel-good themes, our little girl and her friends found their footing and continue to grow with the books now available in chapter books for early readers.
What was the impetus that got you writing in the first place?
I never had plans to publish “Dawning”. She was born of a dare, a middle finger, and the general desire to, as often put, just try it. The emotional roller coaster I discovered my writing could create in someone almost became a drug. I lived for the moment of the reader’s raw reaction to the horrors I could put the characters through. I could provide not only an escape, but a whole landscape for their minds to travel to, driving them along with new questions about not only the world, but the classic ‘what would I do’ moments. I had found my gift, a purpose, and I have never looked back.
Why write fiction?
I will tell everyone I meet, I am not the brightest person in the room, even if I am the only person in the room. The artificial plant most likely has more to offer the room than I do, and I am completely okay with it! With fiction, I can create a new room. I can create a whole new world. The rules are blurred and there for my cultivating or devastation. In such a world everything has something to offer, even me!
Is this your full-time job? If not, what do you do in the "real world"?
With an average of five to six books being released a year, it’s my main job, but not my only job. I actually work as a licensed massage therapist, what I refer to as my ‘Clark Kent’ job. It provides me with ample time to mentally work out plot holes or character development with so many clients snoozing away while I fix their body mechanics and stiffness. I recently dove back into my spiritual side with encouragement from those closest to me, my husband, and the help from some amazing mentors, Beth Lemley from Raven’s Ritual Remedies and William Brown from The Treehouse. I like to stay busy!
Are there other areas and genres you would still like to try?
Coming in February, I will be finally stepping into a genre which has always frightened me. Before my mother’s death a few years ago, she always would ask when I was going to write a witch book, one  with romance and mystery rather than horror. I would just laugh and tell her I would get right on that. 2020 was really about embracing her, and the loss of her, with her being captured forever in the Halloween release of The Abigail and Her Pet Zombie Series and now in the release of “The Little Lies”, book one of The Great Hexpectations Series, she finally has her ‘witch book’.
I could spend hours painting the picture of blood splatter, gore, the sounds a body cavity makes all while eating spaghetti, but romance leaves me cringing and looking away. With a lot of comical moments between my publisher, Crystal Green, and I, I finally conquered that fear. We will see how the other side of the mountain looks as the reviews arrive on “The Little Lies”.
What are your hopes and aspirations as you look to the future?
I would say my hopes and aspirations are those of everyone staring at the keyboard in the dark hours of three a.m. – to continue to find myself staring at the keyboard in the dark hours of three a.m. for many years to come. I hope to fully enjoy every moment of writer’s block with coffee and sighs for many more books, many more characters, and many more stories. I hope to always leave the readers hungry for more while dreading to ask for it, because everyone knows, no character is safe, and the very thing you hope doesn’t happen is often times the very thing I am plotting with the artificial plants in the room over the loud snores from clients, all while I’m wearing a smirk.
With several new casts of characters arriving, I am eager to see where they will take readers this year. They have some big shoes to fill, and I know fans of the previous books won’t let them forget it.