I can’t express how delighted, appreciative, and humbled I am that TARRYN FISHER agreed to to this interview with me. I love this woman. I love this writer. She is so incredibly talented and she always delivers, and she does it with style and grace. She calls herself a villain, but she’s got good written all over her. Read this interview and see why I love her so much.
H: Tell us a little about yourself: Who are you? Where are you from? What do you like? What do you do?
TF: I am a woman, a mother, a writer. I am from South Africa. I like hot wings, kind people, smart words and smart women. I write books about villains.
H: When did you start writing? Why?
TF: I started writing when I was a little girl. Probably around seven or eight. I was inspired by Enid Blyton’s Enchanted Woods series. I just had stories inside of me that I couldn’t keep in.
H: What would you say your writing style is like? Are there any authors that may have influenced your style?
TF: I’m prose focused. I blend staccato sentences in combinations of 4:3:2 to provide a lyrical crescendo. I write allegory. My stories are character driven. I give a character a set of distinct flaws and drop them into a sticky situation. The story is always about how they work themselves free of that situation. Sometimes they don’t work themselves free. That’s my favorite part; fucking up your life to the point of no return. That’s real life and I’ve lived it. I write about the effect of human nature.
H: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
TF: Always. As far back as my memory goes. I was sending letters to publishing companies at ten years old.
H: What do you read for fun? (If you read for fun.)
TF: I read really dark, depressing books for fun. If a book can drag me into a depression it’s a powerful book. I chase that high. Or low-depending on how you look at it.
H: Whom do you write for?
TF: I write for my own survival. But my muse has always been my first love. I think most of what I write is to tell him something. He doesn’t goddamn listen.
H: Let’s talk about Marrow for a bit. Why did you write this book, and why do you think people should read it?
TF: I stumbled across a YouTube video on someone’s Facebook wall. It was of a mother beating her young baby. I couldn’t turn away. I felt like if he experienced it the very least I could do was to acknowledge his pain. It was an awful thing to watch, painful. But, it struck an anger in me that I couldn’t kick for weeks after. I wanted to make evil people pay: for rape, child abuse, parental neglect-all of it. I wrote the book to channel some of that anger. To get vengence. I wanted to make a stand and say that I was aware of the hurt people lived with, and that I wasn’t okay with it.
H: What does Judah mean to Margo and what does he mean to you?
TF: Judah is Margo’s voice of reason. He’s her conscience. To me Judah was Margo’s salvation.
H: Which part of Margo is you?
TF: I am the part of Margo that is enraged when the weak are preyed upon. I want people to pay when they destroy someone’s life. I want rapists to be castrated, and child abusers to be burned alive. I want to be the one to punish them.
H: Which part of Senna is you?
TF: The part that went numb and had to be woken up. The white room, Senna. The part that pushes people away.
H: Marrow and Mud Vein reminded me a bit of The Bell Jar, was it in any way inspired by Plath’s work?
TF: I have never read The Bell Jar. I have it, but have yet to finish. Maybe I should now that you mention it. Hmmm…
H: Do you plan on writing what most readers consider romance again?
TF: Yes! I am busy writing a romance now. It’s probably not a traditional romance since I’m not a traditional girl. But, it’s unlike all of my other books-romance included.
H: You aren’t as prolific a writer as most indie authors. Why is that? Do you write less, or are you just more selective with what you publish?
TF: I believe in quality over quantity. I stand by that. If you tell me you can produce your best work six times a year I’m going to laugh at you. Condescendingly. Nothing with a solid foundation is built quickly. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Rome is fucking awesome.
H: Which of your books do you think is your best work?
TF: Mud Vein
H: Which is your favorite?
TF: Mud Vein
H: What else are you working on?
TF: F*ck Love my return to romance.
H: Where do your ideas come from?
TF: I think they’re just built in. They sit waiting until something triggers them and they come shooting to the surface. How else could I explain it? Maybe divine intervention. Maybe I’m in the Matrix. I’m just grateful they come.
H: If you die tomorrow, do you think you will be satisfied?
TF: Yes. Completely. This life is just a vapor. There’s so much more coming.
H: I like to call you the queen of the anti-heroine because your books feature very strong, if not polarizing women. They have layers and flaws. They have broken pieces that’s usually only seen in moody book boyfriends. I don’t really have a question here, but I want to say that I appreciate your women and I love all their flaws.
TF: Well, who even created the heroine to be so perfect anyway? It’s the rise of the villain. I want to know what imperfect people do. They’re beautifully unpredictable. Perfection is trite.
H: You’ve written a few books, and it’s apparent – at least to me – that you’ve grown as a writer. I just want to know if you have any regrets as an author. Is there anything you wish you’d have done differently with any of your books?
TF: You know, I still wish I’d just ended Olivia and Caleb’s story with The Opportunist. I don’t know that given a re-do I’d write the other two books. It is what it is.
H: Well, I’m selfishly glad that you can’t go back. Maybe the way it ended up is the way it was meant to be.
H: What scares you as a writer?
TF: Being predictable. I don’t want readers to know what to expect from me. I’m scared of slipping into formula brain. It’s why I won’t sign with a publisher. FREEEEEDOM!!!
H: What scares you as a mom?
TF: Failing them in their developmental years. Not instilling in them the right formula to make them compassionate, self -loving, God loving- adults. I don’t want them to be self-involved. I want them to fight for others. It’s hard to get that right in parenting. Building them up, teaching them to be confident, while also teaching them that it’s not all about them. But, I’m determined.
H: What scares you as a woman?
TF: Rape. How someone can decide to take something so precious like peace of mind, trust, worth and emotional stability in such a violent sick act.
H: Do you feel about any author how your PLN’s feel about you?
TF: Probably Stephen King and JK Rowling. I have a deep need to stand outside Mr. King’s house, holding the rails of his gargoyle fence and weeping until he notices me. Too much?
H: Just enough. That sounds totally acceptable to me.
H: Who takes your pictures?
TF: Everyone and anyone. Whoever is with me on that day. I’m like “Here, hold this camera and do exactly as I say…”
H: Do you know how your books are going to end? Or how they’re supposed to end? If so, have you ever gone against that?
TF: I do not. F*ck Love is the first one I am really struggling with. Colleen Hoover and I decided on an ending and now I am fighting against it. I don’t know what ending will win.
H: What’s the last book that blew your mind?
TF: Angela’s Ashes. So real, and potent, and sad.
H: What’s your favorite dessert?
TF: It used to be Crème Brulee, but lately I’ve been skipping it in favor of bread pudding.
H: What’s your favorite song?
TF: Alone by Heart
H: Which of your books was the hardest to write? Which was the most fun?
TF: Dirty Red was hard. She exhausted me. It was like spending waaaay too much time with your self centered, psycho high-school tormentor.
H: If you could recommend only one book for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
TF: Harry Potter (all)
H: One more question about Marrow…View Spoiler »
H: Was any of it real? TF: Real is relative. To me it was real, but I’m a psycho so who knows.
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H: If I give you a prompt for The Opportunist, will you write it? Just think about it…View Spoiler »
It’s five years after the epilogue; Olivia and Caleb are in Rome for Christmas Eve. I’m requesting that they have a gaggle of kids – Brangelina-style. And, go… 🙂
“If you let them eat that chocolate I’m going to spend all your money at Salvatore Ferragamo tomorrow,” she says. My mother is serious. She has all the shoes in the world. Dad frowns, like this actually disturbs him-though we all know it doesn’t. He buys her shoes. Supports the habit.
“No need for that. I’d let you spend all of my money if I could cover you in chocolate…”
She throws a shoe at his head and he ducks, laughing. It hits the wall behind him and no one even turns around to see what happened. It’s a normal thing with them. Mom throws things at dad, dad laughs…they kiss. They have a loud, wild love. They’re always touching, and always arguing. It’s like she’s the only one he sees.
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There you have it! Comment below and share for a chance to with a Tarryn Fisher ebook set (TO, DR, T, MV, M) or any Fisher paperback of choice. Giveaway closes in one week. Open internationally.