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Tell us about yourself: I was born in Norway, but was raised in the states and became a U.S. Citizen when my Norwegian father was naturalized. My maternal Italian grandfather immigrated to America and gave me the other half of my international roots.
Because all my father’s family was overseas, I was lucky enough travel to Europe many times, once even cross-Atlantic, and to tour much of the Europe, as well as Scandinavia, staying at length with family or in unconventional places like a nun's convent.
It was my love of travel, and an obsession with England and its famous castles, that drew me to write a novel that begins when the historic House of Tudor is born. My story pays homage to the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348.
What was your first book? The Lady of the Garter was my first manuscript and is my first book.
Describe your first break. I had a successful author as a mentor and she told me most writers don’t get their first novels published. So I put my first manuscript away in a drawer and started a second one. But when I decided to go to my first Romance Writer’s National Conference in July of 2013, that second manuscript wasn’t finished yet. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, missing agency and publishing pitch opportunities, I pulled that first story out of the drawer, dusted if off, pitched and sold it. A lucky home run on my first time at bat.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write? Historical romance. Historical romance. Is there an echo in here?
Are Happy Endings are must in your stories? In romance, it’s a must. I believe it’s the unwritten code all romance authors should honor. When a reader can expect a happy ending, it’s almost as good as finding a book with tons of five star reviews. And why, once a reader finds an author they love, they’ll read everything that author writes. It’s about trust.
What makes a protagonist interesting? The reader will take interest in the protagonist of a book, when they are bound by utter necessity to follow the path that character must travel to reach the goal that seems unattainable.
What is the best thing about being a writer? The shallow answer is: having someone ask you for your autograph when you thought that would only happen if you became a Rock Star. The thought-provoking answer is: being able to provide escape, hope, laughter, love and entertainment to readers.
What is the worst thing? I haven’t found one yet.
Pantser or plotter? I’m a panster. This is so opposite to how the rest of my life runs. I’m a total planning geek in my day to day, with Outlook scheduling my every move. But some of those organizational skills must be running in the background, because after the first draft is done, I finally build an outline of the story, then I start filling in more detail and enhancing the plot.
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste. I met a physic about ten years ago and he told me I would become a novelist and write fulltime. Remarkably, the first part of that has prediction has come true with the debut of my first historical romance. I still have my day job and I still have my physic council. Stay tuned to see how it all works out.
Just for fun
Cat or dog person? I have both and it’s like picking a favorite child. I can’t choose, because I know they’ll find out.
Favorite food? Pizza! The pie can be deep-dish, flat, crispy, thin, original crust, wood-fired, hand-tossed. I don’t discriminate. I can take cheese or supreme and everything in between.
Favorite book? Again, I can’t choose. I know someone would find out that thinks the book they’ve written is my favorite. It’s just too risky. LOL!
Favorite movie? The Princess Bride
Favorite holiday? Valentine’s Day. Love letters, chocolate, flowers, diamonds, all are a girl’s best friend. Love me or Love me not? That is the question that must be answered on this romantic holiday.
Would you rather be the princess or the villain? Why? The princess! And I’m glad you didn’t say the queen, because they are most often old and mean. Royalty is in my blood. Well, actually, I believe if I lived in another lifetime, I was a royal. My brother always called me the Princess of Norway, more because I was a royal pain in the *ss, than due to any true lineage. But being slightly obsessed with kings, queens, and the court, has worked out in my favor. After all, don’t most readers want to be a little royal? At least, when we read a great historical romance.
Who has more fun, orcs or hobbits? Do you need to ask? “Hobbits really are amazing creatures, as I have said before. You can learn all that there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you at a pinch.” – The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book1, Chapter 2.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
With a degree in journalism, Marisa has spent many years writing for the television industry. As an award-winning producer/director/marketer, she has worked on commercial production, show creation, product branding and social media.
Marisa’s passion for writing began when her first-grade teacher read her poem aloud and posted it on the classroom wall. She soon followed up by writing plays for her neighborhood friends and hosting the productions in her garage.
Marisa has always enjoyed reading romance novels and now realizes a dream come true, writing romantic adventures. She lives in Kettering, Ohio, with her first love and knight in shining armor, James.
You can visit Marisa at: www.marisadillon.com. And you can connect with Marisa on Facebook.com/pages/Marisa-Dillon and Twitter.com/marisadillon and follow her on https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10792736.Marisa_Dillon
Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lady-Garter-Marisa-Dillon-ebook/dp/B00QP2Q2P
When Henry VII takes the throne, not all are loyal to the new king. Garter knight, Sir James, is charged with bringing dissenters to justice. Determined to fulfill his vows, he’s unprepared for Lady Elena, a girl from his past he’s never forgotten.
Lady Elena defies her family and disguises herself as a squire to reunite with the man she’s always loved. She might be able to wield a sword, but she still possesses a woman’s heart.
Thrust into a world of danger and family rivalry, James and Elena face the ultimate test.
Can James avenge his father’s death and find passion, or will his Garter oaths hold him to a life of service without love?
Servants began to bustle about the hall. Men offered pitchers of rose-scented water and towels. Overflowing baskets of fresh bread and pitchers of wine were placed on the tables. Elena was ready for some mead after all she’d been through. Once the king’s taster sampled the fair, he nodded to the queen. The feast had officially begun. Nudging her brother, Elena confessed, “I was ordered out of the tent.”
“What did you expect? What kind of man do you take James for?” He laughed, raising his goblet in honor of the king.
“You tease me,” she said. “I don’t like it.”
“What did you find, Edward?”
“A foul-mouthed, dirty warrior,” she complained. “Not the sweet innocent lad I fell in love with.”
William’s eyes were filled with merriment. “Lads grow into men. Men become knights.” He studied her face. “And what of your other goal?”
“Whatever do you mean?”
“Becoming a knight,” he reminded her.
Elena gasped. The other squires stared as if they’d overheard her brother.
William chuckled, raising his cup again. “Long live the king.” The squires joined his salute.
Elena shot her brother a look of warning. How could he be so careless? Spirits. She rolled her eyes. “I admit it,” she said with defiance, keeping her voice low. “I want to become a knight. I’ve never kept that secret from you, but we both agreed I must serve as a squire first.”
Their conversation was interrupted by a woman who placed a trencher on the table in front of them.
“Peacock, venison, quail, and rabbit,” the wench announced, flashing a toothless grin.
William quickly helped himself to half the meat. Always selfish, he even chose the tenderest pieces of venison.
She glowered at him. “Will nothing change? I must accept the meager portions left after you claim the best?”
He licked his fingers, then leaned in so only she could hear his reply. “To these lads you’re just another squire. But I know what’s underneath those pants. So yes, you are still a female, and I get the best. Be satisfied there’s anything left for you to eat.”