Hi and welcome to the Potpourri Parlor.
Today I’d like to introduce you to one of my fellow Vanilla Heart Publishing authors, Marie Hampton.
Hunting Heartbreak by Marie Hampton is the Winner of last year’s Vanilla Heart Publishing Author Contest and is Marie’s debut novel, the first in a series featuring Kasumi, a female assassin involved in the Las Vegas Yakuza.
What’s the elevator pitch for your novel Hunting Heartbreak?
On the flashy Las Vegas strip, Kasumi Yoshida tracks down her marks– assassinating gamblers who pay their loans with their lives. Business becomes scarce when a past lover and fellow Yakuza member betrays the honor system and rescues Kasumi’s future clients.
Her boss insists she work with Ryan, a hired gun, to find the cause, but Kasumi becomes distracted by his arrogant charm, and soon her adrenaline-filled world of death and motorcycle racing is muddied by her obsession with the past and her uncontrollable attraction to her partner.
Kidnapping, torture, and betrayal allow the enemy to capture Kasumi, and she is forced to trust in friendship and love to free her from guilt so she can take her revenge.
Do you work on more than one novel at a time?
I used to. It took getting published to make me sit down and work through the hard spots, and I’ve completed more that way. Sometimes you just have to sit down and writer through the writer’s block and edit it later.
What historical time period is your favorite? Why?
Only one? Oh, geez. I would have to say Ancient Greece. It is the birthplace of western literature. It all started with Greek theater, and I’m a big theater buff. I might even write some plays in the future.
Do you have a vision board or other `trick’ to help motivate you?
Hmm, well, music is huge to me. Also, I like changing out my desktop with a reminder image. I would have to say, though, that the thing that keeps me motivated the most is Taekwondo. When you repeat the Spirit of Songahm and confidently say you will persevere, it carries over into everything you do.
Do you schedule time to write or is writing all-consuming to the exclusion of everything else and you schedule time to do other things? Like eat.
I’m working on this still. I think I would be more productive if I scheduled, but now any free time is a good time to pull out the laptop and get some words down.
What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Creative, passionate, fun.
How do you think others would describe you?
That depends who you ask, but family would say I’m fun and outgoing. My friends that I game with would say I’m creative and a bit goofy. I’m a little hard to get to know because I’m shy, but once I know you you’re a friend for life.
Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
Well, I’ve already mentioned Taekwondo. Family is big to me. I currently live with my mother, husband and two sons. My sons are five and five months. They mean the world to me. I also love to teach people and help them discover new things.
Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
Oh, yes. She’s my little furry 80lbs. American Bulldog, Toph. We named her after the character on Avatar: The Last Airbender. There is a picture of her on my blog.
What is your most precious memory?
The first time I held my children. It is an amazing feeling to know you are responsible for bringing life into the world. Also, I hold memories of fishing with my father very close to my heart since I lost him to cancer in March.
What is your most embarrassing memory?
Ha ha. I haven’t thought about it for a while, but when I was sixteen I auditioned for my first play. I mixed up the word exotic with erotic. To say I turned a little red is an understatement.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
I’m not sure, but before, when I was a kid, I wanted to sing. I’d probably be a screaming vocalist for a metal band. Yeah, that’d be it.
Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
It starts with a big, endless cup of coffee at my favorite shop. I’m sitting there with my laptop logged onto my Google Drive, my music pouring into my ears. When I really get going my eyes close and I tip my head back on the back of the chair and let my fingers fly. The scene plays out in front of me. I just record it.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
A lot of places, but Athens and Tokyo are on the top of my list. With studying beginning western culture I became interested in the difference between western culture and eastern culture.
Does travel play in the writing of your books?
Yes. I actually dreamed about the idea for Hunting Heartbreak after I returned on a vacation from Las Vegas.
What are you passionate about these days?
I am set on creating a good life for my boys by putting my best into everything. Writing helps me be a creative mom, and it relaxes me. Also, my boys inspire me by the things they do. My husband also helps. Writing books in my house is a family affair, and I love that I can share that passion.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I don’t want to repeat myself, but martial arts, specifically Krav Maga, is a great stress reliever. Nothing like kicking butt, even imaginary butt, to get out your frustrations. I love to swim, too. And I love to read of course. This winter I’m hoping to add skiing and snowboarding to the list, so if you hit the slopes, watch out.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Yes. You are a writer, an artist, and if you want to get better you cannot be afraid to share your work. Find a writing group and get used to criticism. Learn what you can, and make your writing your best.
Do you have a milestone birthday coming up? If so, how are you approaching it?
Ha, I do! I turn thirty this year. I hadn’t thought much about what I should do, but a creative night gaming, writing, or dancing would be high on my list. I am pretty comfortable with where I am, but I might do a blog comparison list between Kas and my accomplishments by the age of thirty.
Have you attended a high school reunion? What did you learn?
Yes, my ten year reunion. I learned that the popular kids never changed. Those that changed the most were those that never settled for what they had. They kept striving for something more and that made them better people. I learned that learning never stops, and motivation is important.
Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog? • Is there a place where readers can reach you?
Have you ever written something that made you feel uncomfortable, cry, or disgusted? If so, what?
Yes, I have. I cried a bit when I work through Kas’ feelings about Kin what she did to him. Sometimes, in my short stories, I gross myself out. You’ll have to keep your eyes open for those coming in the Fall VHP Author Spotlights
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If my words inspire any sort of creativity, please share. (Fanfic, art, poetry, sketches etc.)
Marie, thanks so much for spending time with me in the Potpourri Parlor today and letting our readers know a bit about you.
Hunting Heartbreak by Marie Hampton is now available in Print, All Ebook Formats and is the first live Vanilla Heart Publishing AUDIOBOOK on Audible, iTunes, and on Amazon!