Author Spotlight: Marianne Holmes

Welcome to The Bandwagon Marianne!

Marianne Holmes is the author of A Little Bird Told Me, published by Agora Books in 2018.  

She was born in Cyprus and bounced around the UK, Germany, Kuwait, and Belgium with her RAF parents as a child but is now firmly based in London with her own family. She has degrees in Classics (RHUL) and Linguistics (UCL), neither of which got much use while she worked in marketing

Follow Marianne on social media @MarianneHAuthor.

How did you get into writing?

I’ve wanted to be an author since I was a child but never felt I had the space and time to complete anything. When my youngest started attending playgroup, a friend suggested I join her writing group. I started with zero expectations but got into the rhythm of writing on a weekly basis and sharing my work. Over time, I found I’d amassed a novel sized number of words. Of course, they weren’t the right words so an awful lot of restructuring and editing went on after that!

Why did you choose to write in this genre?

I didn’t set out to write in this genre specifically. It’s more that it felt so appropriate for the story I was telling. My main character, Annie, is unreliable, hiding secrets and mentally under so much pressure that she makes poor decisions that lead her further and further into danger. She believes that exposing her secrets is dangerous but, of course, hiding them makes everything worse.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

This changes all the time. At the moment, I want to read more of Nicola Rayner for dear Fran in You And Me, Brit Bennet because The Vanishing Half is such a rich, complex tale of human choice and identity, Jess Kidd for her luscious words, Celeste Ng for her delicate plotting that interlace her characters’ lives so deftly and on and on. Lifetime wise, I’m a big fan of Daphne Du Maurier, Iain Banks and Cormac McCarthy.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I pantsed book one (A Little Bird Told Me), writing scenes out of order as they appealed and then faced huge structural edits. For All Your Little Lies, I spent much more time plotting the story out and found that massively helpful. I do find ‘though that if I get stuck on a plot point it’s very freeing to just start writing and see what happens.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read, read, read. There are so many stories, styles and formats and inspiring to experience that and soak them all up. Also, if you want to write you have to just do it and keep going. You need to be resilient because writing takes a long time and there can be many setbacks, internal or external, along the way.

Finally, what are you currently working on?

I’m trying to work up a couple of plot ideas at the moment. One probably needs rethinking around the pandemic but the one that keeps calling to me is very loosely based on an overlooked character from antiquity. I think this very probably my way of slipping into another world without Covid-19!

Check out some of our other author spotlights and psychological suspense news here.

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