Today, we are honoured to have an interview with author Mariëtte Whitcomb. She writes in the psychological thriller and romance suspense genres, and she recently published her debut novel in the Finley series, called Orca.
Upon releasing her book, I got in touch with Mariëtte via Facebook and she kindly agreed to an interview.
Where do you come from and how has this place influenced your writings?
I’m currently residing in South Africa, but the country has no bearing on the stories I write, as all forms of crime are a global problem. This is the main reason all my series are set in fictional cities or towns. I want readers from anywhere in the world to be able to relate to the story, but even more so the crime element.
The dark web isn’t confined to a certain part of the world, paedophiles are everywhere, so are human and organ traffickers, and don’t forget serial killers. Although the latter is more prevalent in certain countries.
This blogger: I think making your stories take place in fictional cities is a great idea. This way, everyone can relate to the crime.
You recently published your first novel, Orca. Congratulations! What three things inspired you to write it?
Thank you very much. I honestly can’t pinpoint to specific things. It was a culmination of circumstances which led to me writing Orca. For a few years, I had a desire to write a book, and then one day it just clicked.
Orca was only released on 24th November, and you have its two sequels (Deception and Binding Lies) coming out on 29th December and 26th January 2021, respectively. How are you able to publish the two sequels so soon? When did you write them?
I wrote Orca in September 2018, Deception in November 2018, and then a couple of other novels in two other series that I’m working on. Binding Lies I wrote at the beginning of 2020.
The fourth book in the Finley Series I still need to write. I’m aiming to release it within the first half of 2021, as this serves as the cross-over novel for another series I’m working on.
This blogger: You are prolific! Keep it up!
Your novels are in the psychological thriller and romance suspense genres. Please name three reasons why you think people have enjoyed (and will enjoy) your books?
Thus far, feedback from beta readers of all three novels, and reviews from ARC readers for Orca have mostly mentioned how enjoyable it is to read Finley’s stories because of who she is. A strong, relatable protagonist is something I’ve always enjoyed reading. To be honest, Finley created herself. I had no idea who or what she is until I sat down to write Orca.
Finley has evolved quite a bit over the subsequent books and I look forward to see what she throws at me in the fourth book in her series. I try to keep the relationships, the suspense and the supporting characters as real as possible. We look at a novel and think fiction, but there are thousands of actual people who have survived these crimes (or they didn’t). I try to keep all the stories as realistic as possible and I think this is what readers relate to most.
This blogger: I absolutely agree with that. The more (chillingly) realistic the story is, the better, in my opinion.
Which of your characters is the most like you? And how?
This is a tough one – aren’t all the characters we create in some shape or form like us, even the antagonists? They are after all born in our imaginations.
Gun to my head? Finley. We share the same taste in music, amongst other things. And, like her, I believe the predators in this world need to atone for what they’ve done. I might not go as far as she does to see to it, though.
What two things would you like people to take away from your books, after reading them?
I want readers to enjoy the stories, the characters, the suspense, all of it. Reading is a luxury for me, and I want readers to rest and relax while they read my novels, which isn’t easy considering the themes in my novels.
More than anything, I want readers to be reminded that what we see as fiction, isn’t. Actual human beings suffered through it, some survived; many didn’t. This is the reason I will always dedicate my novels to the victims of the crimes I write about. The line between fiction and reality doesn’t exist in my mind.
If you could go back in time and speak with a younger Mariëtte Whitcomb, what advice would you give her about the writing process?
Younger me never dreamed of being an author. So, the advice I would give her wouldn’t relate to writing.
What has been the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Juggling writing with my other responsibilities. I think this is true for many authors who have families to take care of, or full-time jobs.
This blogger: I completely empathise with that, and I am sure many of our readers will as well.
What is your writing kryptonite?
Perfectionism. I expect nothing less from myself, and not only in my writing. It’s a personality glitch I’ve had for as long as I can remember.
Perfectionism isn’t a bad thing as it pushes us to reach higher. But it has morphed into something else in my psyche. I’m working on it.
How has writing changed you as a person?
It has given me the opportunity to use my degree, something I haven’t been able to do since graduating. I studied Criminology and Psychology, and once upon a time dreamed of being a criminal profiler, but life happened.
To me, this has been an amazing experience to use the knowledge I not only gained at University but subsequently as well. I’ve never stopped reading true crime books and always had this relentless pressure to use my degree and follow my true passion. I’m doing this now, and I have some other things planned for the future to better use it outside of writing.
This blogger: That is truly wonderful to hear. I can feel your passion for what you studied and what you continue to read. I have great faith that your stories reflect your passion for crime/criminology, and this will make for many terrific novels now and in the future.
Outside of writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time? Please explain this term. Just kidding! Rapid releasing three novels in three months, and only making the decision to self-publish in August of this year hasn’t left me with much spare time. Nothing beats spending time with my family and friends, and exercising when I do find time for it.
Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to say that you haven’t already in this interview?
This is a general life note. Three years ago, I had no idea what life would hit me with, or that I would become an author. Sometimes we need to roll with the punches, listen to that little voice in your head and follow your dreams. It is okay if your goals change over the years, we are all evolving every day. Once you know what it is you want to do, put your everything in to it, and fight for it. Life is too short to have regrets on your death bed.
This blogger: That is phenomenal advice that everyone should take on board. Thank you for sharing it with us, and for your honesty.
End of Interview
Alas, that draws our interview with author Mariëtte Whitcomb to an end. I would like to take this opportunity to say that it has been lovely getting to know her, and that I wish her only success going forwards in all of her endeavours.
You can purchase Mariëtte’s debut novel on Amazon. If realistic crime books are what you enjoy reading, then check out Orca NOW!
Otherwise, like Mariëtte on Facebook; follow her on Instagram; and visit her Goodreads page and her website. That way, you can keep up to date with her. Take note, Deception comes out on 29th December and Binding Lies comes out on 26th January 2021.
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