Marion Ueckermann is joining me today for Coffee with Paula Marie all the way from South Africa! Thank you, Marion, I am honored to have you here!
It’s great to be here, Paula. Thanks for inviting me.
I have read many of your books, and enjoyed them all, I especially love the different locations you have placed your characters, have you been able to travel to these locations yourself?
I have travelled to most of the locations, or at least countries, where I’ve placed my storyworlds. The only exceptions would be Oslo Overtures and Restoring Faith. I’ve never been to Norway or Colorado, although hubby has been to the latter. Some of the actual places I visited after I’d written the books, although I had travelled to nearby areas before. Here are just a few places I’ve visited that tie in with my books. There are many more.
Levens Hall & Gardens– A Match for Magnolia
Enjoying the Zambesi river at sunset. An elephant ride – Orphaned Hearts
Wine cellar in Stellenbosch, South Africa – The Other You
Those photos are wonderful! I recognized the hall immediately from A Match for Magnolia! Thank you for sharing, it brings the stories to life even more.
Do you write stories more from your own experiences, or do you spend a lot time doing research on the type of characters your creating?
Most of my storyworlds…from my own experiences. And then of course, I will sometimes put my characters into the same situations I’ve been in or have them experience things I have like jumping into an ice hole in Lapland, riding an elephant in Africa, or being surprised by a
lunch bill in Rome. But those instances are the exception not the rule. Usually, my characters tell me how they want to react to something. There’s a lot of research that goes into every story.
I enjoy hearing how different authors plan out their books, are you an early plotter of the story, or do you let the characters take over and lead you in the direction they are going?
I usually have a very basic idea of what I want to do, but the characters definitely do lead my stories. Sometimes, I have less than a basic idea and I just start writing.
I see you lived in Ireland for a while, and are now back in South Africa…what was the biggest “culture shock” you had to adjust to in Ireland?
Yes, we lived in Ireland for 18 months during 2001/2002. We were leaving South Africa and never coming back. Never say never! I think the biggest culture shock was just constantly feeling like a square peg in a round hole…never feeling like you really belonged. There is just something to be said about being with your “own” people. It definitely had nothing to do with the country because when we visited Australia, I saw the South African women who had immigrated there going through the same square peg/round hole struggles I did.
With writing full time, do you lock yourself away in an office and hang out a “Do not Disturb” sign for your family during your scheduled writing time, or does the distractions of the family and grandchildren interrupting not phase you?
Fortunately, the bulk of my day the house is quiet. It’s only from around 5.30 p.m. when the last of my grandsons is home from playschool (they live in the house next door) and the boys come on over to say hello, that my work day is interrupted. I have to confess though that this week (at time of writing) I got almost nothing done because hubby was at home with a pinched nerve in his back, so I am glad that everyone is off at work and school most days or I’d never get any writing done.
I have a summer and a winter office … one is downstairs and the other upstairs. The downstairs one is too cold to sit in during our short winter, but the upstairs one gets way too hot once summer arrives. I have these signs on my office doors—the handwritten one is compliments of hubby.
That is precious – I might be guilty of knocking on the door just to get written into the story, though!
You are an award winning USA Today bestselling author, I cannot imagine that came easily, can you tell us a little about your journey to becoming a full time author?
Getting onto the USA Today bestseller list was a joint effort with other authors banding together to get our boxed set on the bestseller list. It took a lot of work—planning and promoting—to achieve this. We actually hit the list twice…once at #79 with our twelve-author box set, Whispers of Love. My book, The Other You, was part of that endeavour. The next time we reached #95 with an eight-author set, Candy Cane Kisses. A Husband for Holly was part of that set.
I actually just blogged about my journey to becoming a full time author recently on Songs of Salvation on Phyllis Helton’s Among the Reeds blog. Readers can read the full version of that here. Short version, God called in a big way and told me to get out of the boat (my comfort zone…the job, the paycheck, the company car, the pension plan), and walk on water. It was such an overwhelming call, that I couldn’t say no, or postpone the notion of writing full time. Besides, staying in the status quo scared me more than walking on water with Jesus at my side. I’ll be chatting about it a little more on Wednesday, June 27th on A Baker’s Perspective blog chatting about A Day in the Life of Marion Ueckermann.
At my full time job when we are interviewing for a new employee I always ask them what the last fictional novel is that they have read….so now I will ask you the same thing!
The last novella I read was Autumn Macarthur’s Dolce Vita, book 8 of the A Tuscan Legacy series. I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel’s story and can’t wait for book 9 to release.
If you could go anywhere in the world you have never been for 24 hours, where would that be and why?
Probably Greece. It’s the one place I have on my bucket list to visit. Maybe I can pen My Big Fat Greek Romance?
Sounds like another winner to me!
How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
Finally – Coffee or tea? Cream? Sugar?
I do love a good café latte, but nothing beats a cup of tea made the right way…cold milk first, in a porcelain mug (not Styrofoam), not too strong, and a teaspoon of sugar for a little sweetness. I’ve managed to give up two of the three teaspoons I used to drink, but I just cannot get myself to give up that last one.
I love that you included the recipe, thank you! It always so nice to hear how other’s enjoy their favorite beverages! Next time I make a cup of English Breakfast tea I am going to try it your way!
Marion has also GENEROUSLY offered to have a free ~*Giveaway*~ to one of our blog members!! Simply comment on this post to be entered to receive the ebook of Restoring Faith! Giveaway is open for seven days from today and winner will be notified via email!