Monday, April 2, 2012

Marri Champié, The Weavers of Amirra

AUTHOR: Marri Champié
BOOK TITLE: The Weavers of Amirra
PUBLISHER:  createspace

Please tell us about yourself?
Hmmm.  I’m an eclectic mix of my artistic background and Hollywood upbringing, and my ranch girl heritage.  I love bigness.  Big places, big ideas, big stories.

Tell us your latest news?
My short story, “The White Seal,” which won a Dell Award (originally Asimov Award) in 1999, is featured in the March/April issue of Cicada Magazine.

When and why did you begin writing?
In second grade I wrote my first novel synopsis.  I would have started the novel in first grade, but I couldn’t write yet—so I waited until I could at least print.  I am compelled to tell stories… ask any friend who has come to dinner, gone on a road trip with me, or plied me with alcohol.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was twelve.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Like I said… I was inspired very early.  My first whole and finished book manuscript was a children’s story completed in 1978.  But, I worked on all sorts of incomplete book manuscripts (mostly Science Fiction, fantasy, and one murder mystery) for years and never got anything finished.  I would get frustrated with whatever I was working on, and I would go work on another manuscript for a while.  In 2000, when I got my Master’s Degree, I made a vow that I would finish one book before I started writing on anything else.  I made myself pick one, and just focus on it until I was finished—I wasn’t allowed to jump to another one, and I wasn’t allowed to play games.  I completed “The Weavers Of Amirra” in 2004.  In 2007 when work got so bad, I was thinking about the author, Waller, who wrote “The Bridges of Madison County,” and I remember reading an interview with him where he said he wrote the book in 6 weeks.  So I decided to see if I could write a book in eight weeks.  I wrote “Silverhorn Canyon” in seven weeks.  It was publish last year and is also available on Amazon.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not particularly.  I do try to use basic human themes that we question, think about, or live by—such as love, loyalty, courage, moral fiber, friendship, making choices (or the antitheses of these)—when I write.  But I don’t usually take these writing ideologies on head-on… they are just subtle themes that give tone to the narrative and depth to the characters.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
 Of course.  And of course.  Yes to both.
We usually write what we know.  People I know used to read my fantasy and tell me to “write what I know” probably thinking I should write about being an outdoor ranchy hunter fisher gal.  What they don’t get about saying that is it’s about the lessons and the philosophy more than the actual physical experience.  I do write what I know… I write about people, their interactions, motivations, and relationships—and I write about ideas.  That’s what I know.

What books have influenced your life most?
“Lord of the Rings” of course, as with most Fantasy writers.  Also, Patricia McKillip’s “Riddle of Stars” series, rounded off with Herbert’s “Dune” and Robin McKinley’s “The Blue Sword.”  But there are so many… Edna St. Vincent Millay, ee cummings, Shakespeare, and a few more handfuls of poets and fiction writers whose works have inspired me and set a tone and language bar that I have strived to equal.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Fantasy writer, Patricia McKillip, and poets Edna St Vincent Millay, and Nan Hannon.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
“Volt,” by my friend Alan Heathcock.   I like the unexpected turns the stories take.  I don’t like that it was just named another big annual book award.  (LOL) 
Also reading Brian Greene’s “Hidden Reality” (I like the speculative astro physics) and Stephen Hawking’s “A Briefer History of  Time.”  Both help me think about the larger picture of the Cosmos so I can formulate how to write about the bigger picture in my stories.
I’m also reading “The Windup Girl” about a future post-global warming world.  I like the speculation. 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Alan Heathcock, and Mitch Wieland.
What are your current projects?
A book of short stories about very strong, independent contemporary western women, mostly rural, but not completely.  Each of these women know at least one of the other characters, but most of the stories are written in first person from the viewpoint of one of the women, a flagger gone back to school to be a writer.  It’s about their lives, experiences and relationships and how that forms a sisterhood.  It’s called “Women Who Sleep With Dogs,” and it’s close to being finished.  I’m working on notes for a companion book of short stories about a rock n roll loving hippie kid who grew up in the 70s/80s in rural Idaho.  It’s loosely based on my best friend.  It’s called “Fishing Indian Creek.”

I’m about two/thirds done with the first volumes of my Epic Science Fiction story, “The Memoirs of the Gray Ranger.”  It’s not a sequel to “The Weavers of Amirra,” but it’s about the same Cosmos and related characters and planets.

I have a poetry chapbook finished and a cookbook in progress.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
No… well, I might not have left it sit so long on the second reading shelf at DAW.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
NO… always wrote.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
How to be concise and not overwrite, or overuse adjectives or description.  I am long winded.  The other challenge is my other interests.  The ranch keeps me busy.  The Farmer’s Market eats up my time and energy.  I never get in enough fishing and riding time.  Life gets in my way.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
I walk.  I walk three to five miles a day on the days I have time—usually about four days a week.  That kicks heck out of writer’s block.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
Photography.  Ranch, fish, culinary stuff, garden, the Farmer’s Market.  Take my horses and dogs out on excursions.  I’m taking classes at the university in journalism and poetry. 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Patricia McKillip is my favorite.  She keeps the language beautiful and her poetic phrasing full of soul.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finishing it. 

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That the time you spend with the characters is like private time with personal friends.  When you’re finished, all of a sudden, the voices and characters you spent hours and hours with every day just leave.  It’s really really hard to be alone after that.  It’s like grieving for someone who died, only for multiple people at once.  So it’s a bit like part of you dies.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write everyday, even if it’s just a poem, or an edit.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I wanted to make you cry… did I?

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
Self/createspace.  It’s a toughie.  You appreciate what an editor and publisher do after weeks and weeks of hair-pulling formatting sessions, and endless editing.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

There are links on that page to my facebook, my blog, and my books.

Be careful whom you insult.  You never know who might be family
or who might want deadly revenge—or both.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tala: from The Weaver’s Scrolls


The King’s horse is in the stable with the goats,” Sirka said with a slight smile,  Looks as though it will rain all night.”

“Feels as though it might rain for another week,” Sirka’s mother said.  This was apparently not a happy prospect.  She passed Flayme a plate with a generous slice of the cheese pie.  Flayme helped herself to greens and warm, dark bread.

 “You don’t have children?” she asked.

Sirka’s expression turned wistful.  “I guess it wasn’t meant to be,” she said sadly.

Flayme changed the subject, spoke of the rain, and the fruit buds.

“I’ve never seen chickens like yours before—they’re striking.  Where do they come from?”  Flayme asked.

Sirka didn’t look up.  “From my mother’s country in the south.”

“You’re not from here?”  Flayme asked the older woman, and realized she hadn’t been introduced by name, but only as Sirka’s mother.

“From Amirra, yes,” she replied.  “From Highhold, no.”  Her gaze lingered on Flayme’s face.  The lean, hardened look around her eyes and mouth reminded Flayme of the riders of the Lion Guard—of men who’d faced their fears, seen death. Surprisingly, the woman was probably older than Flayme’s own father.  Her skin was brown from sun, and weathered by wind; her short hair was metal gray with a single, longer braid that fell beside one ear and was tied with tiny, silver bells.  The notion that these women weren’t Purefolk occurred to her again.  She wondered where “south” was.  Flayme loosed her mind, let it flow beyond its boundaries so she might see behind the woman’s gray eyes, look into her mind and discover more of her identity or homeland.  She caught at the thought of the chickens, and high cliffs and followed it.

Momentarily she glimpsed a vast stretch of red sand before she walked into Sharra’s light.  Light from inside the woman’s mind seared Flayme’s vision.  A many pointed dark star again floated in her flared retinas, like an after image.  Across the table, she met the woman’s fierce, brown gaze and she knew then the Block was intentional.  Flayme blinked to clear the green glowing spots.

“How’d you do that?” she asked, unafraid.

“It’s a rather simple block.”  The woman held Flayme’s gaze; the strength in her regard reminded Flayme of her father’s strength, or Thyme’s—honed, experienced, someone accustomed to being in charge.  “The Block reflects a mental Probe back to the source, like a mirror.  Uncomplicated.  Useful.  You should know it.  Especially if you’re going to try a Probe without permission.  It’s rude, even for a spoiled princess.  I imagine your father would have more finesse at that trick.  And probing a mind leaves you open for someone to do the same to you.  You should know that.”   

“Who are you?”  Flayme asked without blinking or dropping her eyes.  Definitely not Purefolk.  She assessed the woman again.  There was no danger in her like there was in Cara, the serving girl at Highhold.  Her tan tunic was well-spun—some lightweight wool so fine it could have been twill.  The embroidery on the edges was beautifully executed and depicted a falcon used by the desert people for hunting and battle.  A desert falcon.


  1. Wow, talk about eclectic writers! A lot of stuff going on and all different!

  2. I would write about geology if I had time... LOL