Friday, May 30, 2014

Marva Dasef, Missing, Assumed Dead, #giveaway #audiobook

There is a giveaway note at the bottom of the post, so be sure to look for it. There will be multiple winners so leave your contact information, and you'll get a coupon for a free audio book.

AUTHOR: Marva Dasef

### Please tell us about yourself.

I’m a native-born Oregonian who’s returned to my home state after working in both California and Washington for many years. I live with my husband, Jack, our two cats, with my mom across the street.

I retired from a long career as a technical documentation specialist and programmer/analyst. When I got to quit, I figured it was time I use my thirty-five years of writing experience producing fictional works. If you’ve ever been a tech writer, you’re often in the position of writing fiction and hoping the programmers will make it true.

### Please tell us your latest news.

I’ve begun transferring my books into audio format. Everything I have is already out in print and multiple ebook formats, so audio is the next frontier. When I have a good handle on that, I’ll go back to writing new material.

### Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

Presently, I’m more of a full-time publisher and marketer than writer. I keep up with blogging regularly, interacting on various social media. I’m considering, given my background and the fact I do it all the time anyway, to become a professional editor. With the proliferation of self-publishing, there so many writers with great stories to tell, but who need editors...desperately. You know about that, Penny, since you’ve held the line editor gig at more than one small publisher.

### When and why did you begin writing?

I transitioned from technical to fiction writing because I write, but I no longer hold a job as a tech writer.

### What inspired you to write your first book?

Nanowrimo. Prior to that, I wrote a lot of short stories. I wasn’t sure I could write anything approaching a novel. At 50K words, I hit novella length. That let me know I could do longer works.

### What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

Social media, watch out for my mom, watch TV. Hey, I’m retired!

### What are your thoughts about promotion?

Despise it, so it’s not my strong suit.

### What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?

A hundred or so rejections from agents. I finally gave them up as a lost cause. As the publication industry changed, it was probably best I never got an agent anyway. Big 6 publishers are finding out they don’t run the show anymore.

I haven’t had any big compliments I can consider to be milestones in my fiction career. As for tech writing, I had many people think I was a wizard because of how quickly I could produce quality documentation.

### Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?


### Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

Yes. I do other stuff until something comes to mind I just have to write.

### Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?

Books. I’ve learned much from every book I’ve published. My books are research intensive, and I’ve found whole plot points and characters when I was looking for something else.

### Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

I’ve had several small publishers. I connected with them by doing whatever there submission guidelines indicated.

### What is your marketing plan?

Don’t have one.

### What are your current projects?

As I said, I’m working with audio books right now. It’s fun because having a narrator is sort of a return to the fun times I had working in theater. Now, I’m the director.

### What do you plan for the future?

I don’t make many long term plans. I don’t have any special goal for the future. My pipedream of being discovered and hitting the best seller lists is the same as every other writer. I am, however, planning to have many of my books published in audio format. I have two audio books out now: “Missing, Assumed Dead” and “Tales of a Texas Boy.”

### How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

Oh, good. Something I can answer factually:
Twitter Handle: @Gurina

### Any other news you’d like to share?
As soon as I finish this interview, my husband and I are headed to Europe for two weeks. As soon as this is posted, I’ll be back home again doing the same old stuff.

BOOK TITLE: Missing, Assumed Dead
GENRE: Mystery/Thriller

###Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

“Missing, Assumed Dead” is a murder mystery set in eastern Oregon. Here’s the logline and blurb:

Prejudice, murder, insanity, suicide: Every small town has its secrets.

When Kameron McBride receives notice she’s the last living relative of a missing man she’s never even heard of, the last thing she wants to do is head to some half-baked Oregon town to settle his affairs. But since she’s the only one available, she grudgingly agrees.

En route, she runs afoul of a couple of hillbillies and their pickup in an accident that doesn’t seem...accidental. Especially when they keep showing up wherever she goes. Lucky for her, gorgeous Deputy Mitch Caldwell lends her a hand, among other things. Her suspicions increase when the probate Judge tries a little too hard to buy the dead man’s worthless property.

Working on a hunch and trying to avoid the Judge’s henchmen, Kam probes deeper into the town’s secrets and finds almost no one she can trust. With Mitch’s help, she peels away the layers of prejudice, suicide, murder, and insanity. But someone in town doesn’t like her poking around, and when they show their intentions by shooting her through the police chief’s office window, the stakes are raised. Kam must find out what really happened to her dead relative before someone in this backward little town sends her to join him.

And she thought Oregon was going to be boring.

###What gave you the idea for this particular book?

It started as a completely different story. I found some information about an 8-year-old girl who murdered a boy in cold blood. She planned it, talked a friend into helping her out, and strangled her victim. The idea of a child murderer is creepy enough to be interesting. As I planned out the where, what, why, and so on, I kept the idea of a child being involved in a murder, but as a witness rather than the perpetrator.

###Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

From “Missing, Assumed Dead,” my hate goes for the murderer and the person who helped cover it up; my pity is for the child witness who’s driven off the deep end by what she had seen.

I like my main character because she’s smart, resilient, and determined. She’s everything I’d like to be.

###Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?

Oh, yeah. The research was absolutely essential. I am familiar with the area where the book is set, but I needed to do a lot of mapping, and examining photos to get a clear picture of the desolation and isolation of the Oregon desert country. I also needed to learn more about the White Power groups who  infest eastern Oregon and Idaho. I also had to find out a lot about Basques, the Spanish War when Franco came into power, and how the Basques migrated to and live in eastern Oregon today.

###What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

Here’s my core bibliography:

Tales of a Texas Boy: A series of related short stories about a boy growing up in West Texas during the Depression. The stories are based on my father’s almost-true tall tales.
Eagle Quest: My Nanowrimo book. Four kids run afoul of eagle poachers in the wildlife preserves of southern Oregon.
First Duty: A dystopian science fiction space opera for the YA audience.
Ultimate Duty: A longer version of First Duty, but with adult situations.
Missing, Assumed Dead: The murder mystery I’ve been talking about here.
The Witches of Galdorheim Series (three books and a short story). The adventures of a girl witch living on an arctic island run on magic.
Setara’s Genie: A middle-eastern 1001 Arabian Nights type story about a girl who gets a genie of dubious worth.
Faizah's Destiny: Another middle-eastern story based on Persian mythology.
### What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?
Too many words. This is why writers need an editor with a vicious red pen. So many books repeat the same information over and over. An otherwise good story can be ruined by a writer loving their words too much.

### What books have most influenced your life?
Authors, rather than specific books, include Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Rowling, Laumer, Varley, Stephensen, Gaiman, Pratchett. If you don’t know who these people are, you’d do well to read them.

I’ll be giving out some coupons for free copies of my audio books. Say you’d like one in the comments and how to reach you. No picking and choosing. Everybody gets a coupon (until I run out of them).


  1. Thanks for having me on, Penny. Since last we emailed back and forth, the first book in the Witches of Galdorheim series is now in audio production. I've listened to the first 9 chapters and it's great (if I do say so myself).

  2. Sounds like you write in a lot of genres! I have read your Missing book and enjoyed it!

  3. Cheryl! So happy you dropped by. It was feeling like a ghost town here. I think I have your email, so I'll send you an audio book coupon with instructions on how to use it.

  4. .Congratulations, Cheryl Marva, it was a pleasure