Marianne de Pierres is the author of the popular PARRISH PLESSIS trilogy and the award-winning SENTIENTS OF ORION and PEACEMAKER series.
The PARRISH PLESSIS series has been translated into many languages and adapted into a role-playing game, while the PEACEMAKER series is being adapted into a novel adventure game.
Marianne has also authored children’s and young adult stories, notably the Night Creatures trilogy a dark fantasy series for teens.
Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers.
She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs (and once upon a time three sons–before they grew up). Marianne also writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt.
Marianne kindly consented to answer some questions about Mythmaker and her work in general.
Paul Weimer: For readers unfamiliar with you, who is Marianne de Pierres?
Marianne de Pierres: I’ll give you the short version first! Reader, writer, TV fan grrl, basketball diehard. I’ve been writing professionally since about 2003 and had about 17 novels published in that time. Because I write across genres, my books range from space opera, to cyberpunk, to dark fantasy, and paranormal crime. I live in Brisbane, Australia and have three adult sons. What else… Oh, yes, I have an obsession with cake. Gluten free these days, but life is all about finding the next great slice of cake.
PW: MYTHMAKER is a sequel to PEACEMAKER. For those readers new to that series, what’s the elevator pitch for the Peacemaker verse?
MdP: Peacemaker is a Western, crime, urban fantasy: When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin Jackson takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. When the dead bodies start piling up around her and Nate, she decides on the latter. Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner are standing in its path…
Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park – the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller.
PW: For previous readers of PEACEMAKER like myself, what do we have to look forward to in MYTHMAKER?
MdP: Mythmaker picks up a few weeks after Peacemaker, and Virgin starts to see the full implications of the Mythos breaking through into her world. By the end, she has to take some drastic steps to stop a complete invasion. We learn more about both hers and Nate’s lives, and Hamish features a lot. And, of course, there would be no book without Papa Brise, who lives large and loud between the pages.
PW: The Peacemaker series is far from your first series. What did writing works like the Sentients of Orion and Parish Plessis series teach you about writing the Peacemaker series? What did you do differently?
MdP: Every book you write is an apprenticeship for the next, and I hope I’ve improved in the craft of writing overall. Peacemaker is much more in the vein of the Parrish Plessis series, told in first person and action packed. I think these kinds of novels are my strength, but writing Sentients of Orion was a huge and satisfying challenge. I guess the one thing I’ve truly learned from writing previous series is that I can make it to the end. J
PW: You also write crime fiction (The Tara Sharp series). How does crossing genres from crime to F/SF change how you view and write SF and fantasy? And vice versa?
MdP: I find that writing comic crime is like taking a holiday from SFF. Everyone gets stale when they do the same thing day in and day out, year after year. By the time I’ve finished a contemporary crime novel, I’m just dying to get back to science fiction, and grateful to be able to write it. It’s a cycle that seems to work for me. Fresh eyes, fresh heart.
PW: In fact, you have a lot of irons in the fire. What appeals to you in writing and experimenting and growing into so many genres?
MdP: I’m a creature of whim and am influenced by whatever I’m reading or watching. If I truly enjoy a book, a film, or a TV series, it immediately sparks ideas and, before I know it, I’m writing something in that genre. I find it hard to comprehend how a writer might only write in one genre all their life. I respect it, but I don’t understand it. Possibly, they are the sensible ones though. It’s more likely you’ll carve a niche for yourself if you stay in one place. Also, I don’t get to travel as much as I’d like, so maybe this is my way of seeing new places and doing new things!
PW: What’s next for you?
MdP: I’m currently writing the fourth book in my Tara Sharp comic crime series, which is enormous fun and will be out from Twelfth Planet Press in 2016. Aside from that, my next big project is Pharmakon, a near future SF thriller set in the US. It’s part of my Masters/PhD project and is feminist SF set in a world bound for anarchy. That will take me through to 2017. Along the way I’ll probably be writing children’s picture books and other side projects. I like to have a couple of projects brewing at once.
PW: Where can readers learn more about you and your work?
I have a substantial social media presence, but a good place to start is www.mariannedepierres.com – all roads to my work either begin or end there!