Monday, October 15, 2012

OXFORD WHISPERS by Marion Croslydon

I'm so happy to have author Marion Croslydon here with me today! Lert's get to know her a little better.
Marion, tell us about yourself.
I’ve been living in London for almost twelve years, but before that, I travelled a lot. I was born in West Africa, grew up in the south of France, studied in Paris, Cape Town, and Oxford… I worked in Finance for a long time, but something was missing in my life. I had always wanted to create stories and write them. When I had my baby girl, I stopped procrastinating and took a leap of faith.
Since my time at Oxford, I had wanted to write a story set there. When I sat down in front of my computer to write the first words, the characters in my head shouted to me: “At last.”
It was one of the most beautiful moments in my life.
Do you prefer... Milk chocolate or Dark?
Milk chocolate because dark gives me a migraine.
Coke or Pepsi?
I’d say Coke. There’s only one thing I feel strongly about and it’s the full-fat element in it. I don’t drink a lot of soda, but when I do, it has to be the full-sugar, full-caffeine original.
Almond Joy or Mounds?
Almond Joy
Romance or a Thriller?
Can I answer Romantic Suspense?
If not, it will have to be romance, of course.
Mystery or Horror?
Mystery. Agatha Christie was my first love…
Did you always want to be an author?
Yes, for as long as I can remember I wanted to be a romance writer. I’ve never wanted to write literary masterpieces but stories that would make the readers dream a bit bigger and their hearts to beat a little faster.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
The analytical genius of Agatha Christie definitely influenced me (not that I’m a genius in any way). I loved the claustrophobic world she created, how she always shown how much the past influences the present, and how love (happy or tragic) is at the roots of everything in life, even murder.
I discovered romance when I picked my first book by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. It’s funny because I tried and re-read it a few months ago, and, I have to admit, it felt a bit dated… But at the time, I absolutely LOVED it.  
Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer? (teacher, family member, friend)
My father… He’s a very serious doctor and has spent his career saving lives, particularly during his time in Africa (where I was born). He had to deal and witnessed very dangerous situations and faced death more than once, his own and the people he was taking care of.
Still, he shared with me his love for Alexandre Dumas and I grew up re-enacting with him The Three Muskateers. I even named my first dog, Athos, one of D’Artagnan’s partner-in-crimes. My dad loves a powerful love story either in books or in movies. He loved epic and we fought each other to be the first one to read John Jakes’ North and South.
What is your writing atmosphere like?
Very stuffy… I write in a small room, with the shutters closed… I have a candle burning, one of those Yankee Candles with delicious/sickening flavors like Vanilla Cupcake or Strawberry Cheesecake. My husband thinks they stink, but I obviously strongly disagree since I consume one every week.
What is your favorite aspect or writing? Your Least Favorite?
My least favorite, it’s easy: the first draft. I try and get it out of the way in three months. There’s nothing more difficult to fix than a blank page (I think those were the words of Nora Roberts). Once it’s done, I start the self-editing process, then involve my editor, beta readers and critique partners.
Writing is a lonely job. I love cooperating with others and receiving feedbacks, even bad ones (slightly masochistic, I know). I write to share my stories, so hearing from others about what they liked or disliked, is really what it is all about.
Your current book your promoting is:
Oxford Whispers is the story of Madison LeBon, an American student at Oxford University, with psychic powers she prefers to ignore. But when the tragic lovers in a painting begin to haunt her, she must learn to accept her gift. Otherwise, life will imitate art and Madison's own first love will be doomed.
It’s the first book in The Oxford Trilogy. I’m currently writing the second book, tentatively titled Oxford Shadows, before it goes out to my editor/beta readers/critique partners. It should be out next spring.
How did you come up with the story line?
I’ve drawn inspiration from my own time at Oxford and my passion as a romantic teenager for a Pre-Raphaelite painting by William Shakespeare Burton, The Wounded Cavalier. It is set during the English Civil War.
Also, there’s a strong Voodoo component through Madison—who is kind of an “Ivy-League Sookie Stackhouse”—because I was born in West Africa where Voodoo originates, and spent a lot of time in New Orleans and Louisiana.
How do you choose your characters names?
I don’t do it on purpose but I tend to use names of people I know. In no way, the characters are like their namesakes though. But there’re just names I’m familiar with. My hero’s name is Rupert, which happens to be the name of… my brother-in-law. I hope he won’t mind too much…
Two star-crossed lovers in the English Civil War
A painting with haunting powers
A murderous ghost back for revenge
  Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong.
But her resolution shatters when the ill-fated lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War.
In misty present-day Oxford, Madison embarks on a quest to unravel the secrets of the past and understand her personal bond with the painting. To protect herself, she must learn to accept her gift before life imitates art, in all its tragedy.
College becomes more complicated when she falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting.
With the spirit of a murderer in hot pursuit, Madison comes to realize that her own first love may be doomed…
Based on a real Pre-Raphaelite painting, Oxford Whispers is full of romance, drama and suspense.
Fall in love for the first time… Again 

Watch the Tralier:

I am a true citizen of the world. I was born in West Africa, grew up in the South of France, and studied in Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Cape Town, and Oxford before finally settling down in London. This wide variety of cities has provided lots of inspiration for my writing. Talk about culture exposure!
In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course. My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.
My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster. Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.
LINKS      Site       Twitter:

 Marion will be giving away a $20 New Adult Reading pack --i.e. selected NA titles on Amazon to one commenter on the tour.
To eneter just leave a comment on this post with your email adress!
For more chances to win follow her tour.  The tour dates can be found here: