1. Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
I grew up in Miami, Florida. My father was a musician who also taught junior high school. My mother was an abstract artist. I became a high school English teacher. As an only child, my life was about books, playing my flute and being a happy kid. Today, I call Arizona my home.
2. Do you have a writing schedule? What genre do you write?
I don't have a writing schedule even after writing seven novels. It seems ridiculous. I wait until summer and bury myself in some quiet place where I can hide from the Arizona summer heat. I hammer out a solid rough draft that I can bring home and polish throughout the year. I have written the only satirical series about Scottsdale; however my interest lies with Historical Fiction for now and the future.
3. How important is research to you before starting a book?
Research is where I have the most fun. I love finding my way through papers, archives, travel to find treasures that bring a story to life. HIDDEN ONES is based on a true story of a grandmother arrested during the Inquisition in the New World that I found in archives. It was shocking to me so I knew I had to explore further. I spend as long as a few months gathering materials, maps, personal accounts, recipes, paintings, academic papers and more.
4. How long does it take you to write a book?
The average is three years, although some move along faster if research is complete. PAPER CHILDREN - an Immigrants Legacy required translating letters from Polish and High German, finding ship manifests and interviewing relatives to tell a fictionalized story of my grandmother's life. It took five years.
5. Do you incorporate some of your own life experiences into your characters?
Of course! I'm the young girl, Ivy in PARIS LAMB. It's impossible to write characters without putting so much of ourselves in them. Most are based on composites of people I've known.
Early on the morning of the third day a cavalry of Spaniards kicks up dust as they ride past us, the rhythm of hooves hitting the hard ground, alerting us to their authority. Where are they going with such haste?
The soldiers' feet are shoved into wooden stirrups with leather casings as their heels urge horses to ride faster. They wear Kuerasi, a leather vest to protect them from Indian arrows.
I shield myself behind a tree to view their wagons. A few soldiers wear jackets, buttons gleaming in the sun, hats with expansive plumes. Swords, lances and pistols bounce against their hips, an impressive display of force, I think. I know they are looking for me, an accomplice to a crime. Cold shivers bristle up my spine. I thrust my guilt aside, but the jailor knows my face and Mariel's.
Marsha Fine's books have won so many awards, it's hard to mention all of them. Her book, PAPER CHILDREN, has been a finalist for three national prizes.
HIDDEN ONES, has won first prizes in Historical Fiction and Multicultural as well as Honorable Mention from AZ authors. In 2018, at the Women Writing the West Conference, the book won the prestigious Willa Award over 2700 entries for five categories. The award is named after Willa Cather who won the Pulitzer Award in 1923. To read more about Marsha, visit her website at www.marshafine.com.