Marguerite Arotin Is My Guest

My guest blogger is Marguerite Arotin, not only a fantasy and historical romance writer but also my webmistress. Despite knowing her for a few years, I’ve learned new things from her responses to questions, so I’m delighted to have her as my guest blogger.

How long does it take for you to write a book?
When I am dedicated to completing it, usually about 6 months. When life, my evil day job, or my son’s life gets away, it tends to be longer
Do you do a lot of research for your books and if so, how do you do that? I’m a research junkie so yes. Internet, books, if there’s someplace local that I can visit to do hands on research, I’m all for that.

Do you have a favorite author?
Several but in different genres. For romance it would have to be Linda Lael Miller, Horror and anything else he dives into- The masterful Stephen King. Fantasy- J.K. Rowling because I love the world she created with Hogwarts, and just recently in Science Fiction I fell in love with the writing style of Douglas Adams. I love the way all his rambles end in punch line
Was there any one thing that particularly inspired you to write?
I had been writing off on on since the third grade when I wrote a Halloween Fairytale of sorts for a class project. When I finally decided to send out the stuff I was writing to publishers, it was because my husband had just lost his job and I wanted to help provide for our little family. By the time he found another job, I was hooked on the writing lifestyle.

What’s the best and worst part about being a writer?
Best part- creating a world and populating that world with characters you adore. Worst part- Deadlines and critics.
How do you balance a personal life with a writing life?
It’s easier now that my son is older and hangs out in his room a lot of the time. When he was younger, I had to watch writing the sex scenes while he was around because he’s nosy and will read over my shoulder.
What do you consider the most important elements of a great book? Characters, Characters, Characters ! You can create a great plot but it means nothing without creating characters everyone can relate to.
What are you writing/reading now?
Currently alternating between writing a vampire romance with a twist, and a civil war time-travel romance inspired by a Gettysburg visit.
Where can we find out more about you and your books?
my website-

If you could be a character in one of your books, which one would you choose to be? Probably Janet, my heroine from The Last Sorceress. It would be fun to step into a new fantasy realm with sorceress power

Do you have a favourite character from your books?
Dazzart the Bold. He’s an ogre but a lot sexier than Shrek

For series writers only: What do you especially enjoy about writing a series as compared to a stand alone book? When I wrote Return of the Prodigal Daughter for The Wayback Texas series, it was fun to help create a small Texas town and work with already established characters.

What do you do to unwind, put aside the hard work of writing, or otherwise enjoy life?
Summer time, without a doubt, the beach. I had been taking my son to our local beach since he was two years old. We make a day out of it and have a lot of fun. Fall ,winter, or inclement weather I love to go to the movies with my family

Delighted to host Jane Beckenham

Jane Beckenham is a long time friend and well established romance writer. We thought it would be fun to tagteam each other on blogs with a few questions a little outside the box. Soooo, drum roll!!! Here she is!

Hi Elle, thanks for having me on your blog. Isn’t it amazing how technology brings people together from so far away!

You’ve been writing for a long time. How do you think your writing has evolved over that time?
I think I’m always learning which is exciting. I remember when I finally ‘got it’ about point of view, and now watching out for that jolting pov change comes naturally. Learning to write dialogue that actually says something and moves the story forward. Trying different ways to plot, versus seat of your pants type story telling. What I’ve learned too is that what system works with one book, might not work for the next, and that’s okay.

If you could be a character in one of your books which would one you choose and why?
I think I would like to be either Taylor Sullivan in HE’S THE ONE, because she’s feisty and determined and won’t give up on what she really wants in life. Okay so what she thinks she wants and what she finally realizes she wants might change, but she’s one determined gal, no matter what.

Also I love Leah Grainger in Secrets and Seduction because of her deep down instinct to love, no matter what, or who, and to forgive.

You write several genres in the romance themed category; why did you choose to write these genres? How do they differ in terms of approach? Do you intend to branch out further and write another genre?

I initially tried a category, which was abysmal, then I wrote several time travel. I think I loved this genre because I love history and I had also fallen in love with Sandra Hill’s time travels and Lyn Kurlands. Time travel gives me a dose of history along with the need to have at least one character from the present and fills my need for contemporary writing too.
Time travel/historical of course has a dose of research involved, and in TT/R you need to decide how the traveller goes back, what reaction they will have and also how they will be perceived by those from the past. Most likely thought a witch or at least a lunatic! So that in itself creates great conflict. The only other genre I’m thinking of wetting my fingertips with is maybe distopia/thriller, but it’s all about finding ENOUGH time these days!

Who is your favorite author and why?
Love Sandra Hill for her fab humor in both historical and contemporary, and also Sophia James for her beautiful writing (medieval and Regency). I recently read The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst and that was a great read.

What kinds of books do you read?
Mostly contemporary, though I recently read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand which was a biography about us US Olympic athlete during the 30s and his military days in WWII. It was a sad but captivating read.

What advice do you give to aspiring authors?
Really to just keep on trying, keep reading, and make contact with other authors through writing groups and associations, through RWA chapters, and on line of course. Do courses if you can. There are plenty on line. And just do it every day, even if it’s only ½ an hour. Something is always better than nothing.

Where can we find you on the web?
My web site
Twitter janebeckenham@romanceauthor
Email me at

Many thanks for joining me here today at Elle’s blog.
Happy reading everyone
Jane Beckenham