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Guest Post: Marilee Brothers On Being the Conduit For Her Characters

Today we bring you a guest post by the talented Marilee Brothers, author of THE ROCK AND ROLL QUEEN OF BEDLAM and the Unbidden Magic series, beginning with MOONSTONE. You can find Marilee on her website and on twitter.

I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
by Marilee Brothers

I’ve always loved the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It speaks to me as a writer and a human being. As writers, we face monumental challenges, we persevere in spite of overwhelming odds and hopefully, we rebound from bitter disappointments bloody but unbowed. But, for me, Henley’s words resonate on a deeper level. I use the underlying premise of his poem to build my characters and their alternative worlds.

In the Unbidden Magic series I write for Bell Bridge Books, I started with a simple idea. My protagonist, fifteen-year-old Allie Emerson, had a story to tell. I needed to get inside her head to tell it. I am her conduit. Because Allie is always in charge, I had no choice but to write her story in first person narrative. I tried, but found I could not do it any other way.

At the beginning of Moonstone, Allie lives with her single mother in a 24 foot travel trailer parked next to a cow pasture in a small rural town. From the onset, I felt it was important for the paranormal aspects of Allie’s life to be an extension of her normal world. In other words, I let Allie guide me as she explored her telekinetic power by causing Blaster the bull to run backwards, as well as using her powers to defend a classmate against a gang attack. Moonstone is about self-discovery.

In the second book, Moon Rise, Allie learns more about the moonstone’s functions and refines her powers but, because of psychic injury, she remains in the familiar world of home and school. In book 3, Moon Spun, Allie is ready for a bigger challenge. Enter the faeries! Allie explores a strange new world I call the Land of Boundless. However, because she still needs to be grounded in the real world, she accesses the portal to Boundless through an old cistern located behind the apple tree next to the trailer.

In book 4, (probably called Moon something) Allie will travel to southern California to search for a missing family member. The motivation for this decision springs from a surprise discovery in the previous book. Although book 5, the final book, finds Allie still living in the same travel trailer, much of the action takes place in Ireland. Bottom line: It’s Allie’s story. She lets me know when she’s ready to spread her wings.

As I continue writing the series I occasionally wander off course. It’s embarrassingly obvious because the writing sucks, big time. I fuss and flounder a while, before the light bulb clicks on and realization strikes. It’s time for the mental equivalent of a slap upside the head. Hey, guess what? You’re not listening. Allie’s the boss. She is the master of her fate. She is the captain of her soul. Don’t. You. Forget. It. Dummy!

So, there you have it. A brief journey through the dark, twisted labyrinth known as Marilee’s brain. Because of all the ideas in various stages of germination, it’s kind of a scary place to visit, but you’re welcome to drop in any time!

~ Marilee Brothers

Would you like to win a copy of one of Marilee's books? Marilee is giving away a book of the reader's choice to one lucky winner. To enter, comment below with which book you'd most like to win. Add one point (for a max of two points per entrant) if you tweeted, blogged or facebooked this contest. Contest closes Tuesday, August 3rd. Good luck!
Kristin Halbrook

Kristin Halbrook is the author of the critically-acclaimed young adult novels Nobody But Us (HarperTeen, 2013) and Every Last Promise (HarperTeen, 2015). She likes many things.

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  1. great guest post, I have never read any of those books but im sure contemplating it now

    My Blog

  2. Great post, and your books sound great :)
    Thanks, Marilee!

  3. Great guest post. I never heard about any of theses book. I will order them soon.

  4. I haven't read any of these books but I'd like a chance to win Moonstone. It sounds like a good read.

    sgiden AT

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Great guest post. I really enjoyed Moonstone and would love a chance to win Moon Rise. Thanks for sharing today!

    tweeted -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  7. I'd like to read Moonstone also! Nothing like starting at the beginning!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  8. Miss Brothers, you'll remember me, hopefully, because I've emailed you on several occasions. I love the series, but I am a bit sad that it will only be 5 books. That's because I love it so much. Maybe in 20 years you could come back to her and catch up to what she's doing as an adult, just for an idea if you ever, which isn't likely, run out of ideas.

  9. Thanks for this excellent guest post!

    Ditto what many of the other said: I'd love to start at the beginning with Moonstone if I won.

    *Crosses fingers*

    I tweeted about the contest, but how do I link to a tweet? (Is that even possible? I'm so lost in this twitterverse...)

  10. I can personally attest that Marilee has some mad skillz when it comes to YA voice and humor. I LOVE the Unbiden series, and Allie is one of my favorite YA gals. You totally need to check out this series. And the Rock N Roll Queen of Bedlam is also amazing. I was laughing my ass off!!!

  11. I loved the first one in the Unbidden Magic Series and liked the second one even though I missed Junior. I have been waiting MONTHS for the third one and it was said to come out this month! Marilee, please oh please get the third one out! Great series, can't wait to read more...


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Item Reviewed: Guest Post: Marilee Brothers On Being the Conduit For Her Characters Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kristin Halbrook