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 ten languages and adapted into a role-playing game. Marianne has also authored children’s and young adult stories, notably the Night Creatures trilogy, a dark fantasy series for teens. She is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. Marianne also writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt.
What drew you to writing speculative fiction? What are your favourite aspects of the genre?
There’s a certain freedom writing speculative fiction that I haven’t found in any other genre. I suppose you would describe me as a diehard escapist! As long as your story has fathomable internal logic, you can break all the rules and imagine the future in any way you wish. Blending speculative genres is particularly satisfying as well. It’s like mixing colours or spices and discovering that you’ve created something quite delicious.
Did you have a different career before you became a writer? How did it influence you as a writer?
Not really a career, other than being a stay-at-home parent of three boys. That said, I’ve worked in so many different jobs, from child daycares, to libraries, to theatre restaurants, retail, cleaning, project managing and all kinds of administration: plumbers, coffee machine maintenance, and at a fashion house. Every place I worked taught me about life, and life taught me how to write. I spent 10 years in a mining town in Western Australia and there I found out how it feels be an alien in a landscape.
What’s one key tip you have for those starting out writing speculative fiction?
You can find my best writing tips on my website, but my number one tip is that you teach yourself self-discipline. If you can develop self-discipline then you have what it takes to get better at writing, because it’s practice and persistence and refusing to give up that makes a career in writing. Talent helps, but talent is often lazy. Get used to writing regularly and keep reading. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve.
Enter the realms of fantasy and speculative fiction with Marianne’s upcoming workshop Writing Speculative Fiction, on Saturday 30 April, 10am-4pm at the NSW Writers’ Centre.