Author Q&A: Molly Greene on Remodeling, Women’s Fiction and Mark of the Loon

by Casee Marie on May 22, 2012 · 7 comments

in Words with the Author

I’m very excited to be hosting author Molly Greene for a little Q&A following yesterday’s review of her independent debut novel, Mark of the Loon! When Molly sent me her responses to the questions she included a little note I’d like to share here, simply because it illustrates her great kindness and the respect she radiates for not only the art of writing (book reviews as well as novels), but also the efforts and determination it takes to publish one’s own novel, something she has plenty of experience in after this month!

“Casee Marie, I want to thank you so very much for your support and encouragement. Authors owe a huge debt of gratitude to book bloggers and reviewers like yourself for helping us get the word out about our novels. You’ve evolved into the premier promotional method available to indies, and we appreciate all you do!”

Thank you so much, Molly!

Like Madison, you have a background in renovating houses. What motivated you to begin your first renovation project? Have you ever found secrets in an old house left behind by the former owners?

How did I start remodeling? In a word: naiveté. My ex-husband and I bought 40 acres in Mendocino County, CA, then tried again with a decrepit old house on five acres outside San Diego. We just figured we could do it. Wrong! We botched both projects and split up (it was a LONG time ago). Eventually, I began to take on smaller, more manageable projects by myself.

I’ve found what I thought were secrets in every house I’ve ever owned. It’s the product of a good imagination. Notes, books, magazines that left clues about what the former owners were thinking or studying. Items of clothing, even bits of inexpensive jewelry. The house I’m in now contained National Geographics dating back to 1920, and I used that as a device in Mark of the Loon.

Mark of the Loon by Molly Greene
Read my review here

Prior to writing Mark of the Loon you spent a lot of time working in and writing about real estate. What inspired you to turn to writing novels?

I still work full-time as Marketing Manager for a national wholesale lender, a position I’ve held with various high-profile companies since 1993. In a nutshell, I started to write Loon in my spare time because I wanted to change my attitude. Sounds odd, but I was going through a tough time and needed to give my overactive mind something positive to focus on. It worked. Halfway into the story, I realized I loved the plot development aspect so much that I decided this is what I want to be when I grew up. Still a long road ahead. We’ll see what happens!

I would call Mark of the Loon a women’s fiction novel, though lately there’s been discussion on the merit of the term: some readers think it’s an opportunity to spotlight great female writers while others think the authors are being cheated out of a male audience. As a writer, I’d love to know what your thoughts are on that.

Labels of all kinds can be limiting on so many levels. Even I described Mark of the Loon as women’s fiction six months ago. Christine Nolfi, my friend and fellow author, conveyed her surprise at the number of male readers who posted positive Amazon reviews about her first book, which was classified as women’s fiction. As a result, she re-classified her debut and freshman novels as contemporary fiction. Many successful female authors have done the same. Women read novels written by men about men, so why shouldn’t the opposite also hold true?

As you launch Mark of the Loon this month you’re publishing it independently. What do you think are the pros and cons of self-publishing in today’s literary world?

Let’s face it, it’s hard work to be an indie author and self-pubber. In an ideal world, I think most of us would opt to be traditionally published with generous advances and corporate marketing teams at our beck and call. But that’s not the way it works anymore. I’ve heard stories of small advances from big publishing houses, two years to get the book to print and no marketing support, resulting in a good book that went nowhere. Cons of indie publishing? Tons of hard work and a steep learning curve. Pros? Huge satisfaction and full financial rewards for the percentage of indies who are successful. I consider self-publishing, both fiction and non-fiction, as a new frontier for the creative entrepreneur who understands the power of quality work.

Mark of the Loon is your debut and you have plans for a sequel as well. Could you tell us more about how you plan to continue the story and when you expect to publish it?

I fell in love with my Mark of the Loon characters and wasn’t willing to let them go. So I’m now one-third of the way through Rapunzel, which features Genevieve Delacourt and an expanded cast of characters. Truth be told, the sky is the limit for the potential trouble this group can get into. I hope to have my second novel out by December 2012, with many more to come.

About Molly Greene
Blogger and freelance writer with an extensive real estate background. Published by the National Association of Realtors® Magazine, the San Diego Association of Realtors® Magazine, Scotsman Guide, and Reader’s Digest. Author of the consumer booklet, For Sale By Owner. Debut novel, Mark of the Loon, scheduled for release early 2012. Working on a sequel, Rapunzel. Renovated six homes over the years – several by owner, without an agent in purchase or sale – currently remodeling number seven. Whew!

Visit Molly: Website/Blog| Facebook | Twitter
Buy the book: Amazon

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Christine Nolfi May 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Reading this post–by two of my favorite women in the literary world–is such a thrill. Molly, congratulations again on the release of Mark of the Loon. I simply can’t wait to read your next release!

With regard to the term, “Women’s Fiction”–we should make an effort to banish it. The more global “Contemporary Fiction” term encompasses storytelling that draws from a variety of genres. No doubt traditional publishers conjured the WF label long ago for ease of placement of novels on bookstore shelves. The electronic bookshelf doesn’t require those shackles.

Casee Marie May 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I’m honored to be given such a great compliment, Christine – and to be in such great company in it, for that matter. Molly has been a delight to get to know, and I’ve just adored meeting her colorful characters. As it happens, I do believe we have you to thank for our initial acquaintanceship, so thank you for that!

Also thanks for your thoughts on the Women’s Fiction term. I’m fascinated to know what authors’ viewpoints are on it. As a reader I’ll admit that I never disliked the term – for myself it became almost a sub-subgenre of literary fiction, a special distinction for the books that held the promise of heartwarming stories about empowering female characters, as written by equally empowering women. I didn’t consider the negative connotations as pertains to a male readership, etc. until I started to see more discussion about it online. It really flipped my perspective. I think in terms of genre labeling and the strict confines of classification the traditional publishing industry has a lot of kinks to work out. The terminology should fit the evolution of writing, not the other way around.

Molly Greene May 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

It’s so easy to understand the issue when you two wonderful woman explain it! Thanks to both of you for your support and friendship. It’s been quite a ride so far, and I can’t wait to see where this path will take us!

Casee Marie May 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Thank you again, Molly! Absolutely excited to see what the future holds, not to mention where your stellar writing goes with Rapunzel! It’s going to be a wonderful ride, I’m sure!

Molly Campbell June 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

I am an Indie author as well, with a book coming out in late summer. I am so proud of all Mollys! I have the book on my Kindle list! Congratulations, Molly! Oh, and nothing I like better than houses and remodeling. I think I will LOVE this book!

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