SUSAN MARQUEZ MEDIA CONSULTING
Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a professional freelance writer who lives and works in Madison, Mississippi. I have been writing professionally since 2001, with over 2500 articles published in magazines, newspapers, business journals, trade publications, online news sources, and more.
I am working on a memoir about an event that happened with my daughter, Nicole, ten years ago, and the lessons learned from it. You can read more at www.nicole-marquez.com
I have had an essay published in an anthology edited by Susan Cushman, “A Second Blooming: Becoming The Women We Were Meant to Be.”
I’ve learned a lot about writing and the business of writing, including publishing and marketing/pr at various writers conferences and workshops around the South.
I am president of the Mississippi Writers Guild, and founder of the Middle Mississippi chapter.
When and why did you begin writing?
I always wrote in my job, starting with writing television commercials at an NBC affiliate right out of college. I could say anything that I needed to in thirty seconds!
That expanded into copywriting for magazine and newspaper ads, brochures, and press releases. When I left my last “real” job as a marketing director for a regional shopping mall in 2001, I began writing full time.
I will write for food!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In my first job. I was a television commercial writer!
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m still working on it! My inspiration was my daughter.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think so. I write feature articles, but they don’t have a real journalistic slant to them. I like to be a bit irreverent. I love the absurd, unusual and interesting. I am an authentic writer.
I call it as I see it.
What types of books have influenced your life as a writer?
I have always loved autobiographies, and now creative non-fiction. I love true stories. But, I have also fallen deep into some great fiction, most recently The Neon Palm of Madame Melancon by Lee Clarke.
It was such a fun read, and I did not want to put it down. That’s the kind of book I love!
Do you have a mentor or a writing group? How does that impact your work?
I was in a great critique group, but life got in the way with just about everyone. I have what I consider to be a strong “writing tribe” of writing friends made by attending writing workshops and being involved in the Mississippi Writers Guild,
I feel that is so important. Those are the folks who will truly guide you. Others will read your work and tell you that it’s brilliant.
But the folks in the writing tribe are brutally honest, which is what I want. Plus, they’ll push you, encourage you, promote you whenever they can.
What book are you reading now?
Julia Reed’s new book, South Toward Home. I love every word she writes and I (not so) secretly want to live her life, even just for a day.
How do you help new writers?
How don’t I? I love helping writers any way I can, often giving them the very same advice I should be taking!
The biggest thing I want new writers to do is to be part of a group of other writers, like…The Mississippi Writers Guild!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Lee Clarke, mentioned above, is a native of Shreveport, LA. Now a Dallas resident, his work really resonates with me. It’s like writing is a sport for him, and he does it so effortlessly, weaving the craziest things into a story that just works.
Our book club is going to Skype with him next week. I can’t wait!
What are your current projects?
I’m always on deadline writing articles. That’s an ongoing thing, where I write up to seven or eight articles a week.
I’m also working on a solid proposal for my own book that will soon be sent to an agent in New York *fingers crossed*.
Other than family members, who has supported you the most and why?
I’d say my friend NancyKay Wessman. She understands my writing life because she was in my now-defunct critique group and I helped her promote her book, Katrina, Mississippi: Voices from Ground Zero.
She is one of the ones who push and encourage me.
Do you see writing as a career?
I think by my previous answers, you can see that I am a professional writer, but not a book-writer.
I worry when people say they want to be a writer as a career because it’s money that’s hard-earned. Not many people get rich from writing books.
What is the hardest part of writing your latest book?
Finding/making time to work on MY project. Deadlines are ever-present in my professional writing life, so working on my own book takes a back seat.
I am working on making it a priority, because it’s a story that needs to be told.
Do you have advice for other writers?
Do as I say, not as I do! Keep your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard! Just write!
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a Netflix/Amazon binge-watcher! I loved Doc Martin, The Queen, Parenthood, Mad Men, Mozart in the Jungle, House of Cards, Goliath, and now I’m loving Somebody Feed Phil.
I don’t like dark or violent shows. I like to keep it light!
Favorite foods/colors/places to travel?
Food – right now I’m on the Whole 30 diet for 30 days with no alcohol, sugar, dairy, grains, legumes or soy. I’d say any of those is my favorite and I’m only one week in!
Colors – Anything but mauve. Blech.
Travel – anywhere, any time! Just say let’s go, and I’ll pack my bags!
If you were not a writer, what else would you like to do?
I can’t imagine doing anything else!