My interview over at The Art and Craft of Writing Creatively is HERE

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Monday, August 5, 2013

The Letter Virtual Book Tour + Giveaway: Interview with Marianne Spitzer

I know your book, The Letter, was released in October 2012 and I really want to talk about that. But first, I’d like my readers to know a little about you.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? 
Honesty. Lying doesn’t bring anything but pain into your life.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
I have two successful children and two beautiful grandchildren who are the joys of my life.

We’re going to talk about this book that you’ve written, but first, let us learn a little about how you got your start in writing.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I have loved to read and write for as long as I can remember. My mom loved to read and I always saw her relaxing with a book in her hands. I guess the love of reading rubbed off and writing followed.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I have been writing short stories since I was in the sixth grade. They were mostly mysteries due to my love of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. My first novel, Gypsy Spirits, was a story I thought about for years. It is approximately 3% reality and the rest fiction.

Okay, now we can get to talking about The Letter. 

Tell us about a little bit about The Letter.  
The Letter is about a young recent college grad that lost her job and is battling creditors. She receives a letter from a lawyer and learns she has inherited a vast fortune from her unknown biological grandfather. The inheritance comes with a few odd requests. Strange and frightening events begin to happen. If I say more, I’ll give away too much of the plot.

How did you develop your plot and characters?  
The Letter was written during the 2011 NaNoWriMo. I had an idea for a mystery story of a young woman inheriting a vast fortune from an evil grandfather. I managed to finish the main story in a month and added a sub-plot and descriptions later. The more I wrote the more eerie it became. The story has two main characters and four minor characters. They were college friends in their mid-twenties. I do character studies for each of my important characters. It was easy to describe six friends with different hair and eye colors. I pictured a group of friends having lunch and mixed up the colors to fit each one. I gave each some good qualities and quirks. Then as I began to write, the characters developed further.

How important do you think villains are in a story?
It would depend on the story, but in mine having a villain was very important. I write supernatural mysteries and having a villain is necessary. A story with good ghosts and spirits wouldn’t be very frightening.

How do you come up the title of your book?
Each book is different, but with The Letter it was easy to come up with the title since the story opens with Kellie receiving a letter that can change her life. Some stories need to be written or partially written when the title will become apparent. It should connect well with the plot of the book. 

Have you started your next project yet? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
My next project is nearly finished. It is with my editor now and due out by the end of June 2013. It is the sequel to The Letter entitled Old Man Malone Returns. It is also a supernatural mystery with most of the characters from The Letter. I am also working on several short stories about an evil doll and several other subjects.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to thank my readers for their support. If they enjoy my books, there are more being published soon. I would also like to thank those who wrote the wonderful reviews I have read.


What is your favorite TV show?
Law and Order, SVU, but any Law and Order episode will make my list. I have watched many as reruns.

What is your favorite late night snack?
Hershey kisses.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
There is a small town in Bavaria called Parkstein. The town is at the base of a small extinct volcano. At the top is a small church. The church survived the bombing of World War II and many people have visited bringing small gifts of gratitude. Sitting at the top near the church is the most peaceful and beautiful place I have ever been.

If you got a parrot for a pet, what phrase would you be sure to teach it to say?
Shhh, don’t tell them where the body is buried.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Most definitely a night owl.

Kellie, a young college grad laid off from her first teaching job and besieged by creditors, receives a letter requesting her appearance at the reading of Frederick Malone’s will. What could she have in common with the town’s richest man? Curiosity draws her to the will reading where she learns she has inherited a vast sum. The conditions of her inheritance require she change her name and reside in the Malone mansion. Long considered haunted by the residents of Malone Springs, Kellie, her fiancé and four friends move in ignoring the rumors. Strange and frightening events begin to plague Kellie before she moves and grow more frightening once she and her friends settle in. Adopted at birth, her adoptive parents killed in an auto accident leave Kellie to investigate her ancestors on her own. What she discovers leads her into more danger and mystery as she learns the true nature of her biological grandfather. Could his evil deeds hurt her from beyond the grave? Who’s responsible for the strange occurrences? What happened to her biological parents? As one solved mystery leads Kellie into another, she and her friends try to solve them all before tragedy strikes.

This book also contains the supernatural/mystery short story "MEGAN'S FEAR." 


I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children's stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three "spirit" books. I have self-published the second "spirit" book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third "spirit" book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.