Monday, June 22, 2015

Marianne Sciucco Spills the Beans

Hi, Marianne! So glad to have you at Spilling the Beans, where we can learn a little bit about you, and your book.
Thanks for inviting me, Cate. I love chatting with other authors and meeting their readers.

Grab a cappuccino and let’s chat. Unless you have another favorite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?
A good cup of coffee works for me.

Make that two or three cups for me, lol Fur or feathers, pet-wise?
I hate to brag, but I have to admit that I have the privilege of living with the best cat in the world. We took him in as a rescue when he was six weeks old and he is the master of our castle. His name is Chance, but we call him Mr. Chance when he's within hearing distance, although he'll often respond to Big Boy. He loves to watch me write, especially with his nose pressed against the screen and his tail on the keyboard. Yup, he's my muse.

Lucky girl! Any pet peeves? One thing that really burns your biscuits?
Do I have to pick just one? In that case, I'll say people who are intolerant and hateful toward those who suffer with poverty, disability, illness, or other issues that prevent them from living independently. There but for the grace of God....

So true... Tell us something about yourself that’s not in your bio.
In 2001, I had a near-drowning experience in the ocean.

Yikes! How scary. That could be a story in itself. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
One of my life's goals is to live long enough to read all the books in my to-be-read pile, so if I'm not writing I'm reading. Or watching television. I can't resist The Voice and I'm a sucker for American Idol. I love to sing, but I can barely carry a tune and have lousy pitch, so it's a way for me to live that life vicariously and not hurt anyone's ears.

If you had to choose another profession besides writer, what would it be and why?
I did choose another profession: nurse! I started out as a newspaper reporter but couldn't get a regular gig so gave it up for a nursing career. Everything came full circle when one of the nurse managers at the hospital where I worked started a newsletter for the department and I volunteered to help. Next thing I knew I was running the whole thing! This reignited my desire to write, and I soon started my first novel.

Love it when The Universe redirects us to what we're meant to do. Are you a night owl or early bird?
Both. Some nights I can't sleep so I crawl out of bed to the couch and read until I drop off. Some mornings I can't sleep and rise before dawn to start my day. Fortunately, I'm pretty good at taking naps.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I'd make sure no one was hungry.

Aw, I love that. How would your muse describe you?
Frustrated. So much to do, so little time to do it.

If you could live out any fantasy, what would you do?
I would possess untold wealth and give it away.

Sweet! If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
My dad. He died unexpectedly when I was 15, and we never said goodbye. Of course, then we would have to say goodbye for real, which would destroy me all over again, so maybe I'd play it safe and choose Josh Groban, or Bono, or Pope Francis.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I jumped on the stage at a U2 concert in 1983 at Brown University and danced with The Edge.

Beethoven, Beatles, Foo Fighters or Keith Urban (what type(s) of music makes you rock out)?
Actually, I like all music, but as you may have surmised I have a particular love for U2, my Fab Four, whom I've followed since 1979. I love their passion and poetry. We kind of grew up together.

Does music influence your writing? Do you have a music playlist for your book?
Oh yeah, I'm listening to the playlist for my novel-in-progress Swim Season as we do this interview. It helps me get into the story when I sit down to write. Sample artists: Seal, Katy Perry, Keane, Pharrell Williams, Van Halen, Josh Groban, and U2.

While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
It's really easy, but it's so hard! The number of new skills I had to learn was overwhelming. There are many steps to take when making a book that most people have never thought of.

Great way of putting it :) Where can readers find out more about you?
They can start with my website, Adventures in Publishing and Twitter is my next best home on the web -  @MarianneSciucco

Please tell us a bit about your book.
My first novel is Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, about a pair of retired Cape Cod innkeepers struggling with the wife's Alzheimer's. The reviews and ratings have amazed me and I'm very proud of it. You can check it out on Amazon.  

What inspired you to write it?
One day while at work as a hospital nurse manager, a couple I met just captivated me and I couldn't stop thinking about them. I blended aspects of their situation with those of many others I'd met, added a dose of my own imagination, and the story took off.

Thanks for spilling the beans today!
Thanks for picking them up!