Marilyn is the author of the Strange Series, currently consisting of two books: 'Relatively Strange' and 'Even Stranger' published on the 26th April 2016. Her books have been described as 'unusual', 'compelling' and 'dark'.
A feature and fiction writer for magazines, Marilyn Messik's first business was a children's book and party shop. She currently runs a copywriting consultancy and lives in Hertfordshire. Her first novel, Relatively Strange, was published in 2013 by Matador.
CONFESSIONS OF AN AUTHOR or FIFTY SHADES OF PALLID!
There’s a huge amount of pleasure to be had in writing a book, particularly whilst it’s just you, your characters and the computer. The tricky bit and I’m sure I’m not the first to suss this, is when it comes to showing it to a third party. Suddenly, what up until now you’ve viewed in a rather positive light, overnight turns into the biggest load of rubbish anyone, anywhere, at any time has produced – ever!
Still, you put a brave face on it and give it to your nearest and dearest. You intimate they must be totally honest, and that you’re man enough to take any criticism – concurrently making them aware that in the event of aforementioned criticism, you might just slit your wrists – no emotional pressure then. You subsequently spend the next several days, casually squinting out of the corner of your eye, pretending not to watch your book being read, in reality, noting with bated breath every fractional reaction. Why are they not laughing? Why are they not crying? Why are they frowning – is there something they don’t understand or is it a dreaded typo over which they’ve just tripped? This stage of the proceedings (for both parties) is not for the faint-hearted!
And then it gets published. It’s now out there, open to the scrutiny, not just of those close to you, who have a stake in your well-being, but to the world and its brother, who don’t and are almost certainly not going to give a damn about how happy or stricken you’re going to be by their feedback.
But that’s not all, because whilst it was huge fun to write and a fascinating exercise to publish, you’re then supposed to gird your loins and take yourself boldly into local relevant establishments to let them know exactly what their readers will be missing if your book isn’t in stock.
And here I must come clean and confess, all I’ve ever managed, is a quick slink into a couple of libraries where I thrust the information into the hands of a startled lady behind a desk, muttered under my breath 'Book . . .local author . . . probably not your sort of thing at all ...' before scuttling out again at speed.
Indubitably, a little more work needed on the PR front!
Relatively Strange and Even Stranger are available from www.marilynmessik.co.uk
"I was five when I discovered I could fly, sixteen when I killed a man.
Both events were unsettling in their own way."
It’s hard to know what’s normal, if you’re not, and it takes Stella a while to realise she’s in the definitely ‘not’ drawer. But we are who we are and we make adjustments to fit in – most of the time – and it’s only when she finds she’s not quite as unique as she thought, that things begin to acquire a whole new dimension.
Forced to call on resources she didn’t know she possessed and thrust headlong into the violence of a situation for which nothing could have prepared her, Stella is suddenly face to face with the stark reality of medical experimentation and its horrifying consequences.
But in a world of uncertainties, one thing’s beyond doubt – this hero stuff really isn’t her. Normal, or as near as damn it, is what she wants and if that means smothering her instincts and adjusting her expectations well, so be it. At least she’ll then know should she slip off the wagon occasionally, it’ll be through choice, not chance and to suit herself. Isn’t it a fact though that just when you think you’ve got yourself sorted, life turns round and bites you?
Relatively Strange introduces a protagonist whose irreverent sense of humour, conviction she always knows best and inability to keep her mouth shut, will strike a chord with like-minded readers everywhere. Marilyn has been inspired by a number of authors, including Stephen King, Susan Hill and John Connolly.
‘Are you scared of me?’ I asked.
‘Oddly enough, no. Should I be?’
‘No. Well, not unless I lose my temper, but I’m careful about hanging on to it.’
With the swinging Sixties staggering, shamefaced and flustered, into the slightly staider Seventies, Stella’s life isn’t running half as smoothly as she’d like. As an ordinary person, who happens to have some extraordinary psychic abilities, it’s frustrating to find that even something as simple as holding down a job throws up unexpected hurdles. Of course – and she’s the first to admit – she’d be a lot better off if she could ditch the conviction that she always knows best. This shortcoming, combined with a chronic inability to keep her mouth shut and her nose out of other people’s business, has led her off the straight and narrow more than once.
But Stella’s perfectly clear how things are going to be from now on. It’s not she can’t handle sticky situations, she can, she just doesn’t want to – violence really isn’t her thing. Forward planning includes setting herself up in a successful business, sticking like glue to normal, squashing an over-active conscience and steering clear of anything remotely risky or unpleasant. Unfortunately, the best laid plans often lead to the darkest places...