the fourth book in the novel series,
The Owen Family Saga
Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but
Her best friend says cowboy Bill Henry is a likely candidate, but Marie knows her class-conscious father would not allow such a pairing.
When she challenges her father to find her a suitable husband before she becomes a spinster, he arranges a match with a neighbor's son. Then Marie discovers Tom Morgan would be an unloving, abusive mate and his mother holds a grudge against the Owen family.
Marie's mounting despair at the prospect of being trapped in such a dismal marriage drives her into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers.
THE BIG Q & A with Author Marsha
A: Actually, hope itself. I had an epiphany several years ago when I realized that I write to let people know there is always hope, and to show them through the experiences of fictional characters that they can get through hard times, even really, really terrible times, and find happiness at the end of it all.
Q: What’s your secret to making the characters in your books come to life?
A: I get to know them very well. I have a sheet of questions I fill in about them, and I also interview them. Then I don't overwrite them with too much description. I let their actions define them, instead. That way, the reader invests the characters with their own unique qualities and peculiarities, and they come alive in the reader's mind.
Q: What makes you passionate about writing?
A: I so love indie publishing. It's a one-on-one opportunity for the writer to connect with a reader, without someone saying their publishing list is filled for the next three years so they can't use your work. I'm a bit of a rebel, I guess. The advent of widespread availability of electronic books is right up my alley. I only held off putting my work on Kindle because 1) I told myself it had to wait until I finished my current novel, and 2) I heard it was difficult and I didn't want to tackle the learning curve. It's actually quite within my skill set, and I should not have waited so long.
Q: What is your writing schedule like?A: I'm supposed to have a schedule?
I fall into the category of “Writers who wish they had a more structured writing schedule.”
Q: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?A: That terrible sound you hear is me groaning in agony. Yes, I encounter snags. My favorite way of dealing is to avoid and procrastinate, but that doesn't get the book written. The best way is for me to set very low expectations for myself so I don't self-sabotage. A lot of highly creative people have oppositional defiance, and I find that tendency is well-developed in me. To counteract it, my goal is often to write 25 words a day. I could do that on a sheet of toilet paper, right? Surprisingly, the tactic works.
Q: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
A: I've had a lot of influences through the years. However, I'll have to say that my [late] husband, Robert Ward, made the greatest difference. He believed in me. He supported me. He made it possible for me to live where I do and have the time to write.
Q: What authors do you admire, and why?A: Robert Newton Peck, whose writing contains the unexpected elements. Louis L'Amour, for his fastidious research. Elmer Kelton, for creating great characters. Frank Roderus, whose titles always have a multitude of meanings.
Q: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to publish their manuscripts?A: Two words: Indie publishing. There's nothing stopping a writer from making the connection directly to the reader anymore. Get started by reading the blogs/websites of JA Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith. Google will find them for you.
Q: What are you working on now?A: I'm doing research for the fifth novel in the Owen Family Saga, entitled Gone for a Soldier. This is Rulon Owen’s story of his experiences as an infantryman during the Civil War. We’re going to see what made Rulon the caring big brother you see depicted in Spinster's Folly. I’m very excited about the project. The American Civil War has had a deep pull on me since I was in high school. Let’s see how many errors I can avoid. Civil War enthusiasts are very picky.
Q: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?A: All the online booksellers, such as amazon.com and bn.com, have the trade paperback books. The easiest way to find all my online eBooks is to go to my author pages at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/marshaward and at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Marsha-Ward/e/B003RB9P9Q/ The eBooks are also on Kobo Books, and Diesel Books, in
Q: Final thoughts?A: I'll address this to writers: Believe in yourself, but learn all you can about writing, too. No first drafts are set in stone. Don't hang around negative people. Write at least 25 words a day. Listen to people to learn the flow of language. Find a good, encouraging group of writers who will show you the ropes. Read, read, read! When you start writing in earnest, find a good critique group. Reach down and help another writer along the way.
Books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Marsha-Ward/e/B003RB9P9Q
Ebooks on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/marshaward