I’m pleased to introduce you to Marni Mann on this week’s edition of Soapbox Spotlight. Marni has written an incredible book called Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales: a Story of Addiction about a young woman’s struggle with drugs. The book sounds absolutely incredible so without further ado, I’ll let Marni take it from here.
Tell us about yourself, Marni.
A New Englander at heart, Marni Mann, now a Floridian, is inspired by the sandy beaches and hot pink sunsets of Sarasota. A writer of literary fiction, she taps a mainstream appeal and shakes worldwide taboos, taking her readers on a dark, harrowing, and gritty journey. When she’s not nose deep in her laptop, she’s scouring for chocolate, traveling, reading, or walking her four-legged children. Her debut novel, Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales, was published by Booktrope in December 2011. The sequel, Scars from a Memoir, will be released summer 2012.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was able to hold a pen and could produce something that didn’t resemble a bunch of squiggles. It’s my form of expression. It’s when I drop my inhibitions, reveal the darkness that lives inside, and turn completely vulnerable.
What genre of books do you read, or do you stick with the genre you write in?
Literary fiction, the genre I write, is my favorite to read. Honestly, though, I’ll read anything. I recently finished the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy and just started Hunger Games. Before Fifty, I read Joe Vampire by Steven Luna. My taste is really all over the place.
What inspired you to write your first book, and what was it?
I have addicts in my life and a particular situation occurred. It flattened me. I’d seen the different places addiction could take someone, emotionally and physically, and I held their hand through those times. But this situation was too much for even me. I had questions, there were no answers, and no clarity in sight. My pain turned into a novel: Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales.
Can you share a little of it with us?
Leaving behind a nightmarish college experience, nineteen-year-old Nicole and her best friend Eric escape their home of Bangor, Maine to start a new life in Boston. Fragile and scared, Nicole desperately seeks a new beginning to help erase her past. But there is something besides freedom waiting for her in the shadows—a drug that will make every day a nightmare.
With one taste, the love that once flowed through Nicole’s veins turns into cravings. Tracks mark the passing of time, and heroin’s grip gets tighter. It holds her hand through deaths and prostitution, but her addiction keeps her in the darkness. When her family tries to strike a match to help light her way, Nicole must choose between a life she can hardly remember, or a love for heroin she’ll never forget.
Coke gave me energy. Ecstasy made me dance and want to be touched. Shrooms made me hallucinate. But heroin. Shit. Heroin was kind. It didn’t trip me out like acid or bring me into a dark hole like PCP. It showed me the quietness of the waves.
Wow! This book sounds amazing! How did you come up with the title?
The line, “memoirs aren’t fairytales”, appears in my novel, and as soon as I wrote it I knew it had to be the title. It fits the story perfectly; it’s confusing, intriguing, and catchy. The novel is very much written like a memoir, and I don’t believe memoirs have happy endings like fairytales.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
My protagonist, Nicole Brown, has some deep scars that are both emotional and physical. For a young girl, she’s witnessed and experienced more than most do in a lifetime. It took me 2.5 years to write this book and during that time, I carried her scars. They kept me awake at night. They appeared in my dreams. They haunted me. It wasn’t easy.
I totally understand that feeling! It was that way with me with my main character in The Grim. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The underlying message is addiction isn’t a choice; it’s a disease. I know I can’t change the world’s perception and make everyone believe addiction is a disease. I know I can’t convince every teenager not to try drugs. But if I can change one opinion or stop a young adult from heading towards that downward spiral, my novel is a success.
What are your current writing projects now?
I just finished the sequel titled, Scars From A Memoir. I hope to have it released this summer. Following the sequel’s release is a young adult (YA) version of Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales.
If your book became a movie, who do you see playing your main characters?
Mila Kunis or Natalie Portman would be perfect for Nicole’s role. They excel at dark storylines, they aren’t afraid to get dirty, and they clean up well.
They were both incredible in Black Swan. What do you do to unwind and relax?
I travel, read, take really long showers, go to the spa, sleep, and make frequent trips to the chiropractor because my writing posture is breaking my back.
I heard that! Thanks for being with us Marni!
You can find Marni at these great sites:
You can find her incredible book at: