Mariel Cove: Job Openings for Writers and a Series to Die For

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Mariel Cove Book Cover BW

Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 editor@angelsofanarchy.com 360.550.2071 phone/text
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lesbian Erotica Comes to the Kindle & iOS Mariel Cove is a queer drama released in weekly installments
Port Orchard, Washington April 2013
Set in a fictional Pacific Northwest seaside town, Mariel Cove follows the erotic and everyday lives of fourteen women – lives fueled by scandals and secrets, a central mystery and steamy sex all over the spectrum.

Written by a three-generation, multicultural team of six women writers, Mariel Cove’s cast of characters is incredibly diverse – racially, economically, and sexually. From the Puerto Rican “lesbian Anderson Cooper” Arianna Trenton, to the deaf Native American marina owner Tal Ryan, the cast is anything but whitewashed.

Though the series began as a 300-page serial novel released in 25-page weekly installments, it was compared to television shows like The L Word. But there’s very little lipstick worn in Mariel Cove and no one is living a privileged LA life – not Roisin, the cafe owner living with Huntington’s or her barista/bartender daughter, Aidan, who works in the city part-time with her trans* best friend.
Mariel Cove was created by lesbian author Jennifer DiMarco. Dubbed a literary wunderkind in the gay press twenty years ago, DiMarco has grown beyond the action-adventure romps that put her on the Seattle Times Bestseller List but she still knows how to craft a compelling story. With a hand-picked team of writers – each of whom “control” one or more characters – DiMarco plots the series and functions as editor.

Writers on the team include Katie Fairchild, Kimbar Halvorsen, Noel Meredith, Skye Montague, Rowan Reynir and Neale Taylor. All twelve episodes (weekly installments) in Season One have been written and went on sale on April 1, 2013.
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Find more information at http://MarielCove.AngelsofAnarchy.com
Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 editor@angelsofanarchy.com 360.550.2071 phone/text

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Come Visit Mariel Cove A 500-word article by Noel Meredith
Port Orchard, Washington April 2013
If you take six dykes – twenty-four to fifty-two – and tell them to write interconnected stories about lesbians like them living in an isolated almost-all-woman town, don’t expect them to get along. And never, ever tell them to “keep the drama on the page.” It’s impossible. We’re women, after all, and the queer community has changed as much as cell phones in the last three generations. Just because we’re queer, doesn’t mean we have anything else in common.
Apparently, that makes for a damn good story.

When Jennifer DiMarco (Escape to the Wind, Seasons of Fire, et al) asked me to write the central character in her serialized lesbian erotic drama called Mariel Cove, I immediately answered, “What?” Jennifer envisioned Mariel Cove as a television show in novel format. There would be a “season” of twelve weekly “episodes” and a team of writers would each control one to five characters. If characters shared a scene, we’d write together. The idea was remarkable but the mythology of the Cove was even better and Jennifer had it all charted out.

Puerto Rican and Sicilian, renowned investigative journalist Arianna Trenton would arrive in isolated Mariel Cove under false pretenses and a twenty-year-old mystery would start to unravel. Along with this character, Jennifer asked me to write Celeste, a Black transplant from New York, a twenty-something ex-bicycle messenger trying to raise her deaf, autistic brother on her own and running from… something. I shared key elements in common with these two characters and I’d rarely seen them represented in queer literature – let alone any literature. I could not pass up this job.
Every season, the characters would stay the same, but the focus and the mystery would shift, so I knew that Arianna wouldn’t always been front and center. The writing team was expected to be fluid and adjust to these changes. Not always writing the “star” didn’t bother me, but the idea of co-writing gave me a headache. Isn’t writing, after all, the perfect career for introverted, control freaks like me? Plus, what if Celeste had a scene with some white grrl who didn’t know what a fixed gear was? I dreaded signing into the private writers’ forum for days. I shouldn’t have.

Over the course of twelve weeks, the six of us — Katie Fairchild, Kimbar Halvorsen, Skye Montague, Rowan Reynir, Neale Taylor and myself – developed and wrote about characters who were often blackmailing each other, keeping secrets, falling in and out of love, butting heads and butting into one another’s business, all under Jennifer’s guidance to keep us cohesive and on-schedule. We praised each other after each episode was done, offered honest criticism and saw our preconceptions – be they about race, kink, outing, or age – fall aside while we strove to create the most entertaining scenes possible.

No, we didn’t always get along. But we never left the project. In some ways, we were just like the women of Mariel Cove. We existed in an isolated world of our own. Sure, in one episode, Celeste rode her motorcycle up the coast to blow off steam, but she came back. We always came back. Because Mariel Cove is worth visiting, worth losing yourself in, and just maybe, worth staying for.

We can’t wait to welcome readers to our little world.

Find more information at http://MarielCove.AngelsofAnarchy.com
Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 editor@angelsofanarchy.com 360.550.2071 phone/text

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An Interview with the Mariel Cove Creator Creator and editor Jennifer DiMarco answers questions about the series
Port Orchard, Washington April 2013

What is Mariel Cove?

Mariel Cove is a 300-page erotic drama written for queer women by queer women. The writing team used a television-like writing style and we’re releasing the book in weekly installments called “episodes.” Twelve episodes make up the first season. The series definitely has mystery elements as well – interconnected mysteries that unfold over the course of the season. Some are resolved by Episode 12, and some aren’t.

Where did you get the idea?

Two years ago, I took a break from the publishing industry to explore independent film. Mariel Cove is a marriage of the two mediums in many ways. A piece of fiction written by a group in a visual, fast-paced style. I started hearing a lot about serials being written for the Kindle and iOS but I couldn’t find any written by and for queer women. I thought we deserved that.

Why did you choose six new authors?

Over my fifteen-year career as a publisher, I’ve worked with both brand new and established authors. For Mariel Cove, I wanted six unique voices. Not one voice that everyone would look up to and emulate. I also needed egos checked at the door. Everyone on a level playing field; there was no “head writer.” There was just the writing team and me, the big bad editor. I looked for writers who were passionate about telling dramatic stories and writing hot sex scenes. I needed writers unafraid to create characters that push envelopes politically, sexually, and emotionally. Plus, I wish someone had given me a job like Mariel Cove twenty years ago.

How does group writing work?

The central plot for Season One was already written when the team was hired. It was like a tree with a trunk and some larger branches. The writers were hired to be in charge of specific characters. They each proposed some plot twists for their characters and added lots of back story and fine details. Once I approved all these new “facts,” I sat down with my associate editor, Brianne DiMarco, and we charted out every episode, scene by scene. Scene assignments would look like this:

Episode 1: Scene 1: Noel/Arianna. Arianna arrives on Conch Island by ferry and starts long drive to Mariel Cove. Reveal her appearance, job, general attitude. Her parents call. Reveal history of the Cove regarding Mariel Ridgeway.

There is a private online forum for the writers. I would post the assignments and the writers would write. Every scene is told in third person from one character’s POV. If you control that character, you write that scene. If another writer’s character is in your scene – a fight scene, a sex scene, any group scene – you write together in an online chat room or you write the scene alone and then run it by the other writer so they can tweak their character’s habits, outfit or dialogue. Each writer became an expert on her characters.

The cast is very diverse. Was that a conscious decision? The cast is very diverse. I didn’t grow up wealthy or in a white neighborhood, so I had no interest in a white-washed, upper class series. However, most of the fine details – the sexual variety, race, economics, diverse personalities and politics – were influenced by the writing team. Though I could generalize and say all our writing team is “queer,” for instance, where they place themselves on that spectrum is vast and varied. We also have a thirty-eight year age range among the team!

What’s planned for Mariel Cove: Season Two? We hope fans of the series will help us decide who should be the central character in Season Two. I do know that Season Two will take place a month after Season One closes and that a murder will occur during a massive super storm. The entirety of Season Two will take place over one week. I welcome fans to log into the fan forum or Facebook and let me know who they’d like to see more of.

Find more information at http://MarielCove.AngelsofAnarchy.com
Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 editor@angelsofanarchy.com 360.550.2071 phone/text

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Series Trailer & Community Resources Robust community sites and a dynamic trailer invite fans to interact with the writers
Port Orchard, Washington April 2013
Watch the Mariel Cove series trailer and an interview with the creator and editor, Jennifer DiMarco, at http://www.MarielCove.AngelsofAnarchy.com then join the Mariel Cove fan community at:
Twitter https://twitter.com/MarielCove
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MarielCove
Fan Forum http://marielcove.proboards.com
Blogger http://marielcove.blogspot.com/
Tumblr http://marielcove.tumblr.com/
Google Plus https://plus.google.com/110679777051131313984/posts
Email List Send a message to editor@angelsofanarchy.com to be added.
Text List Send a text to 360-550-2071 to be added.

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Sex. Scandal. Secrets.
A Weekly Erotic Drama for Queer Women.

Conch Island is the last island before the open sea, as far west as America allows. Mariel Ridgeway is a renowned painter and curator, a senator’s widow, and a legend in her time. When Mariel purchased a remote cove on the secluded island, she founded a cottage town of women living on the edge of the world.
But she had no idea how the raw forces of nature would fuel a town populated with passionate secrets.

“An erotic hybrid of ‘The L Word’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars,’
this is erotica by and for women. A smart, sexy, diverse and edgy drama filled with twists and mystery.”
–Jennifer DiMarco, Series Creator & Editor

Following the lives of fourteen fiery women, Mariel Cove is an erotic drama of interconnected mysteries, scandal and secrets. Styled like a television show, the series is written by a team of writers — each in charge of her own characters —
with twelve episodes in the first season.

Download a free excerpt, then get Episode 1 for just 99¢. Additional episodes are released every Monday for $1.99 or get the entire first season ebook now.
Book groups can order Mariel Cove in trade paperback in sets of ten.
Mariel Cove
erotica for women, by women
Season 1 is Available Now at
http://www.MarielCove.AngelsofAnarchy.com
for Kindle, PC and iOS

Attention writers:

Now hiring for new serials and the brand new season of Mariel Cove. Seeking diverse, sexy new voices that can commit to a schedule and are willing to work with a team.  Contact Jennifer DiMarco and find out more information at:

Find more information at http://MarielCove.AngelsofAnarchy.com
Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 editor@angelsofanarchy.com 360.550.2071 phone/text.

Mariel Cove S2

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Waiting for Violins: A Visit with Justine Saracen

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How did you get started writing lesbian fiction/romance? 

Basically, I have lived deep in fiction most of my life, though I suspect that is true of most gays and lesbians. As a child, I fantasized obsessively and of course with lots of kissing, but did it in chapters and dialog. It seems I was waiting for the universe to provide me a way to realize them in a formal way. That way was the Internet. I wrote fan fiction under the name of Elaine Sutherland for a couple of years, and then, when gay and lesbian presses came into existence, voila, I was ready.

We all know that fiction is more fun than real life. To be sure, my real life has been fun-filled enough. I’ve been in love, traveled abroad, learned a couple of foreign languages, gone scuba diving, swum with dolphins, etc. But I’ve spent more time working at a job, doing laundry/ shopping/dishes, parking the car, enduring the flu, cleaning the cat box, walking the dog etc.

In fiction, you cram all the high points together and leave out the drudgery. It’s way better than drugs.

What kind of characters do you most like to write about and why?

I write historical thrillers with a actual historical persons and LGBT characters moving around them. I’ve written about biblical times, ancient Egyptians, the Crusades, the Renaissance (Rome and Venice) and a great deal about World War II. In principle, I want to re-visit those events that we use to define ourselves, but ensure that the gays and lesbians, who were surely there, are visible. In the novel Sistine Heresy, it was easy because Michelangelo was almost certainly gay himself, so all I had to do was add a couple of lesbians (and painting, and ecclesiastical sex and torture) and I had my story. It took a bit more imagination to add us to the Crusades.

It’s also gratifying to try to get into the heads of great historical people, to try to imagine what was going on in the mind of Michelangelo, a Borgia pope, an Egyptian pharaoh, a Venetian Inquisitor, a disciple of Jesus, a secretary of Josef Goebbels, a soldier at Stalingrad, a fighter in the Résistance. You get to live a hundred lives (and fly planes, parachute into enemy territory, commit murder, torture heretics, visit the underworld, witness Hitler’s suicide, and have any kind of sex with anyone you want.) Did I mention the sex?

Tell us a little about your new release… 

Waiting for the Violins (March 2014) is the third of my World War Two novels and the most historical. When I moved to Brussels from New York a few years ago, I met so many people who had been touched by it. My best friend’s aunt (after whom she was named) was in the Résistance in the Ardennes and was killed by a sniper the day the Allies arrived. My friend brought me to see her grave and monument. Another elderly friend told of being surrendered at the age of three to a Catholic family by Jewish parents who perished at Auschwitz. We made a trip together to a concentration camp outside of Brussels. Deeply impressed by those accounts, I decided to weave them into a novel for which this is the plot summary.

Antonia Forrester, an English nurse, is nearly killed while trying to save soldiers fleeing at Dunkirk. Embittered, she returns to occupied Brussels as a British spy to foment resistance to the Nazis. She works with urban partisans who sabotage deportation efforts and execute collaborators, before résistante leader Sandrine Toussaint accepts her into the Comet Line, an operation to rescue downed Allied pilots. After capture and then escape from a deportation train headed for Auschwitz, the women join the Maquis fighting in the Ardenne Forest. Passion is the glowing ember that warms them amidst the winter carnage until London radio transmits the news they’ve waited for. Huddled in the darkness, they hear the coded message, “the long sobs of the violins” signaling that the Allied Invasion is about to begin.

litviakPlane

Name three things on your desk right now.

I write on my sofa, not at a desk. And surrounding me right now are a chaotic scattering of books for research and reference, a plate of crumbs and drying cheese left over from breakfast, and a sleeping dachshund desperately in need of a bath. (Oh, dear. I must give the impression of being a terrible housekeeper.)

What are some of your favorite lesbian fiction/romance/erotic authors?

– Sarah Waters, because she is so good at surprising the reader.

– Jane Rule   Until she died, I checked every month to see if she had published anything new.

– Jane Wagner, better known as Lily Tomlin’s wife. She wrote all the material for Lily’s Broadway show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life, the screenplay for The Incredible Shrinking Woman, and a bunch more of Lily’s material. A real wit, this woman.

None of these women can be considered romance or erotic authors, but there is such a powerful and intelligent lesbian sentiment behind their writing that it makes me want to belong to them.

Favorite dessert?

Duh. Chocolate, of course.  I live in Belgium.

(Lucky!!!)

Plotter or pantster?

I am always puzzled by this dichotomy since I don’t think anyone can write a whole novel without having some overall plot arc in mind, otherwise they just meander aimlessly. It’s only a question of how much detail you have in the outline in your head. Myself, I like to know where my characters are going in advance and what kind of trouble they’re going to get into. The creative part is filling in the details and dialogs and threading motifs through the story. A historical fiction writer is also bound by the actual historical chronology. Unless you’re writing paranormal or steampunk, you can’t have your heroines make love in a building that was bombed a year ago, or visit a temple that hasn’t been built yet, or be interrupted by someone who was dead for a century.

What are you working on now?

I’m so glad you asked. “The Witch of Stalingrad” is about a female pilot in the Soviet Air Force in World War Two. It’s based on Lilya Litviak, a beautiful young fighter pilot who shot down a lot of German planes and looked like Jennifer Saunders. I’m quite smitten with her, which I suppose is rather inappropriate because a) she was much too young for me, and b) she’s…well….dead. She was shot down herself at the age of 21. The other heroine is an American journalist based on the figure of Margaret Bourke-White, also a very interesting lady who was in Moscow (photographing Stalin) the day the Germans invaded. This manuscript has me in its grip, although research has been a challenge. So much of the biographic material on Litviak is in Russian. But to inspire myself, I bought a gymnasterka, one of those tunics belted at the waist that all the Soviet soldiers and aviators wore, and some fake medals. Now I dream of flying planes. This is due, in no small measure, to Julie Tizard, a pilot friend who suggested the subject in the first place and who has given me an unhealthy desire to get into small planes.

Let me end this interview by thanking Lesfic and Lipstick for inviting me to show off a little. Every lesfic blog and website and Facebook page keeps the ideas (the gay agenda??) circulating and all of you are part of the ‘show.’ Those of us who perch – or wallow on our sofas – for endless hours in front of our screens making stuff up really depend on your presence and interest. If you were here, I’d buy you some fantastic chocolate. Bisous from Brussels.

Link to Bold Strokes Books for purchases:

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/Author-Justine-Saracen.html

Saracen Portrait

About the author:

A recovered academic, Justine Saracen started out producing dreary theses, dissertations and articles for esoteric literary journals. Writing fiction, it turned out, was way more fun.  With seven historical thrillers now under her literary belt, she has moved from Ancient Egyptian theology (The 100th Generation) to the Crusades (2007 Lammy-nominated Vulture’s Kiss) to the Roman Renaissance.

Sistine Heresy, which conjures up a thoroughly blasphemic backstory to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes, won a 2009 Independent Publisher’s Award (IPPY) and was a finalist in the ForeWord Book of the Year Award.

A few centuries farther along, WWII thriller Mephisto Aria, was a finalist in the EPIC award competition, won Rainbow awards for Best Historical Novel and Best Writing Style, and took the 2011 Golden Crown first prize for best historical novel.

The Eddie Izzard inspired novel, Sarah, Son of God followed soon after. In the story within a story, a transgendered beauty takes us through Stonewall-rioting New York, Venice under the Inquisition, and Nero’s Rome. The novel won the Rainbow First Prize for Best Transgendered Novel.

Her second WWII thriller Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bright, which follows the lives of four homosexuals during the Third Reich, won the 2012 Rainbow First Prize for Historical Novel. Having lived in Germany and taught courses on 20th Century German history, Justine is deeply engaged in the moral issues of the ‘urge to war’ and the ease with which it infects.

Beloved Gomorrah, (2013) marked a return to her critique of Bible myths – in this case an LGBT version of Sodom and Gomorrah — though it also involves a lot of Red Sea diving and the dangerous allure of a certain Hollywood actress.

Saracen lives on a “charming little winding street in Brussels.” Being an adopted European has brought her close to the memories of WWII and engendered a sort of obsession with the war years. Waiting for the Violins, appearing in March 2014, tells of an English nurse, nearly killed while fleeing Dunkirk, who returns by night parachute as a British spy and joins forces with the Belgian resistance.

When dwelling in reality, Justine’s favorite pursuits are scuba diving and listening to opera. She can be reached by way of www.justinsaracen.com, through FB justinesaracen, and at Twitter as JustSaracen.

Thank you Justine for coming on the blog today. I am looking forward to reading your new book!