7 Dec 2016

Interview with Dial Em for Murder author Marni Bates

Can you tell us a little about your latest book.
Absolutely! Emmy Danvers just wants to write undisturbed in a coffee shop when a total stranger steals her drink, gives her a cryptic warning, shoves her to the ground, and dies right on top of her. Her life only gets more twisted from there…
I had an absolute blast writing DIAL EM FOR MURDER.

What inspired you to write it?
I saw a wonderful play called Dead Man’s Cell Phone (written by Sarah Ruhl) but I left the theater obsessed with an entirely different plot that kept circling in my head. I wrote down little snippets of ideas in my journal and a few years later DIAL EM FOR MURDER just came tumbling out of me. Sebastian’s close relationship with his grandfather was definitely inspired by my own grandpa. Today is actually the 10th anniversary of his passing. I think of him every day.

Is it part of a series?
I’m already working on the sequel. I love spending time in Emmy’s head!

If your latest book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Ooh! Well, I could totally picture Holland Roden or Molly Quinn playing Emmy. And maybe David Lambert as Sebastian? And maybe Brett Davern as Ben? I could see that being a fun cast!

What made you want to become an author?
I was a book worm as a kid and showed an interest in writing at a young age. My mom kept telling me I should write a book, but it wasn’t until I was bullied by one of my teachers in high school that I really began to write. I used it as a way to process what had happened to me. The fictional version of myself was braver and snarkier and stronger and she had awesome friends and stood up for herself. And when I finished writing the first draft of that story, I felt invincible. Sharing my stories with the world instantly became my biggest goal in life.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
I love the cover to Ally Carter’s, THE HEIST SOCIETY. It’s fantastic!

Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you?
I read a book called I WANT TO GO HOME by Gordon Korman when I was in Elementary School and it changed my life forever. It was hilarious. Laugh-out-loud, fall-off-my-chair, everyone-is-staring-at-me-and-I-don’t-even-care funny. I didn’t know authors were allowed to be that funny. And making someone laugh over and over again seemed like the most wonderful talent in the world.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Gordon Korman’s books still inspire me. I met him last year and he was so incredibly nice! My friends inspire me to be the best version of myself, which often includes them pointing at my laptop and telling me to focus. I’ve found that hiking is a wonderful source of inspiration for me too! I love to travel and hiking allows me to constantly feel like I’m exploring the unknown.

Where is your favourite place to write?

I love writing in coffee shops! I like to work around other people, but with my headphones in and my music cranked up.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
I recently watched Reese Witherspoon’s amazing performance in WILD, which is based on the autobiography by Cheryl Strayed. I was struck by how faithful it was to her real life experiences on the Pacific Crest Trail. The movie was beautifully filmed, too.
I also love the first Princess Diaries movie! So wonderful.

Who is your favourite author (s) and why?
This is such a hard question for me! I think Alicia Thompson is absolutely brilliant. I read her book Psych Major Syndrome early on in my career and turned to my mom and blurted out, “I really want to be her best friend!” And it weirdly came true!
I also love reading books by Ally Carter, Laurie Halse Anderson (as long as I have a full box of Kleenex nearby), Tracy Deebs, Sophie Jordan, Katie McGarry, and oh man, so many authors! So many amazing books out there that I still need to read!

If you could have a dinner party with any author from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Jane Austen. I am a total PRIDE & PREJUDICE fanatic. I will watch any movie adaptation of that story that Hollywood wants to give me. They could do it as a space musical with opera singers and I would just grab the popcorn!

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I once threw an alligator in Egypt. I still feel guilty about it, too. It wasn’t the alligator’s fault that a man tried to put him on my shoulder. But my fear response kicked in and I sent the alligator flying across the room.
There was also the time a monkey stole my baseball cap in Gibraltar and an old man used his cane to grab it back for me!
Oh, and sometimes I can’t tell my left from my right.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
Portland Oregon is absolutely beautiful! There are tons of mountain trails just waiting to be explored. I try to take pictures of all my hikes! They make me smile on all the cold rainy Portland days when I stay inside with a huge cup of coffee. :)
Here are some fun pics from my local adventures!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Marni-Bates
Twitter: @MarniBates
Instagram: @marnibates

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