Monday, August 31, 2009

Come Say Hello to Marcia with Me!

Meet Marcia Gruver...

Marcia is a full-time writer who hails from Southeast Texas. Inordinately enamored by the past, she delights in writing historical fiction. Marcia’s deep south-central roots lend a southern-comfortable style and touch of humor to her writing. Through her books, she hopes to leave behind a legacy of hope and faith. When she’s not plotting stories about God’s grace, Marcia spends her time reading, playing video games, or taking long drives through the Texas hill country. She and her husband, Lee, have one daughter and four sons. Collectively, this motley crew has graced them with eleven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter—so far.

SKC: You hail from Texas I see. What around your community inspires you into picking up your pen and begin writing?

MG: That’s the fun part. Though I could never tap out the rich history of my immediate community, I have the great big state of Texas to draw on for ideas. The word “grandeur” may have been overused to describe the vast Texas landscape, but it doesn’t do justice when used to tell of the remarkable lives of our citizens. I doubt I’d ever be at a loss for great Texas-based story ideas. That said, I have a new series in mind that begins outside our borders and wends its way back to Texas by book three. It took quite a historical event to lure me outside my state—even for a couple of books—and it’s a story I look forward to writing.

SKC: I like the way you speak about the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the writing of a Christian. What would you describe the moral premise of each of your stories, or with each book, how does it differ?

MG: In my Texas Fortunes Series (Diamond Duo, Chasing Charity, and Emmy’s Equal), all three books focus on forgiveness, feelings of unworthiness, and on God’s miraculous power to transform our lives. My next series will follow the same themes, but I sense a shift toward emphasizing God’s provision for his children in the here and now. However, since I haven’t finished writing the books, and because I try so hard to allow the Spirit to lead, this information is subject to change without notice.

SKC: I know you write full time. How disciplined are you each day, Marcia, and when did you begin to take it seriously?

MG: It’s remarkable how disciplined a formally undisciplined person becomes when faced with a deadline. I understand contracts are rather binding, so it takes the decision about whether or not to work right out of my hands. A contract will cause you to take writing very seriously. You do whatever it takes in the time you have to get the job done. Having recently turned in the last of a three book series, I took a few weeks off from meeting word counts and pages per day quotas, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself. Unfortunately, I suspect my little vacation will be short lived, and I’m praying for a double-dose of discipline to get me back on track.

SKC: How right you are. Okay, on another note, what are some favorite writings that you use to help you in your craft?

MG: I’ve heard authors caution against reading too much in your own genre, thereby reducing the risk of unconsciously plagiarizing, but I draw great insight from reading the skillful works of my peers. I have a large library of other historical authors—some of which I’ve read multiple times—yet I can safely say my books are wholly my own. For me, reading well-written books inspire me and spur me on to greater things.

SKC: I agree completely. What do you do when you are not writing, Marcia?

MG: I used to give my pat answer about video games and long drives in the country (see bio above). Lately I seem to be entering a new season, and my days are spent contemplating my future as an author and seeking God’s will for my life. I guess you might say I’m finally growing up a bit. But not too much!

SKC: It's an ongoing process, isn't it. I'm curious. Why did you select Barbour or did they select you?

MG: My association with Barbour was a mutual decision. At the same time I was actively pursuing them as my publisher, they offered me a three-book contract at the 2007 ACFW conference in Dallas. I admire Barbour for their strict moral code and unwavering Christian ethics, and I look forward to a long association with them.

SKC: Sounds like a great company. What do you think is one of the most important things you have learned so far since becoming a published writer?

MG: I’ll give you three:

1. It’s not as easy as it looks in the movies. Writing is very hard work.

2. With God’s help I can do anything I set my mind to do. People used to say this to me, and it sounded like a tired cliché, but no more. If an old gal like me can decide to write a book then wind up writing and publishing series of books, anything is possible.

3. People still read. . .and not just those who can’t afford cable. There are warm, kind-hearted, super-intelligent readers out there who are buying and devouring books. Literacy is alive and well in the USA!

SDC: Those are all equally important; I agree. What is next on the horizon for you, Marcia?

MG: Emmy’s Equal, the final book of the Texas Fortunes series, debuts in early October, so I’ll soon be packing my suitcase and traveling to book signings and other promotional events across the country. Also, I’ve broadly hinted at an upcoming three-book series. It’s still under wraps, but I’ll be making an official announcement soon. Very exciting stuff!

SDC: This has been a delightful conversation, I'm sure the readers will think so too. Tell us what question you have for the Pen for Your Thought readers, other authors, and aspiring authors. Something that will get us to thinking.

MG: With the astounding popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, what do you believe is the most compelling factor in the books? In other words, with lines forming across the nation to purchase these books and/or see the movies, what do you think is the reason for the magnetic draw?

SDC: Tell us about the book you want to donate to one of our readers, and where can we reach you.

MG: In celebration of my upcoming release, I can donate a copy of the first two books in the series: Diamond Duo and Chasing Charity. My website:

And you can order my books at,,, and most other online bookstores. You can also find my books at retail outlets such as Barnes & Noble and most Walmart stores. For an autographed copy, please visit .

Thanks so much for coming by, Marcia. And everyone who stops by, don't forget to send in your thoughts regarding Marcia's unusual question. Hope you win her books!

I have the winner!!! Congratulations to Edna Tollison of South Carolina. Your book is on its way!


  1. What great interview questions, Shirley. I loved your answers, Marcia.

    I devoured Diamond Duo and Chasing Charity and am eagerly awaiting Emmy's Equal. For those who haven't read Marcia's books, I highly recommend them. She has a fabulous voice and has become one of my must-read authors.

    Please don't enter me in the drawing. I've got copies of both books on my keepers shelf already.

  2. Great interview with Marcia, saw on Shoutlife she was interviewing here and like to read the blogs and interviews, nice to learn about all the authors, as I love to read so much. I read every night for about 4 hours at least and sometimes have to read a little longer as I just can't put the book down.
    Please enter me into the contest to win these 2 books.


  3. Hi, Keli! It's great to see you here. You've become my "most favoritest" fan.

    4 hours, Edna? You do love to read! You must be one of those "warm, kind-hearted, super-intelligent readers" I mentioned in the interview. Thanks for hopping over here from Shoutlife, and bless you for supporting all those authors.

  4. Great interview, ladies!

    Marcia, in answer to your question, I would have to say the draw to Stephenie Meyer's books has to be the love of a great story. I read the entire Twilight series after my daughter showed an inordinate interest in the books. She had great opening hooks, lots of teenage angst, and told a great love story. All of these add up to lots of sales!!

  5. hi I have not had the pleasure of reading any of Marcia's books but hope to read them answer her question.i think at some point in all of our lives we can be drawn to the darkness and the unknown.please enter me for the 2 books thanks
    God bless

  6. Kellie and Lisa, I agree with you both about the Twilight series, but I have a theory of my own that I'll share later. Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Wonderful interview! With regard to the Twilight stories I think the initial draw is the unusual plot. Once you start reading she hooks you with the exciting characters and the forbidden love story. You have to find out what happens next because you can't imagine how it can work out.


  8. Cherie J, I think you're right. I was intrigued by the success of the stories. As a writer, I wanted to find out for myself what all the excitement was about, so I read the first book of the series. For me the magnetic draw was the forbidden attraction between Edward and Bella.

    They say there are no original stories, just the same reworked plotlines. If that's true, Twilight is Romeo and Juliet with a very dark twist.

  9. You know I have never read the Twilight stories! I am going to have to check that them out, Marci and everyone else. I am curious! OF course, I have a feeling it will have to be in my spare time. (Whatever that is)

    I am loving the comments coming in for Marcia. Keep em coming!
    love much and blessing much shirley

  10. Loved the interview. Thanks.
    Janice Ian

  11. Shirley, I walked into a restaurant with my hubby and stood for several minutes waiting for the hostess to notice we were standing right in front of her.

    After a bit, my husband loudly cleared his throat. Embarrassed, the girl dragged her attention from the book in her hand and took us to our seats. I made sure to check the title on the spine, because I wanted to see what novel could be so engrossing. It was the first book of the Twilight series. When the girl snatched up the book the minute she got back to her station, I decided, as a writer, I'd better check out what was inside the cover.

    Have any of you ever watched a person totally lose themselves in a book?

    Janice, thanks for reading our interview. Good luck on the drawing.

  12. Great interview. I love your perspective on strong Christian themes in your books. It's what draws me to novels. It's what makes them worth reading. Please enter me in your contest. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  13. I wish I could respond to Marcia's question, but I don't go anywhere near the vampire genre. I do feel that I would love Marcia's books, however, and appreciate the chance to win copies. Thanks for a very interesting interview.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  14. Thanks, Linda. When I first started to write, I knew it had to be for God and His glory. I try so hard to fulfill that call.

    Carole, I understand your comment completely. There are books and movies in the popular culture that I'll never subject myself to. The vampire genre isn't for everyone. Including me!

    However, something about this series tugged at me. I felt a responsibility to offer Christian readers (and hopefully non-Christians, too) equally entertaining material. So I set out to discover the reason people (especially young women) were so drawn to these books.

    Wouldn't it be excellent to see excited people lined up for hours to purchase a book with a Christian message? Such a sight would thrill my soul, even if I wasn't the author signing those millions of copies. :)

  15. Great interview. I would love to win one of your books. AprilR