Author Interview: Marla Madison

Hello Marla!  It’s a pleasure to have you join Self Published Authors!  You’re book, She’s Not There, sounds like a fantastic read. 


Author Name:  Marla Madison
Book Title: She’s Not There
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Women are missing . . .
Is the rising number of abused women who’ve gone missing a statistical anomaly? Or is predator targeting this vulnerable group of women?
Genre:            Suspense
How much does your book cost? $2.99
Where is “She’s Not There” available?   Right now it is only published as an eBook. The hard copy will be available in about two more months.
On Amazon –
Smashwords –
Please tell us a bit about your new book:  The storyline revolves around abused women going missing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
A psychologist who works with abused women, an ex-cop who is now a PI, and husbands of two of the missing women begin a search to find out why the women are going missing.
The police have refused to open a case. No bodies have turned up and they believe many factors could be responsible for missing women.
How did you create your characters?  Hard to answer exactly how I create them. I try to keep them interesting and unusual, but still real and believable, people the reader will identify with.
Since writing the book I’ve realized that the characters which are completely fictional have come across as more interesting than the ones crafted after myself or people I’ve met. Something for me to work on in my next novel.
What drove you to write a suspense novel?  My lust for reading! I’ve been a reader since I was a kid and always wanted to try writing my own book. I finally had time to try my hand at it. Suspense is about the only genre I read these days. I find that kind of book to be an exciting get-away from everyday life.
What criticism have you received that helped you to grow as a writer?  Wow, there have been so many! I think the most important one, excluding things like style and grammar, is that less is more. After having my book edited, I trimmed away nearly a quarter of the entire book. And it’s still rather long. Realizing that the cutting process is a good thing is a difficult concept for a new author to accept.

Do you have an agent? Do you think they are vital to an author’s success?  I believe the need for an agent and publisher is changing dramatically with the digital movement. One of the things most attractive to an e-publisher, like myself, is that I control how the book is marketed. Maybe even more important, is having freedom from being dictated to write in a set formula for my genre. For example, an agent would tell a writer that in order for a suspense book to be successful, there has to be a dead body on page one and the book would have to follow a set formula for the genre.

My novel begins with a definite lack of dead bodies but raises a question about why abused women are going missing in such high numbers. Against typical expert advice, my suspense builds as the novel progresses rather than slapping the reader in the face with it in the first four chapters. Some readers will like that and some won’t.

In e-publishing, there are no rules. Set formulas and genres have become a thing of the past, most evident by the many cross-genre books that are so popular today as eBooks.

 How do you plan to market She’s Not There?  Tough question!  I’ve been working on my social networking online and trying to get interviews and reviews. It’s a long, slow process. I have contracted for an ad on KindleNation that won’t be on until December. Unfortunately, some advertising will be costly in order to really get good coverage. I share company with other new authors in this marketing dilemma.
How did you celebrate becoming an author? What can I say?  Due to what I knew would be the challenge of marketing the book, my celebration was cautiously optimistic! I had to celebrate with more work—working on marketing the book and moving forward with the next one.
Do you have any advice you’d like to pass on to up and coming authors?  Do your homework! Ask yourself what you want to get out of being a writer and find out what’s involved in accomplishing it. I find goals to be very important, both for getting started and finishing a project.
If you know what genre you want to write, read, read, read. Find the best authors in that genre and get familiar with what they do that works.
For me, being in a critique group of local writers was the answer to getting motivated to write an entire novel. I highly recommend this for any new author, although I’m aware that there are other opinions on this. A group will keep you going and force you to continue working during times you get lazy or distracted.
And while writing, build a social networking presence.
 Author Bio:

Marla Madison has been employed as a factory worker, a hairdresser, a medical technologist, a mediator, and currently works part-time doing arbitrations for the State of Iowa and the Federal Mediation Service.
Working full-time now as an author, Marla is penning her second novel of suspense while She’s Not There, her first, has just become an eBook.
At home in Northwestern Wisconsin, she lives on Prairie Lake with her significant other, Terry, a beloved shelter-dog, Skygge, and Poncho, an opinionated feline from the same shelter.
Some of her favorite things are playing duplicate and tournament bridge, golfing, reading, and taking long walks with her dog.
Contact her at:


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