Tag Archives: fantasy writer

Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Toni Smalley

Posted by August 12th, 2013

Toni Smalley

I am happy to welcome Toni Smalley to the Book Country Member Spotlight! ~NG

Toni Smalley spent her childhood summers on her great-grandparents’  farm where she bailed hay, sang B-I-N-G-O, and ran around the meadows like a mischievous pixie. On the farm, her imagination grew like the apples in her grandparents’  orchard, and her athleticism sprung out of the peach basket her great-grandpa tacked up on a tree.

Toni holds degrees in Communications and Forensic Accounting. She also played Division I basketball at Niagara University. 

After developing a career-ending knee condition, she turned to writing for comfort. Over the past few years, she has been honing the craft, constructing the universes of her stories, and is now getting closer to unleashing them into the world.

NG: How did you become a writer?

TS: I remember my first story. I was nine years old, sitting on a boulder with the sun burning my skin as I listened to backhoes rumbling in the fields. I grew bored watching my father dig up dirt, and my thoughts drifted to Africa. Why Africa? Maybe the desert-like conditions, I’m not entirely sure. I found a legal pad in my dad’s truck and began to transcribe the life of an Egyptologist who unearths a human statue that awakens at night to kill people. Oddly, my third-grade teacher praised the murderous African statue, and that’s when I knew writing was important to me.

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Marshall Maresca

Posted by June 10th, 2013

Science fiction and fantasy have always captured my imagination—they offer endless possibilities.

Marshall Maresca is a Book Country member from Austin who primarily writes city-based traditional fantasy—a place where urban, epic, and traditional fantasy stories coalesce. On his blog, he lets readers look under the hood and see maps from his fantasy worlds. For the member spotlight, we chat with Marshall about his books, fantasy worldbuilding, and writing villains. 

Nevena: Thanks for joining us. Let’s get to brass tacks: when did you start writing and what inspires you to carry on?

Marshall: I was dabbling for quite a while, more talking about what I wanted to write instead of actually writing it. In 2007, though, I went through a bit of a crisis of vocation—I had been saying I wanted to be a writer, but what was I really doing about it? So that’s when I put my nose to the grindstone to really get projects done. And, now, with three novels out shopping with my agent, and a fourth about to go out, I’ve come too far to give up! Continue reading

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