A New Year present

by Marie Marshall

LupaAn overlooked end to 2014 came to my attention due to an early-2015 tweet – someone was about to start reading Lupa, my debut novel, following an unsolicited recommendation. A little detective work led me to a review by author Michal Wojcik.

In his list of favourite reads of 2014, Michal puts my novel alongside Nicola Griffith’s Nebula-nominated Hild, multi-award-winning Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book, and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. That’s what I call company! Recommending Lupa, Michal says:

The writing is subdued, sparse, often mesmerizing. It’s a brisk read at only 130 pages, but I found myself thinking about it a long time after I read it. Let’s just say that there’s nary a wasted word here… Lupa is easily overlooked. But it shouldn’t be.

This was such a nice New Year present, and it is very gratifying to hear that a reader -particularly a fellow author – has enjoyed a book of  mine. In a comment in the thread below Michal’s article, someone has written “I’m running out to buy Lupa this very instant.” This kind of word-of-mouth is like gold-dust to an author. Well, I’m just away to read Michal’s short story ‘Mrs. Yaga’ here. I don’t know what to expect but I imagine that huts on chicken-legs will be involved…

I have had a re-think about what writing task to tackle in the spring. I think want to leave aside the element of fantasy – and that means any hint of steampunk, magic realism, or what have you – and engage in something which, though it might not exactly embrace the classical unities of time, place, and action, at least is based very much on ‘real world’ happenings. I am thinking of a setting that is historical, exotic (to me), and a story that is already familiar. However, my ongoing projects change like the direction of the wind. Oh, it can be fun being me!