A visit with Marik Berghs

NewCoverGN-AmazonWhat genre(s) do you write in and why?

I write fantasy for YA, because as Tamara Pierce said it is the only genre where you can use the words honor and integrity and not have to qualify them. I thought about that a lot and have come to agree. Humans have always been hungry for the white knights, the super heroes and heroines, the larger than life beings that represent the best of who we can be. Mythology and folklore are the archives for these types of stories and now we flock to see the stories and the heroes and heroines in movies or in comic books. I want to write about characters that every reader wants to be.

Tell us about your current series.

The series that I’m writing now is fantasy set in a contemporary realistic place (southern Illinois, northern Kentucky and Tennessee). In essence the books are the stories of four young people of different cultures that have often been at war. I wanted to know how the characters could find their way around all that history in order to save their lives and their homes. The girls are human and the males are Fae, it just happened to work that way though there are many Fae females and human males in the series too. The heroine is mouthy, vulnerable, loyal to a fault and funny. She is seventeen when the series begins and has a secret she can’t afford to let anyone know.

What inspired your latest book?

I started writing the series over 12 years ago when my granddaughter suggested that we write a book together. These storyline has evolved but the heroine is still named the name that Hannah suggested—Lunabel. Over the years as new characters presented themselves it just seemed natural to tell their stories. I like the fact that they are undergoing the same events but their filters color their experiences so they each see things differently. I’m fascinated by that in real life: seeing how people perceive the same things in different ways. I wanted to give this girl a superpower, unlike any I’d ever read about and so I did. She can make sound. We are just finding out how powerful sound can be so I have a lot of research I can work with as well as my imagination.

Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? Why?

I am an eclectic reader but usually don’t read in my genre. I become impatient if the world building is sloppy, or doesn’t hold up, or the characters are flat. I would rather read other genres where I am not as easily disappointed. That said there are some fantasy writers where I will read anything they write. Tamora Pierce, Julian Mays, Neil Gaiman, love them.

Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?

The books in the Sanctuary series are fantasy but I write in other genres too. I am working on two other series, one is a contemporary mystery series and the other an historical mystery series.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

I grew up in traditional publishing. My dad owned a small newspaper, so the process of producing written materials was a part of my upbringing.  Indie publishing just seemed like an organic step for autonomy. I had worked with small presses and had a short stories and articles published through traditional venues but I wanted more control over my product than even a small press offered. Control and traditional publishing don’t work in the same context. They really are two separate beasts and I’m not suited to the traditional process, where as, I speak self-pub as a second language. This works for me because I knew all the steps that were needed to translate a manuscript into a book. I also know the process of bringing the book to market. Thanks to the online distributers it really is possible to take control of your intellectual property and go with it.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

Don’t expect a simple process and learn about the whole industry before you commit yourself. Especially know the difference between Indie publishing and Vanity Presses. It is inexpensive to publish your own book but it isn’t free. Join groups that focus on self-publishing, belong to a professional writer’s organization and attend talks that other writers are giving so that you can ask questions.

Tell us about your hero. 

Jeremy, you mean other than he can read the future, do magic and is really a 400 year-old El’Vanin? Those are the extraordinary things about him but the more natural, or human side of him is the most interesting to me. He is honorable, compassionate, loyal and has a great sense of humor. He finds every thing that Lunabel does delightful. His weakness would be his tendency to be too honorable. And yes there are times he needs to be more flexible in his interpretation of the world and events. That being said, I love his sense of honor.

Tell us about your heroine.  Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses

Lunabel is a good friend. She is fiercely loyal and honest, with a soft heart and lots more courage than good sense. She loves to read and hang out in the forest. Boys were never an interest for her until she meets Jeremy and then against her naturally skeptical self she is drawn to him.

Her weakness is that she doesn’t have confidence in herself. She has to learn that people won’t reject her if they know her secrets. And she has a huge secret.

Something for readers.

Readers should know that they are part of an artistic equation. When a writer writes they use a piece of creative spirit. That is enough for some writers but for me what makes my writing important is connecting with a reader. I pay close attention to what they say and am lucky to have people willing to read my work for critiquing and other people who read my work for review. Reviews are the pay off, that is when you hear what your readers find in your words. If you have enjoyed a book, leave a review, even just a few words means a lot.

EXCERPT From The Fae Wars – Grace Notes

I was three-years-old when I shattered all the glass in our living room. I remember sitting on the floor in the late afternoon sun, watching the dancing motes of light. I hummed and the specks spun and moved in patterns. Throwing up my arms, I danced and hummed and sang. Then I was fascinated with the way things rattled in concert with my sounds. When my grandmother’s metal plates thumped lightly against the walls, my five-year-old sister Myra got nervous.

“Stop it, Lunabel!” she’d shouted.

Too late! I was experimenting with variations of volume and pitch. I could make the windows buzz and the dining room chairs thrum.

Mom hurtled into the room, tripping over a low table. Unable to catch her footing, she smashed into the table corner and fell.

“George, she’s doing it again,” she moaned, rubbing her knees before she climbed upright again. Dad swooped in. He rescued a porcelain vase that had wobbled towards the edge of the bookcase.

By then Mom had limped over and picked me up. She held me away from her body like a leaky bag of garbage. “She’s vibrating, I can feel it through her bones.”

Dad lifted me from Mom’s arms and held me against his chest.

“Music!” Caught up in my game, I looked out the French doors in the living room and shrieked. Every pane of glass in the doors splintered, making its own tinkling noise.

“Mama, Mama, Mama,” Myra screamed. Her noise startled me and then I screamed. Light bulbs popped, the living room went dark and the explosion of leaded glass and double-paned windows caused Dad to spin around shielding me with his back. My crying forced the breath from my lungs. This scared me even more. I gasped, recovered and was winding up to resume my outrage.

Dad began to sing, softly.

“Sing a song of sixpence, pocket full of rye . . .”

Worn out, my cries subsided, replaced by dry sobs.

“Softly, princess,” Dad said, as he carried me upstairs to the rocking chair in my room.

“We need to let the house rest, sweetie.”

Mom followed us. Her eyes were narrowed and her lips stretched across her teeth.

“George, what are we going to do with her? She’s a freak,” she said. “There is no medical explanation for this.” Her voice was tight and harsh against my ears, like an arctic wind.

Mom would have known, she was a medical doctor.

Now I understand that my mother was horrified and afraid and more than a little overwhelmed. By unspoken family agreement, the episode was locked in a vault of shame. I remember exactly what everyone said that night. Not only can I make sounds that resonate with the things around me, I also have absolute echoic memory. This means I remember every sound, every nuance of sound, and I can reproduce it exactly every time.

I remember the tone of my mother’s voice when she told Dad I was a freak. I knew Mom was afraid. I knew.

I hear what people mean when they speak. I hear the words. I remember pitch. But most importantly, I hear the emotions hidden between their words.

Sound is a language of many levels.

  • The Fae Wars – Grace Notes
  • Print Length: 375 pages

Buy at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fae-Wars-Grace-Notes-Sanctuary-ebook/dp/B00DFOTHJI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470960693&sr=8-1&keywords=the+fae+wars


Lunabel has a secret she doesn’t want anyone to know. Jeremy Fields, needs to know it. What happens next is magic. The small town of Thornhill, Illinois, exists at the edge of an ancient forest where the last of the Fae nations have created their Sanctuary. In this fantasy series of blending cultures, and the shifting realities between things that are known and not yet known, trust must persevere despite taboos and fears of betrayal. And life and love must find a way…

Strong female characters, amazing magical creatures, a smattering of real science that is stranger than fiction and is cleverly disguised as magic.

Longerhair copyAUTHOR INFO

Marik Berghs has been writing since the first time she noticed invisible horses. First she drew them and then she wrote about them. In the intervening years she has branched out to include other creatures and some humans in her stories. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area where magical thinking sometimes passes for reality.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *