By Mari Anne ChristieGiveaway:
Mari will be giving away a quill pen (like Harry's) and powdered ink, a swag pack including Harry's Editorials Collection, and a e-copy of the book to one winner.
Facebook Launch Party, July 28th, 2pm - 8 pm MDT: https://www.facebook.com/events/724880974366499
Interview with Mari Anne Christie:
Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Mari Anne Christie. Welcome! I'm so excited to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Mari Anne Christie: Hi, there! Thanks for hosting me. I’ve been a professional writer and designer in Colorado for more than 25 years, writing fiction for the past eight years. I don’t do much besides write, since I am a tech writer at my day job, and write books in all my spare time.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Mari Anne Christie: Aside from the launch of Blind Tribute, I am starting to rewrite my first book, to make it into a series. The Lion’s Club is set in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, New York, and is focused on the outright criminal side of Tammany Hall. Not the politicians and their graft, necessarily, but the liquor and gambling and prostitution that paid for the votes they needed. The series centers on three children who grow up connected, in one way or another, to the criminal culture that thrives in their neighborhood.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for either your current release or your current WIP?
Mari Anne Christie: In both cases, from family stories. Blind Tribute’s protagonist is very loosely based on my maternal great-great uncle, Percival Whaley, who was an internationally known journalist before journalists were known internationally. The Lion’s Club is based, again very loosely, on stories my paternal grandmother told me about growing up in Brooklyn in the 1920s and 30s.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite snack that you like to munch on while writing? If so would you mind sharing what it is with us?
Mari Anne Christie: I live to snack! That said, what I might be munching on at any given time is entirely dependent on my mood.
Crystal: When you are not busy writing wonderful stories to keep us lucky readers entertained, what do you like to do? Do you have a hobby?
Mari Anne Christie: I like to hang out with my cats, but often, they hang out with me while I write. I don’t do much else, really. I am a member of the Denver Press Club, so occasionally, I wander in for a beer, but the reason I am a member is because the conversation invariably revolves around writing.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite background noise you like to having going while you write (TV, Music, kids playing)?
Mari Anne Christie: Silence. Always silence.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
About four in the afternoon, finally feeling the previous night’s lack of sleep, Harry barely heard a tentative tap at his newsroom office door, through the mental noise of his contemplation. He sat back and rolled his shoulders. When he didn’t immediately respond, the rapping grew a bit bolder. Yes, he had heard it. And good timing, too.
As soon as he saw the messy, reddish-brown hair above a freckled forehead, Harry forced a frown and barked, “O’Riordan! Again?”
A slip of a boy slunk into the room, looking over his shoulder out the door, quickly shutting it behind him. In a whisper, the boldest and most troublesome of Harry’s newsboys said, “Mr. Campton didn’t send me this time. I mean… he didn’t catch me doing anything wrong.”
“And yet,” Harry said, his eye on the clock, “are you not meant to be on a street corner right now, selling papers?”
A flush of red in his cheeks brought out the auburn in Billy O’Riordan’s hair. The boy managed to squeak out, “I paid one of the others to cover my shift, Sir. So I could come when I knew you would be here.” He looked over his shoulder again, as though he could see through the pebbled glass if he were in trouble.
Harry raised his right eyebrow, and put down his pen. “Am I given to understand Miles doesn’t know you have sneaked through his newsroom to interrupt me without an appointment?”
Billy’s foot scuffed the carpet. “No, Sir. I hid until he went to the press room.”
“You must have something important to say, to risk your job like this.” He pulled out a pocket watch. “I will give you three minutes.”
Billy spoke in a wavering voice, progressively gaining volume and speed as Harry kept his eyes on his watch.
“Two of your copyboys are joining up with the Army now that the war started, and more as soon as they think about it, and you should hire me to replace them.”
Harry’s head shot up, and both eyebrows hit his hairline. “I don’t hire copyboys younger than sixteen, and you just turned twelve. We have had this conversation six times, O’Riordan, the last with your mother in attendance.”
It seemed Billy wasn’t about to let Harry cut into the three minutes he had been allotted. “I’m the only newsboy who reads the paper from front to back every day, even if I don’t understand it all, and your rule about only hiring copyboys older than sixteen is… arbortary and completely unfair. By the time I’m sixteen,” Billy argued, “I will have missed covering the whole war.”
As though a copyboy would ever be sent to cover a war. Harry swallowed a snort. “The word is arbitrary.”
“Arbritary, then. It means you made it up for no good reason.”
Billy pulled a crumpled note from his English teacher from the pocket of his grubby coat, and slapped it down on Harry’s desk, confirming he was a good student with enormous potential and punctuating his demand in a way no reporter of any age, anywhere in the world, would ever attempt. Before his three minutes was up, he finished with, “I’ll be the best copyboy you ever saw, Mr. Wentworth. Easily better than Paulson and Keller combined, as soon as they leave.”
The boy’s audacity left Harry speechless, quite possibly the only reason Billy could make his arguments at all.
But not for long. Harry regained his tongue to deliver a dressing down heard throughout the building, for a multitude of crimes, including abandoning the job he had, not speaking to Miles before interrupting Harry, failing to make an appointment, maligning two valued staff members who were older and smarter than Billy, making Harry repeat his policies one time too many, and generally making a nuisance of himself with the wrong man at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.
When it was finished, Harry ushered the white-faced, just-turned-twelve-year-old into the newsroom and bellowed, “Is there any man here who thinks he can come into my office and make demands about what job he should do?” The room fell deadly silent, and Billy stared at the floor. Harry glared at him with as much severity as he could muster. “You want to be a reporter, go investigate how you should have applied for a job in my newsroom, and who you need to talk to if you want to be paid for it.”
Miles dashed over to grab Billy by the ear, and Harry said to him, “See how he does in the newsroom. But keep him away from the foundry and don’t put up with any nonsense.” He looked at the boy. “One week, O’Riordan. You just lost the job you had, and you have one week to make Miles want to keep you in this one.” Harry handed him a broom. “Keep my floor spotless, and don’t talk at all while you do it.”
It took a full five minutes back in his office for Harry to exhaust the silent laughter building up in his chest during the entire encounter. He had, in fact, mentioned to Miles not a week past, “We really do need to find a way to bring O’Riordan inside. With limits, of course.”
Limits, indeed. Silence was a good start for a twelve-year-old in a newsroom. And it might last an hour or two.
Crystal: Thanks for visiting. It has been a pleasure having you visit today. Can you think of anything else you would like to share with us today?
Every newspaper editor may owe tribute to the devil, but Harry Wentworth’s bill just came due.
As America marches toward the Civil War, Harry Wentworth, gentleman of distinction and journalist of renown, finds his calls for peaceful resolution have fallen on deaf—nay, hostile—ears, so he must finally resolve his own moral quandary. Comment on the war from his influential—and safe—position in Northern Society, or make a news story and a target of himself South of the Mason-Dixon Line, in a city haunted by a life he has long since left behind?
The day-to-day struggle against countervailing forces, his personal and professional tragedies on both sides of the conflict, and the elegant and emotive writings that define him, all serve to illuminate the trials of this newsman’s crusade, irreparably altering his mind, his body, his spirit, and his purpose as an honorable man. Blind Tribute exposes the shifting stones of the moral high ground, as Harry’s family and friendships, North and South, are shattered by his acts of conscience.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Anne’s face contorted, red with rage. Her entire being seemed to swell three sizes. As many weeks as Harry had been considering this evening’s discussion, so had she. She would spring at him any moment with two weeks’ worth—two months’ worth—of argument she’d been amassing. He should have known; she’d been much too accommodating of his opinions thus far.
“Far be it from me to keep you from suicide, Palmer, for I shall be a very merry widow, but you cannot expect me to uproot my children over a minor conflict about which you have a bad feeling. You would have me leave everything I know to assuage your fears for our safety, when you refuse to stay and ensure it yourself?! I have family here, and a home, and two girls to present and marry. There is no chance the fighting will reach Pennsylvania before the insurrection is put down, and I’ll not disrupt everything for you, or for this ridiculous war!”
Instead of backing away, he stepped forward. “I married you because you read the newspaper, Anne, and because you do not usually speak drivel. Can you be so short-sighted? You would refuse to take our children to safety, simply because it is I who suggest it?” He raised his voice for the first time since their argument began. “No, Anne! I will not hear it! I have chosen the safest course for you and the children, and the only course for myself. Stop screeching about something you should have expected. I’ve had enough argument from you for one evening. The decision has been made.”
Her tone lowered from a shriek to a loud yell as she took a step backward. “I never believed you could do such an awful thing to your wife and children! Tearing us away from everything—our whole lives—so you can stand on some ill-defined principle! It’s inhuman!” She stomped her foot again, retaking the ground she had lost, shaking the pictures on the blue silk walls and the curios interspersed among the bookshelves. An Argentinean mask toppled off a shelf, but didn’t break on the Persian carpet.
He saw the tears well up, and hoped sincerely he would ultimately be allowed to soothe her when he won the disagreement, rather than watch her walk away from the fight, lock the door to her rooms, and prepare herself for continued battle until she’d won her point. Unfortunately, Anne’s tears in such a situation could portend anything—except surrender.
Mari was “raised up” in journalism (mostly raising her glass at the Denver Press Club bar) after the advent of the web press, but before the desktop computer. She has since plied her trade as a writer, editor, and designer across many different fields, and currently works as a technical writer and editor.
Under the name Mari Christie, she has released a book-length epic poem, Saqil pa Q'equ'mal: Light in Darkness: Poetry of the Mayan Underworld, and under pen name Mariana Gabrielle, she has written several Regency romances, including the Sailing Home Series and La Déesse Noire: The Black Goddess. Blind Tribute is her first mainstream historical novel. She expects to release the first book in a new family saga, The Lion’s Club, in 2018.
She holds a BA in Writing, summa cum laude and With Distinction, from the University of Colorado Denver, and is a member of the Speakeasy Scribes, the Historical Novel Society, and the Denver Press Club. She has a long family history in Charleston, South Carolina, and is the great-great niece of a man in the mold of Harry Wentworth.
Mari Christie Social Media:
Mari’s Website: www.MariAnneChristie.com/
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/marichristie
Wattpad (romance only): https://www.wattpad.com/user/marianagabrielle
Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/marismuses/
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