MARJORIE SWIFT DOERING was born in Milwaukee, but raised in a small town on her father’s eighteen-hole golf course, which acted as an interesting backdrop for her active and vivid imagination. After receiving a B.S. in Secondary Education with a major in English and a minor in Psychology, she continued to write while working full-time and raising a daughter and son, who continue to be among her most dedicated supporters.
Her first one-act play, “Flight 419”, was produced and performed by Darknight Theatrical Productions in Chicago in 2005. Her writing portfolio consists of over one hundred short stories and two novels. Dear Crossing and Shadow Tag are the first two stories in her Ray Schiller Series of mystery/crime novels. The third of the series is a work in progress and promises to be Ray’s most harrowing case yet.
Marjorie lives in NW Wisconsin with her husband Denny, their dog Casey, and their cats, Freddie, Dickens and JoJo.
What inspires you to write?
In part, I’m inspired to write by what seems to be a deep-seated desire to entertain. Considering that I jokingly but accurately call myself a ‘recovering introvert’, I wouldn’t care to sing, dance or act if I could. While it may sound a little ‘out there’–but then, who said writers aren’t–I’m also inspired to write by the characters I’ve created. That applies mainly to my novels, of course. One of the things I’m particularly proud of is the life I feel I’ve breathed into the characters in Dear Crossing and Shadow Tag. The main characters, in particular, won’t let me stop. They’re the reason I’ve undertaken the writing of the Ray Schiller Series. The third novel is keeping me very busy, and there will be others as long as I can create cases that will keep readers entertained and challenged, and Ray Schiller and the crew strutting their stuff.
Tell us about your writing process.
Some authors create stories as they go along; others outline everything before they start. I fall in-between. Outlining doesn’t work for me, but I can’t write the first word until the basic storyline is established in my head. It leaves me a lot of freedom, but creates the groundwork that tends to keep me from floundering…for the most part.
As for my characters, I start with a pretty basic knowledge of who they are: their appearance, backgrounds, likes, dislikes. As each story progresses, that understanding becomes more and more intimate.
Some days are more productive than others, and I don’t always manage to write each and every day. Still, I don’t beat myself over the head about it, and Ray & Company flourish using that regimen.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes, my characters ‘talk’ to me. Some can be very bull-headed and insist on doing things their own way, and they’re generally right.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t make excuses. Whatever you put down on paper or a computer screen can be always be changed. Steven Pressfield says it all in “The War of Art”.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m among the many writers who didn’t get serious about publishing my work until later in life. In addition to having greater freedom to write as I see fit, and the higher royalty rate, I had to consider the time factor. Finding an agent, which I did, took time. I might still be waiting for the agent to find a publisher if Indie publishing hadn’t reared its lovely head. I expect to be around for a while longer, but why do it waiting? Maybe it’s a case of Carpe Diem–Seize the day.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Based on the trend, I expect self-publishing will continue to be a very popular option for writers, but I don’t think print books will ever fall by the wayside.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
My novels are in the mystery/police procedural genre, but my short stories nearly anything and everything.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print