Hello all Mariannes and Marianne-o-philes! The positive thing about being the last to blog is that I got to read everyone else first. You ladies are hard acts to follow, lemme tell ya!
I am Marianne Strnad and yes, the surname is spelled correctly. When I was single I had a lovely Italian last name bursting with vowels and syllables. I gave all that up when I married my husband who is Czech by ethnicity. “Strnad” is an actual word in Czech, meaning “yellow bird”, as in a bunting. Quite a different meaning from from my maiden name “Nicoletto”, which means “small bed”.
How ironic that I should marry someone with an avian surname like that of my mother’s maiden name, “Tortorici”, which means “one who raises turtledoves”. Perhaps it means that no matter where I came from or where I go, I’ll always be “flighty”!
But, I digress. By day I’m a mild-mannered medical technologist who works in the chemistry lab of a VA hospital in the Pacific Northwest. By night I am a fledgling author penning her first book, a young adult paranormal novel set in the lab. One day I experienced an epiphany while working at the urine bench. Out of a frustrating microscopic examination of a slide containing the sediment of a spun urine sample, the idea for a novel was born. I’m betting not too many novels begin that way!
I love reading paranormal romances and I can thank The Twilight saga for that! I have all the books, and in hardback no less. I’ve read them all several times. When that became old, I searched for adult versions of similar stories, and there I met my favorite authors. After noticing a very sexy man on the cover of Kerrelyn Sparks’ book “Secret Life of a Vampire” I became a huge fan of her “Love At Stake” series when I bought the book which was already number six in her series. I loved the fun humor, well-developed characters, and the world she built in her series. Most of the rest of her books landed on my Kindle, and now I have several print versions signed by Kerrelyn herself. I finally got to meet her at RWA in Orlando this year, and it was a HUGE moment for me!
The great thing about owning a Kindle is all the available free books out there. Soon after receiving the e-reader, I was cruising the Amazon website for paranormal romance books. I had been devouring books in record speed and kept searching for new ones whose authors I had not yet read. One freebie was “Kiss of Midnight” by Lara Adrian. That book was like “literary crack” to me! I was amazed by the fresh new take on the vampire world Lara created, and her characters were utterly irresistible to me. Fortunately, that book was the first in her series and I got to read the rest in chronological order. Lara was the one who recommended that I join RWA to fast-forward my writing dreams. I am so glad that I took her advice because RWA turned out to be everything that she said it would and a whole lot more. I haven’t met Lara yet, but I am hoping that I will in 2011.
So why write young adult when I love adult paranormal so much? Because my field of work is experiencing a huge personnel loss and brain drain. Everyone knows what nurses and doctors do, but few can explain what transpires in a laboratory. Information that a laboratory provides can contribute to as much as 70% to medical decisions, yet the lab can comprise only 5% of a hospital’s budget. That’s a LOT of bang for the buck! Culturally, labs were known only as “the place where blood samples got lost or mixed up”, no thanks to many TV shows and movies. It’s only been since the advent of “CSI” that we finally got our due props! However, real life in the lab is much more mundane than what is presented by Hollywood, but it’s no less important; heck-even Bill Gates needs to know his cholesterol level! Since fewer young adults are entering the field, many measures have been taken to increase our visibility. My professional colleagues are doing what they can to increase our numbers, I’m just taking a different approach. My book will combine romance with just enough science to make it sound awesome, and humor to keep it light and entertaining. That’s my plan and I sure hope it works out!
You can read more at my personal blog at:http://7falls-summoner.blogspot.com
Thanks for spending time with me here!