We had the good fortune of connecting with Faith Marlow and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Faith, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
One of my favorite quotes about writing is from R.A. Salvatore, “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” I think the idea of throwing in the towel is something that many authors and creatives struggle with. I can vividly remember when I decided to quit, to just give up and stop fighting what felt like a never ending battle. It lasted for about a day and a half. I realized that writing was such a huge part of my identity that I would never be able to entirely quit. I could write and just keep the stories to myself but it isn’t the same. There is a drive to not only create but to share it with others, as terrifying as that can be sometimes. I don’t think giving up is an option for some of us and that is where having a support system is invaluable, especially those in your field. Nobody else can empathize with you better than someone is has known that struggle themselves.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a USA Today bestselling author of Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, and Horror stories. My first book is “Being Mrs. Dracula” and the first book in the series. It’s the story of the brides of Dracula from their perspectives, told in epistolary and narrative styles. I was greatly influenced by Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and worked very hard to be respectful of the story while creating my own. There are so many stories based on and influenced by Stoker’s novel but what sets my book, and subsequent series, apart is that Dracula is a side character. The brides are the main characters and the story revolves around how Dracula’s choices shape their lives. I have other books that are available, such as my “Scorned Women” series and its first book based on the story of Medusa and “Our Fearful Roots”, a Southern Gothic horror novel that I co-wrote with my dear colleague, Carmilla Voiez.

One of the most greatest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of creating your brand. The tagline I chose to embrace is “Sweetly Twisted”, which began as a description of me instead of my stories but I feel it applies to both. My work spotlights the humanity of “monsters”, or individuals that society would see as outcasts or fear. I write them with compassion and humanity, and use them as vehicle to address issues that I feel is important. That’s one feature of writing in the Dark Fantasy and Horror genres that I love. Difficult topics, like sexism, racism, narcissism, can be explored in ways that are more readily acceptable.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

We live in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Secret City, so we would have to visit the Museum of Science and Energy for some history and geeky fun. When visiting Oak Ridge, you have to go to Big Ed’s Pizza, so that’s where we would have dinner. The next day, we could enjoy some outside time at Melton Lake park. There are miles of walking/ bike trails to enjoy. We would have lunch while enjoying the view at Calhoun’s overlooking the lake. If we wanted to be a little more adventurous, we could visit nearby Frozen Head state park and hike to the waterfalls, or all the way to the fire tower to check out the amazing views from up there. Some of the trails can be pretty advanced but it’s worth the work.
Being so close to Knoxville, we would have to take in some of the live music venues. In my perfect week, my favorite band and Knoxville natives, 10 Years, would be playing at The Concourse. If we wanted to see some of Knoxville’s local bands, like Nightfly or Belfast 6 Pack, we could catch them there, or at Open Cord Stage, or Brickyard Bar and Grill.
We would have to visit my favorite place to eat in Knoxville, East Japanese restaurant for authentic Miso ramen and sushi. We could finish off the evening with some fun at Token Game Tavern. They have tons of throwback console games and arcade games, plus fun themed drinks and food.
There’s so many fun things to do in Downtown Knoxville’s Market Square that one night may not be enough. A great way to start the day would be browsing the interesting shops there and then checking out the nightlife at Preservation Pub or Scruffy’s City Hall. Bernadette’s Crystal Gardens is a magical, must see location just next door. We would stay overnight at the historic, and supposedly haunted, Oliver Hotel. The next day, we could visit Union Avenue bookstore and get dressed up to step back in time at the Peter Kern Library, a speakeasy tucked away of The Oliver Hotel’s lobby. After a Holly Golightly, we would enjoy some fine dining at The Oliver Royale.
If we wanted to spend another night at The Oliver, we could plan to visit the Knoxville Museum of Art or The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame during the day, take a haunted tour of the Old City later, and end the evening at Mirage, enjoying some Middle Eastern food, a hookah, and see the belly dancers perform. That’s just a snippet of the fun things to do in the Oak Ridge/ Knoxville area.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to Mr. Eddie Archer, my fifth grade teacher. I first discovered my love for writing in his class. Our poems were collected in a little booklet called “Visions”, along with our illustrations. That was the first time I saw my work in print and I was so proud. Teachers light the fuse in young minds, introducing them to interests that will stay with them the rest of their lives. This was certainly the case with me and I am so grateful.

Website: https://www.faithmarlow.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/faithmarlow/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorfaithmarlow/

Other: TikTok: @authorfaithmarlow Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Faith-Marlow/e/B00GOJ8X14

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