Eye of the Ninja
by D.M. Marlowe
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GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure
Blink—and you’ll miss her.
Mei Barrett has been hiding all of her life. Raised in solitude by her beloved father, she’s been trained to fight, to adapt, to defend. She couldn’t prevent his death, however, when it comes at the hands of a mysterious creature straight out of legend. She could only run—and learn how to hide in plain sight.
For four long years Mei has lived alone on the fringes of a society still recovering from the devastation of quakes and disasters along the infamous Ring of Fire. Mei’s concerns are more immediate however. She must hide her eyes and their despised mutation, and she must stay one step ahead of the strange wind demon that continues to hunt her.
Detection was inevitable. But Mei begins to make some discoveries of her own. For it seems that her old enemy is not the only mythical creature on the loose. Nor is she the only one fighting them.
And perhaps her own tragedies are not as far removed from those the world is facing, after all.
Something was off. Not in the same way as before. But I felt . . . something. Eyes watching.
I veered suddenly into the parking lot of a used bookstore.
Something moved in the line of trees at the far edge, right at the spot where I would have walked past. Something large set the high branches to rustling. I moved easily, acting as if I didn’t notice.
The bookstore door was locked. I cursed under my breath before nonchalantly turning to the rack of free books lining the front of the place. Picking a title, I leaned against the door and opened it. I eyed the parking lot from beneath my brim, then tossed the book back and chose another—a thick, oversized edition of Sherlock Holmes tales. Nothing moved out there. Not a branch or a leaf or a rustle of wind.
I wasn’t fooled.
I hefted the book and pretended to be absorbed. Slowly I moved out, head down, nose in the book, ambling west again, but this time taking the alley behind the bookstore’s neighboring houses. The lane was lined with full-grown trees, providing some cover. When I hit their sheltering darkness I tucked the book under my arm and took off at a fast, silent run.
Not for long. Something thumped to the ground, directly in my path. I skidded to a stop, backpedaling rapidly.
Panic and disbelief nearly stopped my heart. My mouth hung open.
This was not the creature of my nightmares and memories. It was something different altogether—and yet still entirely unbelievable.
On two feet, broad and heavily muscled, it stood over twice my height. Its skin was a deep, dark red, its nose large and curved over like a beak. Large, heavily muscled arms flexed as its hands opened and closed. Long, white hair flowed back to meet huge, rustling black wings.
It tilted its head in a distinctly avian gesture and peered down at me. A thin, trilling sound echoed in the alley. “So small you are, to be the cause of so much trouble.”
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing D.M. Marlowe author of Eye of the Ninja.
Hi D.M., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Thank you so much for having me! I’m a wife, mother and author. In my other author life, I am a USA Today Bestseller of Regency Historical Romance. I have two boys who are so funny and smart. I have two cats that I spoil relentlessly. I write a lot. I love the holidays, chocolate and chex mix.
What were you like at school?
I think I was a normal teenager for that age. I worked hard at school, hung with my friends, loved the movies and loved to drive. I sang too loud, crushed on inappropriate boys and worked at a fast food restaurant. I was lucky enough to have some wonderful teachers who taught me to love history and English and I still love them both to this day!
Were you good at English?
Pretty good! I had a wonderful AP English teacher. We got to read and discuss some great books. I read all the time, so it was easy for me.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I am loving my new genre of Young Adult Fantasy Adventure! I plan to continue the Eye of the Ninja Chronicles. The next book, Obsidian’s Eye, will be released in December. I also plan to continue my Regency Historicals, The Half Moon House series. I’m enjoying switching it up between the two genres!
Which writers inspire you?
Anne McCaffrey was a favorite. Lloyd Alexander, Joanna Bourne, Mary Balogh, Rae Carson, Marissa Meyer, the list goes on and on!
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that makes her special?
Mei Barrett grew up tucked away in the mountains, hidden and trained by her father in fighting, flexibility, hiding, adapting, balance, all the skills of a Ninja. But she’s lived on her own for four long years, since her father was killed by a mysterious creature straight out of legend. Since then, she’s survived, alone, hiding in plain sight from the monster who has hunted her since that terrible day.
Mei is awesome. She’s strong, determined and has a good heart.
What are you working on at the minute?
The next book in my Half Moon House series. After that comes the third book in the Eye of the Ninja Chronicles.
Which actress would you like to see playing Mei from your most recent book?
I think that Kiki Sukezane would be a great Mei!
What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?
I always wanted to be a writer. When my first son was born, I decided to use the time to finally get started on it. I haven’t stopped since!
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I am a daylight writer. I write best when the sun is high and kids are in school. Once they are home, family responsibilities take over and I try to fit in all the business aspects of writing.
Where do your ideas come from?
I have a very busy brain! It loves to mash together bits and pieces of things I’ve seen, heard and read. You never know when something random might just become a major plot point!
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I am a plotser. I have to have turning points figured out, but then I must have the freedom to get there in any way my fingers and brain come up with. 🙂
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The amount of time you have to dedicate to this demanding career. It’s not for sissies!
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
Yes! I always have a book going. I read a lot of research books. See the above influences question for a list of great authors!
For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I am an equal opportunity reader! I do both. Sometimes in a day. LOL.
What book are you currently reading?
Sabrina Jeffries, The Art of Sinning
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
Well, I knew the sort of look I wanted. Fortunately I found a great model and then an amazing cover artist. I think Claudia McKinley read my mind, she came so close to what I was picturing and described to her!
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one?
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Sure. Who doesn’t like to get something for free? And if you write a compelling book, then a reader is going to want to read more.
How do you relax?
I sit under the stars in the hot tub with my Valiant Husband. I read. I garden and take walks. And I like to watch upbeat, interesting TV.
What is your favorite quote?
If at first you don’t succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed! — Lenny, from Laverne and Shirley
What is your favorite movie?
Impossible question! There are so many! But a great one that I saw recently is About Time. So sweet and really moving. Great cast, too!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I am easy to find!
Check out my website at www.dmmarlowe.com
Any final words?
Thank you so much for having me today, and I hope your readers will enjoy experiencing the adventure in Eye of the Ninja!
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. It’s been a pleasure getting to know more about you and I’m looking forward to reading Eye of the Ninja!
D.M. Marlowe lives in North Carolina with her family and two cats. When she is not spoiling them all, she is probably writing. Failing that, she’s likely lost in a book or movie, on a long walk, gardening or hanging with her friends.
In her other life, she is a USA Today Bestselling author of Historical Romance.