Author Interview with Gina Fiserova (A.K.A Giselle Marks)

Posted on October 1, 2013


Introducing the wonderfully talented Giselle Marks.

face for ab Fencing_Master (1)


Do you write under any other names? 

Not currently.

What are you currently working on?

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been sorting out the details relating to the release of “The Fencing Master’s Daughter” which was published by Front Porch Romance On the 27th September.  I have now returned to writing my 14th book in “The Zeninan Saga,” my fantasy/sci-fi series with erotic content which is half finished.  I have also been working on roughing out my third Regency Romance “The Compromised Rake,” which is in early stages.  Should I run out of things to do I have some shorter stories unfinished and a short romantic fantasy story which I wrote sometime ago which I intend to update.

How many (if any) books do you have published and what are their titles?

“The Fencing Master’s Daughter” is my first published novel. However my second Regency romance, “The Marquis’s Mistake” is being prepared for publication and should be released in December. I have been writing a long time and have a back catalogue of nearly 14 books completed in the “Zeninan Saga” series. The first four are currently being prepared for publication by Nevermore Press but I have as yet no release date for the first novel in the series “Princess of Zenina.” The fantasy series is based primarily on Zenina, capital planet of a loosely arranged Empire. Zenina is female dominated and has a male fertility problem. Female greater strength and control of power have resulted in men being relegated to the role of sex slaves.
My heroine Princess Marina disapproves of slavery and has no desire to take the throne after Her mother Queen Kerina. Zenina’s population however wants Marina to be next Queen in preference to her older indolent sister Plavina.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book written was “The Princess of Zenina” and I wrote it following reading two feminist sci-fi books by a female author, who I don’t intend to identify.  I thoroughly enjoyed the books which were very well written and had an interesting story line.  My only criticism was that I did not think that if women were in power they would be either so passive or so nice.  I considered what would happen if you reversed the male /female roles fully.  With women being not only in power but physically stronger than  their men.  I came to the conclusion that if women were in that situation they would be as violent as men, as sexually aggressive as men have been in some civilisations and as nice or nasty as any cross section of humans.  I also believe that the maxim absolute power corrupts absolutely to not be far from the truth.  From that basic idea, the Zeninan Empire sprung with its powerful women and gorgeous men.

Do you have a specific writing style or one that you prefer?

No, I believe there are horses for courses.  I write in a slightly period style for my Regency Romances without going into the excesses of 8 clause sentences that the authors of the period thought acceptable.  However the construction of the sentences and vocabulary selection is slightly more complex  in the Regencies than the style I chose for the “Zeninan Saga” which is intended as fairly plain clean English.  However if I wrote Gothic Romances, Horror Tales or exotic fantasy I might write in a more Jordanesque or Lovecraftian style.  With far more atmospheric language and many more adjectives.

How did you come up with the title of your book(s)?

When I decided on the plot of “The Fencing Master’s Daughter” that I would start with the heroine being a fine swordswoman and rescuing the hero from footpads. It was a simple decision for her to be the daughter of a fencing teacher, the title from that came simply. I found getting the title for “The Marquis’s Mistake” harder but as the mistake is not immediately clear to a reader for some time, I do not wish to give a spoiler. My 3rd Regency is currently titled “The Compromised Rake” but it is possible the title will change before I complete it.

Deciding the titles of the Zeninan Saga was harder. The original title of the series was changed along with the name of the capital city of Zenina on the advice from a writing friend. He did not choose the new names but agreed the ones I chose were much better. I actually think if I had changed the names sooner, I might have moved forward with the series sooner.

Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp?

There are messages in all my books because it is impossible to write without conveying some of your opinions through your characters. Perhaps in the Fencing Master’s Daughter there was a slight kick at the Regency literary females who used to swoon and have hysterics when faced with a crisis. In The Marquis’s Mistake there are several messages, one might be about parenting, another could be about how Regency men treated women and whether that was acceptable. A third could be, don’t always judge a book by its cover or a person by their outward appearance.

The Zeninan Saga is very complex and not all the opinions expressed in any way resemble my own. However a little of me must come through in my characters.

How much of the book is realistic/true?

All my books are fiction but I do my research and try to get my historical facts right in the Regency Romances.   Which sounds easy, but the details you are most sure about are often wrong. But across genres, for any book or group of characters to touch your heart and make you believe in them and care about them, then there must be an air of reality or of believability.  If you have laws on an imaginary planet, they must be logical.  The explanation that “It is traditional” never washed with me in other fantasy stories.  Obviously the distances in space travel could not be covered in the time-scale at present that I allow them.  But the saga is set in the future and I presume advances that modern engineers would consider impossible.  But if you went 3 centuries or so back in time, people would consider today’s advances were totally impossible.  So I think it logical to assume many advances have been made.

Are the experiences in your writing based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No, nor are any people as such.  However how people react to situations is written from my observation of how others behave in any given situation.  Although some of the situations I put people into, I have never personally experiences or observed in person.

What book are you reading now?

Bernard Cornwell Enemy of God

Do you see writing as a career or a hobby?

It started as a hobby I would like it to be my full time career in future.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Probably every word, but I fought like a tigress with her cubs over keeping most of “The Fencing Master’s Daughter”  completely unchanged.  But you have to stop rewriting sometime and say that the story is fit for the purpose.  Anything written can be improved but if you keep rewriting the same story, you do not always achieve perfection nor progress in writing other newer challenges.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I have always written. I think I realised that I did it better than others when we had a supply teacher in my first year at senior school. He was covering because of a number of teachers being out with influenza. He set us an exercise to write a short speech and read it to the class. I was not on first, the class yawned, fidgeted, heckled the speakers and threw paper aeroplanes at them. I was not particularly popular, not being sporty and mostly staying in the art room during breaks. I was not one of the first speakers so I wrote while the others did their pieces. The supply teacher offered a bribe of a box of chocolates to the best speaker whilst the school tried to figure out what to get him to teach us in the absence of out proper teacher. So I wrote through mid-morning break. I was on next, I gave a speech on art and artists. I put in a few jokes, the class sat up and I finished the speech. I went well over the time required, no one complained. I shuffled my papers together and got off, sitting down. Then the class began to clap. The teacher stood up and applauded, the class followed suit. I sat with my face going red all down my neck as they gave me a standing ovation. It was a fore-gone conclusion that I got the chocs, and I was very popular as it was a big box.

Logically you might think that I would then have chosen to study English, Journalism or Creative Writing at College. But no, I thought I was an artist and I had some talent so I went to Art college.

Who designed the covers of you books?

Sarah Waldock designed the cover for The Fencing Master’s Daughter

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I have been writing in many forms for a long time in many forms; in government, business, journalism, technical writing and fiction. Any experience or information you acquire during your lives can be used in your writing. If you are determined to write, whether for publication or your own pleasure then you will do so and it will bring you much frustration and joy.

I have been writing in many forms for a long time in many forms; in government, business, journalism, technical writing and fiction. Any experience or information you acquire during your lives can be used in your writing. If you are determined to write, whether for publication or your own pleasure then you will do so and it will bring you much frustration and joy.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope that they will enjoy my stories, that they my characters will entertain them and they will see them as friends.  My stories are fiction and meant to be bring pleasure.

What character from your writing is your favorite and why?

Charles from the Zeninan Saga.  Because he is so complicated but all the facets of his personality are underlaid by his absolute loyalty and love for my heroine Princess  then later Queen Marina, Empress of the Zeninan Empire.  He is prepared to do anything to make her life happier.  He’s a slut but he has genuine feelings and original thoughts.


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