Dark Genres with Author Marissa Farrar (& Win ‘Alone’ or ‘The Dark Road’)

I’d like to welcome British author Marissa Farrar today! Marissa’s the author of dark paranormals and “romantic horror,” including  Alone, in which an woman escapes an abusive relationship only to find the perfect man and then learn he’s a vampire, and Dark Road, in which a group of backpackers plunge into a far-East nightmare of ancient curses. Comment for a chance to win either eBook–just put in your comment which one you want (better descriptions below).

You know the drill: 1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or Retweet.  Now, take it away, Marissa! 
 Would a genre by any other name…
People are often surprised when I tell them what genre I write. I think they expect horror writers to be some shady, slightly warped weirdo who hides in a dark room and only ever wears black. Because, on the surface at least, I seem like a fairly normal mother of two, people just don’t expect the word ‘horror’ to come out of my mouth.
     I can see it in their faces, the slight adjustment of their initial assumptions about me, and, unless they are horror fans themselves, I think they do wonder if I have something sinister and freaky lurking behind the scenes.
     But the truth is that I do. Since I was a teenager I have had a basic obsession with anything scary. I’m an avid horror film watcher. There’s always that slightly dark, twisted part of me just dying to get out. Instead of falling into a depression, I escape into my writing. Nothing makes me feel better than listening to some music (30 Seconds to Mars, Live, Kings of Leon) and writing. It’s like a cleansing process, an escapism, and when I’m done I can turn my attention back to the piles of laundry, and small sticky fingers clambering for my attention.  It makes me feel as if I’ve reclaimed a little piece of myself again.
     So do we choose what genres we write, or do they chose us?
     I never felt as if I had much choice in writing horror. There was never any time I wrote anything else, and even my novel Alone, which is technically an urban fantasy/paranormal romance, certainly has plenty of horror elements. Its sequel, Buried Alone, which is scheduled for a mid 2011 release, definitely goes far more down the horror road.
     Despite this, the majority of my books also have a romance element to them. If I could coin the term, ‘romantic horror’ I would be spot on. For me, having a romantic thread through the scary stuff gives the stories an element of hope, and makes the characters come alive.
     However, this November, during NaNoWriMo, I attempted to write a completely different genre; that of women’s fiction. I had debated about whether to go ahead with it, but a number of different writers and editors  I respect told me it might be good for my writing to try something else, I may even find I enjoy writing something else! So I gave it a shot, and at first it was hard. I desperately wanted to add some action, even though it was a completely character-driven novel, and to have any zombies/ghosts/vampires appear on the scene would have been frankly ridiculous.
     But you know what, towards the end of NaNo I turned around and discovered I was actually enjoying what I was writing, and even more, I actually liked my novel. Now I’m looking forward to getting back to it and seeing if there is something special lurking beneath all the edits.

     Deep down, our genres do choose us. It’s the same as any other personal likes or dislikes—the type of food we enjoy, the style of clothes we like to wear, the music we listen to. But every once in a while it is good to break the mould and try something a little different. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself. 

ABOUT ALONE   Caught in a violent and abusive relationship, Serenity thinks there is no escape. Then she meets a stranger, Sebastian, who shows her the possibility of a different future. …Only Sebastian has a dark secret; he is a vampire. …As Serenity’s life takes a terrifying turn, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed; one of murder, love, and immortality. She is forced to confront her own weaknesses to save both her own life and that of the vampire she has come to love. But in the end all that matters is; can she find the strength to be Alone ?

ABOUT DARK ROAD   When a group of backpackers are thrown together on a bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia, they have no idea of the journey ahead of them.  Shortly after crossing the Cambodian border, one of the group disappears off the side of the road, and they quickly discover they have more than the threat of land mines to worry about. They are plunged into a terrifying world of ancient temples, curses and long-dead kings and, one by one, they start to lose both their minds and their lives, as what was supposed to be an adventure turns into a fight for survival.

Marissa Farrar is a multi-published author in both horror and paranormal romance. She was born in Devon, England, loves to travel, and has lived in both Australia and Spain. She now resides outside of London with her husband and two children. She has a degree in zoology, but her true love has always been writing. Marissa’s debut novel, Alone, is a dark twist on the traditional vampire romance and was published by Vamplit Publishing in 2009. Her second novel, The Dark Road, was published in November 2010. Her short stories have been accepted for a number of anthologies including, Their Dark Masters (Red Skies Press), Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don’t (Triskaideka Books) and 2013: The Aftermath (Pill Hill Press). If you want to know more about Marissa, then please visit her website at www.marissa-farrar.blogspot.com.
Thanks, Marissa! Leave a comment for your chance to win one of Marissa’s books–be sure to put your preference in your comment, along with your email addy . Thanks for being here today, Marissa!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

26 thoughts on “Dark Genres with Author Marissa Farrar (& Win ‘Alone’ or ‘The Dark Road’)

  1. Great post today, my friend! Thoroughly enjoyed it and reading your journey in different genres.

    Don’t enter me in the contest, I plan on buying my copy of Dark Road. Cheers!

  2. The romantic in me wants to read Alone, but I’ve already won during this amazingly fun bloggy Christmas, so I’ll put it on my TBBR (to be bought and read) pile.
    I keep reading paranormal, even though I think I don’t want to write it, maybe I need to rethink this!

  3. I love the story line. I can’t wait to read it. I also love the contradicion of the heroine’s name and her beginning story.

  4. Marissa is a new-to-me author… would like to try out her work and see if I could discover something new about myself with that journey 🙂

    Would like to try The Dark Road…

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-warrior [at] yahoo [dot] com

  5. +1 follower

    Marissa, I totally agree that genre chooses the writer. Alone sounds like a story I would love to read!

  6. I’ve never heard of Romantic Horror, but am completely intrigued and plan on buying that book today! I think my writing has a touch of horror and would love to see the genre open up to more of this style. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Writing can be difficult enough as it is – why do some writers waste time writing what doesn’t interest them?

    Keep at it, Marissa!

    I’d like a chance to win Alone and see how you combined romance with horror. 🙂
    Amber at amberstults dot com

  8. Please don’t enter me in the contest as I’ve got both these novels already, but I just wanted to stop by and say Marissa — I know how you feel! People look at me a bit odd when I tell them I like scary movies, like petite blondes are supposed to be only into chick flicks or something. Thank heavens for my blogging buddies who understand — solidarity!

  9. I’m a genre slut…err…I mean addict. I can’t write just one genre. I guess they’ve all chosen me. I think there are only two I haven’t written (YET) and that’s horror and steampunk.

    Otherwise, you name it…I’ve done it. When it comes to writing I mean.

    Hey Marissa! xoxo

    Hey Suz! xoxo

    Aren’t my blog sisters grand?

    Happy Friday,

  10. Oh wow! What a lot of lovely comments.
    Thanks so much, Suzanne, for having me. It’s tough out there for newbie authors and somthing like this really makes my day.
    If anyone wants to contact me directly, feel free to email me at marissafarrar@yahoo.co.uk. I love to hear from you all!

  11. Fascinating chicken and the egg argument. I have no idea if I choose the genre or the genre chooses me. I always feel like the stories and the characters choose me, so maybe that’s the same thing. You books sound fantastic!

  12. Hi Marissa and Suzanne! I really enjoyed reading this post because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I write contemporary romances where the characters confront pretty serious issues. Although there’s some humor in them, they’re not the kind of romantic comedies you see lots of in bookstores. My husband has asked me why I don’t write literary fiction, or crime fiction, and all I can say is that my brain doesn’t come up with stories that would fit those genres. I like dealing with real life by creating a couple who’s struggling.

    I’d love to read Alone. Is it an e-book or out in print?

  13. There’s so much more to a genre than what people think typically fits into it. That’s why I can’t really define which genres I enjoy reading.

    1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow


  14. That’s what’s so great about NaNoWriMo, you can write something new and get that wonderful ‘completion high.’

    I’ve been doing that for 7 years now. This year’s NaNoWriMo novel was an historical whereas I usually crime romantic suspense or mystery.

  15. They both sound awesome. I find that I automatically steer towards paranormal romance without giving other genres a chance so I’m making an effort now to explore. Alone sounds like it is right up my alley.


  16. I think certain elements of any story comes from a deep part of the author. I write a broad spectrum.

    I wanted to stretch myself in the art of love 😉 and ended up getting my paranormal erotic romance published.

    Recently, for some strange reason, Steampunk has hit me — that’s the next book I’m going to write.

    The elements for me do cross over, though, no matter the genre. Everything I write is a bit dark, edgy and it all ahs paranormal elements.

    Good luck, and I’ll be picking both of these up. They sound awesome.

  17. Hey Amber. I’ve heard Steampunk talked about alot at the moment. To be honest, I’m not too sure what it is all about and need to look into it a bit more. The name in itself is certainly interesting.

  18. Hi Marissa, enjoyed your post and can relate. I started out writing paranormal Regency and felt right at home but then a strange thing happened; I saw a request for submission call from TWRP’s new Jewel of the Night line. It was romantic suspense and for the most part contemporary but something drew me. I gave in to the urge from my muse and wrote Ring of Lies and I’m so glad I did because it got me my first contract :). That change in genre has led to a ton of new story ideas too. I now see potential crimes everywhere, lol!
    You mentioned loving horror from a young age-maybe it was growning up in Devon that inspired you. I’ve always wanted to visit the windswept moors or walk along the rocky beaches- pictures I’ve seen always made me think gothic which has elements of horror :).
    I am intrigued by both The Dark Road and Alone but think I’ll try Alone first-the conflict within the heroine is drawing me!
    Best of luck,

  19. Thanks for your comment, Rach. I adore Devon, and even though I don’t live there any more, I long to go back. You’re totally right about the influence; I grew up surrounded with the numerous ghost stories and legends about the moor–and I loved every single one of them! Hmmmm…I can feel a new blog post coming on!

  20. I too grew up with the love of horror and can remember as a child of about 11 my mother saying to me “I don´t know why you read that stuff no wonder you have nightmares”.
    The thing is it wasn´t just horror it was the unknown that there was something else out there that we don´t know about. Mind you I can also remember seeing little people on the end of my bed as a child. Nobody believed me and my parents said I was dreaming but no I wasn´t……………..!