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Title: Marjorie Diaz's Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

Author: Desdemona Wren

Series: Marjorie Diaz series

Publisher: Antler Doe Publishing

Cover art: Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

Release date: September 4, 2018

Release date, book 2: March 2019

Genre: urban fantasy

Buy it: Amazon

Blurb:

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport. 
Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him.
She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to the last place she ever thought she would go again.
Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that everyone important to her has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.
Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.
This title is LGBTQIA+ and features a full POC cast.

Check out the cover for book #2!

Excerpt:

“I cannot believe you’re going to a ball,” Lucian said, sitting on the bench inside of her dressing room as she tried on another dress.
Lucian had been on her phone since they left their apartment, which was extremely out of character for her. When she and Lucian hung out, most of the time Marjorie had her undivided attention. Though, Marjorie supposed she was due for this considering she and Lucian had spent so much time apart since she’d started dating Patrick.
“Like, this is some next level weird fairytale bullshit,” Lucian continued, tapping away at her screen. She was saying all the right things, but something about it seemed off. As if she were saying these things to appease Marjorie, to give her the illusion of being invested in her hunt for the perfect thrift store dress. Which, after trying on fifteen different dresses, Marjorie was beginning to believe didn’t exist.
Marjorie frowned at her reflection in the mirror, smoothing her hands over the skirt of the dress she was currently wearing. This one was black, velvet, and form-fitting. It hugged her curves in all the wrong areas and it made her self-conscious, even in front of Lucian who was hardly paying her any attention.
“That dress is terrible,” Lucian declared, still not looking up from her phone.
Marjorie sighed, hunching her shoulders. “I know,” she groaned, shaking her head at herself in the mirror. “I don’t know why I thought I could find anything in a thrift store that wasn’t either ugly, dated, or ill-fitting.”
“Optimism?” Lucian asked, glancing up for a moment before turning her attention back down to her phone, a soft smile on her lips.
Marjorie pushed down the jealousy she felt well up in her chest and clawed at the back zipper of the ugly velvet dress.
“I got it,” Lucian said, finally setting her phone down for a moment to stand up and unzip Marjorie’s dress.
“Who are you even talking to?” Marjorie inquired, meeting Lucian’s eyes in the mirror as she lingered behind her, fingers stalling on the bare skin of her back.

An interview with the author:

1. What inspired you to become a writer?
I guess the biggest thing that inspired me to become an author was my adoration for writing as well as my need to leave my name on the world. I felt like my writing was something I could leave behind. Not to mention, I wanted to write books with the LGBT representation I never got when I was a kid. As a child of the 90s who went to high school in the early 2000s in the deep south I felt so alone, and I don’t want anyone else to ever feel the way I did.

2. Why is LGBT representation so important in today’s literature?
Books are important. People will try to tell you’re they’re not, but they’re wrong. People who find themselves alone (the way I did when I was young) will often search for comfort in books and entertainment. So, writing LGBT characters (especially own voices works) is incredibly important so LGBT people don’t feel lost or alone in their communities. It also helps people who don’t understand these spaces to get an idea of what it’s like to be queer.

3. Why are you so vocal about Marjorie Diaz being asexual?
When I created Marjorie, I did it with my friend Michelle Clift in mind. Michelle Clift is the author of my favorite webcomic Suicide Noun and a close friend, she is also asexual. So, when she came to me one day, complaining about the lack of asexual representation in literature I felt the need to create a character who would represent her as well as my other ace friends. I’m very vocal about Marjorie’s asexuality because people have tried to erase her identity and tell me that she’s not ace because she ‘can’t be’ ace. They’re wrong and I will scream that from the rooftops.

4. What sparked the idea for the Marjorie Diaz series?
Marjorie Diaz is actually a rewrite of a rewrite that I did for a story I wrote during my last year of college. At the time it was based on a dream I had about a guy from my class that I had a crush on, and the first story felt unfair to me and the memories of my college career. So, I rewrote it with Marjorie and Lucian and created all of these LGBT characters to fill in these gaps, and I fell so in love with them I felt they deserved their own amazing story.

5. Who is your favorite character from the series?
Hands down Lucian Maravalle. She’s probably the best character I’ve ever created. And I guess Marjorie is alright too.

6. How much LGBT representation is in Marjorie Diaz Book 1?
Marjorie is an LGBT rep extravaganza. The main character, Marjorie, is asexual. Her best friend, Lucian, is a lesbian. Her love interest, Patrick, is bisexual. Lucian’s brother, Emmanuel, is bisexual. Patrick’s girlfriend from the beginning of the book, Adorara, is pansexual. Adorara’s girlfriend is transgender and a lesbian (though Cessily doesn’t get much screen time).
Pretty sure the only people in the entire series that are straight are uh…Marjorie’s sister Eliza and Marjorie’s mother. Maybe also Jason Maravalle (Lucian’s other brother), and Imani and Isaac Maravalle as well, but the jury is still out on them.

7. When is the second book in the Marjorie Diaz series scheduled for release?
I’m shooting for a tentative release date of March 2019.

8. Why did you choose to self-publish instead of pursuing a traditional publishing route?
Oh boy. I queried. I queried for months before giving up and publishing indie. My books kept getting rejected because of their ‘over the top’ LGBT content. Meaning, I had too many gay characters and that didn’t sit well with me. I had one agent actually say it is ‘unrealistic to have that many gay characters in one story’. I live in San Francisco. The place where the largest gay population in the U.S. is. This statement was laughable to me because pretty much everyone I know is gay and this agent wanted to tell me it wasn’t realistic. Boo on them.

9. What authors would you say are your biggest inspiration?
Malinda Lo, Scott Westerfeld, and Becky Chambers.

10. Do you have any projects you’re working on other than the Marjorie Diaz series?
Oh man, yeah. Tons. I’ve got my Monster Love Novella series (Fingers crossed I finish and release Nighthawks this year), my Untitled Reverse Harem series (M/M/F/F/E pairing), A City of Glass and Sand a science fiction book with a poly couple (F/F/M), Call Me Eli: a story about a trans man falling for a rock star, and The Incredible Origins of Suzie Q, Demon Hunter Extraordinaire about Suzuka Chiba, a girl displaced in time.

About the author:

Desdemona Wren is an urban fantasy and science fiction author who writes gay fiction with monsters, witches, and fantastical plots. She's from Seattle, WA, but currently resides in the mystical land of Northern California. Where everybody wears coats all the time, nobody says 'brah', 'bruh', 'bro' or any variation of that word, and absolutely nobody surfs.

She has two cats named Oliver and Ophelia who have traveled the world. From The Great Smoky Mountains, to the tallest peaks of The Cascades, and even to the Grand Canyon; they've been everywhere.

She has written two full-length novels: Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society and Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Ancestral Politics & Foul Play; one novella: Bloom: A Monster Love Novella (Book 1); and one short story for a Cinderella Anthology: Call Me Eli.

You can contact Desdemona via email at info@desdemonawren.com

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