Q&A with Carly Duncan
1. Please tell our readers about your book, Marcie.
Marcie is the story of Kate, a teenage girl who loses her mother, Marcie, unexpectedly and mysteriously. Kate didn’t have a healthy relationship with her mother before she died, so Marcie’s death causes her not only to investigate the bonds of motherhood, but the curious nature of her mother’s accident as well. The book spans the course of several years and includes flashbacks, which help to release family secrets and shed light on what really happened to Marcie.
2. The story is based on your own mother's experience. Why did you feel the need to tell this story?
My middle name is Marcella. When I was old enough, I learned it was my grandmother’s name. I grew up being shown photos of this woman who felt so close to me, but who I never met (and I somehow got the sense that my mom didn’t have a very loving opinion of her.) Throughout the years of learning my family history and the epic story of Marcie’s death, I learned various theories revolving around the accident and began to develop my own version of her story. This is my family’s one true mystery and I wanted to give it an ending. I’ve longed for a real answer for as long as I can remember and, since that can’t be produced, I thought I’d create my own.
3. As a Marcie, I love the title of your book. Why did you decide to use the name Marcie?
I had a few other titles that I toyed with using throughout the process of writing, but when it was time to choose the final name there was no doubt that Marcie would be my title. Her name alone is the only thing that could give the story justice. In comparison, everything else seemed trivial.
4. What was the biggest challenge while writing this book?
The biggest challenge while writing this book was detaching from the base that was reality in order to create the fictional world where Marcie’s tale takes place. I didn’t want to injure or disrupt anyone’s memory of my grandmother, so it was important for me to build a different reality that could be separate from real life.
5. This is a fictional story, but how much of it is true?
Only the base of the story is true. That is, Marcie died mysteriously and my mother did not have a loving relationship with her. Oh, and the letters; the letters that Charlie writes to Kate are closely based on love letters my father sent to my mom while she lived on Guam. The rest is fiction.
6. Coffee or Tea?
Coffee (Tea only when I’m sick.)
7. Beach or Mountains?
Beach (Can’t beat the relaxing sound of the waves.)
8. Romance or Mystery?
Mystery (I’m a sucker for Agatha Christie.)
9. Vanilla or Chocolate?
Vanilla (With chocolate sauce.)
10. Hot or Cold?
Cold (Cuddling up is so much better than feeling hot.)