Today I am interviewing Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of the new fantasy novel, Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe, second book in The Streets of Maradaine series.
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DJ: Hi Marshall! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Marshall Ryan Maresca: Hi! I’m Marshall Ryan Maresca, fantasy writer. I’m the author of the multiple series that make up the Maradaine Sequence, the latest book is Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe, the second book of the Streets of Maradaine series.
DJ: What is Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe and then The Streets of Maradaine series about?
Marshall: The Streets of Maradaine follows Asti and Verci Rynax, two brothers who live in the poorer neighborhood of North Seleth. That neighborhood was the target of deliberate arson, which lost them their home and business. In the first book, The Holver Alley Crew, they learned the forces behind the fire are even wider and further reaching than they suspected, so Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe continues their investigation into what caused the fire, and going after who was behind it.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Streets of Maradaine series?
Marshall: So much of its DNA comes from heist and crime stories– things like Firefly and Oceans Eleven. But I also found a lot of inspiration in the kinds of stories where a rag-tag team of underdogs pull together to get something done, and through that, forge intense bonds of loyalty– be that a heist, or winning the sectional championships, or tearing down a corrupt alliance. Did I mention Firefly?
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Marshall: The main characters are Asti and Verci Rynax– brothers-in-arms in every sense. I love writing their interplay, their walk-through-fire loyalty for each other. They’re both trained as thieves from childhood, but with different specialities. Asti is the tactical genius, Verci is the mechanical one. So they both look at any situation in different ways, find different solutions, but in a way that compliments each other.
That’s what makes them a great team.
DJ: What is the world of Maradaine and setting of The Streets of Maradaine series like?
Marshall: Maradaine is the capital city of Druthal, which is a Parlimentary monarchy– so the government is elected (and the election is a subplot that runs through Lady Henterman), but there still is a noble class in a lot of control. Druthal is a nation at peace, but it had an extended war that’s still part of living memory, so those scars are still very visible. In addition, it’s a nation that was built out of unifying ten archduchies, but those explicit identities of the former divisions are still very strong. It’s a country with a lot of freedom and equality on a theoretical level, but deep conflicts and inequity on a practical one. Technologically, I like to call it “clockpunk”– it’s in a place just before a steam-powered industrial revolution might take place.
In other words, it’s a city on the cusp of change.
DJ: How have the reviews been from readers, bloggers, and reviewers for the first book of The Streets of Maradaine series? Is there anything that your audience seems to be particularly enjoying or is eager to find out more about?
Marshall: The Holver Alley Crew was very well received, with Barnes & Novle SF&F Blog calling it an “Irresistible Low-Fantasy Caper”, and Powder & Page said, “2017 is awash in glorious, top-notch fantasy and The Holver Alley Crew is one of them.” The team of the Holver Alley– ASti & Verci, as well as Mila, Helene, Julien, Kennith and the rest really resonate with readers, and I’ve heard from many people who are anxious to see what’s happening next.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe?
Marshall: So many things to choose from! Probably the interplay between the crew and the eponymous Lady Henterman. Or possibly a scene where Helene meets up with a bounty hunter. Or where Mila stares down a rival gang with little more than force of will. Or…
There’s a lot I love in here.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Marshall: Tough to say. There’s quite a few big moments and surprises, both for the Streets series and the larger Maradaine Sequence. Though I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the past, where the thing readers react the most to as The Big Deal is completely different from what I thought it was going to be.
DJ: Did you have a goal when you began writing The Streets of Maradaine series? The series is not yet complete, but is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Marshall: There’s a larger story of Maradaine, and Asti and Verci are a key facet of that, so a lot of it has been about telling that story. They’ve got a journey, and it’s one of family and loyalty, and fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe that you can share with us?
Marshall: I’m rather fond of the opening line, “There was nothing a thief liked more than a boring, predictable person. Especially when that person was in charge of the security for the place he wanted to break into.”
DJ: Now that Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe is released, what is next for you?
Marshall: In October we’re launching the fourth Maradaine series, The Maradaine Elite, with the first novel of that series, The Way of the Shield. It follows Dayne, a hopeful member of an ancient warrior order in Maradaine, that’s verging on obsolescence in the current world. Dayne finds himself in the middle of a revolutionary plot, and strives to uphold justice and protect the defenseless in a world that doesn’t need him anymore. It’s something of mash-up of traditional fantasy and political-thriller-by-way-of-Les-Miserables.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Author Newsletter: https://tinyletter.com/MRMaresca
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Marshall-Ryan-Maresca/e/B00OWACWIW
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe and The Streets of Maradaine series that we haven’t talked about yet?
Marshall: This is a book with Crossbows and Ballgowns and people hiding their crossbows within their ballgowns. And magic-fueled street fights.
DJ: Is there anything else you would like add?
Marshall: Following this and Way of the Shield, we’re going to get the third Maradaine Constabulary novel, A Parliament of Bodies, the second Maradaine Elite novel, The Shield of the People, and then the next Streets novel, The Fenmere Job. After those come out, the next book will be The People of the City, which is the third Maradaine Elite novel, but will also thread together the stories in all four series of the Maradaine sequence.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Marshall: Thank you for having me!
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*** Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe is published by DAW Books and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | Kobo
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Mixing high fantasy and urban fantasy, the second novel of the Streets of Maradaine series follows the Rynax brothers’ crew of outlaws as they attempt their biggest heist yet and restore justice to the common people.
The neighborhood of North Seleth has suffered–and not just the Holver Alley Fire. Poverty and marginalization are forcing people out of the neighborhood, and violence on the streets is getting worse. Only the Rynax brothers–Asti and Verci–and their Holver Alley Crew are fighting for the common people. They’ve taken care of the people who actually burned down Holver Alley, but they’re still looking for the moneyed interests behind the fire.
The trail of breadcrumbs leads the crew to Lord Henterman, and they plan to infiltrate the noble’s house on the other side of the city. While the crew tries to penetrate the heart of the house, the worst elements of North Seleth seem to be uniting under a mysterious new leader. With the crew’s attention divided, Asti discovers that the secrets behind the fire, including ones from his past, might be found in Lady Henterman’s wardrobe.
About the Author:
Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. He now lives Austin with his wife and son. His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine.
For more information, visit Marshall’s website at http://www.mrmaresca.com.