Interview with Author D.K. Marley & Blood and Ink Giveaway

Hello, dear readers & Happy Monday! Today on the blog I have a great interview with author D.K. Marley and a giveaway for her book, Blood and Ink! Enjoy!

Hello D.K. and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Blood and Ink!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and Blood and Ink?

I am a historical fiction author and blogger with a passion for all things Shakespearean! My grandmother gave me my first ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’ when I was eleven, thus beginning my journey into the Elizabethan world. Needless to say, I was hooked. I have traveled several times to the UK on research and pleasure, immersing myself into the world of Shakespeare by visiting the Globe Theater, Stratford-upon-Avon, and some lectures hosted at the Globe by Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance. Despite the topic of Blood and Ink, which delves into the authorship question of the plays attributed to Shakespeare, I am an avid Stratfordian, as well as a Marlowe fan. “Blood and Ink” might be considered more of an alternate historical fiction piece, traveling the path of what happened if Marlowe faked his death in Deptford in 1593 and Shakespeare became his proxy for the plays.

What inspired you to write Blood and Ink?

On one of my visits to the Globe, many many years ago, one of the museum displays showed a collage of men who might have written or co-written the plays; one of them was, of course, Christopher Marlowe. Something drew me to the story of Marlowe, so when I returned home with a portfolio full of notes, I started my research.

What type of research did you do for writing Blood and Ink?

The debate lectures at the Globe helped tremendously, although many of those in attendance favored the Earl of Oxford as the true writer, but their mind-set helped pave a way into how to research the sonnets and the plays for clues. Also, I read the book “Her Majesty’s Spymaster” by Stephen Budiansky and ‘The Marlowe Studies’ by Peter Farey. I emailed several times with Mr. Farey on questions I had and two of my articles were published with the Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection. I owe a great deal of background research to Mr. Farey.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The scene between Marlowe and the Countess of Pembroke. I took the idea of the ‘dark lady’ and the line ‘in nothing art thou dark save for thy deeds’ in Sonnet 131 and ‘to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell’ in Sonnet 129, as well as the entire Venus and Adonis poem, to sketch out the possible encounter between a young Marlowe and the precocious Countess.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The scene of the massacre in Paris and trying to focus more on the loss of childhood instead of the grisly and bloody things happening on the streets of Paris. I wanted the scene to affect Marlowe so that later, when he wrote his play, all those images he saw would spill out onto the page.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew when I was very little, around 7-8 years old that I loved books and storytelling. I used to create elaborate stories in my head, sort of Wonderland escapism for an only child.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

My greatest challenge is my fight with bipolar depression and depression from grief. Sometimes the they both overwhelm me to the point where my writing suffers, and other times, I break into a creative drive that puts me on overload. Writing is therapeutic for me, though, and I find I am still that little girl running after white rabbits into new stories and characters. Balance is the key for me. I write when I can and cry when I must, sometimes flip-flopping the two.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Shakespeare, of course, first and foremost. I love Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Rosalind Miles, Alison Weir, and Ken Follett.

What was the first historical novel you read?

So hard to remember since I have read so many, but I do recall reading “The Far Pavilions” by M. M. Kaye when I was in high school. I adored this book and still have that same copy in my book collection today.

What is the last historical novel you read?

“All the Light You Cannot See” by Doerr… loved it!

What are three things people may not know about you?

I am a grandmother; I love Scottish Terriers; and I am a MADD advocate since losing my daughter and son-in-law to a drunk driver in 2015.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I love everything about history, and the leaning toward literary writing with a touch of romance.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

Tudor era, Medieval era, and now, with my upcoming novel due in December, Colonial Georgia.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I love to work in my flower garden, play with my granddaughter, spend time with my husband of 31 years, and do photography.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

Two novels - “Child of Love & Water” set in Colonial Georgia, mid 1700s, where four lives entwine - an Ulster Irish orphan girl, a British soldier, a Creek Indian warrior, and a runaway Gullah slave girl. What they learn from this wild Irish girl and from each other will change their lives forever. Next, “A Winter’s Fire” is the second book in the Fractured Shakespeare Series and retells the story of Macbeth from Lady Macbeth’s POV, beginning when she is 16 years old.

Wow, those both sound like excellent reads! Thanks so much for speaking with us today, D.K.! Have a great blog tour!

Blood and Ink by D.K. Marley

Publication Date: March 28, 2018
The White Rabbit Publishing
ebook, Paperback, and Audible; 438 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

In the tradition of "The Marlowe Papers" by Ros Barber, the debut historical fiction novel "Blood and Ink" tells the story of Christopher "Kit" Marlowe, the dark and brooding playwright of Queen Elizabeth's court. Marlowe sells his soul to gain the one thing he desires: to see his name immortalized.

Inspired at an early age on the banks of the Stour River, his passion for a goose quill and ink thrusts him into the labyrinth of England's underworld - a secret spy ring created by the Queen's spymaster, Sir Frances Walsingham.

Kit suffers the whips and scorns of time as he witnesses the massacre of Paris, the hypocrisy of the church, the rejection from his 'dark lady,' the theft of his identity as a playwright, and wrenching loss breathing life into many of his unforgettable characters.

As he sinks further into the clutches of Walsingham, a masque is written by his own hand to save his life from shadowing betrayers, from the Queen's own Star Chamber, and from the Jesuit assassins of Rome, thus sending him into exile and allowing an unknown actor from Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare, to step into his shoes.

And so begins the lie; and yet, what will a man not do to regain his name?

"DK Marley’s exhaustively researched and spryly written novel Blood and Ink follows in the tradition of such minor-key classics as Anthony Burgess’ A Dead Man in Deptford, and the central premise of Marley’s book—that Marlowe only faked his death in 1593 in order to escape the attentions of the Privy Council—will be familiar to followers of the Shakespearean authorship question (Shakespeare, needless to say, features prominently here). Marley has sifted through a phenomenal amount of research, but along the way she hasn’t forgotten to tell a first-rate and gripping story, adorned in many places by some very pretty turns of phrase. We may never have a final resolution to the tangled questions Marley raises, but as long as we get such strong and enjoyable novels as this one out of the tangle, we shouldn’t complain." -Historical Novel Society

Amazon (eBook) | Amazon (Paperback)

About the Author

D. K. Marley is a historical fiction writer specializing in Shakespearean themes. Her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, gave her a volume of Shakespeare's plays when she was eleven, inspiring DK to delve further into the rich Elizabethan language. Eleven years ago she began the research leading to the publication of her first novel "Blood and Ink," an epic tale of lost dreams, spurned love, jealousy and deception in Tudor England as the two men, William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, fight for one name and the famous works now known as the Shakespeare Folio.She is an avid Shakespearean / Marlowan, a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. She has traveled to England three times for intensive research and debate workshops, and is a graduate of the intense training workshop "The Writer's Retreat Workshop" founded by Gary Provost and hosted by Jason Sitzes.She lives in Georgia with her husband and a Scottish Terriers named Maggie and Buster.

For more information, please visit D.K. Marley's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 16
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 17
Review at Oh, October

Wednesday, July 18
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, July 19
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Friday, July 20
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Monday, July 23
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, July 24
Interview at What Cathy Read Next

Wednesday, July 25
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 copies of Blood and Ink by D.K. Marley! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Blood and Ink

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a great and informative interview. Blood & Ink by D.K.Marley has sparked my interest in a subject I know little about.The closest I have been to Shakespeare is visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon and posing for a photo outside his house!


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