Decked with Holly by Marni Bates – Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to Author Marni Bates

Marni Bates began her writing career at the age of 19 with her autobiography, Marni, for HCI’s Louder Than Words series. Her debut novel, Awkward, has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian and has been optioned by Disney Channel as a made for TV movie. She has three other novels with KTeen; Decked with Holly, Invisible, and Notable, as well as a short story in Ambush Books’ Magical Mayhem Anthology.
In her free time she can be found reading romance novels, rollerblading, singing really loudly (and off-key) in public and . . . watching copious amounts of television. You can visit her at, check out her author page on Facebook, follow her on Twitter at @MarniBates, or do all of the above! Really. It would make her day.


If you were a superhero what would your name be?
I would like to be one half of a superhero team called Marnes and Noble. We would fly around supplying books to underfunded school systems around the world.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
There is a scene that involves pepper spray and it will make you laugh…probably.

Any other books in the works?
Right now, I am actually working on the copyedits for INVISIBLE, which is written entirely from Jane’s point of view. And I’m trying to finish my first round of edits on Chelsea’s book, NOTABLE, before the end of the year. And I am working on another short story for an anthology called LOVE STINKS. *Gulps down nearest caffeinated beverage* It will all work out somehow.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Getting messages from readers who have enjoyed my books. Definitely. I do an incredibly geeky happy dance every single time.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Oooh, I can’t choose just one song! So here is a mini-playlist for each book in the series.


“Be OK” by Ingrid Michaelson
“Uncharted” by Sara Bareilles
“The Show” by Lenka


“Overboard” by Ingrid Michaelson
“Scar” by Missy Higgins
“Always in the Season” by Pomplamoose
“Do My Thing” by Estelle


“I Try” by Macy Gray
“Jane Doe” by Never Shout Never
“Naive” by The Kooks
“Maybe, This Time” by OK Go


“True Love” by Pink
“Go Places” by The New Pornographers
“Unbroken” by Missy Higgins
“If It Kills Me” by Jason Mraz

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Write what you want to read.

If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?
I never really liked the Greek gods. I mean, they throw these stupid temper tantrums over freaking beauty pageants and then they don’t even feel guilty when hundreds of thousands of people end up dead! But when I was invited to participate in The Magical Mayhem anthology I did a little research on Nemesis (aka the Greek goddess of revenge) and found myself writing a really funny origin story for her called, EPIC REVENGE.

But that’s as close to any of those gods/goddesses as I ever want to get!

What is your favorite quote?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Although I still have a soft spot for the Winston Churchill quote I used in my high school yearbook: “History shall be kind to me for I intend to write it.”


When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I didn’t have a clear visual of what I wanted to be in any professional sense. I daydreamed more about being popular and happy and the queen of the forest with lots of little bunny friends. Oh, and I really wanted a falcon. Somehow it never occurred to me that the falcon might pose a risk to my little bunny friends.

Mainly I wanted to become a socially well-adjusted adult. I’m not sure I’ve quite achieved that yet, but I think I’ve come pretty close to it!

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Julie Andrews, Meg Cabot, Gordon Korman, Jane Austen, Ally Carter, Jennifer Crusie, Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare…the list goes on for quite awhile.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Actually, I can see parts of myself in almost all of my characters. Even the ones who aren’t exactly *cough* known for being nice.

Here’s a good example: When I first started working on AWKWARD, I absolutely hated the queen of the Notables, Chelsea Halloway.

I despised her.

But then I realized that just because she’s blonde and gorgeous and, y’know, the anti-Marni, doesn’t mean we didn’t share some of our insecurities. Chelsea’s biggest problem is that she doesn’t know if she’s smart…and as the youngest of four kids there were many years I questioned my own intelligence. I’ve always been considered the odd duckling in my family. My disinterest in the practical things in life made a pretty compelling case to stick me with the honorific of Least Likely to Succeed.

Not that my family would ever say as much…to my face.

Still, I could really relate to Chelsea’s post-high school related insecurities.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
I once considered writing INVISIBLE as a paranormal book. I think that will always rank high up there on the list of Marni’s Worst Ideas Ever. Right next to my elementary school plan of taking a carton of eggs from the refrigerator and trying to hatch them in my sock drawer.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Be yourself. It’s a classic piece of advice for a reason.

Hidden talent?
I’m pretty darn good at rollerblading.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
PERFECT SCOUNDRELS. I am unspeakably excited to read the third book in Ally Carter’s Heist Society series. Seriously. You don’t want me to start talking about it unless you’re willing to run the risk that I will never shut up.

Technically, “Marni” is a nickname. My full legal name is actually Marnina, which means “celebration” or “rejoice” in Hebrew. I’ve always considered my full name beautiful but truncating it to Marni fits my personality much better. My family must agree because even when I’ve been at my most obnoxious nobody has ever called me Marnina.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
AWKWARD. Actually, when my dad saw my debut novel on the shelf in Barnes & Noble, he read the title and asked if it was my autobiography. He also wasn’t kidding.

Do you prefer a bunch of small gifts or one big expensive one?
Size doesn’t really play into it for me. My favorite gifts are ones that shows how well the gift-giver knows me. Whether it’s a pearl necklace, a romance novel, a Starbucks gift card, a sweet postcard, a song left on my voicemail, or a pair of spy sunglasses so I can see if someone tries to sneak up on me…they all make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

What do you think of book trailers?
I love them! In fact, I’ve been making my own book trailers using entirely my own art.

DECKED WITH HOLLY book trailer:

As you can see, I’ve gotten quite a bit better since I made my trailer for AWKWARD!

AWKWARD book trailer:

I’ve found creating book trailers works as a really great artistic outlet for me when I need a break from writing or editing.

What’s your favorite word?

Top 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Go skydiving.
2. Explore Greece in a skirt that swirls and swooshes with every step.
3. Meet my writing heros without doing anything horribly embarrassing, like y’know, sobbing.

Describe your book in 3 words
Hilarious holiday romance.

Do your characters really talk to you?
Not precisely. They definitely talk in my head but I don’t think it’s ever directed at me. It’s more like I hear their internal monologue. And sometimes when they are really mad about something I have to listen to their ranting for hours.

Where is your favorite spot to write?
I find I focus better on my writing in crowded, well-caffeinated areas like Starbucks. But I once bought a pass for the Northwest Music Festival, squeezed my way into an unoccupied corner of the venue, and cranked out some pages on my laptop in the midst of the rock concert.

Yeah, I’m that level of dorky.

What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
I love writing the first three chapters when the story can go anywhere!

Decked With Holly

Holly Dayton is about to go way out of her comfort zone…

Spending Christmas vacation on a cruise with her two cousins from hell isn’t Holly’s idea of a good time. And when in a moment of seasick-fueled desperation she lurches into an open suite—she’s greeted with an eyeful of pepper spray. The culprit? A gorgeous guy calling himself Nick. But when Holly goes to make her exit, she gets the shock of her life: a corridor crammed with screaming teenage fans. Because Nick just happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for ReadySet—one of the hottest bands in America.

Suddenly rumors are swirling, and Holly’s face is captured on countless phones and plastered all over the Internet. But the band can’t risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend—just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be fauxmantically involved with one of the cutest rockstars on the planet? Holly’s about to find out…

Tour Schedule
Week One:
Dec. 31, 2012 – Kathy @ I Am A Reader Not A Writer – Author Interview
Jan. 1, 2013 – Karielle @ Books a la Mode – Guest Post – Author Top Ten
Jan. 2, 2013 – Krystal @ Live to Read – Review
Jan. 3, 2013 – Aeicha @ Word Spelunking – Guest Post
Jan. 4, 2013 – JennRenee @ JennRenee Read – Review
Week Two:
Jan. 7, 2013 – Tara @ Hobbitsies – Guest Post
Jan. 8, 2013 – Kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best – Review
Jan. 9, 2013 – Hannah @ The Girl in a Cafe – Author Interview
Jan. 10, 2013 – Emilie @ Emilie’s Book World – Review
Jan. 11, 2013 – Rachel @ Parajunkee – Guest Post

Giveaway Details
1 copy of Decked with Holly
Open to US only
Ends 1/21/12

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