Today we’re celebrating Marilize Roos. Since 12 Short Stories started in 2017 we’ve seen many of our writers go on to publish and accomplish great things with their writing. The Prompt to Publication emails are all about celebrating these writers and their wonderful stories.
I hope these emails will help you and teach you how to use 12 Short Stories to build your author platform.
Author interview: I’d like to introduce you to Marilize Roos
Marilize Roos earned her #braggingrights for 12 Short Stories in 2017 and 2018. She is an author of romance set in Cape Town, South Africa, but writes short stories in between for fun.
Marilize was kind enough to share her experience with us. Read more about her journey below.
How has 12 Short Stories helped you write and publish?
Marilize: 12 Short Stories has been somewhat of a simulator for real-life self-publishing. The processes involved in posting, advertising, and getting comments on the site are remarkably similar to publishing on e-book retailers.
It’s also been a great place to experiment. You can see if your jokes are funny, or if the humour falls flat. You can try out your suspense-writing skills, or horror, or whether your stories are as romantic as you thought. With 12 Short Stories, you have a built-in audience to try out your new skills.
By helping others, you help yourself. Spotting issues in someone else’s work might help you to recognize it in your own writing. And if it’s an issue that used to be in your own work, but you’ve managed to remedy it, you can pay it forward and help someone else.
And finally – you make friends. Participants tend to follow the writers they like, and eventually we reach out and form friendships that go deeper and follow you in your publishing journey.
What have you published?
Marilize: I launched my first full-length novel in December 2019. To date, I have published 7 works in e-book form, another 2 novels already written just waiting to be polished and published, and my WIP that is only a few scenes from a completed first draft. If I get all my back-list books and my WIP published by the end of this year, that’ll bring my total to 10.
What did you learn that you applied to your novel?
Marilize: I was already in the habit of writing every day. Every evening at 20:00, an alarm goes off on my phone; my son knows it’s bed-time, and I take out my laptop. For the next hour, at least, I report to work, and whether I write 800 words or 2000 words, I sit in front of that laptop. I find that usually once I get started, I write until I’m done, not necessarily just until the hour is over. However, when you know you have a deadline that isn’t self-imposed, it does force you to plan. it would be heart-breaking to lose out on your bragging rights because I didn’t prepare.
Did the feedback help?
Marilize: Posting a short story every month for critique certainly helps you to learn how to handle reviews! You learn to be brave and later also how to trust yourself that what you are putting out into the site is of decent quality. Once you upload that manuscript to the e-book retailer, you have the confidence to know that you’ve put forth your best product, and you have a good idea of how the readers will receive it.
Did the deadlines and wordcounts help?
Marilize: You learn to turn every word over twice and see if it deserves to be in your story. When you only have a very limited word count, every word has to work for it, and soon it becomes a habit to write a clean copy.
Marilize Roos used to comb the libraries and second-hand book sales for out-of-print copies of Afrikaans historical romance novels by authors such as Wille Martin and Ena Murray.
She has always had a fascination for Cape Town history and Regency Romance and thought to introduce the rest of the world to Regency-era Cape Town.
She’s tried her hand at many different occupations, including working at a riding school as a riding instructor, trail guide, stable manager, saddler, and horse handler on TV shows. She’s worked as a freelance typist, photographic assistant, maintenance contractor’s assistant, Public Relations Consultant, and Administrative Assistant.
Marilize Roos lives with her husband and son in Muizenberg, Cape Town, and is currently hard at work on her next novel.
Join her on Facebook.
Marilize Roos’ favourite 12 Short Stories stories
Marilize: Most of these stories are special to me, for different reasons. One of my early stories, Something Nice, was one of my first attempts at romantic comedy. That Devil on Your Shoulder, my exploration of why otherwise good people make bad decisions, has brought me the most visceral reactions from readers, and Until Death, which was an attempt at writing suspense and would have been a single story with a tragic ending, turned into a nine-part serial after commenters cried “no, it can’t end there!” I’d say that my current work is pretty much a mix of those three.
Read an excerpt of Marilize Roos’ latest novel, Michael.
The slammed front door shivered in its frame in Darien’s wake. He knew somewhere behind him his mother-in-law was hurrying across the lawn to see her daughter, but he outpaced her with his long, angry strides in his haste to get back to Bassett.
He marched straight past a surprised Baxter sitting at the kitchen table, flung open the cellar door and skipped down the stairs at double speed to find Paul sitting on one of the barrels, an open bottle of wine dangling from his hand between his knees. Baxter had left a lantern as a source of light, and even in the dim light, Darien could see the damage his fists has done to Bassett’s face.
If anything, the injuries didn’t seem to faze Bassett in the least; his eyes, the left one a little bloodshot from one of Darien’s fists, still regarded him with innate arrogance.
“How is she?” Bassett asked quietly. He didn’t make a move except to raise his head and look at him, but Darien advanced until he was standing before him. When Darien realised that his hands were knotted into fists, he flexed them twice, then widened his stance and crossed his arms over his chest.
“How did you escape?” Darien asked. “Claremont assured me that –”
“How is Este?”
“How did you escape?”
Bassett had been sitting on the barrel with such apparent indolence, Darien had been unprepared for the speed at which he moved when he struck. Bassett launched himself at Darien and grabbing him by both lapels, propelled him backwards and slammed him against the massive brandy barrel behind him. Bassett didn’t release his lapels, didn’t hit him, merely loomed with his face two inches from Darien’s and held his gaze with his.
“How. Is. My. Wife,” Bassett growled.
For a moment, Darien was stunned, but then he shoved hard enough against Bassett’s shoulders to make the shorter man stagger backwards a step and hold his ribs. Even then, Bassett didn’t back down.
“She is not your wife,” Darien argued.
“I saw a marriage certificate, with your signature on it, that says differently,” Bassett said. “Or have you forgotten?”
“Unfortunately, I have not,” Darien said, fists clenched again.
Bassett took three deep breaths, his eyes closed, before he spoke again. “How is Este,” Bassett asked softly, more in control. Darien derived some satisfaction from seeing the effort it took to humble himself and hold his temper in check.
“We have called the physician,” Darien admitted. “He will be here soon; we sent Ebhardt to fetch him from Muizenberg.”
“Doctor Levin,” Bassett said, and Darien thought he relaxed a moment.
Bassett stepped away from him and hopped onto the barrel again, picking up the opened wine bottle and taking a swig directly from the bottle.
“Yes, Doctor Levin,” Darien replied. “How did you escape?”
“Shark,” he smirked, and Darien bristled.
“I don’t have time for –”
“Then ask your friend Baxter,” Bassett said. “He was there.”
“Right up until you ambushed him.”
“It was a fair fight,” Bassett growled.
“Of course it was.”
“Why did you witness the marriage certificate?” Bassett asked, taking another swallow from the wine bottle and hugging his ribs.
“That is none of your business.”
“Of course it is,” Bassett said. “Mine is the life affected by it; mine and Este’s. Why did you sign the marriage certificate? One would think that you would be less than enthusiastic to have me as a brother-in-law, after what happened between me and your wife.”
“You bloody bastard –” Darien lunged at Paul, wrapped his hands around Paul’s throat and pushed him off the barrel to land with a thud on the floor. Apart from latching onto Darien’s hands and trying to pull his hands off his throat, Paul did not fight him.
Darien felt a hand at his collar, pulling him off Bassett.
“What do you think you’re doing!” Baxter shouted.
“I cannot believe you haven’t shackled him, but are leaving him to wander around unrestrained in my wine cellar!” Darien pointed to Bassett where he was leaning on one elbow, coughing and holding his ribs.
“And you see this as cause to assault my prisoner?” Baxter asked.
“Your prisoner?” Darien spat.
“At the moment I’m no-one’s prisoner,” Bassett croaked, trying to get to his feet.
“Stay down, or you’re next,” Baxter growled, pointing a finger, and Bassett turned on his back again, one hand rubbing his throat, his other arm hugging his ribs.
“Yes, my prisoner,” Baxter said. “It is my mandate to apprehend him, not yours.”
“Technically, you didn’t apprehend me – I walked in here of my own will.” Bassett said.
“Then why haven’t you taken your prisoner and aren’t you half-way to Simonstown?” Darien shouted.
“I’m not going anywhere without Este,” Bassett said.
“Stay out of it!” Darien and Baxter shouted in unison, at which Bassett just held his hands up in surrender before he draped them gently over his waist.
“I am not going to haul a man off in chains when his wife is lying in bed two floors above us, waiting for a physician,” Baxter said. “We can at least hear what Dr Levin says before we send the man off to New South Wales for the foreseeable future.”
Darien and Baxter both turned to look at Bassett, still lying on his back with hands folded across his waist, staring at the ceiling. It was the first time Darien had ever seen him that he didn’t have an arrogant smirk on his lips.
Marilize Roos’ Books
Paul – The Cape of Good Hope, 1821… Apparently, one did not have to attend one’s wedding to get leg-shackled.
In a moment of weakness, tired of relentless pressure, Este de Ruyter signed the document presented to her by the Duke of Claremont, binding her in marriage to his heir, the father of her baby, and now the duke wants to spirit her away to England, never to see her family again.
Paul Bassett made a mistake. In trying to force Este to remember the passion they’d once shared, he now faced transportation to New South Wales. When the duke pressures him into signing the marriage certificate, the threat is clear: Sign it, or Paul could be made to just… disappear. Read more.
Darien – When Darien Forbes left England behind for the Cape of Good Hope, he’d hoped to leave behind the heartache and betrayal as well. His brother could keep his Marquisate and Darien’s fiancée both – Darien would devote his life to hedonism on the other end of the world, and never entrust his heart to a beautiful woman again.
Mariana de Ruyter was a capable young woman. Hard-working. Sensible. Of sturdy Dutch peasant stock, but she gave up on dreams of a handsome young man sweeping her off her feet, when her beautiful sisters were around for comparison.
When Darien meets Mariana in the light of day, he thinks she’d be the perfect wife – one no-one else would want.
How was he to know that under his care and attention, she’d bloom and become a beauty other men would covet? Read more.
Quinn – By decree of her father, the Duke of Claremont, Delia Bassett was betrothed to a monster.
Desperate to escape marriage to a man whose previous wives had, according to the whispers of the ton, all died under suspicious circumstances, she devises a desperate plan: surely, if she were ruined socially, she’d be released from this betrothal contract.
Claremont is furious. To save face socially and politically, there is only one thing he can do: Marry his daughter to a man of unimpeachable character. If that is not possible, banishing her to the other end of the world would have to suffice.
Quinton Levin, Viscount Redding, fled England at sixteen years old with nothing but his twin sister and the clothes on their backs to escape their tyrant of a father, and stowed away on a ship bound for the Netherlands. Read more.
Benedict Archer, international man of mystery and spy for the Crown has been living a shadow-existence in the ballrooms of the Cape Town Beau Monde, until Lord Somerset gives Benedict his new assignment with a scandalous stipulation… Find a lady to pose as his wife in order to blend in at a high society garden party.
Gezina de Ruiter dreams of lords and ladies, ballrooms and beaus, far removed from her life as a farmer’s daughter. Then one night a sophisticated stranger kneels at her feet and begs her to masquerade as his wife for a few hours, offering her a glimpse into this world of the elite.
When a plot is discovered to free Napoleon from St Helena and murder the Prince of Lichtenstein, Gezina realizes that more is at stake than her reputation. She will continue to pretend to be Benedict’s wife at a week-long house party to save a life – indeed, to save the free world Read more.
A varied collection of short stories of different genres and moods.
Some are serious. Some are sad. Some are light-hearted, frivolous, slap your thigh funny.
All of them are short, and perfect to read While We Wait.
Keep your secrets to yourself, and you won’t get hurt; it’s none of their business anyway.
Catch and Release at Club Angelus no longer holds any appeal to Dr Michael McIan; the kind of play he favours is intimate, and it hurts too much to let the submissive go after the scene.
But one day a couple walks into his surgery, and they respond so sweetly to him, his resolve to stay vanilla weakens. He should keep his distance; he refuses to get in the middle of their marriage.
Then they come to him with the most tempting offer…
*This is an MMF romance with MF, MM and MMF scenes. Read more.
Well done, Marlize Roos. We are very proud of you.
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