Today, I'd like to welcome Marina Julia Neary, author of “Martyrs & Traitors” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Marina Julia Neary is an award-winning historical essayist, multilingual arts & entertainment journalist, published poet, playwright, actress, dancer and choreographer. Her historical tragicomedy Hugo in London featuring the adventures of the French literary genius in England during the Crimean War was produced in Greenwich in 2008 and recently acquired by Heuer Publishing. A sequel, Lady with a Lamp: an Untold Story of Florence Nightingale, premiered in 2009 as a theatrical benefit for The Wyatt Foundation. In addition to her writing career, Neary has a career in the performing arts. She has starred in several independent horror films shot in CT and NY.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Depends on the scenario. If my loved one got himself into trouble by breaking the law in the first place, I will pray for him but make him pay. Sorry, justice above emotions. We live in a country with a robust law enforcement system, and we pay taxes. We should be able to rely on that system to protect us.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
The difference is semantic. Just because you are not living your dream every second of your documented existence, it doesn't mean that your life is meaningless. There is a time for everything: for book signing and for scooping out your cat's litter box. People in developed countries have these unrealistic expectation that every second of your life has to be orgasmic. And when they don't get that, they turn to drugs.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
The little demonic voices in your head that will only get louder if you don't write them down. I must say, my creativity comes from a very dark place. Anger, envy, hatred, dark sarcasm - those are the driving forces behind my writing. I wouldn't be able to write anything "inspirational" or "life affirming" if you held a gun to my head.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
Because patriarchal society tells them that they must. People tell you horror stories about "dying in an empty apartment with three cats". The question you asked is why do HUMANS want children. I guess, animals rely just on instinct. Humans also rely on social pressure. There is a stigma attached to childless people, so many "break down" and have kids even though they don't want them, just to get the judgmental society off their backs.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Martyrs & Traitors" ?
The challenge was digging up some bits of information that the protagonist's family tried to hard to keep hidden. He was a prominent and controversial historical figure, so his children and grandchildren were very wary of sharing too much about him with historians and journalists.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
I hope that my most valuable lessons are still ahead. I have learned to go with my gut when it comes to backing up my computer. If your hard drive is giving you warning signs that it's about to die on you, it's a good idea to back up your files.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Martyrs & Traitors" ?
It was easy. I wanted to show the ludicrous dichotomy of political polarization. I'm referring to this "You are either with us or against us" mentality. I realize that 100 years after the Easter Rising, the standards for martyr vs traitor have been redefined. I hope that time has allowed modern scholars to step back and see beyond the white and black.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I always consider the source and the context. I am rarely surprised. If someone brings a particular shortcoming of mine to light, chances are, I am already aware of it and for some reason or another have put it the back burner. I get criticized for being "too butch", "too aggressive" and "not motherly enough". You have to remember that the same traits that attract so much criticism can attract just as much praise from someone else.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Because it promotes critical thinking and challenges ethnic and religious stereotypes. It's the anti-escapism literature. Even though it's set in Ireland, there are many universal themes pertaining to the creation of political and cultural martyrs. Not to mention, it's a very steamy, candid, raw, heart-wrenching read.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Ask God. Seriously. I believe in the impersonal God of science and reason, and I look forward to meeting him some day. I do not view the proverbial glass as either half-full or half-empty. My glass is cracked! I can fill it up with hard objects, but not fluid.
Thank you Marina :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “Martyrs & Traitors” on
Dublin, Good Friday, 1916
Kidnapped and held at gunpoint by his former IRB comrades, Bulmer Hobson, the misunderstood antihero of 1916, denounces the ill-fated Easter Rising he had tried to prevent. While his captors joke about shooting him and dumping his body on the railroad tracks, his terrified fiancee roams the chaos-ravaged city in search of him. Fifteen years of political rivalry, international conspiracy, botched love affairs, and taunting promises of glory culminate in a bloody showdown. Once branded 'the most dangerous man in Ireland' by the police, Hobson is about to be deleted from history.
Based on historical accounts, Martyrs and Traitors is an intimate glance into the conflicted and shattered heart of Ireland's discredited patriot.