Cooking Up a Story – the Marianne Rice Way


Marianne Rice

Welcome Marianne Rice who is going to rant about her writing (and cooking) style.  She has also honored us with the cover reveal of her upcoming book False Start, the first of her McKay-Tucker Men series.

In the writing world, we often hear the words “plotter” and “pantser”. If you’re not a writer, these terms may be new to you. In a nutshell, a plotter is one who plots out every scene and chapter and makes notes and outlines before writing. A pantser is someone who sits down at their computer and writes the story as it comes to mind.

Me? I’m neither. I’m a cooker. Literally and figuratively. I love to cook, bake, grill, you name it. I’m obsessed with Pinterest and Allrecipes. I stew—pun intended—over a recipe and think about how I can make it my own by adding a dash of this, a splash of that, or what healthy substitutes I can use in place of butter or sugar. It’s fun, but I don’t like to be rushed in my food planning. When I make my way to the kitchen, I know I have all the ingredients and have even figured out the final presentation of my masterpiece. My end product is typically what I had envisioned, but sometimes while I’m in the heat of the moment—pun intended…again—I think of a new something special to add.

I do the same with my writing. I spend months thinking about my characters and all of their goals, motivation and conflicts—what drives them, scares them, and empowers them. Much to my husband’s dismay, I don’t think about him when I go to bed. Instead, I toss and turn, thinking about my characters and what sort of obstacles are going to get in their way and how they’re going to over come them. I typically run through the book a few times in my mind before I type a single word of the story. Then, when I have time (ha!), I sit down and let the words flow. My stories have thus far stayed on track, but a new idea or character may maneuver into the story along the way. I’m flexible like that. J

My first drafts aren’t very pretty. I know some writers who hem and haw and take hours to write a few paragraphs, but what they’ve written is beautiful and needs little revising. Me? I’d get too bogged down trying to coming up with the perfect metaphor and then life would happen, I’d get distracted with Facebook, Pinterest, or my kids, and all writing would cease. So instead of stressing over the little details, I get the words on the page before going back to make it pretty. I can handle life’s distractions because I know where I’m going.

This process has worked well for me (not so much for my husband). I love being able to sit in front of my laptop and write five thousand words in a few hours. There is no such thing as a perfect recipe; everything, whether it be chocolate cream puffs, carrot ginger soup, or my next book can be modified. But I like to have a vision of where I’m going, what I need to make it happen, and what it’s going to look like in the end.

And then I make myself a fancy drink (that I’ve found on Pinterest and tweaked) and celebrate my accomplishment.


False Start releases Monday, February 23.         Pre-Order False Start on Amazon

He’s got to make the riskiest play of his life to get her to fall in love again …


Ex-NFL player turned high school football coach Connor McKay is well loved by all…except by the sexy principal who wants to make changes to his athletic program. Intrigued by Meg Fulton’s beauty and intelligence, Connor doesn’t mind going head-to-head with her. When he and Meg are set up on a blind date, he’s finally able to open a crack in Meg’s high emotional wall and see the caring woman inside. What Connor doesn’t expect is that his buddy and ex-teammate is the one responsible for Meg’s wall in the first place. To choose between a one-time brother and the woman he’s fallen hopelessly in love with, Connor will make the riskiest play of his life.

Always the misfit growing up, newly hired high school principal Meg Fulton uses a fashionable wardrobe and a sharp tongue to keep men at a safe distance. After a drunken, abusive experience in the back of a Chevy as a naïve teen, she became a single mother with a tough hide…until Connor McKay walks into the picture. She can’t stand him. He’s a sports-loving alpha male––no thanks! Meg has a good reason to hate jocks. Been there, done that, much to her regret. But as her path continues to cross with Connor’s, and attraction heats to a boiling point, Meg learns there’s more to Connor than biceps and a tight rear end. Things are heating up with them, when someone from her past threatens to tear them apart. Meg runs for cover…and from Connor. It will take a leap of love for Meg to shed the scars of her past and let love into her life.


“We need to talk.”

Startled by the deep growl, Meg Fulton looked up to the towering stack of testosterone filling her office doorway and cursed the butterflies that fluttered in her stomach.

She straightened her posture, ran her hand through her thick hair in an attempt to put all the strays back in place, and then reached for the lapels of the suit coat that wasn’t there. She felt vulnerable in her silk tank top and wished she had an extra layer to shield her from the menacing daggers targeted at her. Putting on the jacket would only make a spectacle of herself. The thin tank would have to do.

“Sure. Have a seat.” She crossed her legs and attempted to smile. Inwardly, Meg groaned. Connor McKay. She’d noticed him on the football field coaching his athletes and had not looked forward to the expected confrontation.

He remained in the doorway, making no move toward the empty seats across from her desk. His blond hair was short, barely longer than the scruff on his face, and as she looked up she saw his eyes—a fierce, fiery blue filled with accusation and something that ranged between confusion and lust.


Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines her smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, relaxing with fancy drinks and a great read. She tries to make time for her husband too, but he often places behind her love affair with books.

Connect with her on Facebook or

visit her website at

Pre-Order False Start:


Amazon UK:

Liquid Silver:






About KaLynCooper

​KaLyn Cooper’s romances blend fact and fiction with blazing heat and heart-pounding suspense. Twenty-two years as a military wife has shown KaLyn the world, and thirty years in PR taught her that fact can be stranger than fiction. She leaves it up to the reader to separate truth from imagination. She, her husband, and bird dog live in Eastern Tennessee on a micro-plantation filled with gardens, cattle, and quail. When she’s not writing, she’s at the shooting range or paddling on the river.
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6 Responses to Cooking Up a Story – the Marianne Rice Way

  1. Nina Pierce says:

    Great post, Marianne. When I first started I was very much a pantser. I had no idea who would show up on the page or where they’d take the story. But now, I find I’m a mix between a ‘cooker’ and a pantser. I seem to understand my characters much more when I come to the story. BUT, unlike you, my words get stalled and I worry they’re not ‘perfect’ when they hit the page. My internal editor needs a muzzle and maybe a good dose of Nyquil. Just sayin…


  2. Great to know there’s an alternative to plotter vs pantser. Alas, I’m a hybrid of all three. I cook/stew over my characters and story, then do some preliminary plotting, before I let those words flow.
    Love the excerpt and blurb. Can’t wait to read Connor’s story.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brenna says:

    Congratulations on the new release!! I was always a pantser, but lately, I’ve been working on plotting more lately. It helps me to stay more focused. I do like the idea of using pinterest, but haven’t utilized that yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mariannerice says:

      Oh, Brenna. You’ll be hooked. There’s so much to look/drool/dream about. Great hero and heroine inspiration (For some strange reason I have 100x more hero pictures than heroine. Hmmm wonder why). There are also writers’ boards and inspirational quotes. You could get lost in Pinterest heaven forever. Great research tool.


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