Mariel Cove: A Sexy, Steamy, Intrigue-Filled Lesbian Series

Hiya, peeps! Hope everybody is having a fabulous Friday. If not, perhaps this will make it a bit more fab for you.

I am EXTREMELY pleased to have with me today Noel Meredith, one of the writers on the F/F series Mariel Cove.

The backstory of Mariel Cove centers on renowned painter and curator and senator’s widow Mariel Ridgeway, who buys up a cove on a secluded island “as far West as America allows.” She founds a cottage town of women whose lives are filled with secrets, sex, and scandal.

So the series follows fourteen women in a steamy drama of interconnected mysteries and intrigue (here’s a handy character list!). It’s styled like a TV series. A team of writers is involved, each writer in charge of specific characters. There are twelve episodes in each series, and guess what? You can get individual episodes in ebook format or buy a season in either ebook or print!

Season 1 is available in ebook HERE and print HERE (vol. 1) and HERE (vol. 2).

Season 2 is available in ebook HERE (vol. 1) and HERE (vol. 2). Or you can get it in print HERE (vol. 1; vol. 3) and HERE (vol. 2).

Are you interested in individual episodes? Hit the link to the main Mariel Cove site for a list and links to purchase.

Now let’s talk a little bit about Noel. She started publishing articles as a teen and graduated with a Masters in Journalism in the ’90s. She’s also managed to live in 45 of the 50 United States, in more cities than she can count. She began writing fiction full time when investigative journalism proved fact is stranger than fiction and she realized that she preferred her life a little less strange. Noel writes the characters Arianna, Celeste, Gabriel, Devi, and Marley in Mariel Cove‘s Season 1 and Mariel and Rosario in Season 2.

Ready? Let’s go hang out with Noel!

ANDI: Hi, Noel! I am so glad you’re able to take some time out of your schedule to hang out with us here at Women and Words. So I’m just going to jump in. I’m intrigued by this project, Noel. I’d describe Mariel Cove as a “collective serial.” That is, it’s a F/F series written by several authors. It’s my understanding that Mariel Cove is a brainchild of all-around artistic do-everything international woman of mystery Jennifer DiMarco and that she envisioned it as a book version of a television show, with a team of writers. How did the current team of writers come to the Cove?

NOEL: Well, you know how women talk 😉 The original owner of Angels of Anarchy, Harley DeSalvo, put out a call for writers. It started as word of mouth and spread like wildfire. The idea — serialized lesbian erotica, released weekly as an e-book — was new and inspiring. We found ourselves with a group of writers as varied as you could imagine, ranging from nineteen to fifty-five and coming from all walks of life.

ANDI: That could be either really cool or kind of like herding cats. Or heck, maybe both, but with a lot of great creative energy in the mix. So how did you get involved with this project and what are your roles?

NOEL: When I heard about the call for writers, I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved. In the past, Harley’s projects always had a high percentage of writers that were women of color, and as a black woman, that really meant something to me. Soon after we began working on Season One, Harley sold the publishing house — including Mariel Cove — to Jennifer DiMarco, who was already the editor for the series and who I had known as an author.

ANDI: What a great opportunity.

NOEL: I’m a lead writer for Mariel Cove. That means that I wrote about 45 percent of the scenes for the first two seasons — much more than the other two series by Angels of Anarchy that I’m a part of. I write about 10 percent of Club Rook (Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Lost Girl, all set in a lesbian exotic dance club) and about 20 percent of NeXt (X-Men meets Alphas, with all lesbian characters that develop transhuman powers).

ANDI: [eyes bugging out of her head] HOW DID I MISS THAT? Lost Girl meets Buffy? Lesbian X-Men? Great goddesses galore! I’ll eventually get over missing that, and to distract everybody, I’m just going to say it. SEX. Mariel Cove has lots of women having lots of sex (with each other). In other words, this is a STEAMY, SIZZLING, SEXY series. Was that the original intent, to create an erotic series or did it sort of evolve that way? Give us some juicy gossip about that!

NOEL: The original idea was erotica. Steamy, hot, lesbian sex, written by women, for women. There would be story, of course, but the focus was sex. For the second season, the murder/mystery element took over, and it was more intrigue and danger than anything else. For the third season, we’re going to return to our original, steamy format 😉

ANDI: But it’s certainly perfectly okay to have a murder/intrigue break between steam sessions. Another aspect that I really enjoy about this series is that there are quite a few characters whose lives intertwine, which means there are storylines for everybody. There are, in fact, fourteen characters. Did the writing team develop them as a group project or did individual writers develop them? Or a combination thereof?

NOEL: My answer to this question is definitely different than if you had asked any of the other writers. For most of the characters, we were handed a very brief description from Jennifer and her wife, Brianne. They came up with age, ethnicity, job title, and any romantic ties to current residents of the Cove. It was up to us (as the writers) to name the characters and give them personality and backstory.

For Arianna Trenton — undeniably the main character of Season One, and my primary character — this was not the case. Arianna’s story was integral to the first season and it revolved around her past. Because of this, her personality, her history, her quirks and any potential relationships had already been decided.

ANDI: Let’s talk a bit about the range of characters. That’s one of the things that I find really refreshing and enjoyable about this series. There’s a lot of diversity here — age, race, economic background, artistic background, deaf, political affiliations — what kind of feedback have you and your crew at the Cove gotten about that? And do people write to you and make suggestions with regard to bringing in even more diversity?

NOEL: We’re a really diverse team of writers, which absolutely reflected in the characters in the first two seasons. The outpouring of positive reader responses has been almost overwhelming. There’s a character (or several!) that will speak to any given reader, no matter their background. We want to keep that diversity alive and fresh, which is why we’re bringing in new writers for Season Three. A few of the previously established writers — myself, Skye Montague, and Neale Taylor — are staying, but we want to bring in new characters and perspectives.

ANDI: Can you give us an overview of how an episode comes together, from start to finish? What’s the process each goes through and what kind of schedule do you operate on? And how much coffee is consumed? 🙂

NOEL: Our schedule was brisk but very manageable 🙂 Each episode was written over the course of a week. During the beginning of the week, each writer would start a rough draft of their scenes. We would contact each other on our private Mariel Cove writers’ forum if other characters appeared in our scenes. For instance, if I was writing a scene starring Celeste (the Cove’s mechanic), Tal (who owns the Cove’s marina and is Celeste’s best friend) might make an appearance. I would contact Neale (who is Tal’s writer) about the specifics of the scene to make sure that it wouldn’t conflict with anything she had written or her vision for Tal. After I had finished the scene (48 hours before the episode’s deadline) I would send it to Neale. She would have 24 hours to review it, make any changes to Tal’s dialogue or interactions, and send it back to me. After I made a final pass, it would be sent to Jennifer. Jennifer would piece together the episode and do a final editing pass, then pass it on to Brianne to convert it into Kindle format.

All of our writers were holding down additional jobs, so as you could imagine, much coffee was consumed. 🙂

ANDI: Holy hell. That IS like it works on a TV show. Slamming out episodes each week, getting everything turned around in that final two days and then getting it all formatted and ready to go a couple days later. My eyes are bugging out of my head again. So what’s the vision for the Cove? More characters? More writers? Give us some details!

NOEL: Well, Andi, we’re looking for writers coming from diverse backgrounds that can bring something new to the Cove. To apply to be a writer, email Jennifer at editor AT angelsofanarchy DOT com. Applicants should send a list of their previous publications and tell Jennifer what kinds of strengths and ideas they would bring to the series. Jennifer is a stickler for people doing their research, so they should absolutely not email before reading the first two seasons of Mariel Cove. Luckily, the complete seasons are available at Amazon in both Kindle and paperback format 🙂

ANDI: YOWZA! You see that, people? If you’re a writer who’s interested in working on this project, here’s your chance. Make sure you do your homework, as Noel says. You can find links to the first two seasons above, or you can get those links off the main Mariel Cove site, HERE. That includes the individual episodes, too.

Want more info? Read an excerpt HERE.
Watch the trailer HERE.
Show some luv on Facebook HERE.

There you have it, darlings. Sexy, steamy, scandalous! If you’re into that, stop by the Cove. And speaking of stopping by, thanks again, Noel, for taking the time!

Happy Friday!

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