Interview with Marcia Coffey Turnquist, Author of “The God of Sno Cone Blue”

Author Marcia Turnquist.Marcia Coffey Turnquist is a writer, journalist, and former television broadcaster who recently published her debut novel, The God of Sno Cone Blue. Marcia’s inspiration for the story came with motherhood when a terrible question occurred to her: If I died and left my children behind, could they ever fathom how much I love them? – Excerpt taken from

Marcia is a Portland, OR author who made the exciting choice to self-publish her first novel. I got to talk with her about the benefits and the struggles of being a self-published author. Marcia decided to pursue the self-published route when her initial attempts to work with an agent were unsuccessful. When the traditional route didn’t work, she began to listen to her writer friends who encouraged her to self-publish.

“With self-publishing, the amount of control you get is very appealing. With some traditional publishers you can receive as little as two percent of the profit from your book, whereas with self-publishing you can get up to seventy percent of the profit.”

Of course self-publishing isn’t without its downsides. Marcia didn’t hesitate when asked what, for her, was the hardest part of self-publishing. It was marketing.

“It’s certainly the most time consuming out of the whole process. Writers tend to be the creative type, so marketing can be distasteful. I often want to say, ‘Look! Here’s my book! Just buy it!’”

Of course the most rewarding part for both traditional publishing and self-publishing is getting to see your finished product. Marcia told me about the first time she got to hold a physical copy of her book in her hands.

“To get a copy of it… it’s a tangible real thing. Knowing you’re done, knowing you did it, you really did it… that’s the best part.”

Having the physical manifestation of all your hard work and dreams out circulating in the world is the peak on top of the mountain of dedication and hard work. It is every author’s dream to have their words reach people and make a difference in their lives. Marcia recently had the opportunity to experience this moment on a very personal level.

“It was a very poignant moment. Two weeks ago I went to visit my mom who has dementia. Every time I visit she always asks where she can get my book, but two weeks ago I walk in and she’s reading my novel. I can see the page she’s reading, and of course I can recognize where she’s at in the story, and I see that she’s reading this part with the character Hazel Clayton. You see, I named that character after my parents, Hazel is my mom, and Clayton for my dad. To see her reading that part… I just haven’t seen her read in so long and so much of her is blowing away in the wind..”

It is likely, that the experience of having a loved one afflicted with dementia, in part influenced the plot of Marcia’s novel. [The God of Sno Cone Blue] is the story of Grace, a middle aged woman, recalling the turmoil of her own childhood in the 1960’s. She sees it again through the eyes of her younger self as her mother succumbs to cancer. It’s precisely then that the oddest thing happens: the young Grace begins to get letters from her mother, letters that confess a young adult romance and a staggering family secret. – Excerpt taken from

When asked if she had any advice for prospective authors looking to self-publish she recommended learning everything you possibly can online.

“Study everything you can find online. Make sure to look for all the answers to little things. Otherwise you will start the process and not know where to go. But if you search, it’s all out there.”

If you want to find out more about Marcia Turnquist, and her novel The God of Sno Cone Blue, be sure to check out her website. Also, don’t miss out on the chance to subscribe for updates on her upcoming novel, Skipping the Light.

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