Some Thoughts with ... Marie Sinadjan

30 Nov 2023

The Author/s

Marie Sinadjan

Marie Sinadjan

Marie is a Filipino fantasy author, singer-songwriter, and musical theatre actress. She is the co-author of The Prophecies of Ragnarok series, and her short stories have appeared in anthologies, magazines, and literary journals. She mainly writes fantasy of the mythology, fairytales, and folklore variety.

When not crunching numbers for her full-time job or spending time with her family, she’s traveling, drinking coffee, reading and reviewing books, dreaming up more worlds, writing more songs, or serenading vegetables. She currently lives in the United Kingdom with her husband.

The Interview

1.- How did you start in writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I could remember, but my most vivid memories of writing anything are from my high school years. I had a pen pal, Stef, and most of our letters were just the next scenes/chapters of our stories. I still have some of them to this day! And I promised her that when I finally published a book I would dedicate it to her, hence the dedication on Hotel Fen.
I also wrote for school. Articles for the school paper, essays, projects. One of my English teachers still remembers the hardbound story I turned in for a project — it was probably bad. I really can’t remember what it was about anymore. What I do remember is writing a dinosaur story in uni for a group project in Biology class. We were just supposed to turn in a report but I don’t know, I was possessed to make a little book out of it, with a supplementary CD (gosh I’m old!) as the scientists’ “findings” where I dumped all the actual dinosaur info. We got an A for that!
And, yeah, I wrote fanfic for years. (Yes, they’re still somewhere on the Internet because I no longer have my login so I can’t take them down. No, I won’t say which fandoms because someone might be able to find them! 😂)

2.- What made you choose self-publishing?
I met Meri and learned that she self-published! Back then, I didn’t even know self-publishing was a thing, and I haven’t been actively pursuing a writing career on account of my full-time corporate management job and the lack of publishing opportunities in the Philippines.
Yeah, I’m one of those people who go, “If they can do it, maybe I can do it too.” 🙈 
The problem was, I didn’t have anything to publish! So I asked her if she wanted to collaborate with me. I knew I was great with worldbuilding and creating characters, I’m just terrible at finishing anything the length of a novel. (I get bored writing by myself, mostly.) Fortunately for me, she agreed, and it has been an incredible experience as she taught me so much about writing and publishing along the way.

3.- How did the idea of writing The Prophecies of Ragnarok appear?
After Meri and I decided to collaborate, we searched for a topic we could both write about. Our common ground (aside from Game of Thrones 😂) is mythology, specifically Norse. Meri's family is Swedish and from the Scandinavian area, while I've had a fascination for Norse myth since my teens, thanks to a certain videogame called Valkyrie Profile. It’s a roleplaying game that follows a Valkyrie named Lenneth as she travels through Midgard, collecting the souls of slain heroes so they might serve Odin as Einherjar. I really liked the thought of the Norse gods not being immortal, and that, like regular people, they feared meeting their doom at Ragnarok, which is the prophesied end of all nine realms.
And so Hotel Fen (and our series) was born!

4.- You are cowriting the main books with your friend Meri Benson; could you tell us more about the process of cowriting?
I wrote a blog post about this, actually! But to sum it up: LOTS OF CHAOS 😂
Not between us, though. We’re great pals and we’ve not yet had a fight that threatened our friendship, haha! It’s just our process that’s built on chaos, which basically goes:

One thing we might be doing differently than others who are co-writing is how we deal with characters. We actually create characters separately, so some characters are more mine and some hers. (You can probably guess some of them by looking at the POV characters of the short stories.) We deliberately split characters that are connected in some way — love interests, close family members — but a lot of the time they can be random. I personally get plenty of “YOUR CHARACTER NEEDS A BESTIE” moments.
We also don’t write in order most of the time. We have an outline, but we go around quite a bit, depending on where inspiration strikes. We also have a way of finishing each other’s scenes when we get stuck. For example, she’s great with writing descriptions, so many times I just link a photo of an object or place and leave it to her to write out that part of the scene. It’s worked well for us so far!
But, yeah, more of that in my blog post:

5.- Apart from the main books, there are several novellas/short stories that each one of you has authored. What’s the idea behind those short pieces?
The main trilogy centers on Ragnarok and the big war unfolding between the gods, but the protagonists are not directly connected to some of the driving events. The short stories are our way of showing those bits, the behind the scenes so to speak, since for the trilogy we’ve decided to just stick to Victor and Silje’s POVs.
It’s also for our readers to sample how we write individually, if that’s something they’re curious about. Meri’s got books of her own so they can dive into that, but until Midnight Son and now Nameless Queen I only had short stories in anthologies and literary journals.

6.- Inside The Prophecies of Ragnarok, Norse mythology is mixed with some less known pantheons as the Filipino one. Could you tell us more about this story?
Ah, yes! In Monster Ridge I took the opportunity to bring in Maria Makiling, a Filipino mythological character. She’s a diwata (a kind of nature spirit), with her proper name being Mariang Makiling — basically Maria ng Makiling or “Maria of (Mount) Makiling” as she is the guardian of the aforementioned mountain in the province of Laguna. Mount Makiling is even said to resemble the profile of a woman, kind of like Te Fiti in Moana.
One of the superstitions about Maria is that, every so often, men would disappear into the forests of the mountain as she falls in love with them and takes them as her husbands. There’s also her power to turn ginger into gold to help the villagers.

7.- What does Marie Sinadjan like to do in her free time?
I read a lot! As an indie author myself I’m a big supporter of the community, so I read plenty of ARCs, participate in book tours, and even judge competitions that celebrate indies like BBNYA (Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award).
Evenings are for TV time with my husband, and we watch all sorts of movies and TV shows. We also love traveling together. Moving to England has only given us more adventures!
But I mostly like staying in. Does drinking coffee count as a hobby? Because I love coffee. And I’ve found that I actually like cooking, which I now couple with listening to audiobooks or singing. (My TikTok account has videos of me serenading vegetables, if anyone’s interested in my kitchen musical covers 😂)

8.- What can we expect from Marie Sinadjan in the future?
Spring next year some friends and I are releasing an anthology of scifi fairytale retellings! I really enjoyed my cyberpunk Snow White reimagining, so I’m excited for the rest of the world to read that.
I’m currently working on a novel titled Overseas Filipino Wizard, a young adult fantasy inspired by my experience as a dependent of an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) living in the UK, and Philippine mythology and folklore. It follows PJ, the son of an OFW, who is sent to a private, all-Filipino boarding school in London… for people with magical talents.
I also have several novellas planned, including a romantasy spinoff to The Prophecies of Ragnarok series involving a certain diwata and Viking Taylor Swift circa Philippine Revolution of 1896. For more updates, people can check out and subscribe to my newsletter at