MARIA PEASE - THE START FOR NOVEL WRITERS - Q&A
We appreciate Maria for agreeing to this interview. Here are our questions:
Q1: Hi Maria, thanks for taking the time for this interview. In your “About” page on your website, mariapease.com, you said you always love stories and pretending. As you read to your 10-year old son, it led him to say he would like to write a story. That sparked you to begin your novel. What caused you to actually take the step? Why a mystery novel?
Get Your Book
Maria: I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember but never thought much beyond the fact that I felt at home writing. That evening when Steven declared he was going to write a story, I felt drawn to write as well. I opened my laptop, and the story practically fell on the page. Honestly, I didn’t consider that my story would become a book. I had no expectations for it and, therefore, no pressure. I continued to write well after my son went to bed, and it became my secret life. No one knew I was writing except Steven. When I realized I had written more than 200 pages, I was forced to acknowledge that it was more than a simple story and began to wrap my head around the fact that I had written a book.
Why a mystery? I have always love mysteries. I read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as a kid and never really ventured from the genre. It felt natural for me to choose mysteries.
Career Change Can Happen
Q2: A number of people feel they want to make a career change or do something different, like writing. What steps should a person take to become a writer - novelist, freelance writer, or otherwise?
Maria: I was a paralegal and ran a judgment recovery business and was a substitute teacher. I was writing on the side when I decided that I wanted to transition into writing full time. The reality is that it’s tough to make a living writing novels but in my research on writing careers I was introduced to copywriting, which is also known as content writing. I discovered you could actually make a living doing it, so I began studying and reading books to learn the craft. I transitioned over a few years and now write & teach creative writing full time.
Learn From Others
Q3: Did you have someone that you were emulating? How beneficial do you feel it is for someone who is interested in writing to speak with a knowledgeable, experienced writer/author?
Maria: I wouldn’t say emulating, but I do write in the first person so my readers can experience things as Sam Parker experiences them. In a few reviews of my books, I have been compared to both Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich, which is a such on honor as I absolutely love them both and have read so many of their books.
I think it’s an excellent idea for a new author to speak with experienced authors. I actually started teaching my, "Yes, You Can Write" Workshops so I could help other authors learn about both writing and publishing and everything that comes with life as an author. It’s my way of paying it forward.
Q4: At this time, you have written three Sam Parker mystery novels (Malicious Intent, Malicious Secrets, and Malicious Desires). I understand you are working on your 4th novel in this series. When is it due to be released? Could you share a brief view of what it is about?
Maria: Yes, I have just started writing Malicious Affliction a Sam Parker Mystery, which is book 4 in the series. It is due out in November or December of 2020. All I can divulge at this time is that it’s about revenge, and it’s going to be a wild ride.
Q5: Since you are also a health and wellness content writer, you have a good perspective of the writing world. What would you say to our visitors who may want to become any type of writer?
Maria: I’d say go for it. I transitioned over time to copywriting. I read books, took courses, studied, and practiced before I started marketing myself. I found one book that helped me the most when it came to getting over some of those mental hurdles in transitioning. The book is called The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman. I still refer to the book and find it to be a great resource. Peter has trainings and several great resources for beginning content writers. I highly recommend him. There are some others I respect as well. Bob Bly is the master. He has books available, and so does Ed Gandia.