we are chatting with Contemporary/ Time Travel Romance author Mary Maxie.
Hi Mary and welcome. What was the
strangest thing that inspired a story for you?
Mary: The Calgary Stampede is an internationally known event in Calgary
It is the largest rodeo in the world, & has the highest payouts for
winners. Yet, it’s sometimes not well known. Every year, everyone in the city
& surrounding towns dresses western, decorates their home & business in
a western cowboy theme, & yet still people arrive during Stampede week with
no idea what’s going on. I started Sophie’s Calgary Stampede with a Washington
lawyer arriving in the city wearing high heels & a power suit while
everyone else is dressed in cowboy gear. That happens a lot, so it’s a fun way
to initiate the meeting between Sophie & her ‘cowboy’.
Alexis: That sounds like fun. I bet the rodeo was pretty fun too ;-) How long did it take you to write your
most recent release A Teacher of Time: Berlin Wall?
Mary: I’m a very fast & prolific writer. I am an avowed pantser,
& suffer somewhat from ADD. I write the way I read, working on several
books at once. When I get stuck on a scene or direction for one, I just start
working on another book for a while till I get stuck on that one. I’m usually
working on 3-5 books at a time. I publish 5-6 books a year, between my two
names. The shortest time I have worked on a book is 48 hours, when I wrote my
book on 9/11, & the longest maybe a year, working sporadically elapsed time
is different, as I have a full time job, so have to fit writing in when I can.
If I could work on a book every day, I think it would only take me a couple of
weeks to finish.
Alexis: Wow that is fast. Everyone
has their own writing process…how they come up with ideas, how they name their
characters, how they choose the setting. Can you describe your writing process?
name my characters by choosing given names from my husband’s & my family
trees. I get surnames from towns, neighborhoods & areas where I grew up. I
choose settings from my past, my home town, my grandparents’ & other
relatives’ towns where I spent time growing up, my college city, my current
home town & surrounding towns, & places I have visited. I don’t really
have a writing process per se. Stories spring from my mind almost fully formed
& I can’t get the words down as fast as my mind can make them up. I am
working on the third in my Teacher of Time series, & I had so much fun
working on Christmas stories that I think I’ll do another Happy HoHoHo book for
next Christmas. I’d also like to do a couple of more mainstream, sweeter
stories, such as Sophie’s Calgary Stampede.
One thing I do as a process, is write the
main story as quickly as possible, without much dialog or description. Then
once that’s done, I start at the beginning and add all the dialog & description,
which usually doubles the word count. Then I start at the beginning again,
looking for continuity, whether the story flows well, & how everything fits
together. I know they say don’t edit your own work, but I’m the best editor
I’ve ever seen in all the books I’ve read over the years. I worked as a
professional editor for years, & I call myself a grammar nazi, because I
send corrections to newspapers & publishers of the books I read. I used to
grade university English & business papers & textbooks, so editing
comes easily to me.
Alexis: That is a very unique process. Good for you! When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Mary: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. News & sports stories, newspaper
columns, essays, speeches for politicians, editorials, textbooks, blogs, grant
proposals, you name it. However, I only started writing fiction about five
years ago. I wish I had done this years ago.
Alexis: I know. It’s so much fun! How
do you decide on titles for all those books?
Mary: Most of my titles have a woman’s name in them. Sophie’s Calgary
Stampede, Riona’s Holiday Romance, Elisabeth’s Christmas Gifts. That’s for
continuity between the books, although all are Stand-alone. There are other
titles, but the majority have my heroines’ names.
Alexis: Mary, thank you so much
Check out the blurb from Mary’s
latest A Teacher of Time: Berlin Wall
This is the second novel in the
Teacher of Time series. Following on the success of the Theresenstadt
Concentration Camp story where Peter and Laurena left present day Phoenix and
travelled to 1943 Germany, the story of the Berlin Wall takes their son
Friedrich back in time to 1973. Using the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum as
a portal, Friedrich goes back to 1973 East Berlin, where he meets Mari, a
violin student who shows promise, but can’t go to the West to study because of
Friedrich wants to take Mari back
to the present day with him to fulfill the promise of her talent, but can he
convince her parents that his time travel is real, and that they can safely let
their beloved daughter leave with him to who knows what uncertain future?
Mary lives in Phoenix
Arizona, where she sells real estate, spends time with three granddaughters,
the oldest of whom is her computer guru, setting up websites, manufacturing
book trailers, and inventing new plots for stories of interest to teens. Mary’s
interests apart from granddaughters, are singing, golf, symphony, live theater,
entertaining, cooking and decorating, especially for holidays of any kind. She
also is a published author of romance novels under a pen name. Mary welcomes comments on her books at firstname.lastname@example.org www.marymaxieauthor.com |Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads