This blog is for those 18 and older.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Interview with Mary Maxie

Alexis: Today 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 Alberta Canada. 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?

Mary: I 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 for visiting.  

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 the Wall.

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?

About Mary
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 |Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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