Maria’s father was a writer and actor in Los Angeles in the 60’s and appeared in a few films. He taught Maria to write scripts and she later wrote books as well as working with her sister Anna as a journalist. Maria is from England but has been lucky enough to travel back and forth and live on both sides of the Atlantic. She began writing books while she looked after her Mom who had dementia and various problems. She also writes romance as Sophie Chiaro.
What inspires you to write?
I like to write about what I feel passionate about. I trained at a hypnotherapist and I think writing can help you come to terms with various situations and people in your life. I suppose you can say it various with different books. In ‘Talking to Angels’ I wanted to write about a man I was in love with for a long time as well as my spiritual journey and a turbulent relationship with a family member. By the time the book was finished I was in a different place with many of those things. I’m passionate about dogs and have a book about rescue dogs coming out soon by my publishing company izzy publishing. I’ve already raised several thousand for a rescue center and hope to raise more with the book Happy Endings. I like writing romances as there is something magical writing about love.
Tell us about your writing process.
My father always said start at the end and so that is often where I will go. But with Talking to Angels I wasn’t sure what my ending was for a while. I had no deadline no reason except to lose myself and explore my feelings so I wrote about Roarke and Chloe falling in love with him when they first meet. Then I created the family and their life of the farm. I already had the bit where she goes back into her past life and I knew I had to marry that up somewhere so there was a lot of planning as to how old she would have been at a certain age in 1944 and how old others would be during the book which starts in the fifties. I like a happy ending and wanted to give a lot of satisfaction there so once I had it I wrote that. It got rewritten and intensified but basically the same. I tend to write notes to myself on bits of paper, keep them in colored notebooks and spend my time sifting through them. Some get thrown out and some are gold dust. I’ve got books at the moment that have their own color. But scripts need a lot more planning. On Lynda.com is a great course on screenwriting and I just watched it and learned so much! You can always keep learning and this guy is terrific…I recommend. it highly for structure for books and film scripts.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Alice walker said she waited until she could hear her characters and I do try and do that. I like to see things like a movie and then rerun it changing things. I come from an acting background and imagine I’m playing different characters…just like acting its important to analyse your characters and think about their backgrounds and why they are as they are. I tend to jump in and start writing and maybe decide later what their problems are. If I meet someone who is unusual I might take a few mannerisms or problems from them. Often my writing can reflect what I’m going through.
What advice would you give other writers?
There comes a point when it gets very hard and you have to will yourself on with everything you have. I’ve just been through a few weeks like that to get a non fiction book done and its hell. Rewriting can be miserable and I spent a whole summer doing 900 pages of corrections when I could have been out having fun.. But you end up with a book in your hands and its all worth it somehow.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve had a lot of rejection and my last agent died and I couldn’t go through the rounds again so I decided to self publish. I put my books on Amazon and Kindle.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Goodness I’ve no idea but I think Kindle is great as it gives authors a marvelous chance to put their work out there. Lightning Source is great as you can have a professional finished book in your hand that you can be proud of and it can be promoted round the world. Its a lot easier for authors now than it was when I started.
What do you use?
Dictated and got transcribed, Professional Editor
What genres do you write?
Romance, Mind Body Spirit, Fiction,
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
Link To Author Page On Amazon