Maura Stone’s no stranger to comedy; she grew up in a Borscht Belt entertainment family where it was customary to pun and crack jokes at the kitchen table as a condition to getting fed. Even so, she spent 30 years toiling as a commercial banker until she found her true calling as a satire writer. Her first novel, “Five-Star FLEECING,” won awards, critical acclaim and rave reviews. Since then, she has written numerous articles for online magazines, been interviewed on radio and tv and has poked at life in her top comedy blog, KISS-keepitsimpleschmuck.blogspot.com. She released a new comedy, “The Complete eDating Advice Comedy Series for Women” (and for Men) and, under her company, Written in Stone, published “Secrets & Seduction” by new author Cheri Blossum.
What inspires you to write?
At first, I thought writing was a result of channeling my relatives. After therapy, realized it’s more to do with putting down thoughts no one wants to hear. Hate to admit this, but it’s not inspiration, it’s more of a natural intrinsic process that I simply can’t ignore. I’ve written since a child and scrapped almost everything. I spent my entire financial career writing work for hire: professional reports, brochures, analysis, procedures, policies, minutes and press releases. This time around, it’s my own style befitting my own life.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process is quite simple: I sit down, turn on the computer and write. The beauty of writing at an older age is that I draw from decades of experience and don’t require external motivation or inspiration. I got stories to tell!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The characters I created in my first novel, “Five-Star FLEECING,” fleshed out as three-dimensional along with my writing style. I spent ten years working on that book as a hobby until I reached 500 pages or what I like to call, “critical mass.” Then I found my editor, Lonny Ostrow, who helped me put it into shape. By that time I knew my characters both inside and out. I’ve several manuscripts in revision and realize it’ll take me years to get to that stage of understanding the dynamics. It’s indeed a growing process between my characters and myself which like any relationship takes time.
What advice would you give other writers?
Writing fiction, rather writing comedy, is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The only advice that I can impart is work on your craft, improve your grammar, study your characters and never lose sight of your dream.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had another book eons ago that was marketed from house to house from my agent. That didn’t work out well. As I said to my editor, “This time I want to see my book published before I die,” and did it myself through my own publishing house, Written in Stone. I don’t regret the decision as literary critics were highly receptive to my work.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Right now the industry’s in a state of flux, paralleling the music industry even with the introduction of ‘free’ books. The traditional houses don’t know up from down with the glut of self-publishers. Sorry to say, the majority of self-published books are frankly crap because anyone can publish a book in seconds. Today, it’s such a free-for-all with everyone and their friend including their pets putting up bogus 5-star reviews to sway potential readers that authors like myself, serious, accredited solid writers are lost in the morass. I should NEVER have left my day job!
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
satire, comedy, literary fiction
What formats are your books in?
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