Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
I’m thrilled to welcome my wonderfully talented guest today, Christa Maurice, who is sharing their book, Waiting For A Girl Like You with us!
Please show Christa some real Ranch love!
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
Okay, I’ll begin with five questions, then follow with three more, and end with four final ones.
My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like?
Last year I returned from four years living overseas where I was teaching kindergarten. I had a whole room with a lovely corner desk, but I usually ended up sitting on the couch in the living room. Since my return I have been staying with my mother while house hunting and sitting on her couch.
For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?
Names are easy. I have been known to walk around for days muttering about how that’s not his/her name, but once I have the name, I have the character. Titles are another issue. Most of the time they are the most difficult words to write in the entire book. For the Drawn To the Rhythm series, I opted to use song titles for each of the books. Satellite Of Love (Lou Reed) worked for book one as a 1972 Plymouth Satellite figured heavily in the plot. Heaven Beside You (Pearl Jam) for book two because it is set in West Virginia and heaven is West Virginia’s nickname, believe it or not. The original title of this book was Twenty Flight Rock (Eddie Cochran) because the elevator in Alex’s building is out of commission and she lives on the tenth floor. Kensington didn’t like that title so I hunted for another and came up with Waiting For a Girl Like You (Foreigner) which suited because Marc is the oldest member of the band so he’s been waiting for Alex. Plus, it’s an excellent earworm.
Earworm? What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?
One) Write. You will suck. When you leaned to walk, did you not fall? The first time you rode a bike, was it perfect? When you started your first job, were you the best anyone had ever seen? Don’t expect this to be different.
Two) Find a critique partner. I learned as much about writing from seeing what other people were doing wrong and recognizing it in my own work as I did from having them point things out to me.
The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?
I’m pretty sure you have to be a tech savvy octopus with a marketing background who doesn’t need to sleep.
I’ve often thought the same! Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?
I have no idea. My training as an English teacher taught me to not assume the author shared the character’s opinions so I tend to take a book as a complete entity. I’ve also sought out many of the people I found interesting. The only person I was never able to catch was Denny Neill when he was editing Batman. The two times I was in the DC offices, he was out.
Rats, Batman! Foiled again and again. lol
It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter?
And whose isn’t, right? Well done! 🙂
Okay, Flash four. Ready?
What are you working on now?
Right now? A dystopian series and a sports romance.
Interesting switch from this one. What are you sharing today?
They could make beautiful music together…
Hoping to dodge a scandal that could destroy her personal life and her career, Alex fled grad school for a summer job in tiny Potterville, West Virginia. She didn’t expect the town cupids to orchestrate a “chance” meeting with Marc—a sexy, brooding rock star who appreciates her love of poetry. But Alex doubts he’ll want anything more if he discovers the indiscretion she can’t forgive herself for…
Marc came to Potterville to get some space from his band and clear his head. But before he knows it, he’s intrigued with the waitress at the local diner. Alex is not only smart and beautiful, she’s inspiring his songwriting and taking it to the next level. Soon he’s falling for her—and then she runs away. For the first time, Marc is chasing after a woman—and giving both himself and Alex a chance to heal past hurts and take a chance on the future…
The pneumatic hinge on the stairwell door was easing closed. He pushed through and heard Alex’s footsteps running up.
“Alex!” Marc leaned into the gap between the railings. Based on the white fingers wrapped around the railing, she appeared to be on the third floor. “Alex, hold on.”
Nothing. No footsteps coming down, no footsteps going up. Marc watched her fingers as he climbed. When he came around the fourth flight of stairs to the third floor landing, she was standing as if frozen with one foot two steps higher than the other and her hand with a death grip on the railing.
She stood, staring down at him, poker faced. “What are you doing here?”
Marc put one foot on the bottom step. Somehow, the energy to climb up to her wasn’t there, like she was putting out some kind of force field that wouldn’t allow him any closer. “You left so suddenly. I was worried that something was wrong.”
“Nothing’s wrong. I submitted my thesis, and if I can get it approved in time, I might be able to have a teaching post here this fall. Everything’s great.” Her voice lacked all the music it had always had before. Now it was off key and toneless. If she’d been a guitar, he would have thought she needed work on her bridge.
“And yet you sound so happy.” With effort, Marc hauled himself up a step. “Ida wasn’t pleased.”
“It was important that I get back here as soon as possible. Far more important than some waitressing job.” She pursed her lips and then licked them. Nowhere near as sexy as usual. “I’m getting back together with my old boyfriend, too.”
The deep dark baggage. “Oh?”
“When I came back to school, I saw him and we talked.”
“And again, you sound so happy.” Her entire body looked like it was carved from one piece of hard wood.
“It’s none of your business.”
Marc braced himself to attempt another step. This was like walking into a blizzard. He picked up two risers this time, bringing him to what should have been arm’s reach and level with her shoulder. Up close, her face looked even more shuttered than it had before. He’d been mistaken about the hard wood. She was carved out of marble.
“I think it is.”
“That’s because you’re a self-centered celebrity who thinks everything is about him. You—” She twitched and something awful surfaced under the marble.
“No, it’s mostly because five days ago we were in WVA playing board games, watching Airplane! and talking about going to Italy, and twelve hours later you had vanished and everybody blamed me.”
“I just woke up. There’s no way you and I could have a successful relationship. I’m intellectually superior to you.”
Marc blinked. It sounded like she’d just called him an idiot. Harsh. “Okay. You could have said good-bye, at least.”
“I assumed you would have figured that out when I left town, but if it helps, good-bye.”
She turned and walked up the steps. Marc stood listening to her footfalls all the way up, followed by the sound of the fire door at the top opening and closing.
I LOVE that scene! Thanks for sharing it.
Where can we find you and your books?
Probably the easiest place to find me is www.christamaurice.com or swing by my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ChristaMauriceWriter?ref=hl where I put up ARC offers and words of wisdom or nonsense.
Where will you be next?
I have no idea.
I do have a quarterly mailing list with a regular contest, which will help figure out where I am and what I’m doing. I can really only plan life three months in advance. You can sign up for that here: http://eepurl.com/4VZuD. I love music so if anyone would like to chat with me about songs, bands or the latest antics of Kanye West, leave me a comment.
Thank you so much for playing along Christ! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.