How did you get into writing?
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! I’ve always wanted to write. As a little girl, I would admire the books in my mom’s bookshelf. She had some older volumes, dark green with gold on the spines, and I thought they were so beautiful. I wanted to make some myself. Books have always seemed magical to me. They’re nice to look at, and open doors to new worlds. Nowadays many are electronic, of course, but their covers are still nice to look at in the computer. =)
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I get to spend time with the imaginary people living in my head, and it seems normal. I’ve always had an extremely vivid imagination, living in my own world. As a writer, it’s okay to be a little eccentric.
How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
The stories come from all sorts of places. Usually, I see something in real life and my mind starts asking, “What if…” It goes along the lines of: “What if that guy is really an undercover cop?” “Wow, this is a really deserted road. What if a spaceship would land here right now.” Crazy stuff, but I can’t stop playing with it, and then a story is born.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced with being a writer?
For me, it’s been the cultural differences. I’m Swedish originally, and even if Swedish and American people share the same ideas of what a book is, we have different cultural conventions surrounding writing styles and acceptable subjects. People from different places also react differently. It’s difficult to get around, because what’s “normal” or believable to me can seem completely wacko to an American. I’m learning, but it takes time.
How did you choose the genre you write?
To be honest, I think it chose me. I mean, I never planned to be a scifi romance writer; it’s the genre that came naturally to me. I sometimes write contemporary stories too, when I see something that captures my imagination, but I would have a hard time changing tracks completely. As an example, I know many writers who write fantastic historical books. I wouldn’t know where to start. If I tried, my mind would probably paint it out like, “Hmmm, 17th century France, girls frolic around in gorgeous dresses and a spaceship lands on a meadow…”
Do you do a lot of research prior to writing your stories?
Yes I do. I usually start writing and realize I know nothing about the subject matter. The most extreme case was when I wrote Kidnapped and enrolled in a college class in astrobiology… If I write something contemporary, I often go out and talk to people who might know more. Google is also invaluable; I can’t fathom how much time research must have taken before the Internet.
Don’t get me wrong, I make the books up and tweak reality so it fits better, but I think it’s easier to make a world believable if it at least has roots in the truth.
How long does it take to finish a book?
I usually write a first draft quickly. Getting the major parts done takes a couple of weeks. After that, I tinker with it for months or even years. I just finished working on a book I started in 2010. It’s been slumbering in the computer for long periods of time, and I can’t even remember how many times I’ve re-written it.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I play the bass. I used to play in a couple of rock bands back in Sweden, but I haven’t had enough time and energy to invest in it lately. I also like making videos – I help a local dog rescue make videos of the dogs, and I make book trailers.
I often get really into something and do it with heart and soul for a few months, and then I’m bored. Last year I thought archery was the coolest thing ever. When I eventually learned to hit the target, I grew bored…
What is in your to be read pile?
My husband bought me some books for Christmas, and a real, physical book is a treat nowadays. I have the new Odd Thomas book by Dean Koontz waiting, and a new Stephen King book. In my Kindle, “The Green Rose” by Stephanie Burkhart waits for me, along with “Hex and the Single Witch” by Roxanne Rhoads. I started reading the latter the other day, but real life called so I didn’t get very far.
Could you name one favorite quote?
Right now I say, “Caffeine is good for you” a lot. I don’t know if it counts as a quote, but I’ll go with it anyway. =D
Embarkment 2577, Novella 2
Genre: Scifi Romance
Number of pages: 131
Word Count: 28566
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/FWMObuBulXc
Purchase Links: http://amzn.com/B004HO673O
In this second novella in the “Embarkment 2577” series, the story picks up shortly after it left off in “Brand New World.” The main character Alex has come to terms with her new life on a starship in the year 2577, and reluctantly won both respect and admiration for her actions during an alien attempt to conquer the ship.
Little does she know a number of new trials are about to shake her world. Besides encounters with alien species and an unexpected relative surfacing, a fatal navigation error will test her relationships with both her android lover and her friends.
Excerpt High Gravity
“Joshen Martinez is an old friend of mine, a mentor, he wouldn’t hurt you. He just wants to connect you to a machine that will tap out your memories. Your knowledge is valuable, and everyone would be able to see what you know. Sort of… like watching a movie.”
Having people watch all my memories? Intrusion of privacy, much?
I got to my feet. “I’ve heard enough of this. I have other things to do.”
Kevin stood up too. “Yes you do. Go pack your bags. This joke is over and you’re coming with me to the Kentucky.”
I took a step towards the door. “In your dreams.”
Blake said, “Sit down. Both of you.”
He didn’t raise his voice, but it was impossible not to obey. Kevin opened his mouth and my Captain made a dismissive gesture. “You’ve already said too much. Sit down and be quiet.”
Watching the scientist sink down, carefully keeping his mouth shut, filled me with glee. Blake pressed a button on his desk. “Commander Adam, could you come to my office for a minute, please.”
My husband’s voice filled the room. “Right away, Sir.”
I didn’t realize how tense I was until he stood in the doorway and I dared relax. He glanced between me and Kevin and crossed his arms over his chest. Adam was tall, strong, intimidating, and mine.
“What’s going on?”
Once again, Kevin opened his mouth. Blake snapped, “Silence.”
Kevin leaned back in his chair and rolled his eyes.
“Adam, this is Kevin. He has come to retrieve your wife.”
“Not happening, Sir.”
I wanted to squirm. “Can I move now?”
Blake smirked. “Yes Alex, you may move.”
I bounced to my feet and threw my arms around Adam. He hugged me back and murmured, “Don’t worry.”
After kissing me tenderly, he put his hands on my shoulders and turned me around so I faced Kevin. Then, he wrapped his arms around me from behind. “This is my wife. She means more to me than my life. She definitely means more to me than your life. If I were you, I’d choose my next words wisely.”
I glanced up at him. “I love you too.”
He smiled and brushed his lips over my temple.
Blake leaned his elbows on the desk and tapped his fingers together. “Mr Nolan, have we satisfied your curiosity, or do you wish to continue the discussion with the commander? I’m sure he’d be more than happy to demonstrate his… abilities. Would you like to see him fold a spare piece of hull plating a couple of times?”
Brand New World
Embarkment 2577, novella 1
Genre: Scifi Romance
Number of pages: 128
Word Count: 29477
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/FWMObuBulXc
When Alexandra wakes up in an unknown environment, populated by a cat-like woman with a tail and a hologram of a rockstar, she knows she has to be hallucinating. Maybe she hit her head, or finally suffered that nervous breakdown. It doesn’t get any better from finding out she died and was taken into the future by the elusive Adam, whom she can’t remember, or from people telling her she’s on a spaceship.
The last year or so is gone from her memory, and she has no choice but to try to adapt. As days go by, her new environment becomes more and more unnerving. She finds herself helpless, and completely dependent on a man who isn’t even human.
“Brand New World” is the first novella in the “Embarkment 2577” series.
Born in Sweden in the early 1970’s, Maria showed a large interest for books at an early age. Even before she was able to read or write, she made her mom staple papers together into booklets she filled with drawings of suns and planets. She proudly declared them, “The Sun Book.” They were all about the sun. She also claimed, to her mother’s horror, that her being on Earth was a big mistake and that her alien family would come and bring her home at any moment. This never happened, but both the interest in space and the passion for bookmaking stayed with her.
As an adult Maria’s creativity got an outlet through playing bass in a number of rock bands, and through writing technical manuals and making web pages for various companies and organizations. She did write drafts for a few novels, but the storytelling muse was mostly satisfied through role playing online on Myspace. It was here, while writing stories together with people from around the globe, she stumbled onto Mike. They started talking out of character, and she moved over to Florida to him late 2008. Today the two are married and live in the Tampa Bay area with three rescue dogs.
Besides writing and playing bass, Maria enjoys driving off-road, archery, and Tameshigiri.
Flashback, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing June 2013
Operation Earth, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing August 2013
Borealis XII, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing November 2013
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Chicken with cashew nuts
Doesn’t eat: Mammals
Favorite TV Show: Star Trek TNG and Leverage
Favorite animal: Border Collie
Quotes: “Full Speed Ahead” and “Caffeine is good for you”
Find Maria on the web
Publisher’s website: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com