Maria Doane aka MGD
What is your professional background?
I have a strong background in essay writing.
What sparked your interest in writing?
I was always an avid reader and in the back of my mind, I had a spark of the writing flame. As a child, I never went a day without some story running through my mind. Then one day I wrote a story down and from there it grew.
What do you like most about being an author?
I like everything to do with the writing process, but my favorite is taking the bare bones, first draft and starting the layering. Adding the muscle and sinew of a story isn’t just enjoyable, it’s like watching a child grow.
What have you written?
My first work was a novel series, which I am still in the process of self-publishing. After that I have written several short stories and started a few novels.
My first and work is called The Death of The Miller’s Son found at Amazon.
The next in the series books 2 & 3 are also published.
I also recently won Beneath the Rainbow’s romance contest for my short story; My Jilted Valentine http://beneaththerainbow.com/quarterly-winners/
What genres/books do you read for inspiration?
Currently I am reading fantasy, Arthurian Legends to be exact. But I enjoy a variety of genres and my works always cross pollinate to make a unique blend.
What genres/books do you read for enjoyment?
The classics for the most part, Dickens, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Sherlock Holmes. But I also enjoy a book with a nice twist: Gone Girl., A unique view point: The Brief History of the Dead, or realistic stories: Charms for the Easy Life.
How do you, “get in the zone,” when you are writing?
Music puts me in the writing mood. I keep a playlist of go to songs. My playlist consists of a very eclectic variety, but each song has something in it that has sparked an inspiration. Some stories I listen to the same song over and over again.
What character(s) in your story (or stories) do you like best?
It’s not hard to pick favorites, I like a character that is more than they seem. My favorite is Ascott. Because in my story he is the one character who knows everything, while everyone else only has pieces.
What else have you found to be useful for your art?
Pictures, for instance strolling through Pintrest or Unsplash and finding a photo of a person or a landscape that draws out inspiration.
How are you promoting your books? What seems to be working?
Mainly I promote through social media.
As the classic saying goes, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger.” What is something you wish that you knew earlier?
I wish I’d started writing sooner, so I would have had the knowledge of the craft. Also, knowing more about marketing before my first book launch would have helped.
What advice would you give to someone looking to become a writer?
Never force edits on a first draft. That draft is for you, pour your heart into it and keep it.
What would you recommend for improving one’s writing skills?
Read and read some more, but when you write don’t try to imitate a particular author. Your works will always reflect what you were into at the time, and elements of what you are reading may show up in your writing. But direct imitation will make your work always fall short. Instead, only focus on your work reflecting you.
What are your favorite books?
I enjoy a variety of books, but my all time favorite has to be Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons
What are three fun facts about you?
I am a coffee addict.
I know just enough Latin to get myself into trouble.
A have many hobbies and have studied a variety of subjects from herbal medicine to animal nutrition. I used to make homemade soap, research genealogy, garden and bake. I still do two out of three of those.