Below are some of the questions that I’m asked frequently as an author.  I’ve put them here as a special page for Maisy Marple VIP Readers, so you know a little bit more about me!  Plus, if you get to the bottom of the page, you’ll see the cover template for a series of humorous short stories I’m planning on writing in the Coffee Creek universe.

Hope you enjoy.

God Bless,

Maisy

Where do you come up with your story ideas?

Believe it or not, most of my ideas happen while I’m at the keyboard typing.  Usually, I get an idea for a character while I’m doing things around the house.  Sometimes, I’ll be washing dishes and a voice, or a detail, or a name will pop into my head.  Then I’ll think and think about that person until I can sit down and write. 

That’s often the hardest part – is waiting to get to the computer to get my thoughts out. 

Writing mysteries, I find it’s helpful to start with the life of the sleuth.  Who is she?  Who are her friends and her family?  What does she love?  What does she hate?  Where is she in her life?  Is she stuck in a rut?  Or is she flying high and something’s going to come and knock her off her course?

After I have her set in my mind, then things can get set in motion.  Mysteries have been written for hundreds of years, and there have been many ways to get to the whodunit part of the story.  I find it can be a great challenge to figure that out as I’m writing.  You might notice that my protagonists ask A LOT of questions as the story progresses.  This is a super special secret that I’m sharing ONLY with you — that’s because I don’t plan my novels or stories ahead of time.  

That’s right — I fly by the seat of my pants. I find it to be a more enjoyable experience for both the reader and the writer.  The way I look at it…if I’m bored, so are you.  So all those questions are there because I am actually trying to figure out whodunit with my sleuth.  And it’s my hope that you’re trying to answer those questions as you read through the story, too!

Are your characters based on real people? Are the places you base your series on real places?

My characters are NOT based on real people.  However, parts of my characters come from the people I’ve met.  They might have a speech pattern, or a style of dress that mimics people I’ve met in real life.  But they are never based on a specific person.   And, believe it or not, most of my characters include some aspect of myself in them.  I can’t help it really, because I am the only person that I really know, even when I’m creating fiction!

 

As far as the places in my stories, they are based on locations I’ve been to for vacations and visits, as well as places I’ve lived.  But they get all mashed up into one as I start to write about my characters and the places they choose to go.  All of my towns are fictional towns with fictional names, based on actual places I’ve been to in my life.

What do you do to keep from getting in a rut in your storylines?

This can be very difficult, particularly in the middle of a story.  I have two daughters and we are constantly talking about stories.  I will often tell them that the beginning is usually easy (I don’t have trouble getting started like a lot of authors), and the end is usually pretty easy (not to mention exciting!).  But the middle isn’t called the ‘muddy middle’ for nothing. 

I find that for every story I write, I have a few days where I sit down to write and the words just aren’t flowing the way they should.  On those days, I just keep writing the next sentence and praying to Jesus.  I know that I’ll struggle for a few days, but eventually I’ll find my way out of the weeds and into the clearing!

How Often Do You Write?

I look at writing like a job. A very fun job.  But work, nonetheless. 

I write at least six days per week.  Usually, I write thirteen out of fourteen and give myself one day off every couple of weeks. 

That day is incredibly rejuvenating and necessary. 

But because I enjoy writing so much, I often spend most of the that day thinking about all of the writing I could be doing!

On an average day, I’ll write anywhere from three thousand to five thousand words.  

That allows me to put quite a few books out in a year.  

Why choose being an Indie author versus traditionally published?

This is a huge question that anybody who has ever written a book, or wanted to write a book has wrestled with. 

I’ve thought about it a lot as well and I’ve come to these reasons.

  1.  As an indie author, I get to connect with readers on a more personal way. Be being a VIP reader, you can reply to any email at any time and we can communicate.  We would never get that if I were traditionally published. 
  2. As an indie author, I get to put out as many books as I want to in a year.  This allows you to read more of my stories, and I am able to write and write and write!  Traditional publishers often won’t allow their authors to put out more than one or two books per year.  And if you’re writing at a steady pace, it shouldn’t take that much time to produce a book!
  3. As an indie author, I have total control of my business.  I can publish my books where I want to publish them.  I can charge the prices I want to charge, and discount when I want to discount. I can give you free stories when I want to give you free stories.  I can create and design the covers that I want to design.  I can change things when I need to change things – and I can do it fast.  Plus, because I’m just a ‘little guy’ as it were, I am able to connect with my readers in ways that traditionally published authors simply can’t!  That’s not to say there aren’t disadvantages either.  For one, I am completely responsible for my marketing and finding people to help with the editing process and other creative endeavors once the writing is done. That having been said, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

What do you love most about writing?

There are a lot of things to enjoy about writing.  It’s a quiet time of my day where my mind is busy making up stories and characters that I love.  I often listen to an amazing array of music while I write, which is really the only time during the day that I get to choose what I listen to.  Starting a book is one of the most exciting feelings I’ve ever encountered.  There is so much promise at the beginning of a story! Finishing a book is a very rewarding feeling, knowing that I’ve made it to the, hopefully, satisfying end of another adventure with make believe people that I’ve grown to love!

But my absolute favorite part of writing is releasing my story to readers like you, and hearing about the joy that it brought you, or the emotions it made you feel.  There is NOTHING better than hearing what readers like you think of the stories I’ve written!

 

Thank you for being a Maisy Marple VIP Reader! 

 

And now…the cover reveal!