#MAIAM with Rachel Poli

coffee notebook pen writing

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

 

Happy MAIAM day–a holiday that comes but once a month! This month’s featured guest blogs prolifically about the writing process, interviews authors (including me!), and offers myriad services for writers. Take a look at her website!

 

First things first, what’s the name of your current book?

My current book, which is my debut, is titled Sunday Morning. It’s a collection of flash fiction that I’ve reworked and revised from my Short Story Sunday feature on the blog.

 

New ideas are always cropping up. Give me your best book title that doesn’t have a story.

Silhouettes. This was actually supposed to be a suspense story, but I never came up with a plot for it. It’s literally just the title and that’s all.

 

Words are kind of our thing. What’s your favorite word?

Honestly, I’ve never thought about this before. This doesn’t exactly answer the question, but I use onomatopoeias a lot. I tend to make various sounds with my mouth and impersonate a lot. So, I guess I don’t favor any particular words. I just make random sounds!

 

Some people need the light of day to function and others prefer the quiet of night. When do you write?

I write in the early hours of the morning around dawn. I do my best work first thing in the morning. Everyone else is usually asleep or getting ready for work so I’m able to get a good two-hour chunk of writing time in.

 

Names really help set a mood. What’s your process for picking people and place names?

I have a “Name Dice” app on my iPad. I sometimes roll the dice, one being the first name and the other being the last name. Or I’ll use naming websites like Baby Name Genie or Baby Names and look up the meanings and such. Sometimes they just come to me and random names pop into my head as well.

 

Even finishing a scene feels like a reason to throw a party. Have a favorite way to celebrate finishing a project?

I don’t actually. Once I finish something, I feel super accomplished but I also get that, “Now what?” feeling. I’ll push it to the side to take a break from it and end up starting something new.

 

We know writing is primarily a creative endeavor. Tell me something you never expected to get from writing.

I’ve never expected to make so many friends and connections from writing. Creativity can be a lonely journey and I never expected to learn so much from people in the same boat as me as well as from people who are “ahead” of me in the writing game.

 

Beta-readers are our first fans and critics. If you could pick any writer, past or present, to be your beta-reader, who would you pick?

I would pick my sisters and close friend in real life. As for the people I’ve met online, I’d choose a few good friends from the blogging world such as Ari, Herminia, Sacha, Tori… and there’s so many more.

 

Tell the truth. How many notebooks and journals do you own?

Too many to count. I have five bins/drawers full of them.

 

Writers keep their eyes open for inspiration, which makes us notice a lot more than most. What random piece of everyday beauty do you love?

Shiny objects, mostly. But honestly, I have a keen eye for small details lying around. If there’s a penny in the parking lot, you bet I’ll notice it and I’ll run over and grab it! I always thought that was a sign from my late Grandpa and, ironically enough, I write about death and ghosts a lot.

 

As much as we love to write, some parts of being a writer can be a chore. What’s your most tempting distraction?

Video games. It’s so much easier to sit back and play a game or two rather than typing and thinking at my desk. Then again, my mystery series was inspired by a video game.

 

We indies need to stick together. Any indie writers on your radar right now?

I have a lot. I’ve met many indie authors on this journey, a few of them I mentioned in the beta reader question – Ari Meghlen, Herminia Chow, Carin Marais, Victoria Zigler, Nthato Morakabi, and more.

Thanks so much for having me!

It was so nice getting to know you and I can’t wait for your new book! 🙂

 

Meet An Indie Author Monday–Ian Gregoire, #MAIAM

Happy February MAIAM readers! It’s that time of year when we’re inundated with tokens of love. Personally, I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it’s nice to have something to break-up the monotony between the end of the winter holiday season and the start of the spring holiday season. You know what else breaks up the day-to-day? Getting into a great book series.

Ian Gregoire, “Your future favorite fantasy & science fiction author” is this month’s featured indie author and currently working on book two in his Legends of the Order series. Here’s what he had to say to MAIAM:

The Exercise Of Vital Powers (Legends of the Order, #1)

 

 

 

 

 

First things first, what’s the name of your current book?

My current novel is called The Exercise Of Vital Powers. It’s a cautionary tale of a precocious anti-heroine possessing great magical abilities who must learn the dangers and consequences of abusing power.

 

New ideas are always cropping up. Give me your best book title that doesn’t have a story.

I like the title, The Villains Of The Peace, but I won’t ever use it because readers might be put off by what they see as a spelling mistake rather than a play on words.

 

Words are kind of our thing. What’s your favourite word?

I can’t single out any single word as a favourite, but for the purpose of answering the question, I offer discombobulate. The first time I ever heard it I couldn’t believe it was a real word. I think there are better synonyms available, so it’s a word I’ll never use in my own writing.

 

Some people need the light of day to function and others prefer the quiet of night. When do you write?

I find it much easier to concentrate on my writing in the mornings because there are less distractions to hinder me, so that’s when I do most of my writing. Having said that, if I’m really in the mood and on a roll with a story, I can be productive in the early evenings, too.

 

Names really help set a mood. What’s your process for picking people and place names?

Even if the settings for my stories are fictional they are still inspired by real world places, so my naming conventions will be derived from those of whichever geographical location I’ve chosen.

 

Even finishing a scene feels like a reason to throw a party. Have a favorite way to celebrate finishing a project?

I just smile and feel good about myself for a while. We’ll see what happens when I finish my current manuscript.

 

We know writing is primarily a creative endeavor. Tell me something you never expected to get from writing.

Peace of mind. Once I’m fully immersed in my story and characters I’m able to forget about all my worries, albeit temporarily.

 

Beta-readers are our first fans and critics. If you could pick any writer, past or present, to be your beta-reader, who would you pick?

Definitely Lois McMaster Bujold. Obviously she’s one of the most critically acclaimed speculative fiction authors ever, but more important than that, I’m really envious of the quality of her prose, and she writes the kind of character-driven tales that I want to emulate with my own work.

 

Tell the truth. How many notebooks and journals do you own?

I never gave it much thought until now, but do I get through quite a few notebooks during the course of a year.

 

Writers keep their eyes open for inspiration, which makes us notice a lot more than most. What random piece of everyday beauty do you love?

I can’t think of anything specific, but living in a concrete jungle like London, I can’t help but appreciate the beauty of flowering tress on those infrequent occasions I come across any. I particularly like the sight of cherry blossom, crab apple, and magnolia trees.

 

As much as we love to write, some parts of being a writer can be a chore. What’s your most tempting distraction?

The internet.

 

We indies need to stick together. Any indie writers on your radar right now?

I’m starting to become a big fan of Grace Draven’s writing so I expect I’ll be reading a few of her books this year. I also need to catch up on my Sarah Doughty and Lindsay Buroker reading.

In terms of indie authors I haven’t read yet, but intend to do so soon: I.L Cruz (YAY!), Claudia Silva, K.S. Villoso, Patty Jansen, and Aubrey Law. There are several others, too, but they are further down the pecking order so I probably won’t get to them this year.

 

Thanks for taking the time to join the growing MAIAM family! Good luck with book two, The Apprentice in the Master’s Shadow (great title, BTW) and I hope we can see you hear again!

 

Meet An Indie Author Monday–#MAIAM with Azaaa Davis, urban fantasy writer

MAIAM came late this month, but it seems appropriate after ringing in the new year. But what better way to start a new year than by discovering a new indie author. Azaaa Davis writes urban fantasy and her Demon Hunter series has already begun.

 

this-time-ebook-cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First things first, what’s the name of your current book?

This Time is my debut fantasy novel and it was published on 10/01/2018.

 

New ideas are always cropping up. Give me your best book title that doesn’t have a story.

I’m the worst at coming up with book titles! The titles I’ve brainstormed sound like they belong in the contemporary romance or erotica section. Unfortunately, I write fantasy.

 

Words are kind of our thing. What’s your favorite word?

My husband is the only person I know that says, “Outstanding!” sincerely. I think it’s cute. Reading the word can make me think of him and smile.

 

Some people need the light of day to function and others prefer the quiet of night. When do you write?

I’m a night owl and this was reinforced when I was waking up to nurse my baby girl throughout the night. It wrote This Time at night when my family was blissfully asleep.

 

Names really help set a mood. What’s your process for picking people and place names?

I have a unique name. Azaaa is Arabic and means “to console.” To show appreciation to the many names that Americans might consider “different,” “weird,” or “foreign,” I think of the meaning first and then I find a name to match. I like knowing that my characters have names that hint at their personality or fate.

 

Even finishing a scene feels like a reason to throw a party. Have a favorite way to celebrate finishing a project?

I reward myself all the time for victories big and small. Because my family eats home-cooked meals regularly, I like dining out to celebrate big moments in life. For the smaller ones, like finishing a scene or chapter, I simply tell my husband and he kisses me.

 

We know writing is primarily a creative endeavor. Tell me something you never expected to get from writing.

I’ve developed a deeper understanding about what motivates people. I’ll admit that my background in social work helps because many of my college courses were about human behavior. Putting yourself in the mind of all of the characters you create really forces you to think about the goals and motivations that can influence each person’s actions and words. As a writer, I’ve reconnected with my more empathetic side.

 

Tell the truth. How many notebooks and journals do you own?

I rarely use the notebooks and journals that I own. I mainly type up my thoughts since paper is so easily damaged or lost in my house.

 

Writers keep their eyes open for inspiration, which makes us notice a lot more than most. What random piece of everyday beauty do you love?

How people say goodnight to each other says a lot about the closeness of their relationship. Is it a distracted, “okay, later,” or is it a softly whispered “sweet dreams” said with a smile? I’m trying to include little actions that speak loudly into my stories as much as possible.

 

As much as we love to write, some parts of being a writer can be a chore. What’s your most tempting distraction?

I watch way too much Gordon Ramsay tv shows when I should be writing. I think it will simply be background noise but I get sucked into the drama, even the reruns.

 

We indies need to stick together. Any indie writers on your radar right now?

I’ve placed your book, A Smuggler’s Path, at the top of my to-be-read pile! I’ve also recently read and reviewed the young adult, fantasy novel Dreg by Bethany Hoeflich.

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Thanks for participating in MAIAM day and a special thanks for adding my book to your TBR pile! I hope we can have you back for a follow-up interview when the next book in your Demon Hunter series. It was great learning more about you!

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