What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
Destiny Calling went through much transition with the early stages of the story until I came across the idea for the villain. My research into Hecate helped me develop the abilities of the Enchantlings, and then I put my own twist on Hecate. I put the book aside several times over a year, as life interfered, but I always came back to Destiny Calling because the storyline intrigued me. I submitted the story to my editor at The Wild Rose Press and it was contracted for publication in December of 2014.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
I love to embrace small towns and the eccentric characters you can find there. I spend a lot of time during the warmer months walking or biking, and Pennsylvania is a beautiful state, so I can’t help but use this as the setting for most of my books. I may have stumbled across the Crossroads on the walks with my hubby deep into the wooded trails around our home, but luckily I’ve not run into an Oppressor yet (only in my very vivid imagination).
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
My characters are completely imaginary. They, of course, may have traits from people I know or see or even some of my own, because it’s easier to write what I know. But once the traits mesh— they become a distinctive character. So unique, that I discover many things about the characters as I write the story when the characters decide to reveal them to me. (Since I’m a panster. Meaning I don’t plot much of the story, but rather write by the seat of my pants).
Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
I did have some times when I wasn’t quite sure what happened next in the story or how the characters would deal with a situation. The best thing I’ve found for my writers block is if I can hitch a ride on the back of my hubby’s motorcycle. It really clears my head when I’m forced to do nothing else but hold on and think about my story. I’m always sure to carry a small tablet and a pen with me, just in case I need to write down some notes. (Which I do after we stop, of course, as I don’t want to fall off!)
What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I encountered a lot of surprises while writing the story. As I mentioned being a ‘panster’, when new things developed in the story, or things fell into place, I was just as surprised as the reader. After the story was done some of the surprises I encountered began when I started the second book in the series and discovered new characters entering the scene and things I hadn’t known about my original characters—so the plot thickens!
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about paranormal events and the Underworld?
As far as what I’ve learned about myself, I’d say mainly that I am better if I’m writing everyday. It keeps the story alive in my mind, I can accomplish so much more writing than I’d thought was possible for me and I’m a happier person. I’ve learned the writing world is a generous community that has a ton of very supportive people that are willing to help if you ask. As far as paranormal events and the Underworld, I’m still learning new things about my stories every day.
Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I can write almost anywhere, and take my laptop with me to make that happen. But a few years ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to convert our guest bedroom into an office…my writing space. (Sorry guests, you’re on the couch ;) Before that I had papers everywhere and had trouble finding what I needed, now I’m able to organize my books and notes a little better (this stuff still leaves something to be desired as far as my quest for organization). I have the room to set up the bulletin boards I use to gather my notes for my novels and have candles to help me relax and stimulate my mind before a long sprint of writing. This works for me because I don’t have to gather all my papers and notes to begin, everything is waiting for me to step back into the story.
What are you working on now?
The Wild Rose Press has contracted my humorous, Paranormal Romance entitled, Grandma Must Die. So I’m in edits for that, as well as working on edits for a short story with The Wild Rose Press Candy Heart Series entitled, Forget Me Not, which will be released in February 2016. As for my upcoming stories, I’m editing a story I wrote a few years ago to see if I can get it into shape for submission, and then I’ll be returning to finish Book 2 of The Enchantlings.
Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
I’ve considered writing a Young Adult book sometime, that and/or a Horror story. (Or a YA Horror) I read both of these genres and enjoy them. Maybe someday, if the story is right, I’ll try one.
What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Knowing when to stop editing. Every time I read the story I want to tweak, add or cut, I’m always striving to improve upon the story but have to step away so I don’t edit my writer’s voice right out of the story.
Hope Doesn’t Know If The Man She Can Touch Is A Dream Come True, Or A Nightmare Just Beginning.
Hope only wants to find out if her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with her touch makes her the devil's spawn, or his exterminator. But when the woman who raised her is murdered by something not human, she loses the only family she knew and discovers one she might wish she hadn’t.
Drawn back to the hometown she vowed never to return to, her ability is seen as an asset to everyone but Hope, and she doesn't know who to trust. Her family wants her to help them overcome an enemy oppressing the human population, while the man of her dreams is courting her for the Underworld.
Time is running out, and Hope’s choice may be made for her, as she discovers she’s a pawn in a bigger game played by a merciless ruler who doesn't lose.
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Growing up with four siblings had Maureen familiar with escaping into a good book, or the recesses of her mind. She realized later in life everyone didn’t have characters telling stories in their heads, or weren’t envisioning magic and mayhem within the everyday. This, and long walks in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania spawned a love of writing.
Since her desire to become a Solid Gold Dancer was thwarted when the show was discontinued, Maureen opted to pursue other paths. Attempting to conquer new endeavors proved fruitful with her first novella, while other attempts, such as challenging a fear of heights with parasailing, were unsuccessful.
Therefore she’s chased other interests, though none-the-less-daring, but closer to the ground, such as belly-dancing, becoming a self-proclaimed tequila connoisseur, fulfilling her role as biker babe to her alpha hubby and surviving motherhood to twins (so far).
Penning stories boasting laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.