Maria Warren has been kind enough to chat with us for our latest Author Interview session, we’re so glad she has. Come check out her writing systems and how she approaches Kindle vella!
How did you know you had this series in you?
I’m a bit of an odd one. It’s more how did I know I had this universe inside of me. I like to do a lot of different things, but using a connected universe I can pull all my works together and make them have some meaning to each other so if you like bully romances, you’ve got something to enjoy or if you like action/adventure I’ve got that too, and if you’re in it for the story it stretches over what will likely be around 52 books or so
I love thick books and long series (those usually it is one or the other.)!
Why did you choose to use a series format?
Actually, I’ve been doing this kind of series format style to my writing for the last few years now. I got a start on Dreame which considering their current contracts, I can *not* suggest others to take that route unless they understand what they are signing up for and they pay super attention to the 21 page contract. When I heard about Vella, I knew that my style would fit right in. But I don’t do the serial thing as many other authors do, but my writing style moves scene by scene. Each ‘chapter’ is a scene moving the story forward, and I always end with a cliff-hanger though not always external, it could be internal or just a piece of information revealed etc.
Sounds like it was quite the learning experiment…I don’t tend to write in episodic pieces either, but I sometimes struggle to end on a cliffhanger.
What is your greatest challenge in writing?
Writing with kids! I’ve got 2 and my youngest *just* started kindergarten. Before that it was really hard to get words in. It’s way easier now though there’s still the time struggle of being a writer and being a mom.
Multitasking parenthood and writing is certainly difficult. I have four of my own, all teenagers now, and I’ve only just begun to be able to write semi-regularly again.
What surprised you in the writing process?
How much easier life is with an outline. My outline method is a little strange, it’s not typical, though I’ve seen others use it. Basically it’s
This is the chapter where she discovers the big secret
1. MC waits until everyone falls asleep and sneaks to go investigate the house
2. She finds a locked door and picks it
3. The room is filled with a whiteboard and materials that only the killer should have.
The chapter is telling me just in a line what I want to happen in the chapter, and the other things are telling me the things of note I want to make sure are in the scene.
Hey, it doesn’t matter if your outline style looks like other people’s or not, as long as it works for you. I love using outlines because I can easily add key ideas as I think of them and see at a glance where details best fit in.
Is there something in particular, that you found particularly helpful?
4thewords.com it’s a writing RPG where you basically kill monsters by writing words. It’s been the thing that keeps me writing at bare minimum 444 words a day
I have never heard of this, but you know I’m about to check it out!
Research makes the details right
I know we tend to write what we know, but did you need to do research for this book?
For my next book, yes, I looked into bully romances to see what the appeal is and how they were written.
What was the coolest or most surprising thing you learned?
One of my books I looked up recipes that were made with blood because a vampire was cooking with a human’s blood. So my search history was full of how much you could lose without danger to yourself, as well as recipes for said blood. I even ran into a website claiming to be ran by real vampires, it was …. interesting.
Interesting, huh? I bet it was.
What else can you describe in your writing process?
My process is pretty much outline my entire book though the method I showed before. It’s usually about 100 chapters or so when I’m done, but I don’t really go off anything but how the plot FEELs to me. After the outline I start chipping away at it about 2k a day every day. When I’m caught up I usually do 5k a day on weekdays so I can get ahead and plan ahead etc.
How do you know your piece is ready to be shared/complete?
After I write it with 4thewords, I go ahead and edit it and check it for issues as I upload it to Vella
Who is your expected audience?
My biggest audience has been older women. I have a ton of women in their 50’s and beyond that follow my material. I suspect anyone that lives reverse harem romances, action adventure, and dashes of when there is heat, for it to be intense.
Who has been your strongest supporter?
My Chubby Dragon, she’s been incredible at keeping me motivated and really helping me find anything wrong with plots before I even write them. My outline method makes things stick out so it’s easier to handle.
If you could have any author (alive, dead, or fictional) read your book, who would you like to read it?
Rick Riordan is my favorite, but I don’t think he would because of the huge genre difference haha.
He is an amazing author, but you’re right his YA mythology based adventure is a little different than your reverse harems…
What author, or book, or series most influenced you?
Rick Riordan. He’s made an incredible connected world and each of his books really takes you on an incredible adventure. Harry Potter was fine, but my favorite by far was Percy Jackson.
I felt this way about Robert Jordan when I discovered his writing. I strive to world build and develop characters like he did. Rick Riordan is my son’s equivalent to Robert Jordan.
Share an extra cookie with a us, a little extra treat
One of my characters named Melody has a sweets weakness. She’s always got gummy bears or red vines or something around her. That is *so* my writing fuel. If I was restricted to just one sweet, I’d choose gummies every time… which would probably make my orthodontist weep. I take great care of my braces though. I don’t want to endure it again.
That was the only reason I gave up popcorn while I had braces, I didn’t want to lengthen the suffering.
What else is important to share about your book?
Yes there is heat, but my books are more about plot than hot. I can bring the heat when it’s time, but I love working on twists and turns without pulling it out of thin air. Little things woven throughout the book make my day.
I love the nuance of plot, setting, and character development!
We want more!
When can we expect more from you?
Every single day! I’m finishing up Angela’s Pack and the day after it’s finished I’ll be working on Alpha Gods of Silverton, my bully romance paranormal reverse harem.
Where can we find your book?
My first Vella book is on Amazon at the moment and doing rather well.
Angela’s Pack will be added there 30 days after it’s finished on Vella.