Name: Mardi Maxwell
Age: I’ve lied about my age all my life although I’ve always told people I was older than I actually am. This means that now I look really good for a 109 year old woman.
Where are you from: My dad had a job that transferred him a lot so I was born in Utah but I’ve lived in Colorado, Oklahoma, California, and Texas.
A little about yourself: I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts and Science with emphasis in four areas of study, creative writing, Sociology, Psychology and Humanities. I’m single and I have one grown son and three grandsons. After my first book was published I took early retirement from a career as a social worker.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Right now I’m working on the fifth book in The Doms of Club Mystique series.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always had a great imagination and my story telling as a child just naturally morphed into writing in high school and college. I wrote a futuristic romance in 1991 and sent it in to a publisher. I got a very nice letter from the editor telling me what to do to make my book better and suggesting I send it to another publisher as they did not publish that genre (although they had for a couple big names lol). Around then I got very busy with my career and stopped writing, although I would write off and on when I couldn’t resist the urge to put my thoughts down on paper.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s still pending. I’m pleasantly surprised every time I write a book, send it in and get an acceptance.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
In July 2013 my best friend challenged me to write a book and send it to Siren Publishing. I wrote To Love and Obey. Siren accepted it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, narrative. I write as if a friend is sitting across from me and I’m telling them a story about some other friends and what happened to them.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In the fourth book of The Doms of Club Mystique series, Zane Ramsey has to choose between his career and the justice system he believes in and the woman he loves. So, Zane’s Choice.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Only that love can overcome anything. I’m a romantic so my books have an emphasis on love and a lot of hot sex.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Quite a bit. It’s not a futuristic or paranormal novel. The characters come from my imagination and may or may not be based on some people I know 😉 The drug cartels exist and the things they do are real enough. The plot is plausible.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My husband was a police officer so I had an insider’s view of cases involving murder and drugs. I was an adult protective services investigator so I worked cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation against the elderly or disabled.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life?
I grew up reading the classics. Great writers with wonderful ways with words who used them to paint pictures that helped form my mind and imagination.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Oh, dear, I read so many of the newer writers in erotic romance that it would be hard to choose. I rarely read anything else these days – no time, although I love zombie novels. Caitlyn O’Leary and I were published by Siren around the same time so she and I are facebook buddies and we’ve helped each other learn this business. And, of course, the other Siren authors are wonderful about helping a new writer.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished S.E. Smith’s “Twin Dragons.” I love her books.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love Caitlyn O’Leary’s books because she always has a social issue in her books like foster care or abuse. I also like Shawn Chesser. He writes a great zombie series although I don’t know if he’s a “new” writer.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on the fifth Doms of Club Mystique series at this time. There are three more books in that series. Then, I’m beginning a new series that will be a little something different. Lol
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members:
Other than my BFF a co-worker who was a great sounding board and cheer squad.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, as a second career that I wish I had made my first and only career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not the latest book, Zane’s Choice, but in the first book in the series, To Love and Obey. I would have named it To Love and Disobey because the heroine isn’t very good at obeying her Dom.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think writers are just born writers. Either you love to write or you don’t. There’s no forcing it. I was that lone kid in the class who never griped when an essay question was handed out.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to but that’s my writers’ superstition kicking in. For me, if I share too much of my MS then it jinxes it.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Putting in enough hours writing. I have a large family and they come first so there are a lot of interruptions to my days.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’d have to say Lexi Blake. I love the way she writes and the passion she puts in her books. Her characters engage you from the beginning and I hate when one of her books ends.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet although I’m planning some traveling next year to author / reader events and I’m hoping to take a trip to the UK later in the year.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
So far, all of my covers have been done by Harris Channing at Siren.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
When I’m writing I’m plotting the next book so I get anxious to get the book done so I can move on to the next one. If you’ve read any of my books then you know that all of my characters show up in the next book. I love books that do that so that’s what I write. I hate saying goodbye to my characters.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I wasn’t surprised that I’d written it as I’ve written other books in the past but I was totally shocked when Siren accepted it.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Buy a good grammar book, read books about writing, read a favorite author’s book then go back and study it and try to figure out what it is about their writing that you love, read what you want to write. Learn to love research. Get organized (hard to do), and take a class in social media. Most writers have to promote their own books themselves so get comfortable with Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I really appreciate anyone who reads my books and I love hearing from you. I have a newsletter and I try to get it sent out at least once a month. You’re welcome to sign up for it on my website.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I’m sure it was “Dick and Jane” a child’s book from primary school. My grandmother was a kindergarten and first grade teacher so I’m sure she put one of those in my hands as soon as I was old enough to learn to read.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I like the silly things that people do because I find people fascinating. As far as crying, I’m a sucker for anything “touching” and a sad love song will make me cry every time.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would want to meet and why?
Not past or present but wouldn’t it be great to be able to meet your great-great-great-great-grandchild and see if the family told stories about you? I think that would be wonderful.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Gardening, swimming, cooking, traveling, building things like elevated gardening tables with my son, ceramics and I collect old glass.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love survival shows like Survivorman, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Dude You’re Screwed, Yukon Men, and Alaska: The Last Frontier. I also love National Geographic, and shows like Sleepy Hollow, Defiance, Haven, and The Walking Dead.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
Food, rare steak. Colors, green and blue. Music, all kinds from opera to rock. I like acoustic guitar music. I always listen to music when I’m writing.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I think it would be great to be a travel specialist like Rick Steves. I love traveling and meeting new people and seeing new things. I’m a lifetime learner.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? Website is http://www.mardimaxwell.com