Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Hello, Ms. Fiona!
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
:drops a half curtsey, awkward as hell in jeans: MariaLisa deMora, at your service. I’m going to ignore that second question, sorry not sorry! Age is just a number, right? Let’s leave it at “I’m had an 8-track tape player in my car” old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Air Force brat, born in Montana but raised in the glorious state of Texas. No matter where I live, currently in Indiana, Northeast Texas will always be home. Deep in the Big Piney Woods, halfway between Dallas and Shreveport.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
My book education started early. I taught myself to read around five years old. Living in a small community back then meant no kindergarten. I have a “late” birthday, in September, and the cut-off for school was early August. So after spending a whole summer of me whining about I needed more books and realizing they’d be dealing with it for another year before I could go to first grade, my parents lied on the paperwork and got me into school. I’m pretty sure the administration was complicit in the endeavour, but it’s fun to think of my mom and dad being all hush-hush about it.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m planning on making 2020 the year where I don’t do anything that folks expect. I’m hashtagging it #TheYearOfWriting. 2019 was a massively productive year for me, with nearly 20 releases including new genres, a collaboration of writing in someone else’s world, and dropping a couple of titles so many readers had been waiting anxiously on. I smashed my goals and it felt awesome. This year my goal is writing what the characters in my head want. No worries about schedules or deadlines, no writing to trope or market. Just playing follow-the-leader with inspiration.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I blame sleep deprivation! No, seriously, I do! In 2013 I took on responsibility for a second department at work and pretty quickly had turnover in key positions. We were in the middle of a huge project, and when my department manager quit, I had to take that over. I had a weekend to bring myself up to speed, and then it was pedal to the metal to get everything done. For nearly five months I was working 100+ hours a week AND taking online classes for a degree AND single-mom to a special needs young adult.
When I had time to sleep, I kept having this recurring dream that I just couldn’t shake. It was about this chick, super strong but so damaged. She brought friends to play eventually, and I got to know them in my head, too.
I’ll circle back to this in a couple of questions, yeah?
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
You ask that like it’s a given that I do … Imposter syndrome is real and alive inside me, I tell you what. Probably my first real “maybe I’m not half bad at this” was when an author I love and adore read my book and asked for more. That encouragement, that acceptance and expectation that I’d continue on—keeps me going today.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
So like I was saying earlier, sleep deprivation! That chick I was dreaming about, I truly wanted to get her out of my head. I’d never done creative writing, not really. I’d written all kinds of business reports. I can build a technical document in nothing flat, and even can put together an acquisition evaluation without breaking a sweat. This chick that was in my head though, she wanted something different. So I decided to do an outline, expecting it to get her out of my head. Didn’t work. She was louder than ever, waking me in the morning so I could drink coffee and think about what my dreams had held. The week between Christmas and New Years, I sat down on the couch with my laptop and started writing. It felt like vomiting on the page, and I loved seeing how things came together. Hours later I had thousands of words and realized this might be something I could do for this one character. We see how that wound up, yeah?
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
So creative … NOT! The title for that book is the main character’s first name. Ugh. I’d do it differently today, but I never expected anything beyond that first book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
If genres are highways, I have a problem staying in my own lane. Motorcycle club romance was my first foray into publishing. I didn’t even know it was a genre until the cover artist I hired read the synopsis and labelled it such. I know from my editor that my writing style is “third person close” ß whatever that means! But I have a couple of characters that demand first person instead. See? All over the place!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
EVERY book contains something of me. A turn of phrase, a scene detail, a character’s personality. Only one character in my books is fully based on a person I knew, and I used his nickname for the character with the blessing of his children. When I say “based” I mean that when I’m writing that character, I pull up my friend in my mind and channel the way he’d react, the stance he’d take, the words he’d say.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Most of the stories are set in places I live or have lived, and I draw upon those memories for the setting as needed. I did have one story that came to life during a trip—all because of me taking a wrong turn and winding up in a certain part of own. It rained during that vacation and I spent two and a half days holed up in the BnB. I was super glad I’d taken a tablet and wireless keyboard, because I put 40,000 words “to paper” during that period.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
So many covers! I have 45 titles released now in various genres and tropes. When I started out with that first book, I studied the covers on Amazon’s top 10 in romance and found an artist whose style fit the majority of those. That first book, I truly wanted to hold in my hand, so thinking it would be a one-and-done deal, I still hired a fabulous cover and editorial team, because I wanted it to be the best it could be. I’m so glad I did.
Most of my 2019 covers I did myself. I’ve worked in Photoshop for years now at the day job, and it’s a fairly comfortable space.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Oh, gosh. Yes. Probably? Maybe? It depends on the book. Some have a deep and profound subtext like the one about addiction. The message there is as long as you’re on this side of the sod, there is a chance at redemption. So keep holding on. I have a social justice novel about horrendous laws in various states and my back matter is all about writing your representatives to help change those laws. I have an entire short series surrounding the insufficient care our wounded veterans receive upon returning home, and showing people how things can be changed. Then I have a few books that are pure entertainment, just following the characters down their particular rabbit hole and see where they lead.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
T.J. Klune is a favorite. He allows me to suspend disbelief with the first words of his Green Creek novels, taking me deep into his world. Anne Rice’s classic Interview With the Vampire is a happy reread whenever I need downtime. Kushiel’s Dart and subsequent series by Jacqueline Carey is fabulous in print and especially audio. She’s another one who has built a rich world I get lost inside, and another author I reread. Various tropes that have caught my attention are far outside the norm, focusing in on distinct and different scenarios involving hurt/comfort, age gap, and the omegaverse.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
😀 That question assumes my family supports me. Which they do, but only after I gained the courage to tell them. I wrote in secret for about five months, and then only told one friend and one family member. They read the book in stages as I had content ready, and kept asking for more. That was hugely encouraging!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yeah, I really do. Right now it’s a side gig, but I work it like a second job. I’m up by 5:30 a.m. every day and write or do other bookish things until time to go to work. Then after work I’m usually back at it, writing or other bookish things until 10:00 p.m. or so.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
That would be See You in Valhalla, released in December. No, I don’t think so. It is the final book in a shorter series of four titles, and does a good job wrapping things up for the reader while advancing the characters and storyarc. If we were talking about my first book? Oh, hell yeah, there are so many things I’d do differently in that one.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I was reminded that trying to force the characters down a path of my choosing lead to the worst thing in a writer’s world—silence. :shudders: That’s honestly the worst, man. When you write a sentence and then can’t go beyond that, so you spend three or four hours picking apart that sentence, changing words, shifting phrasing around, trying to spark what comes next with no success. The worst. Go with the flow is a great motto, which is why 2020 is #TheYearOfWriting for me.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
OH! I know this one! When I did audio for my Neither This Nor That MC series, I had to work up character information for the narrator. In This is the Route of Twisted Pain, the first book we meet George Bell, Twisted, and what I told Kirt Graves (the narrator) was this:
Matthew McConaughey – as he is in Mud, that’s the cadence and inflection of this character in my head:
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
There’s a quote from Richard Bach that I absolutely love: A professionalwriter is an amateur who didn’t quit. I’m proof that you don’t have to have an MFA to write and self-publish. There is no particular pedigree required, only a driving desire to share that story in your mind.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I LOVE YOU! That is all. ❤ They keep me going by demanding more.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Which one? I have a few going … L. Rose (Lila Rose) A Torn Paige, Greg Olsen If You Tell, Leta Blake Slow Heat, and a reread of M.Q. Barber Her Shirtless Gentleman.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Nope. But I do remember the summer I was 7 or 8 and I checked a book on Lipizzaner Stallions out of the library like five times. I was fascinated by the pedigrees and lineages of the horses and how so many had been hidden away during the wars to keep them safe.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Children and puppies, foals at play in a field, people being people. Destitution and hopelessness, a society that doesn’t care for its own.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Stephen King. Our county librarian didn’t believe in age-restricting the stacks, so I read him at a young age and he became my standard of excellence in reading material.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Hockey, I watch not play. Lord, I couldn’t skate to save my life. I ride my motorcycles when weather allows. Mostly I read. And read. And read. 😊
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Nothing at the moment.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Tequila. Hey, why are you looking at me like that! It’s a food group, swear. Yellow, but not the brassy yellow that verges on orange. The bright and soft yellow of buttercups and sunshine. Music is everything. No kidding. I might listen to MGK one minute and Simon and Garfunkel the next. Lauv is a current favorite, his stuff is deeper than it seems on the surface and the song he does about mental health is profound and moving. My favorite Kiwi band, Like a Storm, favorite rockers are Saliva and Pop Evil. See? All over the place. Right now I’ve got a playlist going that includes Birdy, Civil Wars, and Hozier.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Dude. Harsh! If I could no longer write then I’d read. #ReaderFirst
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
You can’t cheat death. It’s gonna come when it comes. I try to reach out to loved ones all the time and live with no regrets. If I knew it was coming, I’d call everyone I knew just to hear their voice for a last time, and then I’d read.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She didn’t suck, except in bed.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do! www.mldemora.com has all kinds of info there with extras, some lyrics the characters wrote, a few videos that go with the books, and my blog/newsletter.
I wanna say thank you for having me here for this. I appreciate your interest in my books so much. Hope to see you at a book signing in the future.
Here’s a little more info about me:
Wall Street Journal&USA TODAYbestselling author MariaLisa deMora has penned a variety of stories, with multiple established series as well as standalones in diverse genres. Her website is filled with links and information, as well as extras like character interviews, playlists, poetry, and trailer videos!
★*✺The Rebel Wayfarers MC saga offers 12 main titles, plus additional novellas and short stories. 23 in all!
Rebel Wayfarers MC
A motorcycle club can be a frightening place, filled with hardened men and bad attitudes. Rebel Wayfarers is a club with their own measure of hard and dangerous, led by their national president, Davis Mason. This book series follows members as they move through their lives, filled with anguish and heartache, laughter and love. In the club, each of them find a home and family they thought long lost to them.
✧*✺A grittier look at the world of bikers and the lives they lead is set in steamy southern Louisiana for her Neither This, Nor That MC series.
Neither This, Nor That MC
Legends are born from moments like these. Folktales spun around a single point in time so perfect, you can almost hear the click resonating through the universe as things align. Meet Twisted, Po’Boy, Retro, and Ragman, good old boys from southern states who have many things in common. First, is a bone-deep love of the biker lifestyle. Second, would be their love of the brotherhood, and knowing that you trust the man at your back. Finally, these men have the love of a good woman. None of these come without a price, and it is our pleasure to journey along with them as they discover the blessings that can be won, and lost along the way.
✸*★Veterans are a common theme through many of deMora’s stories, and now she’s created an entire series around the uplifting and sometimes heartbreaking consequences for those who protect and serve.
Mayhan Bucklers MC
The Mayhan Bucklers MC has been part of the rolling hills of Northeast Texas for decades. Now, new life is being breathed into this reborn club, a legacy resurrected by grandsons of the founder. The MBMC is set to surpass its original glory, fortified with an honourable purpose: Helping wounded warriors reintegrate back into society, gifting those who’ve given so much with a safe place to land.
Learning how to navigate life while war still echoes inside you isn’t easy, but with solid brothers at your back, and the love of a good woman, anything is possible.
✺*✧ With her Borderline Freaks MC series, deMora is launching her first closed-end grouping of books. The reader will follow these complex characters through a devastating cycle of events to the culmination. Each novella and short form novel focuses on a pair of characters, but the secondary actors in each story help push the tale to its conclusion.
Borderline Freaks MC
A total of four tales of love and loss await readers who pick up the stories about the men of the BFMC. Beginning with Service and Sacrifice, deMora’s words frame the most powerful emotions of grief … and love. Each story gives us a wider and deeper understanding of these characters and their struggles. From a veteran fighting his way back from a motorcycle accident, to the emotional turmoil of a female Airman battling PTSD, the reader will find facets of personality that ring true.
✸*✺The spin-off set in her RWMC world is a rocker series, Occupy Yourself.
Occupy Yourself band books
Stardom doesn’t happen overnight. Hell, it doesn’t even happen after a decade in the business, as the members of Occupy Yourself have found out. But, with the right talent and the right representation, they might still have a chance to make it big. As long as they can keep their lead singer sober, keep their drummer focused on the music, keep their guitarist out of trouble … well, you get the idea. Come and join us, stand side stage for a close-up view of the backstage happenings in a rock-and-roll band. It’s guaranteed to be a show you won’t ever forget.
✺*✸deMora’ssweet romance series, With My Whole Heart, are built around unique story lines. Sweet as pie and twice as delicious, these romantic love stores are a guaranteed happily-ever-after read.Book one, titled With My Whole Heart features a struggling single mom turns to surrogacy as a way to better her and her son’s lives, as well as give the gift of life to a family longing for a child. Imagine her surprise when it turns out her son’s hot basketball coach is the sperm donor. (But wait, there’s more!) He’s also the brother to the husband of the couple she’s carrying a child for! What happens next is a study in human nature, as Connor and Jaime work towards an ending that will surprise you! Book two, Bet On Us is a continuation of characters previously introduced and I hope you’ll fall in love with Jacob, Trent, and Jericho—just as I did.
✧*★ After delving into the mind of a serial killer, deMora released a dark romantic suspense book, Alace Sweets. A dark romantic thriller, this book is not a light read. Filled with edge-of-your-seat suspense, this intense story commands the reader’s attention as it drives towards the explosive ending. Alace Sweets is a vigilante serial killer, with everything that implies and is sure to trip all your triggers. Be ready.
★*✧ With her social justice thriller, Hard Focus, deMora delivers an intense page-turner, a gut-punch twist-filled story about a woman who has confidence in herself, believes she’s a good judge of character, and has filled her life with people she can trust. She’s right, but she’s also very, very wrong. Readers will have a time of it trying to decide who to watch closest.
✸*✧Her SciFi series, Tangled Fates Stories, surround the idea of what if. When threads in the tapestry of life are cut short, inexorably changing the future for those you love, would you be willing to tempt fate to set things right?
#MariaLisadeMora #RebelWayfarersMC #RWMC #NeitherThisNorThat #NTNT #MayhanBucklersMC #MBMC #OccupyYourself #OYband #BorderlineFreaksMC #BFMC
Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/MariaLisa-deMora/e/B00LBON0WO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1579085362&sr=1-2