Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Maria Monteiro

Welcome to the first installment of Writer Wednesday! Each week I hope to introduce you to a new indie author and ask them 10 questions to get to know them.

First up is my friend Maria Monteiro, who just released her second book called Letting Go. I first met Maria on Twitter back in April when we were both releasing our first books. I commented to her that I have a tattoo the same as the title of her book (Hold on Tight) and we hit it off right away. We even have a (somewhat neglected) blog together. In addition to being a concert junkie and kind hearted, Maria can write a mean romantic triangle.

Tell us about your new release, Letting Go.

Letting Go is the squeal to Hold on Tight. At the end of Hold on Tight, Emma is still left confused about who she wants to be with. She’s starting to get feelings for Court again while still holding on to her feelings for Nash. In Letting Go, Emma decides who she wants to be with, but there is a secret she has to tell and issues with her parents she has to deal with. The second book is not only about choosing a guy, it’s also about dealing with curve balls life throws at you.

What's your favorite scene in this book?

It’s a scene she has with her mom in her parents' room. I have a very close relationship with my mother, so anytime I wrote about Emma’s relationship with her mother, I got a little emotional.

Were any aspects of the story brought on by either personal experience or inspiration?

Yes. There is a scene in which Emma goes to the Bowery Ballroom to see her one of her favorite bands and the lead singer makes eye contact with her. That actually happened to me and I reacted the same way Emma does in the book. I also love ice cream just as much as Emma does. I seriously could eat it all day long.

When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?

In the fourth grade, when I wrote my first story. I remember thinking wow, this fun to be able to control people like this. In a weird way I felt like I was playing God with my characters. Little did I know, sometimes they control me. I know that sounds crazy, but I’m sure authors out there know what I’m talking about. 

What are some of your personal favorite books?

My all time favorite book is Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read it. I wish John After was a real person and I could find him.

What music do you listen to while writing?

While I was writing Hold on Tight and Letting Go I listened to O.A.R, Lifehouse, Parachute and Yellowcard. For the book I’m writing now, I’ve been listening a lot to Dave Matthews, Beastie Boys, Foo Fighters, American Bang and of course O.A.R.

What's the most satisfying thing about writing?

That feeling you get when your manuscript is done. It’s amazing when you have accomplished something you started. It’s a moment of great pride. It’s a beautiful feeling.

Hardest thing?

Having to promote your work. I’m not good at it at all. I wish I knew the secret to it, but I don’t. It’s also hard to say goodbye to the characters you worked with for so long. You find yourself missing them, even though they drove you crazy towards the end. 

What is your current work in progress?

Right now I am working on an adult romantic comedy titled Facing Home. It’s about a girl who has to move back home after being away at college because she cannot find a job. She has to deal with everything she left behind including her ex-boyfriend who is about to marry one of her best friends. I’m having a lot of fun writing it.

If you could choose to shake the hand of any person, who would that be?

Okay, quick story before I tell you. Three years ago I was walking around feeling dead inside. I wasn’t writing or doing anything creative. I felt so blah with no motivation. One day my husband came home and said let's do something this weekend. I said okay what? He told me about a concert near us with a band I had never heard of. I love concerts, so I agreed to go. I didn’t know anything about this band and their name made me think they were a boy band. I went without knowing anything about them (I wasn’t in the mood to Google them). Little did I know they were about to change my whole life. I don’t know what it was about their music, but it woke me up creatively again. They made me feel like I had a purpose. Since then they have become my favorite band, I have all their albums, not a day goes by that I don’t listen to at least one of their songs and I go see them in concert every chance I get. For that reason I would love to shake the hands of Marc Roberge, Chris Culos, Richard On, Beng Gershman and Jerry DePizzo the guys from O.A.R (Of A Revolution) and thank them for saving my life.

Ways to follow Maria: Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website

Where to find her books: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook and Kobo

Maria Monteiro was born in Chile and moved to America when she was only three years old. She was raised in Sleepy Hollow New York, but no, she's never run into the Headless Horseman. She got her BA in English and her Masters in Literacy. She became a preschool teacher, and though it’s been fun, it has never been her dream to teach. She has always wanted to write.

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