The Writing Life of: Maya Tyler
The Writing Life of: Maya Tyler
This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Maya Tyler. Maya will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘A Vampire’s Tale‘, which was released on 22nd March 2017 and answering a few fun questions too.
So without further ado I’ll hand you over to Maya Tyler
Maya Tyler, wife and mother of two boys, writes paranormal romance with a twist. Her debut novella Dream Hunter was released in December 2014. Her second novel A Vampire’s Tale was released in March 2017.
She’s a romantic who believes in happily-ever-after. Being an author is her lifelong dream. She enjoys reading, listening to music (alternative rock, especially from the 1990s), practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV. In her “free” time, she writes books and blogs at Maya’s Musings.
1) As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
When I was younger…I wanted to be an actress, a lawyer, or an author. I decided against acting because I don’t like being touched by strangers. I decided against law because I’m conflict adverse and dislike arguing.
I never ruled out writing, but my interest was deterred when the university I attended didn’t offer any specific programs for writing or journalism. I ended up going to business school and completing a Bachelor of Commerce (Co-op). Possibly the least creative degree I could’ve pursued.
2) Who were your favourite childhood authors?
I read every book I could get my hands on. Still do. While my interests changed as I matured, my childhood favourites included Francine Pascal (author of the Sweet Valley series) and Ann M. Martin (author of The Babysitter’s Club books). I also loved the Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys stories; and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.
As a teenager, I read every mystery by Mary Higgins Clark. My interest in mystery progressed into a great love of romance.
3) At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
I always loved to read and write. I think I always wanted to be a writer.
4) How did you go about following that dream?
Well…I took the long way. I spent years scribbling ideas in notebooks, starting but not finishing novels, and didn’t complete my first novel Fly Boy until 2010. I submitted it for publication, but it remained unpublished until I converted it into a chat story in 2018 for the Chapters – Interactive Stories app (coming soon). I kept writing and finished a novella Dream Hunter that I published in 2014. My latest novel A Vampire’s Tale was published last year.
5) What is your writing day like? Do you aim for a certain amount of pages or words before you stop for the day?
I wish I had a typical writing day. Ideally, I aim to write daily for one hour without [social media / life] distraction. Realistically, I write for an hour or two once or twice a week. I measure my writing target using time spent, rather than by the page or word, as it helps me to gauge forward progress and meets the criteria of a SMART (Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant; Time-Bound) Goal.
6) Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I currently write under a pseudonym.
7) Do you have any strange habits before starting, or whilst in the midst of writing?
I don’t think so. I write when I can and don’t keep to any rituals.
8) Do you write longhand, typewriter, or on a computer?
I mainly write on my laptop as I can type my ideas down faster than I can hand write them. I also carry a notepad in my purse in case inspiration strikes me when I’m away from my computer.
9) How many books have you written? Do you have any unpublished work?
I have completed one novella and two novels with many unfinished works in progress.
10) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Half and half. I am a [slightly] reformed pantser. Recently, I have come to appreciate the value of an outline so sometimes I use one.
11) Do you read all the reviews left for your book(s)?
I read every review I see for my books. Not every book is for every reader, and I have received unfavorable reviews, but I’m a firm believer in using that criticism to improve my future work. I also greatly appreciate the time and effort each reviewer has committed to my book, among the many books available.
Concerning your latest book:
Publisher – Tirgearr Publishing
Pages – 163
Release Date – 22nd March 2017
Format – ebook
The best laid plans…
Marisa Clements was never satisfied writing the ‘gossip column’ in the local paper so she quit her job to follow her dream of writing fiction. Floundering in an unforgiving industry, she wrote about vampires, a popular subject she considered fascinating but as real as unicorns, to pay the rent.
Corgan Halton was tired of human misconceptions about vampires. He planned on telling Marisa his story and end his existence. It was no coincidence Corgan selected Marisa to write his story. With the ability to see the future, he knew she would be a major part of it. He knew she would be the one to help him die, but in doing so, she’d be doomed to the same fate. Once they met, their futures would be irrevocably intertwined.
Corgan began caring for Marisa and finally revealed the truth to her. He admitted his quest to atone for his past sins had put her in grave danger from a nest of revenge-seeking vampires. Corgan must claim her for her own protection. But claiming her is not enough, he must ask for help from his wizard friends and his maker in order to destroy his enemy or Marisa will never be safe.
12) How long did it take you to get from the idea’s stage to your date of publication?
About two-and-a-half years.
13) How did you come up with the names for your characters?
I peruse baby name websites to choose character names. Marisa is Latin for ‘of the sea’ while Corgan is typically a surname and means ‘spear’ in Irish.
14) Can you give us an insight into your main character(s) life?, What makes them tick?
Marisa is a strong and determined woman who has sacrificed financial security to follow her dreams only to write about vampires, a subject she doesn’t even believe in, to pay the bills. Her career is floundering, and her personal life is non-existent. Then, Corgan, her “fictional” vampire character enters her life. He fills the lonely place in her heart that she hadn’t even realized was empty. Marisa is curious and wants more information from Corgan than he is willing to give.
Corgan was turned into a vampire without full disclosure of what that existence would entail. He spent his time first suffering unbearable guilt then attempting to make amends. He realizes that his solitary efforts are futile—he needs to reach a larger audience—and seeks out Marisa to tell his story. Marisa invokes Corgan’s protective instincts, and he greatly underestimates the depth of his feelings for her.
15) Which was your hardest scene to write?
Action (fighting or love making) is my greatest writing challenge. I often visualize or even physically move around when writing this kind of scene.
16) How did you come up with the title of your book?
A Vampire’s Tale focused on Marisa writing Corgan’s story so this title made sense to me. Upon further examination, I realized my book was really more about Corgan than Marisa so the title became even more appropriate.
17) Did you get a family member/friend to read your work before sending to the publishers?
No. My writing is deeply personal, and I felt anyone close to me would see and understand too much. So…My book had been published for a few months before I even told my family and friends. I’m always hesitant to share my work-in-progresses. My husband always asks to read my work and has plenty of suggestions for me (some of which I take). A Vampire’s Tale is actually the first book of mine that my husband read. He’s my greatest support, but also my most honest, so his approval meant a lot to me.
18) What process did you go through to get your book published?
I submitted my book electronically to publishers (very similar to a job application process) which is very time consuming with a slow, if any, response time. Then I found #PitMad on Twitter and received an offer in no time at all.
19) What did you do once you had written the final word in your book?
Let it rest. A brief absence makes for more objective editing.
20) What’s next for you, writing-wise?
I’m juggling a few projects right now, but my priority is a sequel to A Vampire’s Tale about my wizard Kurtis.
1) What’s your favourite food?
I jokingly tell my kids that my favorite food is ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet because I have so many favorites. If I was limited to eating one food every day for the rest of my life, I’d pick carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
2) If you had a box of crayons and you could only choose one, which colour would you choose?
3) What movie could you watch over and over again?
The Princess Bride.
4) What would be the top song on your playlist?
Depends on the day… My go-to music is alternative rock—especially from the 1990s.
5) If you won millions, what would be your first purchase?
A Jeep Wrangler. I’ve wanted one ever since I watched The Price Is Right as a kid.
6) A talking duck walks into your room wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, whats the first thing he says to you?
“Oops. Wrong room.”
You can find out more about Maya Tyler by visiting the website/social media sites below.
I would like to say a big thank you to Maya Tyler for sharing with us details of her writing life, and for a wonderful interview.