MH: Thank you for having me on your blog, I'm delighted to be here!
Q1. What’s a “Typical” writing day like for you?
MH: A typical writing day… I have a part-time job besides writing, and I go to school full time for a Bachelor's degree, so my days are normally a bit chaotic. I try to plan so I don't have to be anywhere first thing in the morning. I check my online stuff, and like to write or edit until noon. It's not continuous, I have three doggies and sometimes they want an extra walk, my husband might need help with something, or I have to do homework, but I at least want to get a couple of hours in every morning. Then, it's off to work or to school. I usually have to do some homework in the evening, but I like to write while my husband is watching TV. I dream of being able to make a living out of writing, of course. It would make life so much easier. Maybe one day.
Sounds like you keep very busy. I enjoyed Kidnapped and am glad you find time to write entertaining tales!
Q2. Do you do anything especially helpful for your world building? (Notebook, Bulletin board, etc?)
MH: I normally just keep it in my head, but I am doing something new right now, and my brain isn't big enough. It is an anthology project where several different writers have worked on the world for years. I have a binder filled with notes about the existing world and all its quirks, and I'm making notes for my part of the project on large papers taped all around my office. It's a challenge, and a lot of fun!
It makes sense to me that you would have to have good notes to keep it all straight.
Q3. Did you have special inspiration for writing Kidnapped?
MH: I did, the hero is inspired by a song from the 1980's: Misguided Angel by Cowboy Junkies. The song is about a woman talking to her family about her man. It has a feeling of goodbye, because she's going with him no matter what, and he is not a model boyfriend. I kept listening to the song while writing, and Travis in Kidnapped became a complex character. He isn't normal even by the widest set of standards, but he tries so very hard, and is willing to sacrifice anything for the heroine.
Travis does turn into a rather lovely hero. :-)
Q4. If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be OR If you could be one of the characters in your books, who would it be?
MH: Hmm, I give most of my characters a hard time, I don't know if I'd be up to the challenge. I might enjoy being Alex from Embarkment 2577, because she mostly gets herself into trouble and is rescued. If I could live in someone else's book, I'd love to go to Tolkien's world in Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien's a great choice... as long as your are a nice character and not an Orc!
Q5. What was the first story you remember writing?
MH: That's a good question. I remember making picture books when I was maybe four years old, and from there there's a gap until I'm eleven or twelve. I'm sure I wrote a lot of things in between, but I can't remember them. Anyway, when I was about twelve, I wrote a story about a young woman on Mars. The world is dying, turning into what it is today, and the people know they're doomed. They have one rocket on the entire planet, and she becomes accidentally involved with a person trying to flee the impending doom. They make it to the rocket and end up being the first people on Earth. I've been thinking of dusting it off and re-writing it from an adult perspective, but I haven't gotten around to it.
Sounds like that would be a fun adventure... for the characters and for you to pull it together for a book now.
Q6. In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
MH: Margaret Atwood! A girl can dream, right? Or Dean Koontz. I admire the way he writes children and dogs. They're so funny, quirky, and accessible.
Ah - I think dreams play a big part of the dedication and imagination for authors.
Q7. Which word would you use to describe yourself and your personality?
MH: Bubbly. I love the word, and it describes me pretty well.
Q8. Who are some of your favorite authors to read when you are not writing? What are you reading now?
MH: Lately, I've read a lot of indie and small press writers. I'll buy anything by Christy Elkins or Chris J. Randolph. Right now, I'm reading a book by P.I. Barrington. She writes thrillers and science fiction.
Now I may have to locate some books by those authors to try. Thanks for the names.
Q9. What is one of the best tips you’ve received on writing?
MH: For me personally, the best tip has been to watch out for the words "that" and "had" - they sneak their way into sentences where they're not necessary. I didn't even see it until Christy Elkins gave me feedback on a script and pointed it out. I used "had" as both safety belt and airbag to make absolutely sure I stayed in past tense. I still do it, but now I know to watch out for them and throw them out.
Great point. I often have to go back and read even my reviews to take out unnecessary 'fill' words.
Q10. Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie Chocolate, quiet, music)
MH: I need coffee and dogs. If I don't start the day with a mug of coffee, I'll just sit staring straight ahead for hours. Without doggies I feel lonely. I sometimes need to change what I write on and with - I type a lot on the computer, but sometimes I get stuck and need to go outside with a notebook and a nice pen. I wrote most of Kidnapped on my iPod touch, e-mailed the chapters to myself, and put it all together in the computer.
I can appreciate your need for coffee to give you a jolt and dogs to give you comfort.
Thanks so much for sharing today.
Besides writing and playing bass, Maria enjoys driving off-road, archery, and Tameshigiri.
Maria_Hammarblad Publisher's website: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com
Brief "about the book" from author Lynette Endicott
Kidnapped is a well-written Science Fiction story of a woman kidnapped from earth and taken on a whirlwind tour of the universe with a captor whose heart is thawed by her innocence. This does not please his commander, who pursues, captures and loses both characters. In the process there is fun, adventure, sizzle, and an introduction to different worlds and their impact, one day, on our own. Be sure to pick up Kidnapped by Maria Hammarblad available from Desert Breeze Publishing.
Books by Maria Hammarblad:
The Goddess's Saga, a series of novels consisting of Touch of the Goddess, Wrath of the Goddess, and Return of the Goddess.
Embarkment 2577, a series of novellas consisting of Brand New World, High Gravity, and Adam and Eve.
Invasion and other short stories
Kidnapped Upcoming releases: Undercover, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing September 11, 2012.
Youtube book trailers:
The Goddess's Saga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hSYB3kkXx4
Embarkment 2577: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8stZVGieh1g