Indie Block Party: Interview with Maria

It’s day 4 of the Indie Block Party! I’m a little late posting this one, but I ran out of pre-written posts. 😉

Luckily, I have the rest of the weekend free to hop around and visit with everyone.

Today, I’m introducing my neighbor….

Maria Staal

Maria StaalSC: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

MS: When I grew up The Famous Five were very big, so I have to say that the writer Enid Blyton has had some influence on me. As a child, I really wanted to be like George, who was a tomboyish girl who climbed trees and did things only boys did in those days.

I also loved the mystery aspect of it all, which has given me a lifelong interest in murder mystery stories, whether in books or on TV. Strangely enough, I don’t write in the mystery genre.

SC: Have any particular events in your life (or any of the many places you’ve lived) inspired your writing?

MS: Yes, very much so. My travels, but also the places I lived abroad were and are still a great inspiration for my writing. I wrote two travelogues about my time on container ships and my WIP is inspired on the time I lived in York, England.

SC: What inspired you to write your first book?

MS: The buildings in beautiful city of York inspired my first book. It is a non-fiction guidebook about the architecture and history of that city.

SC: How did you choose the genre you write in?

MS: I am an architectural historian, so writing about architecture was not really a choice, but more a logical step in my career. And during my trips on the container ships, so many weird things happened that I just had to write them down.

The humorous, light-hearted genre of my fictional WIP just comes from my interest in reading that sort of books myself.

SC: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

MS: I guess the intended audience of my WIP are readers who like a quick, light-hearted read about real people, with a dash of the surreal. It might even remind them of situations they have been in themselves, or people they know.

SC: Which of your characters would you most like to hang out with? Are there any you wouldn’t want to hang out with?

MS: Of course, I would like to hang out with Emily, my main character, but spending some time with the Rat, would also be interesting. I wouldn’t really want to hang out with evil neighbour Priscilla, but that is just because she hates cats.

SC: What 3 words describe the author you want to be?

MS: Funny



SC: What is your writing process like?

MS: That depends on if I am writing non-fiction or fiction. But for my fictional WIP I started with a weird thing that happened to me while I lived in York. This I expanded to make it more OTT. Then I put down the major plot points and started writing. I edited a little bit while writing, but after the WIP was finished, I let it rest for a fortnight before I did a major edit. After that, it went to my beta readers (which is where it is now). Then I incorporate all their remarks in a second major edit, before sending it off to my editor. Her remarks are prompt me for the final (hopefully not too major) edit. Then I publish.

SC: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

MS: I love watching murder mysteries and police procedurals on TV. That really relaxes me. So do sit-coms, so I watch a lot of those as well. I also read a lot, but not as much as I would like.

And I try to spend at least 15 minutes a day watching the frogs and newts in my pond.

SC: Any links you’d like to share?

My website

Page to my WIP

My Facebook page

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 You can check out the rest of the posts by going here.

Indie block party small


6 thoughts on “Indie Block Party: Interview with Maria

  1. Ah, makes me think of the Dr. Demento song, Three Drunk Newts…I’m sure your newts will do much better than they did : ) Such a nice interview, nice to learn more about you Maria!


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