The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview.
We would love to get to know you.
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I took a pretty roundabout route to becoming an author. I started out doing public health research, but my boss noticed I had a talent for writing and nurtured it. I kept moving up the ladder until I was VP of the editorial division of a medical communication company just outside of NYC. When I was on bed rest with a twin pregnancy the chance to act on my lifelong wish to write romantic fiction came along. My husband had brought home so many novels for me to read they were stacked all over the bedroom and he couldn't remember which ones I had anymore, so he started buying second copies of the same book. In desperation, I began making up my own stories in my head while I lay there. My husband put a laptop on my lap (or what was left of it) and I started happily typing away.
Now I'm on my third novel and still typing away just as happily!
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
This is a great question. I would definitely want to be one of my characters with magical powers! I would love to be Alicia Jennings in Never Trust A Matchmaking Witch. Not only is she a very talented witch, she has a beautiful home and a fascinating career as a horse trainer. Beyond that, what I like most about Alicia is her desire to help others and the creative, funny way she goes about it. She does have quite a flare for matchmaking!
What's your favorite genre to read?
I love to read women's fiction, especially with a paranormal storyline. Occasionally I branch out into mystery or YA fiction. Some of my favorite authors are Diana Gabaldon, Nora Roberts, and Catherine Coulter. I also have all of Margaret Truman's books in my `keep forever' pile.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
I work best with a detailed plan for the day, especially with three small children in the house. I need to plan way ahead to make sure I have adequate writing time, and even then I'm often up at four or five in the morning to make sure I get my hours in. Then as ideas occur to me through the day, I reach for the nearest piece of paper to jot them down to organize later. On my typical day, I might be writing my notes in crayon on a page from a coloring book! It makes for a very colorful batch of notes to go through.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I've started the sequel to Never Trust a Matchmaking Witch and it's a lot of fun. The title is Never Steal from a Leprechaun. In it our magical matchmakers are flush with success and decide to try their hand again. Gathered in an English castle owned by one of their members, they invite a college professor and former jewel thief (think Indiana Jones) to do some research at the castle. Then they invite their niece, a young witch they consider too levelheaded by far, and get to work. While she's trying to keep him from finding out about magic and he's reluctantly trying to steal a famous jewel to pay back a debt to a friend, the matchmakers are pulling the strings to get these two together. The result is a hilarious romp filled with magic and irresistible romance.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
A Dangerous Dream, Never Trust a Matchmaking Witch, and Never Steal from a Leprechaun are all romances. For the last two years I've also been working on a paranormal women's fiction series called The Foreseers. In this series my husband teamed with me to do the research. While in graduate school he was a teaching assistant for a course titled Intelligence and Covert Operations and we've created an international society of witches whose structure and function mirrors the real-life functioning of the intelligence community. I've added mystery, romance, mythical creatures and a touch of humor to create a series I hope readers enjoy as much as I do.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
My shelves are literally groaning with reference materials on everything from witchcraft to mythology and magical creatures to police procedure. I even have a copy of The Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells. As I mentioned, my husband is my research partner. We make a great team! The most fun is bouncing ideas off each other to create wonderful detail in our world building, much of which will never be seen in the stories, but it gives the writing depth that pulls the reader into our world. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
My first novel, A Dangerous Dream, was the one I wrote on bed rest and I just started in writing with only a general idea of where I wanted the story to go. Before I published it I did such extensive rewrites on the manuscript I decided in future I wanted to do very extensive outlining. It's much easier to keep the pace of the story brisk and wind interesting subplots through the story when using a scene by scene outline. This is particularly true with The Foreseers series given the complexity of the society we've created and the array of magical people and creatures both good and bad who inhabit the stories. Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have both a critique partner and a critique group to which I belong. Their help is invaluable to me for both content editing and proofreading. I am always eager for input to make my work better!
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Readers can find out more about me and my books at my website, www.marypaine.com. I am also part of Equestrian Ink writer's blog with Michele Scott, Jami Davenport, Jody Jaffe, Laura Crum, and Kit Ehrman. Collectively we write romance, mystery, adventure, suspense, sometimes with a touch of comedy tossed in. Please stop by and visit us at www.equestrianink.blogspot.com!
Thank you for this opportunity!