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 was born and raised in a small town Pennsylvania, and I often go home for my fix of country living. Most of the time, however, I am a city girl. I've lived, loved and worked in New York City for the past six years. I live in a teeny, tiny studio apartment with my dog, Penelope.
In 2004 I graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. My focus was on the transformation of women in literature, both as writers and characters. It was my intention to study what interested me, rather than something with a clear career path. Funnily enough, my major perfectly prepared me for the job I have as a romance novelist.
When I'm not reading or writing, I enjoy horseback riding, archery, quiz night with my friends at my local pub, and napping.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever received was to put a little bit of myself into each character. So I already share some traits with mine. For example, Emilia Highhart, the heroine, and I are both kind of clumsy (I once walked face first into a glass door). Lady Palmerston, the negligent chaperone, and I share a love for gossip magazines (I will not answer the phone while reading People).
What's your favorite genre to read?
Romance! I generally read Regency historicals, with a contemporary every now and then. I also am a big fan of non-fiction, so I try to read one or two of those a month.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Since I am lucky enough to be a full-time, stay-at-home writer, everyday is a writing day. I get up very, very early: usually 6:00 am, but an hour earlier if I am on deadline. I write for about three hours, then shower, eat breakfast, call my mom, walk the dog. And then it's back to work until lunch, which is followed by a nap. I then have a cup of tea and write for another hour or so before calling it a day. I usually go out with friends in the evening, so I can enjoy the company of real people, and get out of my apartment.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
I don't believe in writer's block, I believe in discipline. Sure, I definitely have days when constructing a sentence is like pulling teeth. I also have days when I can't type fast enough. And I would never know that if I didn't sit down every day and make a sincere effort.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Yes! My next book is tentatively titled Love Among The Ruined. It's the second book in my Negligent Chaperone Series, and it features Phillip Kensington, the "bad" twin from The Heir And The Spare.
Phillip Kensington is an Absolute Scoundrel and has been the downfall of more than one proper young lady. He's also been a drunk, a gambler, and generally a disgrace. When he's left for dead on the side of the road, he's taken to a nearby Abbey to recuperate.
His nurse is Angela Sullivan, a woman who was once ruined and despises Phillip from the start. She's considering taking her orders and committing herself to the religious life, until she starts falling in love with Phillip. But then their pasts start catching up with them, and a second chance at love seems too much to hope for. Enter Lady Palmerston, a distant relative of Angela's, with her own special manner of negligent chaperoning.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
My favorite heroes are ones who are not perfect. Part of the allure of romance novels is not just watching two people fall in love, but also watching them evolve as individuals, and become better versions of themselves. Honesty, integrity, and a genuine love for the heroine are, of course, non-negotiable. A sense of humor is a definite plus. Reformed Rakes are my favorite.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I started writing my first romance novel with the intention to publish. I love writing and would probably (and have always) done it just because I enjoyed it. But really, why not try to make it my job? So I took the big step of submitting my work once I had the manuscript ready to go.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I always start an outline. And then I get really excited, and start writing the story-having never finished the outline. Having said that, I do what I call "pre-production." This involves sitting on the couch, "wool gathering" and thinking the story through. I also write out the character's back-stories and do some research. But mostly, I just go for it, knowing that I'll be revising it later. Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I don't belong to a critique group, but I do have my writing buddies, and they are really helpful with everything from word choice to saying "I'm confused here". I also enjoy returning the favor-I think that helps me as a writer. Plus, they write great stories! My friend, Jt Bock, writes kick ass paranormals. (www.jtbock.com)
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I love getting email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And I would love to be friends on myspace: www.myspace.com/mayarodale.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Please visit my website, www.mayarodale.com.
Thank you for this opportunity!