Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Maria Zannini

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm thrilled to have fellow Samhain author Maria Zannini join me. Her debut novel, Touch of Fire, recently released, so I'm happy to have her here, celebrating and sharing her experiences. Enjoy!

Hi Maria! Can you tell us a little about your background?

If you were to list all the things I've done in my life you'd think me a Jill of all trades. I have been an artist, graphic designer, homesteader, vet technician, and art director. I've raised dogs, ratites, and blood pressure.

Not necessarily in that order.

When did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?

It was an accident! I sent a letter to the editor of a country living magazine and he tracked me down and called me. By the end of our phone visit, he asked if I'd be interested in writing an article for his magazine.

I was.

It got a big response from the readership and realized I might be on to something. It would be several more years before I got into fiction, but I was definitely hooked.

That's such a great "discovery" story! OK, now tell us about your latest writing project or published title.

Touch Of Fire is out now! It's a fantasy set 1200 years in a future Earth where technology has been replaced with Elemental magic. An ancient alchemist's book has surfaced and threatens to bring weapons of mass destruction back into their society. Leda, a young Elemental mage is ordered to find it and return it to her elders. Her search leads her to Greyhawke Tams, an ex-soldier turned scavenger who will do whatever it takes to keep her from completing her mission. But it isn't long before they discover someone wants them both dead.

There's sex, adventure, huge obstacles and great sacrifices. And there's sex. Did I mention that? I love this book! It was great fun to extrapolate the roles of common, everyday things and ideas and show how they would be perceived in the future.

Congrats on your release. So how do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

You mean I had to balance them both? Rats! I don't think I got that memo. :o)

I will give one piece of advice to anyone who is not published yet. Get your blog and website in order BEFORE you sign that first contract. I mean it! You will not have time once that ball starts rolling. You want to build your internet presence long before there's a book out there. Trust me on this. I am still playing catch-up.

Absolutely true; I agree 100%. Now, describe your writing space for us...

[This is where I live most of the time. The painting above the desk is one I did of two of my babies, Isis and Nacho, when they were alive.]

I suffer from sciatica and cannot sit for long periods of time, so I use a balance ball as my office chair, both here and at work. And I think I've started a trend. Several of my friends at work are now using one too.

Since I still do artwork, my desk is also set up with a Wacom tablet and a scanner.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I am a garage sale junkie! I love to haunt tag sales and have been known to scrounge interesting "junk" from back alleys and dumpsters. Many of the antiques in my home have been lovingly restored and saved from the landfill:

[The desk, chair, even the pillow roll were found objects that were refurbished.]

People tell me I have very eclectic tastes. I think that's code for eccentric. And that sounds about right.

Maria, thanks so much for being here today. Readers, don't forget to check out Touch of Fire and visit Maria's website and blog as well!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Allie!


windycindy said...

I have always wanted to write articles for country living type magazines. How fun that she became an author by being hunted down! Great interview and I like her "finds!"

Diane Craver said...

Hi Maria,
Your writing area looks wonderful. Mine's a mess. And I didn't know you're also a talented artist. Your painting is beautiful.

Thanks for an interesting and fun interview, Allie and Maria!

Maria Zannini said...

ref: I have always wanted to write articles for country living type magazines.

Go for it Cindi. I think your best articles are born when they're for magazines you personally enjoy.

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Diane!

The neat writing desk is a sham though. Remember, I am trying to sell my house, so it always has to stay clean--at least for now. lol

文章 said...