The first day of school, a love note, and a recipe with a significant mistake. #interview

Maya Tyler
Author of 
A Vampire's Tale

Interview # 2 (of 2)

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Hmmm... I don't know if any of my habits are strange... I like to write outside or, if the weather is uncooperative, away from my desk. I don't plot or outline, but I'm using a style guide template to keep characters and details straight in my current WIP. I picture my stories in my mind, like a movie. My characters create my plot lines. I simply follow their lead.

I have incorporated actual dreams into my books. My first book, Dream Hunter, was based on a dream I had. I like inserting cliches...even if they get edited out later. I keep a notebook in my purse to record bursts of inspiration. I type, rather than hand write, my drafts. What do you think? Are my habits strange?

Have you always liked to write?

I have always loved books—reading and writing. It's actually ironic that it took me this long—years of ignoring the nagging voice in my head—to start writing in earnest again. I wrote constantly when I was younger, from perhaps ages 7 to 18, short stories and poetry. Then I went to university, chose a practical career in business, and hung up my writing hat. Until now. In the last few years, I started a blog Maya's Musings, completed 3 books, and published 2 books.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with bad reviews?

It's inevitable. Every author, no matter how great, gets a bad review now and again. My approach? Never engage the reviewer. Consider the motivation behind the review. Is the reviewer a troll? Does the reviewer bring up a valid point? Accept that not every book appeals to every reader. Learn from the criticism, and use it to improve your writing.

What book are you reading now?

I'm in-between books right now. I just finished Drums of Autumn (Outlander series Book 4). It was amazing! Book 5—The Fiery Cross—is next.

The first day of school, a love note, and a recipe with a significant mistake.

After an uneventful summer, Joanie welcomed the first day of school. She had thought about Alex every day. She liked him. And today was her chance to let him know. She’d left a plastic container of homemade chocolate chip cookies—his favorite—and a note, on flowery stationary, asking him on a date by his locker.

Has he seen the note yet? Butterflies fluttered in her stomach. She looked for him all day—in every class, in the hallways, in the library during study hall—no Alex.

Crestfallen, she trudged home.

“Joanie? Is that you, honey?”

“Yup. It’s me, Mom.”

“Have you seen the bottle for my sleeping pills?”

Joanie plopped down on a stool at the breakfast bar, watching her mother rummage around in the cupboards. “No. Why?”

“I ground them up yesterday, and I meant to put them back in the bottle.”

Joanie’s eyes widened. “You ground up your pills?”

“Yes. Yes.” Her mother answered distractedly. “I couldn’t swallow them anymore. They got stuck in my throat.”

“If you didn’t put the crushed pills back in the bottle.” Joanie gulped. “Where did—”

“Here it is!” Her mother exclaimed, flashing her a look of triumph, holding a small plastic bottle.

Joanie’s breath hitched. She blinked rapidly, hoping her eyes deceived her. Her mother held a container of baking powder. The very baking powder she used to make Alex’s cookies yesterday.

“—about young Alexander Smith.”

Joanie’s ears perked up. “Alex? What about Alex?”

“Such a fine, young man.” Her mother made a tsk-tsk sound. “Shame. Him overdosing on drugs and all.”

Gasping for breath, Joanie sputtered. “Is he? Is he?” And she thought the word she couldn’t bring herself to say. Dead?