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29 October 2008

INTERVIEW WITH MISS MAE

I have a very special guest to interview today - someone who, as her tagline on her website implies, is a Real Genteel Southern Lady. I am thrilled to welcome Miss Mae (otherwise known as Lula Thomas) to my Blog.

Miss Mae writes romantic suspense - here's the blurb for 'See No Evil My Pretty Lady:

New maid Dorcy Edwards spurns her wealthy employer's attempts to seduce her. When he becomes a victim of the person the newspapers call "Jack the Ripper," estranged son Gareth Davenport returns to London to handle his father's affairs. Dorcy puzzles over what the brooding, handsome heir might be hiding behind his eye patch and black leather gloves. As circumstances unfold to expose the killer's identity, Dorcy's plunged into a nightmare, convinced Gareth is none other than the infamous murderer. But is Dorcy's life what Gareth seeks? Or nothing more easily broken than her heart?

And I can promise you the twists and turns of the plot will leave you breathless!

Miss Mae - tell us a little bit about yourself.



MM: I’m married and live with my husband and three dogs, each rescued by us when they were throw-aways. We all live in a small home in a small town in Georgia, USA. I guess I can say I’ve been writing for about 30 years, but not seriously until about the last 3. This past January my first ebook, “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” was published by The Wild Rose Press. My second book, “Said the Spider to the Fly” will be released by the same company in February 2009. This one will also be in print!


HL: Congratulations on your books Miss Mae. I have had the pleasure of reading them both, having had an 'advance copy of 'Said The Spider To The Fly' and I absolutely loved them. I've heard your style compared to that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie and I certainly agree. These stories both kept me on the edge of my seat and I was totally unable to guess the endings - and the hero and heroine found their happy ever afters too!


You sound like a busy lady. Tell me - what you do for fun when not writing?


MM: Hmm, play first-person action role games on my computer! I love the Nancy Drew interactive games!


HL: Oh that sounds fascinating - I daren't get involved with computer games myself - I'd never get anything else done! When did you start writing?


MM: As said above, about 30 years ago. Those little stories were all starts without ever being finished!…LOL…I had no concept of plots, you understand. So while I could shoot off about maybe ten or twenty pages, I hadn’t the faintest idea of what was supposed to follow!


HL: And whhat comes first - the plot or the characters?


MM: This is a good question. For “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” the plot came first and I then developed the characters to place them in the plot. For “Said the Spider to the Fly” this began as a NaNoWriMo project, so just writing SOMETHING is how the first pages came about. So I had the characters first, and then I wove a plot around them.


HL: Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it


MM: My latest release is actually a free read, called “Dove Island”. It’s a short story of about 12 pages. I think the readers might enjoy the surprise ending.


HL: That sounds great. 'Free goodies' are always nice to have and I'm sure anyone reading Dove Island will be impressed by your skill and style and want to read more. Tell me - I'm curious about these things - If someone were to play one of your characters in a movie, which character and what actor would it be and why?


MM: Oh, I love this question! I already know the answer! For “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady”, my hero, Gareth Davenport, is a darkly handsome, brooding fellow. And the hunky English star, Colin Firth, (who portrayed Mr. Darcy in A & E’s Pride and Prejudice) fits this role like a hand in glove! (Read my book and you’ll understand those words!)


HL: Oooh, Colin Firth! You have me (and countless others I'm sure) drooling! And by sheer coincidence - guess who's the featured 'hunk' at the moment?

*grin* OK, now I have myself back under control, what have you learned about writing that surprised you the most?


MM: The formula that must be structured in the plot. But not only that, the greatest surprise is how much marketing effort is required. Shew, I’d assumed I’d done all my part with creating the story – Wrong! Now it’s required that I have to go out and sell myself too! Eeek! Look out, World!


HL: I think all small press authors will certainly agree on that one! What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?


MM: My process is just to pound out on the keyboard those first opening sentences and keep typing away until the story is down in front of me in black and white. So far, that hasn’t changed, but it might in future! Maybe I’ll write the ending first and go backward!…LOL…


HL: Now that would be interesting...do you have a support system? Did you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?


MM: One of my support systems is, of course, my wonderfully patient husband. He roots for, and encourages, me. But yes, I do have a writing community of online author friends – and online friends who aren’t authors who have been superb in their enthusiastic cheering me on-- who are always there to help and give support. My fantastic critique partner is the best of all. Since “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” is set in London – a place I’ve only glimpsed through television – but my crit partner lives in England (how fortunate is that!), she has been a wealth of information. She is extremely kind, patient, and has a broad shoulder that I’ve leaned on more than once when I’ve boo-hooed over a rejection! The lessons I’ve learned from these incredibly talented ladies is that I’m not alone and that there’s someone out there who can readily understand not only any frustrations I encounter, but who is as excited and thrilled as I am over my successes!


HL: Amen to that Lula! We all need someone to cheer on our successses and encourage us and support us when things don't work out as we'd hoped, and I'm sure it works both ways and your crit partner and on-line friends gain immense support from you too.


Now, I'm sure everyone has their own ideas of success - what is your personal definition of success?


MM:Without trying to sound morbid, I’d have to say that’s when it’s all said and done and I’m lying in my final resting place, that the words “She was a good wife, mother, and friend” might be spoken over me.


HL:When all's said and done, I don't think anyone could ask for anything better! Last question coming up. We're both animal lovers and I just wonder - if you were an animal, which one do you think you would be, and why?


MM: I love all animals, so this is a hard one. But I will choose a bird. I love their beautiful colors, their gentleness, and since I’ve owned several parakeets, I know the depth of their loyalty and affection. Plus, I’d love to be able to soar through the sky. What an awesome thing that’d be!


HL: Absolutely! I saw a film the other day where they strapped a tiny camera to an eagle's back and showed the view it had when it was flying. It was so amazing! Well Lula - Miss Mae - this has been a fascinating interview and thank you so much for agreeing to be in 'the hot seat' with me today. All that's left is to remind readers that your books are available at The Wild Rose Press and more details can be found on your Blog and sites below.


Thank you again, it's been wonderful having you here and getting to learn more about you.



You can find out more about Miss Mae and her books at these sites.

Miss Mae's Blog
Miss Mae'sWebsite
Miss Mae's 'My Space'
My Space for 'Said The Spider To The Fly'
Purchase Miss Mae's Book and download her FREE read at The Wild Rose Press