Bestselling writer Maureen Child is a native Southern Californian now living in the mountains of Utah. She’s the award-winning writer of more than 150 books and novellas. A seven time finalist for the RITA, Maureen’s books have won the Golden Quill, the Prism and the National Reader’s Choice Award.
One of her books, A POCKETFUL OF PARADISE was made into a CBS-TV movie called THE SOUL COLLECTOR.
And as much as she loves Utah, she really misses her friends and the monthly meetings at OCC. For more information about Maureen and her novels please visit her on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/maureenchild/
Jann: Today, I have the pleasure to welcome Romance Author, Maureen Child, to A Slice of Orange—and OCC misses her as well.
Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories? What? Why?
Maureen: I don’t know if it’s a ‘theme’ or not, but I do find myself always returning to humor. Even in my darker books—examples, the books I wrote for Harlequin Nocturne or the Witch books I wrote for NAL. As dark as those themes were, humor kept encroaching on the story.
I think it’s because I do believe that everyone needs laughter as much as love. And maybe in those dark moments when writing, I need the light-heartedness as much as my reader might!
Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
Maureen: Actually the very best advice was something I heard at an OCC meeting about 24 years ago! Susan Phillips was giving a workshop and while she had a lot of great information that day, one phrase stuck with me.
“There is no substitute for persistence.” That sort of became my mantra. Because at the heart of it, that’s all that matters. Persistence. The determination to never quit, never walk away. To keep trying no matter what, to reach the goal you’ve set for yourself.
I still hear a lot of people say, “Oh, I’ll write a book someday.” Those people never will. To be a success at something, you have to love it and you have to put the time in and you have to never stop trying.
Jann: Have you ever suffered writer’s block? If so, how did/do you get past it?
Maureen: Actually, I don’t believe in Writer’s Block. Are there times when the well is dry? Sure. Are there days when I just don’t think I can write a word? Absolutely. Heck, there are times I want to take a hammer to my laptop!
But you write anyway. Even if you end up deleting it all the following day, you write. Because that’s what we are. That’s what I am. Writing is a job. It’s a great job, but it’s still a job. The hardest part for me is the self-discipline and I’m still struggling with it after more than 150 books!
But I have responsibilities. Deadlines. When you sign a contract you make a promise to deliver that book. And before you have a deadline with a publisher, give yourself one and stick to it. Do your pages every day even if they suck. You can always fix them later. Having ‘writer’s block’ is not an excuse for not working. I do understand that some writers can’t work past the bad days and it’s a personal thing, true. But not going to work because you don’t feel your best is just not the route I’ve ever gone.
Always remember that writing is your job and treat it like that.
Jann: What’s the best thing about being an author?
Maureen: For me, the best thing about being a writer is that I can do it by myself in my house. Wow that really sounds unsociable. But you know, most of the writers I know ARE. J We’re drawn to words. We’re drawn to people watching, studying the way strangers move and interact so we can go home and describe it. We watch a sunset and put together words in our minds to paint a vivid picture.
So in the morning when I get my coffee and go sit on my couch with my laptop, I’m officially in my ‘office’. I actually have an office that houses collections of awards and certificates and whatnot, but never sees ME. J When it’s nice out, I take the laptop to the deck and write out there. I don’t have to play well with others in my job, because I am my job. It’s perfect. Even the bad days.
Jann: What sound or noise do you love?
Maureen: I love the sound of babies laughing. That deep down from the belly laughter that just bubbles up into the air and reminds you that life should be fun.
Jann: What sound or noise do you hate?
I hate sirens. They mean that someone’s in trouble, or needs help and I worry about them. J
It was great getting to catch up with you Maureen and wish to thank her for taking the time to answer our questions. If you have any questions or comments for Maureen, please use the comment form below.
Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since.
Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined of Romance Writers of America®. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.