Author Spotlight: Maria Vickers

By The Book by Maria Vickers, Maria Vickers romance author, m/m romance novel, Tank Joey model, CJC Photography, Florida photographer, book cover photographer, romance book cover photographer1)     How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?

I’d always wanted to be a writer. I remember being 7 and trying to write a story about squirrels or something. In high school, I pursued it a bit, but nothing much came of it and after I graduated and went to college, I slowly stopped writing. After I got sick in 2010 and became disabled, my younger sister told me to start writing again. She reminded me of my old dreams. So I started to write fanfiction, and my readers there encouraged me to publish. My first book, Another Chance, was published in 2015. I joke that writing keeps me sane, but in a way, it’s true. It gives me something to do, keeps me from staying depressed, and in a way, it gives me purpose.

2)     What hurdles have you overcome while striving towards your goals?

I’ve had to figure out the publishing business and learn as I go. It’s not always easy, but I also blog (which has helped me immensely by learning about the indie world) and I’ve found an amazing group of people who help me and encourage me. But there are others. My health is a factor, there are days I can’t get out of bed let alone look at a computer, and I have double vision and my eyes get weak the longer I look. So I’ve learned how to cope by only spending short bursts on the computer, taking a break and then getting on again. Sometimes if I’m on a roll, I’ll shut one eye and try to type like that. LOL.

3)     Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?

This one is hard because each of my novels are special for different reasons. For example, Exposed is my story. I used a lot of my own feelings about getting sick for Emma. But I think, By the Book. It is my fourth book, but I was amazed at how many people supported me and my journey when I decided to write my first MM. It pushed me as an author and I learned a lot about myself and people while writing it. I also met some great people who helped to make the book the best it could be. And I think we succeeded. Plus it was fun to write.

4)     For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?

Read a lot, do writing drills, and find someone you can trust to help you on your journey. I’m not going to lie. You’ll find people who say they will help and have selfish intentions or stab you in the back, but you’ll also find amazing people who want you to succeed. You’ll figure out a way to weed the bad from the good. Find people who will be willing to read your work and give you honest constructive criticism…And here is the most important thing…listen to them. I’m not saying you have to agree, but they may see something you don’t. We don’t like to think anything is wrong with our babies, however, if you trust your beta readers or whoever read it, then listen to them. If you don’t completely agree, then don’t change it, but listen. For example, for By the Book I had two proof readers. My second proofer told me to change swirls of paint (describing tattoos) to ink. I didn’t want to and it is still paint. One of my beta readers for Redeemed told me that I repeated words. I wanted to say, no I didn’t, but when I looked back to what she was saying, she was right. I changed things around and I think Redeemed is even better. You don’t always have to agree, but be open minded enough to listen.

5)     Favorite motto?

Live life to your fullest because you never know when it can change. Just Live.

6)     In one word, how would you describe your writing style?

Emotional.

7)     Which author inspires you the most and why?

Agatha Christy. She had a way of twisting her words and stories to pull the reader in and keep them enraptured until the end.

8)     What is your writing process like?

Haphazard. LMAO. I tend not to write with an outline. Every time I try, I wind up scrapping it along the way. I look at pics of my muses and write down my character sheets along with a basic synopsis of what I want the book to be about, and then I start writing. I just write. It can be sloppy and my first drafts are not pretty, but I feel out the story and it will tell me where the chapter will end and what I need to write next. My stories and characters talk to me.

9)     Goals for the remainder of the year?

I want to finish Off-Campus Setup. It’s my WIP and I should be publishing in Oct. It is another MM and will feature Cody and Connor on the cover. After that, I’ll start on and hopefully finish writing Claimed, the third and final book in my Love Seekers Series. I also have 2 more book signings I will be going to as an author and plotting to do for my projects for next year. I will have at least 4 books coming out next year.

10)   What new projects are you currently working on?

My WIP is Off-Campus Setup. A young man, Levi, moves from the country in Texas to go to college in California. Needless to say, he feels like he is in a totally different world. And when he makes it to his school, he finds out they messed up his dorm assignment and he doesn’t have a room. He finds one at a boarding house for students and the owner decides to set Levi up with her grandson, Nathan. It should make for some hijinks. LOL. I’m also working on and piecing together an M/F Thriller/suspense/romance about a serial killer and the cops that are after him.

11)   Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?

Thank you for all of the support. I loved working with Christopher John/CJC Photography on this book and I can’t wait to show you the other covers I have using his pics. Thank you!!

I just wanted to thank Maria for taking the time to work on this interview. She’s an amazing author and I love working with her. Stay up to date with all of Maria’s latest releases via her Facebook page.

By The Book is now available here!

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