Friday, February 25, 2011

Maria Savva Interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

I used to only write at night, just before going to bed, sitting up in bed.  I used to write everything longhand and then edit it as I typed it up.  My writing habits have changed in the last year or so.  I now tend to write whenever the mood takes me and straight on to the computer.  Whenever I get a bit of spare time, I'm always writing something.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

It depends really.  If I'm going to write a short story I could start that on the computer.  With a novel, I tend to write out a plan, about one side of A4 paper, setting out what the bare bones of the story would be.  

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from the world around me.  I have found that a great deal of my writing is inspired by things I have experienced, or stories I've heard from others, news items and that sort of thing.  For example, in my novel, 'A Time to Tell', one of the characters is suffering domestic violence.  I used to work as a family lawyer mainly dealing with domestic violence cases and that left an impression on me.  The main character in my latest novel, 'Second Chances', James, is a solicitor (my day job).  Some of my experiences of working in the legal profession are reflected in that book, for example, the bosses James works for are not dissimilar to bosses I have worked for in the past.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

No, I don't.  I do try to write a bit every day when I'm writing a novel, but it doesn't always work out like that.  Some days I write lots and others I don't write at all.     

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I'm self-published, through (  I like the freedom of being able to work at my own pace and write books the way I want to write them.  I like to be able to write different genres, and wouldn't want to be stuck in a contract where I have to write x amount of books in one particular genre.  I actually don't think I'd be able to do that.  My first novel was a drama, my second a family saga/romance, my third contemporary fiction, and the fourth, which I'm currently editing, is a paranormal/fantasy/timeslip.  I've also written 3 short story collections. I think major publishers prefer authors whose books can be easily categorized.  All my books cross over various genres.

My first two books ('Coincidences' and 'ATime to Tell') have covers that were designed by the in-house artists at the publishing companies that published the books.  These days, I design my own covers.  I've found a great website where there are free photos that can be used for any creative project, including book covers.  I like to pick photos that say something about the book I've written.

My cover for 'Pieces of a Rainbow' is a water-colour that I painted.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

I have always loved reading, and even as a child I always enjoyed making up stories.  When I was younger, before I started writing novels, I would often joke with my friends and family that one day I would write a bestselling novel.  I would love to get to the stage where I am able to make a living from my writing.  I've always had an overactive imagination, and am by nature a dreamer. Writing would be the perfect career for me because I find that the stories come so easily to me and I really enjoy writing them.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

No, but I need one.  In the past couple of years, I have been networking with other indie authors and have met some fabulous writers.  I've downloaded many of their books and they're all on my computer.  I hate reading on the computer because it strains my eyes.  As I'm out of work, I can't justify the expense of getting an ereader at the moment, but as soon as I can I will be getting one.  I find that ebooks are so much more affordable than print books these days.  Luckily, I am able to feed my reading habit as I am a reviewer for, so I get lots of free print books to review.  Also some of my writer friends have sent me free print copies of their books, so I am never without something to read.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

These days my favourite authors are also my good friends, that's the great thing about networking with other writers. Over the past couple of years, I've met many great authors and become friends with them.  I find that if I like a book that someone has written, it usually follows that I will like them too.  I think it's because so much of an author's soul goes into a book, even without an author being aware of that.

At the moment my favourite writers include, Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick, Darcia Helle, Jason C McIntyre, Julie Elizabeth Powell, Quentin R Bufogle, Jen Knox, Victoria Twead, Ami Blackwelder, Jess C Scott, Paul Mansfield Keefe, Stacy Juba, Jeremy C Shipp, Tom Gahan, C E Trueman.  I know it's a long list, but I read a lot of books, and I'm sure I've left some of my favourites out!

I would encourage readers looking for a new author to read, to try some of their books, you won't regret it (But only after you've tried mine, of course).

At the moment, I'm reading two books: Firstly,  'The Cutting Edge', by Darcia Helle (I read 'Enemies and Playmates' and it was one of my favourite reads of last year, now I have to work my way through her extensive catalogue). The second book I'm reading is: 'The Other Side of Life' by Jess C Scott.  Jess is one of my favourite authors; she writes in multiple genres and whatever she writes is fresh and original.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I must admit, I didn't really see the point of book trailers when the trend started to take off.  I mean, a book is not like a movie, is it?  You can never show actual scenes from a book in a way that each individual reader will interpret them. Having said that, I am now becoming a fan of book trailers.  It's nice to see a brief clip, setting the scene for a book, giving some information to readers about what the book contains.  I have made two of my own book trailers.  The first one, I made for 'Second Chances', my latest novel.  I got the photographs for the trailer from, and a musician I'm friends with on Facebook,  Jason Achilles Mezilis, very kindly allowed me to use his instrumental 'Jerry's Song'  for the background music (that's from his CD Between The Lines, available at iTunes).  I like the way the trailer turned out.

This inspired me to make a trailer for 'A Time to Tell'.

I had fun making the trailers, and will probably make some more for my other books when I get a bit of time. now allows authors to upload their trailers to their Amazon Author page, so it's obviously something which is catching on.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

My latest book is a collection of short stories, 'Fusion'. The title came to me because I wanted a word to describe a collection which was very diverse.  The stories don't have a common theme, and there are all sorts of different genres in there: romance, ghost stories, sci-fi.  'Fusion' kind of sums it up.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I am working on a few different bits and pieces.  I am fine-tuning my fourth novel, my first fantasy novel.  I've finished it and really like it.  It was a lot of fun to write.  I need to re-read it and get it proofread before I can release it.  It'll possibly be published by the end of the year.

I am also trying to format my existing books as epubs.  At the moment my ebooks are only on kindle, but I know that some people prefer different ebook formats, so that is in the pipeline.

I'm also revising my first novel 'Coincidences'.  That book was only ever published in hardback and is now out of print.  I want to make it available in paperback, and as an ebook, so I am revising it/updating it and reformatting it.  It was published back in 2001, and whilst I am happy with the story, I have learned a lot about editing over the years, and I know that some of the content can be improved.  While revising it, I'm also adding a few extras, so when I'm finished it will be interesting for people who have read the original to compare it. 

I am a resident author/moderator on a message board where indie/small-press writers can interact with readers. It's a very friendly community and I would like to invite your followers to join.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed your interview and look forward to getting to know your books.

    Jacqueline Howett, author of The Greek Seaman

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks, Jacqueline :) Thanks for your comment. I've just been having a look at your blog, your books look interesting.

  4. Nice interview, Maria. Sounds like you've been pretty busy. Like you, I tend to write in a rather organic way - when some event in life stirs up my juices. Best of success to you.

  5. Great interview, Maria. I agree, too, we are at the mercy of our muse--to an extent, of course. :) I hope you're incredibly proud. You have an arsenal of wonderful work It's awesome to see all seven books above. I look forward to reading more of your short work. Your novels have been amazing.