Questions for the Meet and Greet
-Where do you write?
I write on my laptop, which means just about anywhere I go. I mainly write in my room (usually on my bed, neglecting my cute little corner desk and testing the limits of my wrists with my poor writing posture) or in coffee shops if I am feeling stereotypical that day.
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
My cute neglected corner desk that has a bunch of crap piled on it.
-Favorite time to write?
Night time. I'm not sure why, but I just write better at night than I do during the day. The internet is still there to distract me at whatever hour I choose to write, but for some reason I tend to stay away from it after dark.
-Drink of choice while writing?
Water or juice. I'm a liar, what I meant to say was soda or coffee. Something with caffeine.
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
It depends on my mood. Sometimes my soundtrack playlist (songs that inspire me--not limited to songs from actual soundtracks) gets on my nerves, so I'll just turn it off. Other times I feel like I need to have a certain song on repeat to finish a particular scene.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
I am going to answer this one in terms of series since the last MS I completed was actually the second book in my series. I first came up with the concept of five girls magically linked together by more than just their familial bonds but by the elements themselves because of the relationship I have with my family. At the time, we all considered ourselves to be Pagan and very much so on the same spiritual path. We all seemed to represent one of the elements. My sister was earth. I was air. My cousin was fire. My other cousin was water. And my aunt topped it all off as Spirit. The concept grew so much over the coming years that the initial plot and characters aren't even really the same, but merely whispers of their original forms.
-What's your most valuable writing tip?
Pretty much the standard, I think: Keep writing and keep reading. Beta readers are a terrifying idea but so incredibly helpful. Critiquing other people's works can help too because you can spot flaws with your own prose and try to improve. Also a standard bit of advice: Write what you want to read, not what you think will sell. And most importantly: Never give up.
And now for the biography:
I'm going to preface this biography by saying I hate writing my own biography. I tend to go all tongue-in-cheek and self-deprecating because otherwise it just feels like you are tooting your own horn, even if your horn deserves to be tooted. But I will try to keep from doing that too much as I tell you a little bit about myself. Beyond the fact that I am, obviously, a writer.
Mara Valderran a fantasy writer working on her very first series, Heirs of War. She grew up in the south but somehow managed to get by without inheriting a southern accent. She has been writing since age twelve, juggling that with her love of acting. She now focuses her creative efforts only on writing while studying for her bachelor's degree in exercise science. When she is not working, studying, or writing, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or snuggling with her cat while watching her favorite television shows. She enjoys most things having to do with science fiction or fantasy and likes to spend her weekends singing karaoke with her friends.