Welcome to the blog, Maria! It’s a pleasure to have you here. Can you tell us about your new release, Kidnapped?
MH: Thank you for having me, I’m thrilled to be here!
Kidnapped isn’t really new, it was released as e-book last year, but it will be available in paperback any day now. It is about a girl who gets abducted by mistake. Her kidnapper thinks she’s someone completely different, and by the time he realizes the mix-up they’re too far away to turn back. The heroine, Patricia, strives to go home, of course, but that’s easier said than done when she doesn’t even know where the Earth is. She is about to make powerful enemies, find unexpected friends, and stumble over love where she least expects it.
Sounds interesting! Describe the heroine in three words.
MH: Talkative, innocent, and autophobic. I had to look the last one up; she’s afraid of being alone. That can be a problem when finding oneself on a spaceship with one other living person aboard.
What traits does the hero posses that makes the heroine swoon?
MH: The swooning doesn’t come easy in this book, haha, she’s terrified of him when they first meet. Once she gets to know him, he’s strong, protective, and reliable. He makes her feel safe and cared for.
And that’s most important, right? What was your inspiration for this story?
MH: I’ve been playing with the main ideas since I was a teenager, decades ago. I probably saw something on TV that got stuck in my mind… I come from a small city and spent lots of time on deserted winter roads, and used to wonder, “What if a spaceship would land right here, right now?” It might not be a normal thing to think about, but it’s the way I’m wired. My brain plays the “what if” game all the time.
Also, a big chunk of inspiration comes from the song “Misguided Angel” by Cowboy Junkies. It starts, “Mama, he’s crazy and he scares me, but I want him by my side. Though he’s wild and he’s bad and sometimes just plain mad, I need him to keep me satisfied.” The lyrics clicked with my imagination and helped form the hero’s personality. He’s… not like people in general, LOL!
Who is your favorite character from Kidnapped? Can you include an excerpt involving this character?
MH: That’s a difficult question, I’m fond of so many of them. I do like Veronica, though. She’s the evil queen of the story and I think these few lines convey her personality pretty well.
Veronica smiled as warmly as was possible for her, making it look almost natural, and squeezed her hand. “I’m so glad you’re being cooperative. I knew you would get to see things my way.”
The way the Supreme Commander touched her cheek reminded Patricia of someone being kind to a favorite pet.
What genres do you write in, and what appeals to you about those genres?
MH: I write mostly science fiction romance but also some contemporary/suspense. I’ve always been intrigued with sci-fi and space, ever since I was a little girl, and romance, well… relations between people are interesting!
Oh, I can relate. What other titles do you have published?
MH: Undercover - a contemporary romance - When Jenny Moore meets Alexei Roshenko, it’s love at first sight. The tall, dark and handsome stranger appears to be the answer to every romantic fantasy any woman ever had. There is however more to him than meets the eye, and a dark and violent past is catching up with him. When Jenny decides to follow him back to Russia, she gets entangled in a web of deceit and secrets beyond her wildest imagination.
Courage and retribution - free Kidnapped prequel available from the Desert Breeze Publishing - On the outskirts of the ever present Alliance’s watchful eye, William Reynolds has served as mayor and preacher for the better part of a decade. Life is good, and he sees no reason to change anything. When a family fleeing the Alliance’s oppression comes his way he doesn’t hesitate to hide them. Reaching out to the people in need proves to be more dangerous than he could ever have anticipated, and once events are set in motion, there is no going back.
Embarkment 2577 - self-published series of novellas – “Brand New World,” “High Gravity,” and “Adam and Eve.” The first book is a sci-fi spoof. Most readers realize it’s written tongue in cheek when the main character encounters a hologram of a rock star, but some don’t share my sense of humor and write angry e-mails, LOL! I had stopped giggling somewhat when I wrote the other two, so they’re more serious and get better reviews…
I also used to have a series of books called “The Goddess’s Saga” but I’m currently re-writing and re-editing all of them. They’ll show up again later this year, in a new and improved form. These books are science fiction romance sprinkled with mythology.
I have a series like that, too. What are you working on now?
MH: I have a lot going on right now. I’m working on edits for a book called Flashback that will be released in June. This is a contemporary romance about a war veteran suffering from PTSD. I’m also working on a sci-fi romance called Operation Earth that will be released in August, and a still unnamed project with the working name Borealis XII that will be released in November.
My mind is a restless thing, so I’m also writing on a few projects I hope to have ready for 2014. There are a couple of sci-fi romances and two almost done contemporary novels.
Can you describe your daily writing routine?
MH: It’s a little complicated – I have a daytime job and go to school full time for a Bachelor’s Degree besides writing, but I’ll be done with the university in another couple of months and that will be a relief. Normally, I start the day with walking dogs, grab a large cup of coffee, and browse through my social media stuff real quick. Then I write for as long as real life will allow me. I create better in the mornings and edit better in the evenings, for some reason, so I try to plan my days to have at least a couple of hours free every morning.
Often when I’m done with the day, I sit in the sofa with noise-cancelling headphones while my husband watches TV and edit.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
MH: I’m somewhere in between. I usually write the beginning and the end of the book and I have a plan for what should happen in the middle, but somewhere after the first couple of chapters the characters take over, and anything can happen. I’ve had problems with them falling for the wrong person lately.
What genres do you enjoy reading?
MH: I read a lot of suspense and horror, and I love thrillers and mystery. I read science fiction and romance too, but my bookshelves are crammed with scary stuff.
Do you belong to a critique group or have critique partners? If so, what have you learned from them? How has it affected your writing?
MH: I don’t belong to a formal critique group, more from lack of discipline than anything else – I am a member of the Florida Writer’s Association and the friendly chapters around me invite me to their meetings, but I never get around to going…
I do have a wonderful critique partner in author Christy Elkins. Without her support I still wouldn’t be published. Every time I start a project I send it over to her for feedback and advice, and she has taught me so much.
Another person who has been invaluable to me is Gail R. Delaney from Desert Breeze Publishing. I still have a lot to learn from her, and I hope to get to work with her for a long time yet to come.
I have pages in places I can’t even remember, but these four I keep updated and check obsessively.
Where can my readers find your books?
MH: My books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, everywhere e-books are sold. Sony bookstore, iBooks… Any bookstore will be able to sell the paperbacks.
On Amazon, you can find:
Courage and Retribution is currently only available from the Desert Breeze Publishing website, but it’s free.
That’s great! Thank you so much for stopping by, Maria!