Backseat Nightmares would like to welcome Maria Schneider to the blog! Today she is visiting to talk about her book – Under Witch Moon!
Backseat - Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing.
Maria – Oh heavens no! I’m as boring as beans. That’s why I make things up, you see. I’m like a dustball, gathering all kinds of dirt and and organizing it into a story. It’s exactly the same as reading tea leaves only harder.
Backseat - Tell us about your new release?
Maria – Under Witch Aura will be out in November 2011–the sequel to Under Witch Moon, which was released in October of last year. It’s dark. It’s spooky. It might have a hint of romance. It might have a hint of horror if you consider shifters and arcane murders to be horror.
Backseat – Who are your cheerleaders? Who pushes you to continue writing?
Maria – I’m it. Well, I have a dozen or so readers who write and let me know that I’m too slow at my job! I love each and every one of them.
Backseat – What do you enjoy doing on your spare time?
Maria – Spare time? What is this thing?? Most of my hobbies are really work in disguise. I’m an avid vegetable gardener, and I live in Texas. This pretty much means year round toiling in the soil–or in the case of summer, trying to keep a plant or two alive. In Texas we can tomatoes for eating in July through November. I usually get a second crop of tomatoes in November that can last into January depending on when it freezes. My anthology Sage is about a gardener–no young whippersnapper, she’s a plant wizard out to save her kingdom!
If I had spare time, I’d hike about the hills with a book and a stash of chocolate chip cookies in my backpack.
Backseat - When you made your first sale, how did you celebrate and with whom?
Maria – I was so astounded, I kept waiting for them to write and tell me it was a mistake! I sold “Haunting Clues” to a magazine called “The Town Drunk.” It’s now the first story in my anthology, Tracking Magic.
I was all set to celebrate, but first, the editor had a few edits/changes for me to implement…so instead of going out Right That Second, I had a lengthy discussion with the editor on just how to describe Max Killian’s hair. And teeth. Seriously. Max Killian is a supernatural detective and it so happens his front teeth are a tad crooked. Not all editors care about this feature, believe it or not. I suppose it doesn’t affect his magic…he would be able to smell death and magic even if his teeth were straightened!
Of course, eventually, I got hungry enough, I no longer cared about Max, his haunting problem OR his teeth, and my husband and I scurried off to my favorite restaurant!
Backseat - What is it you love most about writing?
Maria – Early on, I loved everything about it. I typed so fast, I set off wind warning sirens in the neighborhood. Now that I know all about editing forty-two thousand times…I guess I love the initial ideas the most, the daydreaming that comes before trying to make that magical daydream into a story that makes sense.
Backseat – What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Maria – Tying it all together. I have so many ideas that often, I put too many in a story. Somewhere in the middle of the process, I have to take some of the ideas out and save them for the next book!
Backseat - Which scenes were the hardest to write?
Maria – Oh, you know it’s the love scenes. I write mysteries and urban fantasy but all my stories have romantic subplots. There’s always that balance: Don’t let the romance overshadow the mystery. How to make it truly romantic and not mushy? How to make it love and not just lust? Does anyone care about love or is it all about lust???
Backseat - How long did it take you to write your current book ?
Maria – Under Witch Aura, the second in the Under Witch Moon series took me three years to write. It’s in the final stages now.
Backseat - What were the challenges in bringing this book to life?
Maria – The devil is in the details! In Under Witch Moon, I introduced Adriel, a witch who makes her living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I cleverly described the trials and tributions of being a witch and even gave up the secrets to a few spells. I would have given away more spells, but Adriel was busy solving a murder case and trying to escape the clutches of a voodoo queen. In Under Witch Aura, things should have been easier, but Adriel had some work to do repairing her relationships with her colleagues and finding enough clients to keep her business running. It also seems that a ghost is haunting her, which cuts into her concentration.
Backseat – What book is currently on your nightstand?
Maria – At the top of the stack is Ilona Andrews “The Edge.” Oh my gosh, if you have not read this, run to the nearest Kindle and download it!!! Awesomeness.
Backseat – Do you have an all time favorite book?
Maria – Patricia Briggs, “When Demons Walk.”
Backseat - Where can your fans find you ?
Backseat - Where can readers find your books?
Maria – I’m at all the usual outlets:
Amazon (Some of the paperbacks are on sale right now.)
Barnes and Noble (Search the Book section for the paperback copies. They’re on sale right now for $8.63.)
Backseat - Anything else you’d like to add?
Maria – I write cozy mysteries as well as the Urban Fantasy series. The Sedona O’Hala mysteries are lighter, humorous and the only magic is in the fact that Sedona manages to survive her various jobs. My stand alone, Catch an Honest Thief, involves a bit of a “futuristic” bent, but contains only the magic of romance, not of spells.
Adriel should have known that with a werewolf, it never stopped with just one body. She would have gone to the police after witnessing Dolores’ death, but she wasn’t certain the killer she saw was responsible for the other murders. Besides, the police didn’t believe in werewolves, and they weren’t going to believe she was a witch either so what could she tell them?
She kept her eyes and ears open while she tried to help her latest client escape the clutches of a voodoo witch, but things went from bad to worse when more bodies turned up. She was greatly relieved when she met White Feather, an undercover cop. Unfortunately, he wasn’t convinced she was innocent of all wrong-doing.
It was going to take every spell she knew and a few she hadn’t tried to solve the murders and stay alive.
Backseat Nightmares would like to thank Maria for dropping by and sharing with us! Hop over to Amazon and pick up a copy of her book. Once you are done with that, drop by her site and say hi!