Monday, May 18, 2009

Make-Believe Mondays With Maria Geraci

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I am thrilled to introduce everyone to my American Title II sister, Maria Geraci, now that her first book is out!

Maria, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Maria: I’m working on a proposal for the third Bunco Babes book. It’s tentatively titled Bunco Babes Back in Action and features the characters I introduced in my first two books, as well as a new protagonist. It’s not sold yet, but keep your fingers crossed for me!

Debra: I will cross all fingers and toes for you!

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Maria: I’m always reading, watching films, being inspired by the real people and events in my life. You know the old saying ‘truth is stranger than fiction’? Well, it’s true! I find inspiration in the everyday things that make our lives so important- family and friends.

Debra: Yes, that's so true! Lately I've been completely revising one of my manuscripts because of life changes and events, which makes me glad that one hasn't sold yet. And I love old films too. In Memphis there is a summer film series at the Orpheum which starts this Friday and I'm planning to go see Breakfast at Tiffanys. One of my favorites.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Maria: Definitely. It’s faster with some characters than others, but there’s always a sort of ‘aha’ moment when I feel that I truly “know” a character. Some characters of course, try to take over the story. They’re the ones you have to watch out for and probably the most fun to write.

Debra: Yes, I know just what you mean. I have to wrestle my secondary characters sometimes because they like to steal scenes. That's better than killing them off, I am learning. lol

Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?

Maria: Oh yeah. One of my secondary characters in my Bunco Babes books is Cuban-American (like me). Pilar is always making up words that you won’t find in Webster’s Dictionary. Sort of like her own version of Spanglish. For instance, she refers to text-messaging as ‘tex-mexing.’ That’s a line I totally stole from my sister, by the way.

Debra: Ooh I love that! 'Tex-mexing' Your sister sounds fun and I like the name Pilar.

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Maria: I can’t say that I actually dreamed a scene (although I’m sure I probably have and just don’t remember it), but I definitely daydream scenes all the time. When I’m in the middle of writing a scene (which could take up to 2 weeks for me) I’ll be thinking of it constantly, and then at the most obscure moment- like while waiting in line at the grocery store- the perfect piece of dialogue will come to me. It’s like I’ve been subconsciously working the scene out in my head and the answer will come at the strangest time and place.

Debra: Yeah the subconscious is funny like that. At the grocery, while driving, or at the sink with hands in the soapy dishwater. Then it's oh shoot where's a pen? lol

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Maria: I loved Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. I think I read that book a dozen times. I was drawn by the strong female characters and the historical time period that I found so fascinating.

Debra: Oh, that's one of the best.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Maria: I think I would write some erotica. Something really crazy and out there, but honestly, I’d probably be too embarrassed by what I came up with to ever show it to anyone!

Debra: lol You are so funny. (Course if you wrote it under a different name like so many authors do, no one would know it was you!)

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Maria: I think one of the most important things while writing is to always let the characters tell the story. While plotting is good (and necessary) don’t let a plot become so rigid that you miss the spontaneity that happens during the creative process. Sometimes our characters really do know what’s best.

Debra: Excellent advice, Maria. Thank you for joining me here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Maria: Thanks for having me!

Debra: My pleasure!

Maria: I’ve always wanted to be featured on Make believe Monday!

Debra: And I've been waiting for the day your first book would come out so you could visit!

Readers please visit Maria at

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Maria Geraci said...

Thanks again for having me, Debra!

Debra Parmley said...

It was my pleasure, Maria. :-)