Interview with Maxine Sarr

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've always wanted to write but the idea of submitting my novel to a publisher, waiting forever for the unwritten letter to arrive would have caused me way too much angst.

The idea, when I left England was to work as a teacher but, more importantly, to write the several novels that have been bouncing around inside my head. I came to Ecuador with stories that I'd started and then left them, collecting dust.

I have an Ecuadorian friend who I met six months after I arrived here. She was working in a job that she didn't like and we got chatting and she told me because there was very little work for her to do she writes novels. We got on like a house on fire; she left her job and has now published 17 novels (romance novels in Spanish). She gave me the kick up the pants to forge forward and publish my novels myself. Once I made the decision to finally follow my dream and write it took from sitting down at the computer to actual publication on Amazon ten weeks.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy for me is creating something in writing that I find difficult to verbalise. Moral Justice stemmed from a conversation I had with a former work colleague, it probably wasn't memorable to him but to me, I grasped it and stored it away inside my head. I knew I would write a book about it actually, it will be a trilogy by the time I've finished, but that's the beauty of writing.

If you're telling a story to someone and they can't disguise their boredom then it stops you from telling that story; if you write the story they can choose to read or not, but at least you have been able to release the words.
What are you working on next?
I'm writing a short humourous novella called A Day in the Life of an Extra. It's based on something that happened to me when I temped my way around Manchester. I intend to publish this one under my own name rather than my pen name.

Writing this will give me the light-hearted reprieve I need before I start to tackle the second book in the Moral Justice tirilogy.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King used to be my all time favourite, however, I have to admit I've not read any of the books he's written in the past five years, Val McDermid, Rohinton Mistry, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Marian Keyes and Graham Hancock are some of my favourites that spring to mind.

During my time in England all I read was crime and murder mystery books and legal books. Since I've been in Ecuador I've had the luxury of reading authors I never got the opportunity to read - Henry David Thoreau, Khalil Gibran, Rumi and also subjects such as astronomy, sacred geometry.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The day is new and fresh and anything could happen.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If I'm not writing, I'm usually reading walking or just being. It's winter here in Ecuador at the moment and, because of the rain, I don't get to walk in the mornings as often as I used to.

I've also discovered that YouTube can be quite educational! I've always been fascinated with Egypt and the Pyramids, watching documentaries like that has led me to find out about other pyramids around the world.

I live in a very small apartment with a tiny kitchen and therefore I don't do as much cooking as I would like. I miss cooking :)
What is your writing process?
I'm an early riser and I get up at about 4.00 a.m., an hour before the chickens who live above my apartment. There's not a sound at 4.00 except the sound of the river outside. I then put on the coffee and start writing. At times nothing wants to come for the books and those days I write on my blog or write an email. I wait for the book to speak to me but I always write.

By the time the chickens wake at 5.00 a.m. I'm usually in the zone and I can't hear them.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale book and I remember sitting with my mouth open at the worlds other people lived in. I think I was about nine or ten at the time. I wanted to live in their world. It started my thirst for books and I was always at the library, every chance I got, to immerse myself in another world.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Walden by Hentry David Thoreau. It astounds me that people who lived so long ago think the way I think now.
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens. It's such a beautiful love story.
Rust and Bones - Craig Davidson. I wish I'd written it.
The Portrait of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde. I believe I have a portrait of me in an attic somewhere :)
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry. It's the only book that I've stayed awake to finish and when I did finish it I had to go for a walk (at 3.00 a.m.). A powerful and beautiful read.
What do you read for pleasure?
I prefer physical books to ebooks (says she who has just published an ebook) but in Ecuador it's extremely difficult to buy English books and I've read and re-read the ones I brought (Eckhart Tolle, Steve Taylor - Waking from Sleep, Intuitive Living and Craig Davidson) until the pages have worn thin.

However, now that I've decided to concentrate more on writing than teaching I want to broaden my reading horizons. I think I may read a few romance novels because it's not my usual reading material and they will help alleviate the stress of writing the Moral Justice second book.

Any suggestions welcome.
Describe your desk
I have a red square plastic table as a desk! I have a tray with my post it notes, pen and notebook behind my laptop. A wristpad to my right, my phone just above that; scattered in and around all of the above I have crystals. Rutilated quartz, clear quartz, amethyst, citrine, amber, etc. lots of crystals.

It's not the ideal set up but it's okay for now.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in an area called Newton Heath in Manchester, England. As a child, when I read I was able to escape my life and go somewhere else, e.g. Narnia. It was a place I always wanted to visit :)

I named two of the characters in Moral Justice Dominic NEWTON and Phil HEATH because although at times things were difficult there I will never forget it. Newton Heath, I think, gave me the strength to know what's important in life. Being true to who you really are.
Published 2016-09-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Night in the Life of an Extra
Price: Free! Words: 7,360. Language: English. Published: October 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
The leap from an extra to a leading lady can't be that difficult. Can it? Kelly Ferguson believes it's more of a skip than a leap and is determined to show her co-workers her destiny lies beyond secretarial work in Manchester. The start - extra work in an opera.