Interview with Maura Satchell

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Purging my mind of ideas, thoughts and words that are bursting to be free. It is a compulsion and I have no choice in the matter. It drives those around me nuts when I get into that intense zone, but I really can't help myself.
What do your fans mean to you?
Seeing as how this is a debut novel, I can't really speak to that. Moreover, I'm not an ego-driven person so I'm not really sure how I'd / hopefully how I will react when I come face to face with real live fans! I suspect I'll love the experience as I generally love people anyway.
What are you working on next?
A few things... the one closest to the on-ramp though is Gray Lady of Long Branch - a collection of short stories framed around the family and guests vacationing at an old beach house on the Jersey Shore as told through the eyes of the graceful old Victorian home itself. I expect that to be out by mid-year 2015, if all goes well.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm eclectic and sadly, don't have the time to read as I did when I was younger... In my youth and school I gravitated toward Charles Dickens and Tolkein, Jane Austen, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Tolstoy, Leon Uris, and ... don't laugh ... Taylor Caldwell and Dick Francis. Oh, and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. More recently, I love Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and Doris Kearns Goodwin's work too. I could go on and on...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Everything! Okay, honestly, it's the Dunkin Donuts freshly ground coffee, but I am a morning person, so it's not hard. I love the quiet of daybreak before the rest of the household awakens.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I paint, garden, learn new things. I'm a serial learner and have a bad habit of going off on tangents to try new things... for instance, one time I talked my husband into helping me concoct a still. It was to extract the essence of lavender which we grew in abundance in Nashville, not produce alcohol, but it turned out to be unproductive and a real waste of our time and effort. Still, made for some interesting photographs. Oh, that's another one of my passions, by the way... Photography.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Browsing. It's a matter of what strikes my fancy at that very moment. Pure impulse and more often than not, I find pure gold out there! Also, NPR's book reviews by Maureen Corrigan.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was more of a narrative poem. I was six or seven and it was about a grizzly bear.
What is your writing process?
Formulate the pale ghost of an idea, then research the hell out of it for context, flesh and bones. Then I mull over all that raw material like a stew while doing mindless things - mowing the law, walking the dog, driving and swimming laps all work well. Once I have a decent framework, I set down to putting together a few pages and let it grow organically from there.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mom was great about reading to me and taking me to the library from the time I was in diapers, so I can't recall the first stories, per se. But the first one I independently bought was Rascal, by Sterling North. It's about a baby raccoon and wilderness adventures and I swear it fostered the love for nature I have to this day.
How do you approach cover design?
I've worked in graphic arts and am a painter too, so I feel very comfortable with that component of the book publishing process. I think if I didn't have that background, I'd find it daunting and would leave it to others, but for me it's a highly personal extension of the book and I relish it! And, in fact, I've produced cover designs for other books as well.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is a tough one! To narrow down to five? Really?
Trinity by Leon Uris - delves into the heart and soul of the Irish question. I'm Irish and read it when I was 17 and it stuck with me all these years.
Little House on the Prairie - I read the series as a young girl and think it should be required reading for all youth.. wonderful stuff!
Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton
Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Describe your desk
An absolute mess.. piles everywhere! But I know where everything is. Most important though, is the spotty black and white Dalmatian usually perched at my feet!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I went to nine different schools from Kindergarten through high school. What's more, I was seventh of nine children and found reading a wonderful escape from the challenges and frenzy going on about me. I consider Public Libraries holy tabernacles of beauty and wisdom, drew comfort from words, and found writing the best way to process my feelings and emotions. To this day, I feel more comfortable writing than speaking much of the time. It helps that my fingers fly on the keyboard as quickly as I can think.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'd just graduated from college with a degree in Mass Communications as an adult student. My kids were grown and I needed an outlet. My brother, a professional musician, "knew a guy" who had a story he wanted to build a film around. We joined forces and crafted a feature length screenplay. He gave me permission to write a novel built around the story, changing it as I so desired. Most of it is true to the screenplay.
Published 2014-09-19.
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Books by This Author

The Gray Lady of Long Branch
Price: $5.95 USD. Words: 60,810. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2015 by Four Pillars Media Group. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Paranormal, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
If walls could talk: Narrated by a stately 1900s Victorian beach home, this novel tells the story of the people that dwell within. She takes the reader on a Jersey Shore journey down memory lane, recalling historical events such as the Vietnam War, the 1960s, the death of Princess Diana, Y2K and September 11th. "A roller coaster ride of ups and downs right to the very last entertaining sentence."
Empty Sky
Price: $3.95 USD. Words: 75,800. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2014 by Four Pillars Media Group. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Set in Nashville, music producer Matt Buckley is a huge professional success but his personal life is a mess. His father's death sends him floundering until a chance meeting with a mysterious stranger reminds Matt how precious life truly is. It's then he meets and falls for April, a songwriter with issues and children. Somehow, they find their way toward a happily ever after ... or one would hope.