Interview with Mariana Reuter

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I started writing since I was 7 or 8 years old, mainly detective stories--back then Sherlock Holmes had impressed me. I wrote about my own English detective who had a secretary named Jules. In my first story, Jules was kidnapped. I planned to call it "The Blue Lotus", but when Mum entered it in Word she called it "Jules is Kidnapped". I'm not sure where we both got confused with the tittle, but I never corrected it.
What is your writing process?
Something I see on the street can be a source of inspiration, or something I see while riding the tube. A couple discussing, a group of friend running to catch a bus, some children playing, anything can ignite the spark. Once I reach home, I start writing whatever comes to my mind while inspiration lasts. I come back to my manuscript a week or two later and then I start planning the full story from whatever I drafted first.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I started reading since I was a little girl. Mum used to read me aloud. She's wonderful! She can mimic 1000 voices and create the most cheerful or gloomiest atmosphere. When I was 7 or 8, I read many Sherlock Holmes stories. It was then when I discovered I wanted to write. I wanted create a detective as bright as Holmes who will experience as many adventures as him--I did write about 5 or 6 detective stories back then. Years later, I discovered I preferred to write about teens coming of age, and that's when I started writing young adult.
What are your three favorite books, and why?
I love Alexander Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo is my favourite book. Then comes The Three Musketeers and then Gone with the Wind. What I like are the strong main characters: people who struggle facing all kind of challenges, even losing loved ones, but who succeed against all odds because of their determination and inner force.
What do you read for pleasure?
Adventures, Sci-Fi, and young adult. Not necessarily in that order.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Mainly, at work. I'm an industrial engineer and I work as regional demand manager for a worldwide pharmaceutical company. When I'm not at work or writing, I like to hang with friends or spend time with my family.
How do you approach cover design?
The cover is the reader's first approach to your novel. It's like the label on a can of beans. How do mums select one brand over another at the supermarket, if all of them are beans? The label makes the difference. Of course, novels are not beans, and the story makes a huge difference, but the cover is paramount. My covers reflect my protagonists. I want my readers to clearly picture my main character and fall in love with her from her picture on the cover. Yes, my heroes are always teenage girls.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't have any preference. I can read on my tablet, on my phone (I don't recommend it very much because the screen is small, but sometimes you spend hours in line and the phone is all what you have), or on any ebook reader. I own two of them because I don't like to be prevented from reading en ebook only because I don't own the proper reading device.
Describe your desk
Wow! This is tough one. I'm not the most orderly person and my desk is kind of cluttered. Of course, my PC is on it. Well, actually under it because it's a desktop, so only the monitor and the keyboard are on the desk. You can certainly find my tablet and one of my ebook readers on it when I'm writing--I usually check dictionaries, other books, and references in them while I'm writing. I also keep the handwritten notes I like to take, like descriptions of people I see on the street, on my desk. Sometimes, I have to dig them to find a particular note I know I took two months ago. There's also a stapler, but I'm not sure if I've ever used it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm kind of cosmopolitan. I was born in France. My father is French, but my mother is Mexican. I lived some years in France but afterwards I move in Mexico. I studied high school in New Jersey and returned to Mexico. Of course, I'm super fond of meeting and interacting with people from all parts of the world. My writing reflects this taste. My characters represent very different types of people in different environments. Diversity is one of my hallmarks.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is Amber Eyes. I wanted to write something edgy, and I think I did. Alexandra, my protagonist, is a 14 year old girl who is approached by another girl who asks her to be her girlfriend. It's not lesbian fiction, though, but Alexandra will need to chose her sexual preference. At the same time, she has to run away from home after her mother's boyfriend almost rapes her. I wanted to picture a girl struggling almost to her limits.

The story also has a very powerful back story, which I think is uncommon in young adult. Alexandra will unveil a dark family secret when she'll try to meet her grandmother after running away from home. In the end, her own life will be in danger. These ingredients are not quite common in young adult, but I wanted to write something different, something that would intrigue the reader up to the last page without being magicians, vampires, or Greek gods.
Published 2015-01-10.
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Books by This Author

Men Are Like Cars
Price: Free! Words: 4,360. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
(2.00)
A humorous short story about a woman CEO who confides in a young reporter telling her how she has managed her relationships with men through her life