Interview with M.M. Maxwell

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Listening to people talk about their lives, thinking of other ways they might have turned out, lead me to want to write their stories. I am compelled in that when I hear things I think, this should be written so people know; it shouldn't just enter my head and die. I wanted to write so I could chronicle events, actions and feelings and sometimes write an outcome as I believe it could have been.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
At this writing I have just finished editing and formatting so I can't comment on "success" yet but I do know that I love the efficiency of Smashwords. The guides have given me a lot of direction. Without Smashwords it would be six months to a year before my book would have been uploaded.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Surprising myself. I have written scary passages that have made me have to get in the car and go stay at a friends house. I have written passages where I have made myself laugh. I have written passages where I was able to vindicate someone. All of that is thus far. The greatest joy would be if my readers were as engrossed with my characters as I am.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are friends that know my thought processes in a way most friends never get to know each other.
What are you working on next?
A book that has some of the same characters as appeared in Sacrificial Lamb - characters that have further development before we can be satisfied with their journey - and the appearance of few new characters that have a whole new set of circumstances evolving.
Who are your favorite authors?
That is an impossible question. As soon as I read one book and determine it is my favorite, I read something else that supersedes it. I can say that I rarely stick with an author through more than three or four books because I find that once I understand their style they seem to get too predictable.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life. I am happy all of the time. I love the smell of my sheets when I wake. I love the feel of the carpet under my feet when I get up. I love the smell of the fresh air outside. I love the smell of the coffee I make. I love turning on the news quietly. I love exercising to my favorite music. I love choosing my clothes to wear. I love watering my plants. It goes on and on....
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Communicating with people around me; listening to their stories, decorating my house, traveling with my partner, visiting with family and often working a regular day job. I have changed careers a few times and I am at a career crossroad now so I can't be sure what field I will be in when this is actually being read.
What is your writing process?
It comes in spurts. I don't layout a 30 chapter outline. I come up with a central theme, identify a beginning , body, climax and ending and then start filling in. From that point on, one chapter leads itself to another and the writing just sort of falls out of me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not the first, no. I remember my mother use to read several dozen children's books to us each week. Then I don't really think when I was going through grammar school and high school that I was much of a reader. I remember reading "Pigman". I was moved by the very ordinary lives of the characters and remember I was reluctant to have my relationship with them end. Next I read "The Shining". I was completely amazed by the suspension of disbelief. After that it was "Coma" and after that I read through so many books they have all become a blur.
How do you approach cover design?
My sister is a graphic artist. She created the cover for me. Once she read the book she seemed to know what direction she wanted to go in immediately. She presented me with several layouts and I chose one similar to the one I ended up with but I changed it at the last minute through general consensus. She said she was looking for an image that evoked emotion and symbolized the theme either literally or figuratively. Then she pushed it a bit by making the lettering red to contrast the very monotone farm colors. Finally she altered the lettering to sort of drip down which to me implies blood.

When she presented the options to me she did so in a presentation where my prospective covers were imbedded in a picture of a dozen or so best sellers so I could see what the cover looked like relative to the most successful books on the market.
Published 2013-11-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sacrificial Lamb
Price: Free! Words: 97,320. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(4.00 from 1 review)
Can't put it down - gripping, engrossing tale told by a woman living a life of complacency while slowly and cruelly being deprived of all free will through abuse, until eventually, consumed with self-loathing, and along with the help of a few friends and her brave children, she creatively works to take back control.