Interview with M.C. Roman

When did you first start writing?
I've always enjoyed creative writing and this became more apparent to me during high school. In 10th grade, I won an award for "Best English Student" of my class and then went on to take AP English Courses. In college, life got in the way and I ended up studying Psychology and thus, writing was put on hold. Once I graduated, I found myself applying to different publishing houses for work, but eventually ended up in Market Research. Interestingly enough, it wasn't until I was in between jobs after graduating from business school that I finally found some time and set myself up to start writing my first novel, Teaching Mia. The words simply started pouring out as the story had been stuck in my head for a few years and I haven't looked back ever since!
What's the story behind your latest book?
I was inspired to write Teaching Mia after I graduated from business school in Spain. My experience during my time there was so rich and intense, it gave me plenty of source material to work with. Somehow I started imagining what it would be like for a girl to go through the same experience, but by herself and completely alone. That's when the back story came to me of a wounded girl who was fleeing her past and trying to make a better life for herself in a foreign country. It just seemed like the perfect scenario for someone who had a lot of obstacles in front of them and presented a lot of challenges to struggle through. And of course, a romantic hero who would eventually save her from it all!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After I finished writing Teaching Mia, I did A LOT of research on the 'how to's' of publishing. More and more, I found that most new authors were turning to self-publishing as a more reliable and realistic option. There is so much to learn about this industry and in my experience so far it's been a lot of work and trial and error, but I love that I have the opportunity to take control of my writing and start getting my work out there all on my own. I find that there is something hugely gratifying in that.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I've been a member of Smashwords for a couple of years now, but I only recently published my first title. Ever since I first joined, I've always turned to this site as an excellent place to research, find tips, and get all the most up to date information on self-publishing. I've found a lot of answers to my ongoing list of questions and Smashwords has definitely helped guide me along the way.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, writing has always been a therapeutic process. I love that it gives me the ability to reflect upon my life and it gives the perfect outlet to convey all my feelings and emotions on paper. It's also very exciting to imagine all these different types of scenarios that I usually just daydream about, and then see the end product in written form.
What do your fans mean to you?
I can't really say that I have a fan base yet, but my family and my friends are my biggest supporters. Without them, none of this would be possible and they mean the world to me.
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on translating Teaching Mia into Spanish. I'm a native Spanish speaker, so I did the translation myself and now I'm in the process of editing with the help of my mom! It's been a fun process so far as I also thoroughly enjoy writing in Spanish as much as in English, but at the same time it definitely requires much more proofing than English as there are so many accents and grammar details to look out for!

Besides this, I'm also in the process of finishing up Book 2 of the Nights in Madrid Series, Stealing Emma. This story features the story of Leo's older brother Max, and his hot pursuit of a love interest who just so happens to be already taken. Although there's a lot of drama due to the ensuing love triangle, I feel like I've also had a lot of fun writing this book so far and the characters keep on surprising me.
Who are your favorite authors?
Growing up in Mexico, my favorite authors are mostly from Latin America. Carlos Fuentes is a huge inspiration to me (Mia's last name from Teaching Mia came from him) and I always looked up to the fact that he is one of the first few truly bilingual authors in Spanish and English and I absolutely loved reading his short stories growing up. Other authors include: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Octavio Paz, Mario Vargas Llosa. In English, my favorite book is Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and also love Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
There's so many things: my husband, trying to be a better wife, getting all my work done, fighting for equal rights, etc. But if I had to narrow it down to just one, I would have to say it's the tremendous bulldozers and ungodly drilling just outside my apartment building. It wakes me up every day at 6:45am without fail - even on the weekends! :)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If I'm not writing, then I'm most likely reading. But if I'm not doing either of those, I spend my time goofing around with my husband, watching a good show or movie, or eating out at restaurants with friends. I used to be an avid tennis player growing up and occasionally play whenever I get the chance. I'm also really passionate about traveling and try to make an overseas trip at least once a year. This past year I was fortunate enough to visit Israel as well as Argentina. In 2014, I'm planning on going to the World Cup in Brazil. Oi galera!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have to admit that I typically look at the top charts sections to see what's new and trending, but most importantly I have a list of my go-to authors and count the days until their next new release!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a short story my sophomore year of high school that was based primarily about my dad. He had been sick for quite a while and had a liver transplant at the time, and it was about my experience living through that with him as a young teenager. I later based my college essay on that story and I remember being told it was a bit of risk as I still wrote it in a short story format, rather than the traditional first person narration. But the story meant so much to me I decided to go with it, and I guess it was worth it in the end as I got accepted at my first choice of university. The bad news is that to this day, I can't seem to find either of the versions anywhere. I guess I'll have to call up the registrar's office one of these days to see if they have it!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I vividly first remember reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and I would read it over and over when I was young. I suppose I didn't realize at the time what intrigued me so much about it, but as I grew older I noticed how amazing or how sad the story can actually be depending on how you look at it. Either way, it taught me that there can always be different perspectives stemming from a single event and it's really up to you to decide how to interpret it. I think that's the beauty of books as well in that it's such an individual and personal experience with the writer and in the end you can imagine the story however you want it to be.
How do you approach cover design?
Despite the saying, I've read over and over that cover design is one of the most important things, especially for new authors so I don't take this lightly. I have a friend who is an amazing designer and he's been crucial in helping me in this process. Personally, I like book covers to be a bit artistic so I've opted for black and white so far and I also think they stand out a bit more than color, as counter-intuitive as that sounds. As a romance writer, I also like them to be girly (hence the pink, which also contrasts nicely with the B&W in my opinion), but also very sexy and predominately feature a close up shot of the heroine that leaves the viewer with a bit of mystery.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
People think I'm crazy, but I actually love reading on my iphone! It's just very practical and convenient for me as I'm always on my phone anyway, and it's also a great way to discretely sneak in a chapter or two wherever I may be (especially in situations where I'm supposed to be doing something else).
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the US, but grew up in Mexico City where I attended an American school. Both English and Spanish have been a part of me since the beginning, but there have been waves where one language has superseded the other throughout the years. I enjoy both languages equally, but there are also many different things/saying that can be expressed better in one language over the other. I think I enjoy writing in English a bit more as I think I express myself ultimately better in this language, but reading in Spanish just seems much more romantic - especially poetry! I think it would be amazing if I could write a novel one day that simply switches among languages through flow of consciousness and actually makes sense without butchering either of them!
Published 2014-02-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Amando A Olivia
Series: Noches en Madrid. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,120. Language: Spanish. Published: September 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Cuando Olivia Paz se encuentra en problemas, Nico Durant no puede evitar ayudarla, aunque signifique arriesgar su nuevo estatus como capitán del equipo de fútbol. El pasado de Nico lo atrapa de sorpresa, y él debe decidir si es capaz de dejar a Olivia ir, o amarla.
Loving Olivia
Series: Nights in Madrid, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 81,340. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Olivia Paz finds herself in trouble, Nico Durant can't avoid helping her, even if it means jeopardizing his new status as captain of the soccer team. Nico's past unexpectedly catches up with him, and he must decide whether he's capable of letting Olivia go, or loving her.
Persiguiendo A Sofía
Series: Noches en Madrid. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 84,110. Language: Spanish. Published: March 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
No es fácil ser la única mujer en la familia Durant. Y menos cuando todos te ven como la bebé de la familia, a pesar de tener un mellizo quién es solamente dos minutos mayor que tú. Pero más difícil de todo es esconder un amor platónico por el mejor amigo de tu mellizo durante tres años.
Chasing Sofia
Series: Nights in Madrid, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 91,090. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
It’s not easy being the only girl in the Durant household. It’s tough when everybody views you as the baby of the family, despite having a twin brother who is only two minutes older than you. But most difficult of all is harboring a secret crush on your twin’s best friend for three years.
Robando A Emma
Series: Noches en Madrid. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 77,260. Language: Spanish. Published: October 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Emma Blake está lista para un cambio de su vida monótona en Los Ángeles. Así que cuando su novio Roy sugiere que vayan a estudiar la maestría juntos en España, ella está lista para la aventura. Nueva ciudad, nueva vida, nuevos amigos. ¿Qué podría salir mal?
Stealing Emma
Series: Nights in Madrid, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 82,040. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Emma Blake is ready for a change from her monotonous life in Los Angeles. So when her boyfriend Roy suggests they go to grad school abroad in Spain, she’s all for the adventure. New city, new life, new friends. What could possibly go wrong?
Enseñando A Mia
Series: Noches en Madrid. Price: Free! Words: 77,500. Language: Spanish. Published: April 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Cuando Mia Fuentes se muda a España para estudiar la maestría, tratando desesperadamente de dejar su pasado atrás, lo último que ella se imaginó fue involucrarse con Leo Durant, el chico más guapo y solicitado del campus.
Teaching Mia
Series: Nights in Madrid, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 80,470. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » General
Fed up with her disheartening life in New York City, Mia takes a gamble and embarks on an invigorating journey abroad to business school in Spain. When Mia Fuentes moves to Spain for graduate school, desperately trying to leave her past behind, the last thing she ever imagined was getting involved with Leo Durant, the hottest and most sought after guy on campus.