Interview with Mara Oudenes

When did you first start writing?
I started writing a romance story when I was in high school. I used each of my friends back then as a character and every week I would come to school with a new typed chapter that they were eager to read. I never took it seriously. It was something that I did for fun back then.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that I ever read what Sleeping Beauty, from there I progressed to other fairy tales. I still love them. It impacted me in the sense that there is a difficult quest and how the determined characters work to solve it. The villains are brilliant! So bad, pompous with a hint of hilarity sometimes. And of course, the romance part, sealed with a kiss with the promise of a happy ever after. All these topics keep coming back in my stories.
What is your writing process?
All my stories have a thing in common. Five male and one female characters. Sometimes is simple to figure their relationships and story lines. Other times, I have just two defined and the rest seem to develop from there. In each story there is a sort of goal that needs to be completed and each of them plays an important part. So I begin introducing each character and their view of the situation and other characters while moving the story forward.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think the greatest joy is the feedback that I get when people read my stories. They fall genuinely in love with my characters and absolutely loathe my villains. If one of my characters gets ill, I even get friendly threats saying that I'm not allowed to kill them.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Puerto Rico, a small island in the Caribbean. The place didn't influence my writing as much as the people surrounding me. I come from an incredibly creative family with musicians, writers, playwrights and poets. Some of them, including my father are indie authors as well. The personality of my parents is the base for the parents in my stories; they are loving, supportive and a tad odd.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend time with my husband and my little daughter. I also do graphic design work and illustrate greeting cards. I enjoy doing crafts and that time concentrated doing simple tasks, like crochet for example, is great to come up with new ideas.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on editing my upcoming story called "Tides". It is a contemporary romance on a beach setting in which three siblings plus friends get involved in a surfing competition. I got the idea last year when we were vacationing in Curacao and they have this amazing area called BLVD. It became the setting for the story.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
If I like the cover and the blurb, there is a big chance that I will buy the book. Then if I fall in love with the story, I look for more works done by the same author.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
At home, I read in my Samsung Galaxy tablet using Adobe Digital Editions. On the road, I use my Sony eReader that I have had now for a few years.
What do your fans mean to you?
In the beginning I couldn't believe that I had people following my work. I started writing for my own pleasure and then I started getting feedback from people and it was amazing! They give me the extra push to do this and I love pleasing them. I have befriended some of them, who are indie authors as well, and they are great to consult on the 'what ifs' of stories.
Describe your desk
My desk is wherever I can put my laptop on, so it can be the couch, my bed, dining table, even the kitchen counter! I have also brought my "desk" in an airplane, to a hotel and to a beach. Besides my laptop, I always have a Moleskine notebook and a mechanic pencil next to me for notes, my mobile phone to search for stuff in Google without switching my screen.
Published 2015-01-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.