© 2013 Clive Eaton
Maria Savva lives and works in London. She studied Law at Middlesex University and The College of Law. She is a lawyer, although not currently practising law. She writes novels and short stories in different genres, including drama, psychological thriller, and family saga. Many of her books and stories are inspired by her years working as a lawyer, although she has not written a courtroom drama to date. She has published five novels, the most recent of which is Haunted, a crime fiction/psychological thriller. She’s also published seven collections of short stories, and her stories have also been featured in various anthologies.
Book title: PERSPECTIVES
12 Moments Captured
12 Stories Told
Do you trust what you see?
A rock only becomes a mountain when you broaden your view.
We challenge you to look at the world from different...
A collection of twelve short stories by Maria Savva and Darcia Helle inspired by twelve photographs by Martin David Porter.
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
Writing is a full time job, and I also have a full time day job, so I don’t really get much time to relax, unfortunately. I do enjoy writing, though, so it’s usually fun. If I ever get time to do anything else, I like to listen to music or spend time with my nieces and nephew.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
Every book I ever read, every movie I ever saw.
What or who inspired you to write your current book?
The project I’m involved in currently is the Mind’s Eye Series, which is a new series of books containing short fiction and poetry inspired by photographs.
The first book in the series is PERSPECTIVES and is a collection of 12 short stories each one inspired by a different photograph. I wrote 6 of the stories, Darcia Helle wrote the other 6. The photographs were given to us by Martin David Porter, a photographer friend of mine.
Martin had initially approached me a few months ago asking if I’d be interested in writing some short stories inspired by his photos. As I was busy at the time, but liked the idea, I said I’d like to also invite another author to write some of the stories. I asked Darcia and she was free at the time. We wrote the stories quite quickly.
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1. My stories were written in pen and then typed up
2. There were originally going to be 10 stories, but Darcia finished writing hers quickly and was keen to write another. So Martin send us 2 more photos and there are now 12 stories
3. I used one of Martin David Porter’s photographs for the cover of my book, Delusion and Dreams. He has written a foreword in the book about how this inspired him to come up with the idea for a collection of short stories based on photographs.
What research did you need to do for this book?
I mainly write from my imagination and from things I know, so none really. Apart from finding out what one of the photographs was... I had no idea what it was!
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
I’m at work on the stories for the second book in the Mind’s Eye Series. I’m writing 3 stories for this book. There are more writers involved in this one (Jason McIntyre, Ben Ditmars, Helle Gade, and J. Michael Radcliffe will be joining me and Darcia), and Helle Gade will also be providing some of the photographs as well as poetry. Martin David Porter has again provided some great photos for this book. We’re already thinking about a 3rd book in the series as it’s so much fun!
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
I did a blog post recently about my ‘writing process’, which explains the way I write.
With Perspectives, the writing process was slightly different as I was taking my inspiration from photographs rather than ideas. This was fun and also a challenge. I spend a lot of time staring at the photos and wondering whether I could ever come up with a story!
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
A pen and paper. Preferably silence.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
I enjoy the freedom of self-publishing. No deadlines, no one telling me what I can and cannot write. Not trying to fit into any particular genre.
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
The three biggest challenges with any books are:
1. Finding time around the day job to actually write it
2. Editing (the absolute worst part of the whole process)
3. Finding an ending that works
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
I have never encountered it in nearly 20 years of writing, therefore I don’t believe it exists. Write when you’re ready to write not because you feel that you have to write every day. I don’t think writers can or should write every day.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Get help with editing.
What genre does your book fall into?
I don’t believe in genres. I write in many different genres and sometimes one short story may contain elements of at least 3 genres.
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Paulo Coelho - I love all that spiritual stuff and he writes it well. I always find myself nodding and agreeing when I read his books. Also, when I read The Alchemist, I remember thinking I would love to write a book like that. It made me pick up a pen.
2) Maeve Binchy - I used to read her books when I was in my twenties; I liked the way her characters were so real and just like normal people.
3) For my third choice, I am going to group together all my indie author friends; they inspire me every day to carry on writing. I can see their passion and I read their books, and they are a real motivation to me to carry on. It isn’t easy to write a novel, but they soldier on, for years, even when we see little or no reward in monetary terms. They are writing for the love of the art and that inspires me more than words can say. In particular Darcia Helle, Julie Elizabeth Powell, and J. Michael Radcliffe. All very talented, all so deserving of a wide readership.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I was a bookworm as a child. I had so many favourites including all of the C.S. Lewis children’s books, Swallows and Amazons, Alice In Wonderland, Roald Dahl’s books... the list goes on
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
There are so many, I couldn’t choose just one. I read mainly books by independent authors, and the wealth of talent out there is extraordinary.
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
All the books I’ve enjoyed are worthy of recommendation. I always leave reviews so that others can find them.
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
Both. I actually think I prefer my Kindle now because I can carry 100s of books with me wherever I go and never run out of reading material; they are also easier to read on the Tube while standing up than paperbacks. I still love the look of paperbacks, though, and having bookshelves with books displayed on them.
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
It depends which book it was. The most important thing to me would be that someone who played the role was interested in the story and could empathise with the character he/she was playing.
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
Drink – tea
Meal – pizza
Holiday destination – a beach
TV programme – EastEnders
Film – Shirley Valentine
Method of travel – car
Sport – tennis (watching)
How can people connect with you?
Where can readers find your book?
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