I met Betty White and Garry Marshall on the same day.
When I hosted author events at a Waterstone’s Booksellers many moons ago, we had a double-header event with the two actors. While Garry was reading from his autobiography, I hung out in the back office chit-chatting with Betty. She is even more awesome than you think she is.
Learning is my jam.
In spite of swearing off all things school after finishing my MA in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College, I continue to take courses regularly. If it interests me, I’ll find a class to take. I’ve completed dog training classes, learned jewelry-making (which lead to side gigs at a bead shop and selling my own jewelry), and a friend recently showed me the knitting ropes…uh yarn. Over the last several months I refreshed my editing and book marketing skills, and tossed in some new writing courses to boot. Click here for the list.
I’ve been writing, editing, and beta reading fanfiction for 20 years.
Farscape was the show that first pulled me in to fanfic writing, and I’ve loved every second of it. I’ve written and beta’d in the Farscape, HBO’s Rome, True Blood, and most recently, Once Upon A Time fandoms. Several of my fic-writing friends also write original fiction that I’ve had the honor of editing. I owe much to the fanfic communities I’ve belonged to. They were—and still are—incredibly supportive writers and readers who, in their hearts-of-hearts, love a well-told story as much as I do.
Meeting Madeline L’Engle left me star-struck.
When I was in college, my mom took me to an event in New York City to meet our favorite author, Madeleine L’Engle. It was a tea party for about a hundred people. After speaking to us, we got the chance to get something signed by her. Naturally, I forgot my dogeared copy of A Wrinkle In Time, but they had book plates available for her to sign. When it was my turn to talk with her? Words were lost to me. She was kind and understanding and I still can’t gather the words to express how much it meant to meet her.
My jobs in grad school were the opposite sides of the same coin.
One day I’d be running a book signing with Wicked author, Gregory Maguire at Waterstone’s Booksellers, and the next I’d be writing a press release for Clive Cussler under literary publicist, Sandra Goroff. Needless to say, I loved my life.
Yer a designer now, Maria!
My publishing career started in customer service answering phones. One day I was perusing the job board, daydreaming about a graphic design position in a different division, when our Marketing/Advertising VP walked by and asked what I was looking at. I told her and mentioned I had been doing design in my grad school classes and enjoyed it, and she nodded and walked on. The next day she offered me a job doing graphic design for her department. Twenty plus years later, and there isn’t anything I haven’t designed: books, advertising, marketing collateral, websites, logos, swag.
I learned web design to make a fan site.
Back in the early days of the Interwebz, I taught myself HTML to make a resource site for Farscape fanfic writers and artists called “ScapeRoute.” Not only did I help fandom creators do their thing, but eventually it lead to me becoming a Web Master for one of Houghton Mifflin’s divisions.
I’m on a Farscape DVD.
No, I’m not an extra. When Farscape was cancelled, fandom rallied to save it (spoiler: we did!). A campaign documentary was filmed as it was happening, and I was interviewed during one of the conventions. I talked about my small part in the campaign on the marketing team, and how all I wanted was to know how John Crichton’s story ended. Now his ending, and my face are on the same DVD!
I am currently writing a book about waiting.
If there’s one thing writers know, it’s waiting. Am I right? I have an intimate relationship with it, too, that deserves some exploration. Sit tight with me while I get it in shape.
Talking story is my favorite thing to do.
Tell me about your story! I’m here to help you write it, polish it, turn it into a book, and sell it to the masses. Contact me now to support you on your publishing journey.
Wanna see my full resume? Download it here.