The Write Side of Life

September 25, 2007 | Interviews

ST: Let’s jump right in, Maya. What made you decide to be a writer?
MR: I don’t know that there was ever an actual decision. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading or writing. I honestly think it’s in the genes. My father was a technical writer, and my mother was a huge reader so our family ethos included very positive feelings toward both reading and writing. My mom didn’t drive, but every week, she would put my younger brother and me in a wagon and pull it down the hill of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey to take us to the library. We’d fill the wagon with books and lug it back up the hill toward home. It seemed completely natural to me to make the jump from reading to writing as soon as I could. One of my three brothers is now a well-known sports columnist with a major U.S. newspaper.

ST: How long have you been writing?
MR: Before I could physically write, I told stories. By the time I was ten, I was writing plays for my friends and brothers to perform.

ST: How many books have you written?
MR: BAD GIRL, the first to be published, was my fourth full-length novel.

ST: Which is your favorite and why?
MR: BAD GIRL, of course. LOL. In the very beginning, I got emotionally caught up in Sandy and Justice’s love story. It was quirky and unusual. They have very real, very honest feelings, and the heat level is off the chart.

ST: Do you find writing to be fulfilling? And in what way?
MR: I don’t know that I’d use the word “fulfilling.” Writing is necessary to me in the same way eating, sleeping and breathing are. Even when I’m not actually writing, I’m watching people, wondering what their stories are. Or I’ll hear a news report and think, “Wow, wouldn’t that make a great book?”

ST: What’s a normal day like for you?
MR: I get up at 5:00 AM and go straight to my study where my laptop is. I don’t even turn on a light; I like being surrounded by darkness with just the lighted screen in front of me. It helps me to focus.

I work until 6:45 when I have to get ready for work. I get to my office by 9:00, where I’m very busy so the time passes quickly. If I don’t meet someone for lunch, I read and answer emails.

I usually leave work around 6:00 or 6:30 (after the traffic dies down–I have NO patience for rush hour). I don’t push myself to write in the evenings although once or twice a week, I usually find myself in front of the laptop. I have a fixed goal of words per week. If I haven’t reached that goal by Friday afternoon, I write over the weekend. Even if I’ve reached my goal, I frequently find myself wanting to get back to the story at hand.

ST: You’re very dedicated, but with your busy life how do you find time to write?
MR: We make time for the things that are important to us. It’s a simple matter of triage–prioritizing things according to need. If writing isn’t in the top three or four on your list, you probably aren’t serious about being a writer. I’m VERY serious.

ST: Thanks for taking the time with us today. We’ll be back tomorrow with more from Maya Reynolds. Until then…

Happy Writing!

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