The Soft Side of Maya Reynolds

September 27, 2007 | Interviews

ST: Hi, Maya. Tell us about your writing space.
MR: I write in the smallest of my three bedrooms, which I use as a study. The room was originally a child’s bedroom and, when I moved in, had Winnie-the-Pooh curtains. I liked the bright primary colors, so I kept the cutains where they were.

I have a friend who is an interior designer. Those curtains drive her to distraction. LOL. She gave me a beautiful set of rose, white and green draperies so I’d take down my Winnies. The drapes are stored in the closet, and Winnie-the Pooh still rules!

When my nieces were very young, I started a Beanie Baby collection for them. They outgrew the fad, but I still have the collection. I hung narrow shelves around the top of the room about eighteen inches below the ceiling. The Beanie Babies sit on those shelves.

I wanted a very long, functional desk so I bought a seven-foot butcher block kitchen counter that sits atop two-drawer file cabinets. I have a desktop and laptop computer and two printers on it. I also have a card table set up next to my desk where my research and manuscript pages are spread out.

There are three seven-foot tall bookcases that occupy almost all the wall space. There’s a smaller bookcase that holds a television and VCR, a rolling stand with my word processor on it, a fax machine and a shredder.

ST: Sounds like a fantastic work space! Now that you have the ideal environment, what’s your favorite part of writing?
MR: That feeling of excitement I have when my characters start doing unexpected things.

Once my characters become real to me, they also begin dictating the action. If I try to make them do something that isn’t in character, they balk. While it’s frustrating, it also pleases me because it means they’re more than just cardboard figures.

ST: What do you absolutely hate about being an author?
MR: The feeling that there is never enough time in a day. Between working full-time, writing, blogging, marketing BAD GIRL and just trying to live, it seems I’m always two beats behind.

ST: In your opinion, what’s the most important thing for a new writer to learn?
MR: The difference between writing for pleasure and writing professionally. When you write for yourself, you can be indulgent. You can leave scenes in because you love them. You can meander all over the place without getting to the point. You can fill pages and pages with narrative or backstory.

When you write professionaly, you’re held to a higher stand. Publishing is a business, and you must learn to treat it as such. You need to learn proper grammar, spellling and punctuation.

In the same way that a professional athlete is just a cut above a talented amateur, a professional writer must learn to be a cut above and amateur hobbyist.

ST: Excellent advice for new writers and a good reminder for established authors.
MR: Thanks! Now I have to get back to work, if you don’t mind. I’ll see you again in the morning.

ST: Sounds good. Until then…

Happy Writing!

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