Sunday, 4 December 2011

Author Interview With Maria Hardy

Well, we have a little something for you today that is a bit different – we have our very first Lunchtime Book Review author interview!

So I want you to put your hands together as I introduce you to Maria Hardy who is the talented author of the charming children’s story ‘Tina the Snowflake’.

As some of you may know, I have written a few articles on a site called HubPages and one of the other hubbers that I follow and greatly admire is known as Hello, hello.  As you may have guessed Hello, hello is none other than Maria Hardy, who has graciously agreed to answer my questions today.

So Maria, what led you to start writing?

I worked in offices all my life and loved writing - in those days by hand and typewriter. I am also a bookworm. When I retired I started writing. To begin with it the results were not great but the more that I wrote and read, paying attention to phrasing and the lay-out of stories and novels, the more I improved. I know that I have got so many stories in my head and would love to get them all down.

What was your inspiration for Tina the Snowflake?

I love snow and it somehow started to materialize. I also love writing children’s stories because I am still a great dreamer. I first saw that snowflake sitting up there and then I had to give it some personality. From there I thought about the stars above. So I made Tina dream of getting up there. To me getting a story together is like a jigsaw puzzle. I have one thing and I have to think of either what to do with it or how to follow on.

How long did it take to write Tina the Snowflake and were there any obstacles that you had to overcome along the way?

I had the story in my head for a long time and sort off jiggled about with it. With my children’s story of Tina, published under the author name Eva Brooks, I realized that I had to write short and plain sentences. I found it a bit hard because when you start writing you get carried away. To write it took me about a few days because it isn't very long but I had it sitting on my computer for almost two years and sometimes went back to re-write some parts of it.

Did you find it difficult to decide where to publish?

Regarding publishing, I would have gone with any good publisher but I had so many rejections that I gave up. What annoyed me the most and put a final stop to approaching a publisher again was that I found out they have agencies that do nothing but send out rejection letters. I am sure that these agencies don't even look at the stories, let alone read them. Publishers only take you on when you have a famous name or if your self-published book was a great success. It is disgusting the way they treat writers.

How difficult was it to put an ebook together?

It was not at all difficult with Lulu. Everybody talks about Smashwords and I thought that while Tina sits there going nowhere that I would give it a try since it was free. I am not a great computer guru and even after reading the instructions I couldn't manage to format the document to their requirements. It was rejected three times because of my 'false programming'. You have to programme it with Microsoft Word and then supposedly upload it for them to convert into various computer languages. I got annoyed because I didn’t have enough formatting experience to get it done. I uploaded the same document on Lulu and they accepted it the first time. Lulu seems to work check the document all the time because the other day they sent me an email stating I have to put the heading as well on top of the story in such and such way. As I said before, I am not a computer guru and when I asked them something, they came back straightaway with an easily understandable answer. I can only give their service and programme the highest praise.
Lulu also publish books free of charge and when somebody downloads it or buys a book they take a percentage. When they publish a book there is also no limit on how many can be printed.

Where else do you write and what are your writing plans for the future?

I write articles on Triond, Bukisa and Flixya. I also write some news reports for TEK Journalism UK. I have a number of children’s stories and three novels in various stages. The children’s stories I will upload to Lulu sooner rather than later. At the moment I have already another story uploaded called 'Peter Pine' which is the story of his life growing up in the forest, going to the forest school and then growing into a beautiful pine tree. He, his brothers and sisters are chosen to be Christmas trees but with their roots planted in the ground.

So for all you budding authors out there, Maria is giving us all a lot of inspiration to keep on writing and that we can still get our work out there if we are rejected by the traditional publishers.

I would like to thank Maria for joining us today and as it is a celebration of her launching her ebook publishing career I think that a glass of bubbly would be in order!  Cheers Maria and I hope that you enjoy great success with ‘Tina and the Snowflake.

Find Tina the Snowflake  published under the author name of Eva Brooks on Lulu for a great Christmas read!

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