Friday, June 7, 2013

Meet - Maria Savva

As part of her Blog Tour for the release of Delusion and Dreams I am very pleased to have Maria Savva here at Pinky's Favorite Reads today ... YAY !
 
Where are you from originally?
I was born and brought up in London
 
Tell us your latest news?
I have just released a new collection of short stories, 'Delusion and Dreams', it's my fourth short story collection.
 
If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
This is easy, I would choose my fellow indie authors on Bestsellerbound.com. We've been a community for a couple of years now and I think of them as my friends. It would be so cool if we could all get together for a dinner party. We live in different parts of the world, so I've only me a couple of them in real life. It was great meeting Jason McIntyre when he came to London last year, and I've met Julie Elizabeth Powell, as I was at her wedding reception. I'd love to meet the other members one day. I'd also invite some of my indie author friends from other networking sites, as there are so many fun and talented writers out there, many of them have become friends even though I've never met them as odd as that may seem.
 
What are your current projects?
I am editing a collection of three short stories, which will be titled, '3' and will be released as soon as I can find time to edit. I also started writing a novel last December, and wrote about 15K words and a plan, but then I left it on the back burner so I could put together Delusion and Dreams. I'm looking forward to getting back into that one; it's a fantasy with a rock fiction slant. I was enjoying writing it.
 
What books or authors have influenced your writing?
I would say that I am influenced by every book I read. When I was starting out, I was very influenced by my favourite authors at that time; Paulo Coelho, Maeve Binchy, Marian Keyes, Gabriel García Márquez. But in recent years, I've been reading more independently published books and have been influenced by many of them.
 
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
If I could choose a bestselling author to meet, it would probably be either Stephen King or Paulo Coelho as both of them have been influential to me, and are extremely talented. I would also like to meet my fellow indie author Darcia Helle because we have a lot in common and have become good online friends over the years.

What book are you reading now and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
I'm also in the middle of Stone Cold, by Jenny Hilborne, The Other Side by Terry Tyler, and No Justice by Darcia Helle. All in e-book format on my Kindle. I had to stop reading those for a while so I could finish editing my book, but am now going to get back to them. These days, I always read lots of books at the same time.
 
Tell us a little about your background. When did you start writing?
I've always loved reading and writing, but studied law at university and became a solicitor. I worked as a solicitor for about 15 years, in various different fields, including Family Law, Criminal Law, Immigration Law, Conveyancing, Wills & Probate, Litigation. A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from those times as I met many interesting people and heard a lot of stories.
I started writing my first novel, Coincidences in 1997 when I was out of work. Before that, I had mainly written short stories.
 
Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas, for me, can be inspired by something someone says, by reading the headline, or hearing a snippet of a news item on TV or the radio. By overhearing a conversation between strangers. Just about anything, really. Then once I get the idea in my head, I have to write it.
 
What is your writing process?
I write. That's the process for me. I rarely have a plan when I start writing. I just write from ideas in my head and see what comes out. The first draft is always very badly written; bad grammar, bad spelling, incoherent ramblings. I then have the process of going through about 10 re-reads and re-writes before I am happy with it. So, for me writing is more re-writing and trying to get it to make sense!
 
Do you write full-time now?
No, I work full time as an administrator at a university. My writing time is at weekends, evenings, and I can usually be found burning the midnight oil.
 
Can you tell us a little bit about Delusion and Dreams?
Delusion and Dreams is a collection of 12 short stories; some are new, and some are old but re-edited for the collection. The title of the collection is also the title of one of the stories, which is a short story told in four parts. Some of the stories were found on an old floppy disk and some were written years ago and were sitting on my computer. It was good to be able to include them in a collection. About half of the stories are new. The themes include, obsession, love, memories, betrayal, crime, greed, luck, loss, passion.
 
How long did it take you to complete?
Altogether, writing and editing, about 5 or 6 months. Some of the stories were already written, which helped.
 
Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?
Rather than 'based on' I would say 'inspired by'. I haven't really used any of the character traits of people I know, but some memories from my past did inspire the tales. I think we always subconsciously base characters either on ourselves or people we know.
 
Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?
Elements of me are in all my characters. Most of my books and stories are inspired by real events, so many of my own experiences go into a lot of my writing. But everything is entirely fictionalised to make it more interesting and entertaining, really.
 
Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?
My cover is a photograph called 'The Journey' taken by Martin David Porter of Mart's Arts Photography. His Facebook page is here, https://www.facebook.com/MartsArtsPhotography, where you can see many of his photographs. He was the photographer for one of my favourite bands, Thunder, and that's how I came across him, I think. We've been Facebook friends for a while, and when he posted this lovely photograph on his page one day, I just knew it would be perfect for the cover for Delusion and Dreams. He very kindly said I could use it.
 
Where did you get the inspiration for your cover?
Just by looking through hundreds of photos and trying to find one that fitted. Initially, I was going to use a photo of a daisy because that kind of represents the theme delusion and dreams; people use that flower for 'he loves me, he loves me not', and that ties in with the main story, Delusion and Dreams, which has the theme of obsessive love. When I saw Martin's photo on Facebook, though, I just knew that would be ideal because there is the dark side of the photograph, and there's a dark side to many of the stories; and I thought birds in the sky is quite a good representation of dreams, i.e. the dream of being able to fly away.
 
Does your reading inspire you and your work?
Yes, as I touched upon in one of your earlier questions, I am inspired by every book I read. Lately, as I've been reading more indie books, that tend to be more creative (there's more freedom to write what you want to write as an independent author), I have begun to read many genres that I would never have read in the past. For example, Julie Elizabeth Powell and J.Michael Radcliffe's books made me a fan of fantasy, and I have also incorporated some fantasy in my own writing; my novel, The Dream, is partly a fantasy. Then there is Darcia Helle, and Jason McIntyre, who write dark fiction. Reading their books encouraged me to explore the darker side in my fiction.
 
Where can we find you online?
The best place to start is my website: http://www.mariasavva.com There are links there to everything you need to know.
I can usually be found on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Maria_Savva
I'm a regular and one of the administrators on http://www.Bestsellerbound.com, an indie authors' forum

Blog: I maintain a blog with Darcia Helle and J. Michael Radcliffe: http://www.quietfurybooks.com/BestsellerBoundRecommends We welcome submissions from indie authors there.

Book trailer: http://youtu.be/9GpnRbYIPVc
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Maria-Savva/e/B002BOCDGM/
Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MariaSavva
Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1418272.Maria_Savva - I use the blog on my Goodreads Author Page to interview other indie artists, and update my readers with all my news.
 


3 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for being part of the tour, Pinky! I'd also like to let your followers know about the giveaway - until 22nd June you can enter to win a signed paperback copy of Delusion and Dreams, and some great runner-up e-book prizes. Check it out here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8e3a003/ Good luck! :)

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  2. Maria, I didn't know you were at Julie's wedding reception! I'm envious you've already met Julie and Jason. I would love to have that dinner party!

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  3. Yes, I was actually invited to go to Julie's wedding in Florida, but I was having my heart op around that time so I couldn't go. She had a reception in England shortly after for her friends in the UK. It was nice meeting her. If I had been able to go to Florida, maybe I would have been able to meet you too! Bad timing!

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