Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Author Interview: Maria Murnane

We are thrilled to have Maria Murnane join us today for a little Q&A. Maria is the author of Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)Adventures of Waverly Bryson and the newly released, It's a Waverly Life, both of which I loved!

GJR: What made you decide to revisit Waverly after Perfect on Paper?

Maria Murnane(MM): Last summer I was approached by a Hollywood film rights agent. She loved Perfect on Paper and also was very impressed by the way I’d branded Waverly Bryson with her Honey Notes and related products at, as well as through Facebook and Twitter (are you friends with Waverly yet? Ha ha). The agent also represents the authors of Capote and Legend of the Guardians, which were both made into major motion pictures, so having someone with that type of experience tell me Perfect on Paper would make a great movie was an eye-opener for me. I realized how much potential there is for Waverly to become an iconic figure in American culture, so I started working on a sequel pretty much right after I got home from that meeting. Plus tons of readers had been asking for a second book, so I figured it was time. :)

GJR: Waverly is adverse to change yet her life is always changing, what makes her better equipped this time to handle those changes?

MM: In Perfect on Paper Waverly is forced to realize that life doesn’t always turn out how you think it’s going to—romantically or professionally. Her experiences are often painful (and cringe-inducing), but they offer important life lessons, and she takes that knowledge and maturity with her into the second book.

GJR: When you first introduced Nick, my initial thought was “Oh no, she’s going that way!!!” Then you didn’t fall into that typical “chick-lit” trap. What made you decide to go against the grain and not have a love triangle?

MM: Actually, I never even considered that angle. That’s something I love about being a writer-- when readers tell me they were expecting something different, or something I hadn’t thought of at all! As for the idea of typical “chick lit,” I want my books to be realistic, and I don’t know too many people in real life (after college, that is) who have been caught in love triangles. It’s hard enough finding one guy to like, much less two. Ha.

GJR: How much of Waverly is autobiographical? Do you have a McKenna and Andie in your life?

MM: I have a McKenna but not an Andie. I love Andie though. I think I created her because I think it would be so fun to have a friend like that, don’t you? As for Waverly, I guess you could say she is my alter ego. We’re very similar personality-wise, but our lives are very different. I like to say that her life is like my life…if my life were WAY more exciting.

GJR: Of all the Honey Notes/Sayings throughout both books, which one or ones are your favorite?

MM: Great question. I think I like the one that says, "I know nothing, but at least I know that."

GJR: Have you ever thought about doing a Honey column on your site? If not, why?

MM: That is a great idea! Do you think people would really send me questions? That would be hilarious.

  • GJR's response: Um, heck yeah!!
GJR: What’s next for you? Anything next for Waverly?

MM: Actually, I recently finished the first draft of Waverly book #3! If all goes well it will come out next summer. The working title is Honey on Your Mind, and it picks up a few months after It’s a Waverly Life ends. Yay!

GJR: You were a self-published author before, how has moving to Amazon Publishing changed the process for you?

MM: Besides the production, distribution, marketing and international rights support that Amazon Publishing provides, for It’s a Waverly Life I was also given an experienced creative editor to work with, and her feedback was incredibly helpful. Having a professional’s opinion really made a difference in the final product. Everyone needs an editor. :)

GJR: You maintain 2 Twitter accounts (@MariaMurnane & @WaverlyBryson), do you ever get confused about whose voice you’re tweeting with?

MM: Ha ha no, although I do find myself getting confused sometimes when I go back and forth between Facebook accounts. I usually tweet about publishing, editing and writing, or about my books, and Waverly tweets when she sees a guy running down the street in tiny nylon shorts. Why do men who are not in the Olympics wear tiny nylon running shorts anyway? Yikes.

GJR: When you write, do you have to have background noise or total quiet? Has this changed as you’ve developed as a writer?

MM: Usually totally quiet, although sometime I play very soft classical music in the background. Anything else and I get distracted. I’ve always been like this. When I worked at a PR agency that had an open floor plan, I used to wear earplugs to focus on my computer screen. One coworker even nicknamed me “Earplugs.”

A huge THANKS to Maria for taking the time to answer our questions. Do yourselves a huge favor and buy Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)Adventures of Waverly Bryson and It's a Waverly Life.

I will be looking forward to the 3rd installment in Waverly's adventures.

For more about Maria please go to her website.



Maria Murnane, author of Perfect on Paper and It's a Waverly Life November 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM  

I had fun doing this interview with you and am so glad you enjoyed my new book. Go Waverly! :)

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