Maria Geraci, Author of the Month
Maria Geraci was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised on Floridaâ€™s Space Coast. Her love of books started with the classic, Little Women (a book she read so often growing up, she could probably quote).She lives with her husband and their children in north Florida where she works part-time as a labor and delivery nurse by night and writes romance full time during the day (sleep is not an option). Her first book, Bunco Babes Tell All, a sexy, funny womenâ€™s fiction story debuted in May, 2009. The follow-up, Bunco Babes Gone Wild, comes out in November. Maria is currently working on a romantic comedy scheduled for an early 2011 release date. You can visit her website at www.mariageraci.com.
What inspired you to become a writer and how long did it take from the first draft to the first sale?
I’ll be honest, I really can’t say what inspired me, although I’ve always loved to read. One day, I dropped my husband off at the airport for a business trip and on the drive home, I decided to write a book and I’ve been writing ever since. Five years later, I sold my first book.
How many rejection letters did you get before you finally got the agent and/or the sale? Were you discouraged or what did you do to overcome them?
I don’t know how many rejection letters/emails I have, although I can honestly say that the majority of my rejections have come after getting an agent. I only queried a couple of editors on my own before I decided that I’d rather have an agent first. IÂ was very lucky. I think IÂ queried about 4 or 5 agents before landing my agent, Deidre Knight-although it took her about 6 months from the initial queryÂ to agree to rep me. The first manuscript she shopped for me was rejected by about 10 houses in NY, and the second manuscript (which eventually sold) was rejected by the first 7 or 8 publishers who read it. Recently, my editor rejected the first synopsis I sent her on my option book. I did sell her the book, but I had to come up with a totally different concept. So, even after being published, rejection is something you have to deal with.
Realizing that rejection isn’t personal is key to survival in this business. Whether it’s being turned down by an agent, or an editor, or even a bad review, you have to shrug it off, learn from it, and move on. Having a good support group is critical, I think, to helping you overcome the downside of writing. I know for me, without my friends, I’d be lost!
What is the most difficult part of writing and how do you get over â€œwriterâ€™s blockâ€ or something like it?
For me, the writing is the easy part. Occasionally, I have writer’s block, but I work through it and somehow the muse finds me again. The difficult part of being a writer is the lack of control you have over your finished product. From the cover, to the title, to even the way your book is packaged and sold, is totally up to the publisher. You have some input, but the end decision is mostly out of your hands (at least at this stage of my career). Maybe once I start hitting some lists, then I’ll have more input!
Are you a plotter or a panster? Do you have any daily ritual or writing routine to get you going?
I’m a combination of both. In a perfect world, I would be a pantser and sit at the computer and just let the story unfoldÂ naturally.Â But that would mean taking a lot of wrong turns, and since I write under deadline, I have to have some semblance of a plot, otherwise, I’d go around in circles until I found my way. My only routine to get me going is plugging in the coffee pot!
If you were an ice cream flavor, what would it be called and why?
What are you currently working on and what should be look out for in the future?
Right now, I’m writing another light women’s fiction story for Berkley, titled The Boyfriend of the Month Club (myÂ editor really loves the title, so I’m hoping I get to keep it!) It’s due to my editor in January and will probably come out early 2011.
Any last words or tips for aspiring writers to help them get started?
If you hope to make a living from your writing then always remember, this is a business, so treat it like you would any professional endeavor. Work hard, don’t burn any bridges, and always followÂ the Golden Rule!
Interviewed by Jax Cassidy
Maria Geraci’s Website: www.mariageraci.com