Author Q and A: Maria Vermisoglou

Author Maria Vermisoglou smiling

“Magic is in our minds. Authors make that magic real.” – Maria Vermisoglou

The Cursed Girl Volume 1

Blaque: Welcome back to another edition of author spotlight. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with author Maria Vermisoglou. Welcome!

Maria: Thanks so much for this opportunity.

Blaque: No problem at all. I’m just doing my part. Authors supporting other authors.

Maria: Yes, that is so nice of you.

Blaque: So Maria lets get started with your interview. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

Maria: Sure.

Blaque: Where are you from?

Maria: I’m from Greece, and yes, I wrote my book in English. I am the exception to the rule.

Blaque: That is quite fascinating! Your English is very good, if I do say so myself.

Maria: Thank you.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Maria: My goal as an author is to have my books loved by readers all over the world.

Blaque: So, tell me. What kind of child were you growing up?

Maria: I was shy and could be found always reading a book. Also, my mind was in the clouds, meaning I day-dreamed a lot. LOL.

Blaque: As authors, we all have those moments when story ideas won’t come to mind, or we are stuck on a particular part of a story for which we can’t see where to proceed. How do you deal with writer’s block?

Maria: I stare at the ceiling for ideas. I don’t get writer’s block often, but sometimes I just don’t want to write.

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

Maria: Christmastimes with the family are my fondest childhood memories. The entire family would gather around the table and there would be enough food to feed an army. We would talk together and have fun. We would also open presents. I guess that is why Christmas is still one of my favorite seasons of the year.

Blaque: Are there any other published authors in your family? (Self-published or traditionally published.)

Maria: No, I am the only published author, but we do have some artists in the family.

Blaque: I’ve never really been into the stars, signs, and moons craze that people speak so highly of, but I have found that most of the characteristics of my zodiac sign fit me perfectly. What is your zodiac sign?

Maria: I am proud to be a Sagittarius.

Blaque: If you were offered an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

Maria: There isn’t one particular place I would visit. I would travel all over the world. I love traveling, and I think that every place has its own unique beauty and magic.

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

Maria: I prefer to write my first drafts on the computer, because I can erase them without leaving smudges. Sometimes though, I do write down my ideas on paper.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Maria: I don’t really have one in particular, but I do enjoy listening to soundtracks, pop, and rock music.

Blaque: We can find inspiration for a story anywhere. Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Maria: I get most of my story ideas from other books – a book can spark another idea, but also from places or movies.

Blaque: What did you want to be when you grew up? Is that the occupation you’re in now?

Maria: I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I wanted something related to books. I am a librarian, so the goal was achieved.

Blaque: Many of us have other gifts besides our gift of words, do you have any other talents besides writing?

Maria: If making handcrafted items is a talent, then yes, I suppose I do. I make handmade items like bracelets, key chains, and candles.

Blaque: Yes, homemade craft making is definitely a talent.

Maria: Well, then I do have another talent. LOL.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite book?

Maria: The list is very long, but I will only mention two this time. The first is the Harry Potter series, because it taught me to love books – I hated them before. The second is “The Mortal Instruments”, because this was the book that inspired my own series.

Blaque: Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

Maria: Yes, some of my characters were inspired by people I know, or their character traits.

Blaque: Feedback from our readers are what makes writing so worthwhile. To know that someone enjoyed something that we produced, keeps the love of writing going. How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

Maria: I am overjoyed when a reader tells me they enjoyed my book, but when they tell me things like “When does the next one come out?” or “It should be a movie”, then I am over the moon.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Maria: Anything involving chocolate is my favorite type of dessert, but not always.

Blaque: We learn a lot in life as we grow and mature. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

Maria: I would tell her not to worry too much.

Blaque: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be, and why?

Maria: I have a lot of favorite authors, but I would like to co-write with an author who is just starting his/her career, because I want to help them develop, and we could learn from each other.

Blaque: What show did you enjoy watching as a child?

Maria: I enjoyed watching Pokemon. I always got up in time to see it. It was one of my favorite shows.

Blaque: When we’re starting our writing careers, we often find ourselves experiencing some difficulties. What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

Maria: The most difficult thing for me was killing a character. This was my first book, so I made the mistake of getting too close with my characters. I didn’t want to kill one of the characters, so the book was delayed. One day, I said that I would do it. I couldn’t delay it any longer. I did it, and it was painful. After that, killing other characters was easy. Another difficulty was the whole publishing process, because English isn’t my first language, but I managed.

Blaque: I’m glad to see that you overcame your hurdles, and now you have a published book to show for it.

Maria: I’m glad of that also.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Maria: Eva. She is my main character, and the difficulties she has to face are great, but she does get over them and comes out stronger than ever. I also love her because her mind is set to save everyone, even if that is a stranger. She will walk through hell and fire to save the ones she loves. She is a storm.

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

Maria: I am currently working on the second volume of the cursed girl series.

Blaque: Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Maria: My latest book is my first. I am just starting out, but the words I have for it are: Love, friendship, twists and turns, backstabbing, thrilling, and amazing.

Blaque: Well, we have come to the end of another insightful author interview. I just have one last question for you Maria. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Maria: My advice would be to write, write, and write! Write even if you think it’s pointless. You can see a tunnel right now, but in the end, you will see the light bright and shiny. Every successful author before you started small and everyone knows them now. If they can do it, why can’t you?

Blaque: Very good advice. You can do anything you put your mind to. All you have to do is do it. It was so nice speaking with you today Maria. I enjoyed getting to know just a bit more about the person behind the title of author, and I’m sure your readers did as well.

Maria: Thank you. I enjoyed sharing a bit more about myself so that my readers can know me more intimately.

Blaque: So, you know I can’t let you go without you leaving potential readers with your contact information, right?

Maria: Yes, of course not. Shall I go ahead?

Blaque: The floor is yours. Have at it.

Maria: Readers can like and follow my Facebook fan page here.
They can also follow me on Goodreads to keep up with my latest releases. If they would like to check out the book trailer for “The Cursed Girl Volume 1”, they can view it here.

“The Cursed Girl” can be purchased from Amazon by visiting this link.

Blaque: Thank you so much Maria for taking time out to visit with me today. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Author Q and A: Bj Edwards

picture of author BJ Edwards

 

Hello everyone. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with author BJ Edwards. I love to travel, but I never thought I would get the chance to take a virtual trip to visit the United Kingdom.

 

BJ: Thank you so much for having me Blaque Diamond. You should really take a trip out here. I’m sure you will find it a fascinating place to visit.

 

Blaque: I just might have to do that. The United Kingdom is a place on my bucket list that I would love to visit in my lifetime.

 

BJ: I would love to give you a tour.

 

Blaque: Awww! That’s so sweet of you. I would really like that. So, I would like to talk to you and see who you are behind your title of author.

 

Bj: There is a lot about me that people may not know.

 

Blaque: I’m sure there is. It is a great opportunity for readers to get to know you more. So, lets get started. How many books have you published to date?

 

BJ: I have had three books published to date, not including poems that have crept into anthologies. I also write plays and screenplays, some of which have been produced or published. I have a number of books waiting to be published, but publishers work very slowly!

 

Blaque: That’s awesome! What kind of child were you growing up?

 

BJ: Well, this is tricky. I suppose I was curious and creative. I asked a lot of questions and wanted to know everything I could. I always had a strong imagination which I channelled into play, then art, then into the creation of my own stories and characters.

 

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

 

BJ: At this point I should say that everyone is unique. That said, I am totally blind, I have been visually impaired all my life, so I guess it has given me a unique perspective. Allied to this, I am passionately devoted to fitness and exercise. So, I guess I am a hybrid – someone who loves books, art and theatre, and someone who loves sweating, sport and martial arts!

 

Blaque: Oh Wow! We have something in common. I am also totally blind. I haven’t been visually impaired all my life, but I am now, and I have adjusted to my new life quite well. So, if you were granted three wishes, what would they be?

 

BJ: Firstly, I would wish that one of my scripts or books would be turned into a film, that would be amazing. Secondly, I would wish that I had a part in a Star Wars film. I mean, a proper part with a lightsaber! Thirdly, I wish that I could direct one of my own plays at a West End theatre. Yes, I know, these are all really selfish, and I should have wished for world peace, or Donald Trump to spontaneously combust or something. But this is unashamedly about me!

 

Blaque: Another thing we have in common I see. Lol. I too would like to see my books performed on a stage and shown on the big screen. That would be awesome! Now, I know how I deal with writer’s block, but how do you deal with writer’s block?

 

BJ: I always make sure I am working on more than one project. In essence, I make sure I am juggling more than two balls, so if I drop one, I can carry on. So, I always try to have a story or book to write, or a play or script to write or edit. This way I can still be productive if I’ve completely ran out of steam in another project.

 

Blaque: Out of the books you have published, which is your favourite and why?

 

BJ: Stalking The Shadows will always be special to me. It’s complex, multi-layered and was difficult to write. It deals with so many passions of mine; magic, battle, anthropology, theology, fantasy. I loved writing it, and love so many of the characters.

 

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

 

BJ: Some stories start life as an emotion, a tincture of feeling that I want to communicate. Others start off from a dream, or a character or event. The key is to give the seed of an idea time to grow. Sometimes an idea will become a poem, sometimes it will become a storey or a play, and sometimes it will grow and evolve a life of its own and become a novel. Ideas are everywhere, fragments of wonder that float amongst us. The key is to capture it, take care of it, nurture it and allow it to fuse with your mind and soul.

 

Blaque: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

 

BJ: Just write. Practice and enjoy. Write for yourself, for your own enjoyment and satisfaction. Writing can be deeply personal and therapeutic, it can make you happy, elated, excited or sad. Poor emotion and imagination into your writing, and don’t get bogged down in thinking about getting published. Just write, and if you’re determined enough, or lucky enough, somebody else will enjoy your words and invest in them.

 

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

 

BJ: My zodiac sign is Sagittarius.

 

Blaque: Who is your favourite author and why?

 

BJ: This is tough, I admire so many authors. If someone was to hold a gun to my head, I would have to say Bernard Cornwell. He is consistently excellent, and his research is exemplary. I adore so much of what he writes.

 

Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

 

BJ: I am a little bit musical. I play the piano, clarinet, saxophone, and sing.

 

Blaque: What is your biggest fear?

 

BJ: Failure is my biggest fear.

 

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

 

BJ: I’ll actually text him and ask…. back in a few minutes… Ok, he said, “Contrasting.”

 

Blaque: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

 

BJ: I go to the gym everyday – in fact, I try to train for about two hours a day. I love rowing and cycling. I also love going to the theatre, watching films, music and reading. I also collect swords.

 

Blaque: What did you want to be when you grew up?

 

BJ: When I was really small, I wanted to be an ice cream man! Then I wanted to be an archaeologist, then an actor. I ended up being an English teacher, before taking up writing seriously.

 

Blaque: Are you a dog or a cat person?

 

BJ: Dogs all the way. I have a big black Labrador guide dog called Oliver. Though, my first pet was a cat called Bill, and my second pet was a Yorkshire terrier called Loo-Loo!

 

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

 

BJ: Bestselling books are seldom the best written books. My goal is to get more books published, and work with progressively bigger publishers. It would be good to get my work out into more book shops. It would be nice to come across someone on a train and notice they are reading one of my books.

 

Blaque: If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell it?

 

BJ: “You know, life is often pretty hard. Sometimes it’s like pushing a boulder uphill whilst wearing roller skates. But keep on trying, keep on working, keep believing and never give-up. Find the beauty in everyday things, and life just might work out Ok.”

 

Blaque: What is your all-time favourite book?

 

BJ: Tricky. The book that had the most profound effect on me was Wilbur Smith’s Sunbird. The book that moves me the most is Cry The Beloved Country.

 

Blaque: What is your most favourite season of the year, and why?

 

BJ: Autumn. There’s a very interesting energy to the changing of the season, the falling of the leaves and the sun as it dips lower and burns more fitfully. The smell of wood smoke, the crunch of leaves, the knowledge that Winter waits, and that bonfires will soon be coaxed into life.

 

Blaque: Very interesting interview. It was nice to see that we have some things in common.

 

BJ: Yes, I wanted to give readers a deeper sense of who I am.

 

Blaque: That I can tell. I’m sure they found out some things about you today that they never knew. So, where can your books be purchased?

 

BJ: Readers can purchase my book Stalking The Shadows: Ancient Destiny Book 1 on

 

Audible

 

It is available as an EBook and an audio book. They can also purchase my book Tesserae from Amazon in EBook or paperback versions.

 

Blaque: Where can readers find you on social media?

 

BJ: They can find me here

 

Twitter

Facebook

 

Blaque: Are you also a blogger?

 

BJ: yes, my blog can be found at

 

BJ’s WordPress blog

 

Blaque: And your website?

 

BJ: My website can be found at

 

BJ’s Website

 

Blaque: Well, everyone, I hope you enjoyed getting to know just a little bit more about author BJ Edwards. Be sure to check out his publications. If you are a fan of historical fiction, poetry, or fantasy, then I’m sure you will find some amazing adventures in his books.

 

BJ: It was a pleasure speaking with you today Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: The pleasure was all mine. Thanks for having me. I’m going to hold you to that tour of the UK.

 

BJ: I’m a man of my word.

 

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing.