Please help me welcome author Maris Soule to the blog today! I’m excited to have her her and even more excited that she agreed to let me interview her. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her, too.
Afterward, check out her release A KILLER PAST. You know what a cover junkie I am, and this is another winner. I love it.
And, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a $15 Amazon gift card. The link is at the end of the post. GOOD LUCK!
Let’s get started…
Tell us two things about yourself not many people know.
(1) I did a bicycle tour through parts of 4 European countries when I was 21. We stayed in youth hostels, a youth work camp, and inexpensive B&Bs. It was a great experience.
(2) I was the head of two (different) high school art departments for a total of 6 years.
I love those fun facts Maris! What’s the last thing you cooked?
Some breaded chicken breast strips, served with mixed vegetables.
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
I love Thanksgiving. It’s not commercial. The emphasis is on getting together with family, enjoying a meal, and talking.
That’s my fave holiday as well, for the same reasons as you :) Tell us your favorite part about the writing process.
The editing. I have the story down, now I can go through it and eliminate the repetitions, bring in the five senses, improve my sentence structure, add texture, and do all of the many things a writer needs to do to turn garbage into prose.
I love choosing character names. How did you go about choosing the names for your hero and heroine?
In A Killer Past, my heroine has kept a low profile for 44 years, so I knew she would choose a common name. The name I gave her was Mary. I’m not sure why I picked Harrington as her last name, other than it sounded good, and by making Mary’s decease husband’s name Harry, I liked the sound. Mary and Harry Harrington. As for my hero (if he can really be called that), I wanted a former Chicago policeman who’d transferred to Rivershore, Michigan so his boys would grow up in a safer environment. I wanted him to be Italian, but rather than give him an Italian first name, I went with Jack. Jack Rossini. Now, Mary has another name, but that’s revealed later in the book, and as far as Mary’s concerned, that person no longer exists.
If you could tweet your favorite line from your book, what would it be? Yep, that’s right, you only get 140 characters. :)
Of course, if Mary did tell the truth, and Clare did believe her, Mary would have to kill her.
Ooohhh…that’s a good line! Describe your hero in five words.
Lonely, curious, protective, determined, and loving
Now your heroine.
Complicated, secretive, athletic, determined, and remorseful.
Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, evening, or anytime?
I feel as though I’m the freshest in the morning (9-1:00). I used to write late at night, but now I find I get too tired and I’m not as happy with anything I do then. My problems really started when my husband retired. I now try to write when I know I’ll have a block of uninterrupted time. That changes day by day.
What makes your book stand out from others in the same genre?
I’m not 100% sure what genre A Killer Past fits in (which made it difficult to sell). It’s more of an action suspense than a mystery. There have been some movies recently where an older female is actively taking out the bad guys (Red and Red II), but most books (and movies) of this nature involve younger women. I’ve found, when I talk about the book, a lot of older women are eager to read about a kickass grandma. So that’s what makes A Killer Past different.
Can you share a sneak peek into what you’re working on now?
Meadow Lark Williams, who’s in her late 50s, is nudging my creative thoughts. Meadow moved in with her father when his wife/her mother died. Her father has dementia, and Meadow is trying to decide what’s best for him now that her mother’s not around to care for him. Her father was a burglar in his younger days, and Meadow learned the “trade” from him and his friends. I know a series of burglaries are going to occur in the retirement community where her father lives, and I know a woman her father has an argument with is going to be found dead, but the whats, whens and whys are still up in the air.
Most people in the town of Rivershore, Michigan view Mary Harrington as a quiet widow whose only oddity is that she spends a lot of time at the gym. Her son thinks it’s time for her to move into a retirement home. Two gang members think she’ll be an easy target. No one in Rivershore knows what Mary did in her younger years—really did—but the two gang members discover they’ve underestimated their victim . . . and Mary fears reverting to old habits may have jeopardized her future.
Mary limped into her living room and sagged into Harry’s Lazyboy. Her heart hadn’t stopped pounding since she’d left the two boys. Even though pain radiated up her leg, the adrenalin racing through her body overrode the sensation. Excitement clashed with fear. My God, what had she done?
The boys hadn’t been content to simply take her purse and run. Oh no, they wouldn’t leave it at that. The short one blocked her escape while the tall one looked inside her purse. He said a twenty wasn’t enough, wanted to know where she’d put her credit cards, where she lived. They’d threatened her.
When the tall one grabbed her arm and reached for the lapel of her jacket, she didn’t even think before she reacted. Forty-four years might have passed, but her body automatically responded with ingrained moves. A shift of position, one step back, and she had her assailant off balance. She used her cell phone as a weapon, jamming the edge hard against the bone of his forearm. As she applied pressure, a sweep of her foot, along with a twist to her side, had him falling forward. The moment he hit the ground, she dropped down and slammed her knees into his back and ribs. Before he could react, she used the edge of the cell phone to cuff his ear, then grabbed his arm and gave a violent twist. He started screaming right after she heard his shoulder pop.
A quick roll to the side put her on her back. The short one stared down at her, his mouth open and his eyes glazed with confusion. She knew she didn’t have much time, but springing to her feet was not an option. Her joints might remember the moves, but age had robbed her body of its elasticity. What once had taken a single maneuver now required three stages, but she was on her feet before Shorty truly understood what was happening.
She used the cell phone in her hand to deliver the blow to his face, a side kick took out his knee, and a chop to his neck put him down on the ground. In the past, she would have finished him off then, finished both of them off. She knew the killing points. Two strategically placed jabs, and both of the boys would be eliminated, no more threatening old ladies.
But that was in the past.
“You stay where you are,” she demanded over their whimpering.
She retrieved her purse from where the tall one had dropped it, gave the pair one last glance, and turned away. Breathing hard, she hoped she wouldn’t have a heart attack before she reached her house.
Writer, teacher, artist, wife, mother, dog trainer, horse rider, boater. Maris Soule can list an array of occupations and avocations. Even as a writer her 29 published books span a variety of genres and subgenres, ranging from short stories to romances, romantic suspense, and mystery. A two-time RITA finalist, Soule has placed in and won several writing contests. Born and raised in California, Soule and her husband now spend their summers in Michigan and their winters in Florida.
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