This interview also appears on the Bedroom Books Blog as there is so much useful information.
Maria Moloney is an author, publisher of Our Street Books (children's books) and Dodona Books (divination), and a new YA/NA imprint coming up soon. She's worked for John Hunt Publishing for 5 years as a publisher, publicist, and editor. As an author she has five MBS books in print and a children’s fantasy novel, The Changeling Quest, which is part of series Children of the Fae. Maria is a teacher of creative writing and hold writing workshops and also workshops on spiritual subjects internationally. She lives in Ireland.
Where do you get your writing inspiration?
My fiction writing ideas come from myths, legends and folklore and a close connection with nature. I read and research constantly.
You are able to switch genres – how do you that so beautifully?
Thank you! Switching isn't difficult for me especially if there are links between them. Fiction is my love and always has been and fits right in with my non-fiction writing both of which are often centred around my interest in myth, folklore and nature.
As a publisher what makes your heart sing when you get a proposal?
When something comes in that is not only well written, but which also has a fresh style and unique storyline (or with new information and approach if it's non-fiction).
What makes it sink?
Books that haven't been well thought out - tired storylines or subjects that have been done before many many times, books that jump on the bandwagon of current trends, and books that are far too short to do anything with. Rhyming books seldom work. Sometimes the author doesn't have enough writing experience. I understand that, and as a writer you just have to keep improving your writing, visit bookshops, internet and libraries to see what works and what doesn't.
How would you describe a typical day?
If I can, and I've risen early enough, I try to do some writing. I then usually spend the morning checking and answering emails, followed by any blog updates and general networking. In the afternoon after a walk or workout and lunch, and sometimes into the early evening, I work on book publicity and editing. If I have time after dinner, I go back to my own writing and try to finish by reading before retiring to bed. There's no time for TV for instance.
Please share your thoughts on the importance of editing
We often turn down books that just need too much work, even though we like them. Editing is important. Some writers seem to think that most writers just sit and write and then have a quick look over their work and then that's it. However, this is far from the truth, they edit and re-edit, improving as they go, looking out for plot holes if it's fiction and cut out waffle if it's non-fiction (often a 90,000 word book is actually 60,000). It is hard work but has to be done. Editing fiction is often not done well; checking dialogue punctuation for instance is much easier than writers think, yet many do not do it. All you have to do is open any well written fiction book to see how it's done. Cutting out excess dialogue tags is also important and can badly let your writing down.
What advice can you share for potential authors?
Ensure your book is as good as you can get it before submitting. Is it unique in its approach? What does it offer the reader they won't already know? Is your book just a rehash of Harry Potter or the Enormous Crocodile? Have you edited it? Any of these could be why your book is rejected. Put some thought into projects; it's hard work but it's all part of being a writer. The internet is a great source for advice. Join author forums and groups. Join your local writing group. Take a writing course.
Where can people find you?
My own fiction website is:
News from the Muse
These posts are a mixture of information, interviews and tips for writers and those who are interested in getting published.
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