Friday, July 10, 2015

Interview With Author Maris Soule by Jacqueline Seewald

Greetings! Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Maris Soule. She was born and raised in California, taught high school art and math for 8 years. She was lured to southwest Michigan after marrying the blue-eyed redhead of her dreams. Together they built the house they lived in for 27 years, raised two children, owned, bred and showed Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and created a mini-farm with horses, pigs, goats and lots of other critters. She didn’t start writing until 1980 and initially didn’t plan on writing romances, but she loves a happy ending. That’s also what she likes about writing mysteries. The good guys win in the end. Soule and her husband now live near Lake Michigan in the summer and Florida in the winter.

Question: What is the title and genre of your novels?  Why did you select them?

I have two mysteries out this summer. (Didn’t plan it that way.) One is A KILLER PAST. The other is EAT CROW AND DIE. The title for A Killer Past was more or less dictated by the story itself. (If you read the book, you’ll understand.) Originally I was calling Eat Crow and Die a Murder of Crows, but my editor told me there were too many books with that title and to come up with something new. So I went on FB and asked for suggestions. When Eat Crow and Die was posted, I knew that one would be great. It continues the “crow” theme in my titles and clearly indicates it’s a murder mystery.
Question:   What inspired these novels? How did they come about?

The question of “What would Lara Croft be like in her 70s” inspired A Killer Past. For Eat Crow and Die, I’d left P.J. Benson (the protagonist in the P.J. Benson mystery series)  wondering if she was pregnant and her boyfriend, Wade Kingsley, about to lose contact with his son. Added to that, a few years ago a boat blew up not far from where our boat was moored. Since Wade had a boat, I thought, Why not blow up Wade’s boat and kill a few people? Especially if that would make Wade the key suspect.

Question:  Could you tell us a little bit about the heroines and/or heroes of your novels?

Mary Harrington, in A Killer Past, has spent the last 44 years of her life trying not to garner attention. Most people see her as a nice, old lady who goes to the gym regularly, is a widow with a successful son and a beautiful, 18-year-old granddaughter. Little do they know what Mary did in her 20s. However, when she puts two gang members in the hospital after they try to mug her, Sergeant Jack Rossini, begins to suspect there’s more to Mary than anyone knows.

P.J. Benson is a CPA who seems to attract trouble, starting with a man dying in her dining room (The Crows), which is when she meets Deputy Wade Kingsley. In As the Crow Flies (the second book in the series) she manages to put her life in dangers again, and now, in Eat Crow and Die, she feels she must prove Wade didn’t cause the boat to explode, killing his ex-wife and her new husband. After all, Wade is the father of her unborn child, and she doesn’t want him put in prison.

Question:   Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?

I’ve mentioned my two earlier mysteries, The Crows and As the Crow Flies. Prior to switching to mysteries, I had 25 romances published. Two were RITA finalists, others won or placed in several contests for romances.

Question:   What are you working on now?

I’m working on three stories. One is a suspense set in Alaska. That one’s ready for final edits. I’m also working on a short story that will pick up P.J. and Wade’s lives after Eat Crow and Die, and, of course, include a mystery. And finally, I’m in the initial thinking stage of a mystery set in a Florida retirement community where homes are being broken into, and my main character is the daughter of a burglar.

Question:   What made you start writing?

I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember, tried writing in my teens but was discouraged, and didn’t consider it a possibility until I had two pre-schoolers. The house we built was in a rural area with very few nearby neighbors, and most days my mental stimulation was “Sesame Street,” “Mr. Rogers,” and books. One day I read a mystery with a romantic sub-plot that caused me to say, “I could do that.” To which my husband said, “Then do it.” It took me three years to learn the craft, and I’ve been writing ever since.

Question:   What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?

READ. Read what’s being published nowadays. WRITE. Write what you enjoy reading or what you feel passionate about. LEARN. Learn the craft. Read how to format a manuscript, write a synopsis or query letter. Know how to submit. And finally, PERSIST Keep trying. Keep learning. Keep submitting.

Question:  Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?

Both books are available now as hardcover and e-book
Barnes & Noble: (for hardcover of A Killer Past only)

For more information about me, go to:

*Maris is available to respond to comments and/or questions.


Susan Oleksiw said...

I love the titles and the covers, and the advice to writers--succinct and to the point.

Betty Gordon said...

A wonderful interview, Jacquie.

I look forward to reading the two mysteries by Maris Soule. A romance author joining her talents to the mystery genre -- couldn't be better.

Maris said...

Thank you, Jacqueline, for inviting me to be on your blog. I loved your questions. They made me think.

Maris said...

Susan and Betty, thanks for stopping by.

Allan J. Emerson said...

I think your advice to writers is spot-on, especially the "persist" part. It's easy to give up when no one else seems interested in what you're doing.

That's quite a hound you have in your photo--rare to see a dog bigger than it's owner :)

Jan Christensen said...

This was a great interview with Maris. Definitely made me want to read her books. One more question I would have asked--Maris, is that a current picture with you and the dog? It is gorgeoous.

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful interview. I love learning more about authors. Maris is a fabulous author and I'm glad to see that she's keeping busy!

Maris said...

Jan, that picture is one taken in 2009. The dog is a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I'm afraid he's no longer with us. He died at age 12 1/2. He was over-sized for the breed at 31 inches at the shoulders and 150 pounds, but he was a fantastic dog. I still miss him.

Maris said...

Allan, we called him our gentle giant. People were always telling me to get a saddle for him. I now have a miniature poodle. What a difference.

Maris said...

Thank you, Melissa. By the way, I loved your dog's blog.

Nancy Means Wright said...

An excellent interview and two talented authors! I love that dog, too. An amazing creature!

Sharon Ervin said...

Your usual thorough job interview.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thanks everyone for your great comments for Maris and me! A pleasure reading them.

Maris said...

Thank you, Nancy and Sharon.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Excellent interview, Jacqueline. And hi to Maris. I'm so impressed with the cover art for your books. Really looking forward to reading both of your new releases.

Maris said...

Thank you, Pat. I thought both cover artists did excellent jobs of capturing the mood of the book. You'll see that A Killer Past's cover is especially appropriate if you read the book.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Jacqueline: Thanks for interviewing Maris and bringing these books to my attention. I'm always adding to my TBR pile but Eat Crow and Die may go to the top of the heap.
Maris; I'm wondering what part of Fla. you go to. I'm from there so when I see Florida my radar goes out. Your books sound great. Good luck!

Maris said...

Joyce, my husband and I are in Venice, Florida from the first part of December to the end of April. If you're near there, please email me so we can get together some time. I just recently started receiving the Florida chapter of Sisters-in-Crime newsletter. I understand some members are trying to start a chapter on the west side of the state.

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