Maryann Paige was born in Brooklyn, New York, lived in Nevada and Texas and landed back in her home state. She resides in the beautiful Hudson Valley and uses the area as the setting for her novels and stories. She attributes the idea for her first novel, Hidden Shadows to her younger son, who claims to have met the shadow people on a nightly basis. After researching and learning of them, she decided to write a novel loosely based on her son’s experiences. Please visit Maryann at www.maryannpaige.com to find out about her latest novel, Cemetery Gates.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Maryann Paige. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
A: Hidden Shadows was my first novel. I have also released my second novel entitled, Cemetery Gates.
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
A: The first book I had ever written was called They are Here, a science-fiction attempt, and something I would never try to bring to publication. I was eleven years-old and had a bit of an obsession with the mysteries surrounding the Egyptian pyramids. One can easily tell it’s a book written by a child. It remains at the bottom of my junk drawer, exactly where it belongs.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
A: Hidden Shadows received close to eight rejections prior to making a sale. It’s a cumbersome task because many publishing houses do not allow simultaneous submissions, so one presents their work and waits. The time frame between penning the novel and publication of Hidden Shadows was about eighteen months.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
A: The rejections didn’t feel good. Unfortunately, the publishing houses are so busy; they are unable to give any suggestions or tell a new writer where they have gone wrong. However, I was determined and kept submitting my manuscript.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A: Hidden Shadows was published by Club Lighthouse Publishing whom carries an array of all genres from erotica to horror. Terri L. Balmer and her staff are amazing people and perfect for new writers. I decided to go with CLP because Terri was responsive, professional and supportive.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
A: When I heard the news of be offered a contract by CLP for Hidden Shadows, I had burst out of my office at work, and jumped up and down. It was very exciting. I went home that evening and starting writing my third novel, Wolf Strap.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
A: The first thing I did to promote Hidden Shadows was to made flyers and put them all over my town, trying to drum up some interest in the book. I think it was successful, too. Anytime, I went into my favorite deli, the owner kept asking me for more leaflets.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
A: If I had it to do over, no, I would not choose another outlet. CLP took a frustrating situation and turned it around for me. I loved the individual attention I received, although I’m a new author.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
A: Oh, yes, I have grown as a writer. Cemetery Gates has been released and I’m working on other novels, too. I’m currently editing on my third novel, Wolf Strap, and can see how much I’ve grown as a writer. It becomes easier to see your own mistakes, those wonderful grammatical errors, and where you need to slow down or speed things up within the story.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
A: If I had it to do over, I would have done more research on the publishing industry. I had always focused only on the writing part. If I would have had a better understand of the semantics of the industry, I would have known what to expect and that would have made it less frustrating.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
A: The biggest accomplishment for me since being published has been receiving a positive review from Bitten by Books. Hidden Shadows received 4 out of 5 tombstones. The reviewer said she enjoyed the story, empathized with the characters and wanted more. She also offered a critique on what she thought may have been a problem within the novel. I welcomed it and have taken it into consideration for my future projects.
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
A: Writing is not how I’ve made my living over the past years. Professionally, I have been a manager in corporate America for an import company. I would love to hang up my business suit to write full-time, and am hoping someday I may be given that opportunity. My business background has helped me in the writing profession. Writing is so much more than penning a good story. It’s a business and needs to be approached as such. There is marketing, sales, art work decisions and many other things involved in each project.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
A: As my future as a writer progresses, I would love to eventually become involved in film. I can see Hidden Shadows as a scary and interesting movie playing on Saturday night on the Horror or SyFy Channels.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
A: My final word to other writers is to believe in you. Take your passion and keep writing. Don’t let a day go by where you forget your dream. And, today there are more opportunities than ever before to become published and get noticed. The electronic age we live in makes all of this possible. Keep up the good work!