Welcome to my stop on the Identified: The Maya Price Story Blog Tour hosted by Megan at Reading Away the Days. When I read this book I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it! The author, Faith A. Rice Mills, has created an interesting and relate-able world that I would love to be a part of.
Want to know more about the story? Check out my review!
As my part of the blog tour I was able to ask the author some questions about her book and her writing process, below are her answers.
- How did you come up with the inspiration for the story?
"You know, I'm not entirely sure. I just had the idea on a long distance drive from my to my boyfriend's (now husband) house. I came up with a girl named Maya, who was able to travel between dimensions, and the story has evolved from there..."
- Who is your favorite character?
"Probably Lamar. He's so awkward and dorky at first, but he has the courage and the strength to sacrifice his own needs for the sake of others. I also like Luz because, like her, I tend to say exactly what I think."
- Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?
"The only character based on someone I knew is Maya's brother, Carl. He is based on a childhood friend of mine, also named Carl. My friend Carl was very mellow, good-natured, and kind of quirky, just like Maya's brother. However, Carl passed away after we graduated from high as a result of a car accident, for which he was not at fault. I wanted to include him in the story as a way for all of us who love him to remember him."
- How hard was it to self publish your book and promote it?
"So. Stinking. Hard. First of all, I had to find beta readers, find a cover artist, learn how to format the book and find a good editor. Also, I am not very good at self-promotion. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. But, I am slowly learning. I am meeting bloggers, disseminating my book internationally, and finally figuring out how to use Twitter to my advantage. Also, there is no formula that guarantees people will read your book. Sometimes you market your book all that you can, sit back, and cross your fingers that people decide to read it."
- If you could control one of the four elements, which would it be and why?
"I think water, for several reasons: 1.) I could make it stop raining when the weather is screwing up my day, 2.) I could fill up my water bottle when I get thirsty and 3.) I could easily put a swimming pool in my backyard."
- What made you decide to you different styles throughout the story? For example, you used diary entries, future character memories, transcripts and Maya's own narrative.
"I like stories written in first person, because you really get to know the main character, but that is not what I wanted to do with Maya. I wanted the focus to be on Maya, but I wanted to involve the other primary characters and have readers get to know them as well. I also wanted there to be a little bit of a mystery left to Maya. As far as the first person letters, journals, and interviews are concerned, it was my goal for readers to have hope for Maya's story and not think that everything turned out bad, which is why I included the journal entries with dates in the future. I thought that these first person accounts would be a way for readers to get to know the other characters, and the history behind Maya's story, without taking the focus away from the protagonist."
- How many books do you plan on writing in the Maya Price series?
"I go back and forth between four and five. Sometimes I think four won't be nearly enough to cover all of Maya's story, but sometimes I think five is way too many. I guess we will have to see. However, I do not plan for it to be more than five books."
- What is your favorite part of being a writer?
"I really enjoy creating these characters and watching them grow. I am creating personalities, quirks, strengths, weaknesses, preferences, etc. It's really fun to make up people!"
- What advice would you give to future writers?
"Always write down your ideas! There are times when I'm, you know, out for a jog or at Starbucks, and I will have an amazing idea for the next part of Maya's journey. But, by the time I get home, I will have forgotten about it. You should always carry a small notebook or, if you have a smartphone, use a note taking app to record your ideas. Also, reading helps your writing. Reading builds your vocabulary and enhances your understanding of grammar. I am always reading something. In fact, I get kind of stressed out if I don't have something to read. Finally, never be afraid to let other people read what you have written. Your readers will have great suggestions and helpful criticism."
- Why should people buy and read your book? Other than the fact that it's just plain amazing... :-)
"This is a coming of age story. Maya has to leave her hometown (which is her comfort zone) and figure out how to be an adult. While we may not all be able to throw dirt around only using our thoughts, or change what people are hearing, we all have that experience of having to leave home, learning to be an adult, and discovering who we really are. I think readers of all ages will be able to see a little bit of themselves in Maya and in her journey."