The Writer's Life with Horror Author Maryann Paige




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 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.


Welcome to The Writer's Life, Maryann Paige. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: Hello. I’m an avid reader, a lover of history and a horror/paranormal author. I’ve been writing since I’ve been ten-years-old, but decided only recently to pursue becoming a published author.


Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: The name of my novel is Hidden Shadows. It’s a paranormal tale of a young boy who sees, and then is eventually confronted by the entities referred to as the shadow people. I had written the book because my younger son insisted he had seen them for years. Finally, when I exhausted every avenue of trying to convince him they did not exist, I started my research. I found out my son was not alone in seeing them. I decided to write a fictional account based on his experiences.


What kind of research was involved in writing Hidden Shadows?

A: There was much research that went into Hidden Shadows. I read countless tales and stories on people’s experiences with the shadow people. I asked my son to draw what he saw, and spoke to him often over what he believed the shadow man wanted. I took notes and then compared to them the stories I found online. The similarities were amazing. My son was only three-years old when this started.


Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

A: It’s been a very bumpy ride to publication. Each publishing house has their own formatting rules, so I had to change margins and various text items with each submission. Many wanted inquiries, others wanted the complete manuscript mailed via the postal service, and yet others were closed to any new submissions for years. The lead time for an answer can be over a year, and this can be frustrating for a new writer, who is looking for immediate feedback. There were also publishing houses that never answered me at all. A rocky road it is, but I think in the end well-worth it.


For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

A: It took about 18 months for Hidden Shadows to receive a contract. An e-publisher, Club Lighthouse Publishing, headed by Terri L. Balmer, took a chance on a new writer and my manuscript and offered me a contract.


Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: I don’t have an agent. I did try looking when I first began my quest for publication; however, the agents that impressed me most were not taking on any additional manuscripts, so I moved forward on my own.


Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes, I plan on continuing my writing. My publisher, Club Lighthouse Publishing, has released Cemetery Gates, and in the winter will be releasing Wolf Strap. It is a fast-paced, chase novel, filled with werewolves and set during a winter storm in Greenwood Lake, New York. I feel it’s my best work to date. As writers, I know we learn and grow with each passing novel, and I’m looking forward to showing off better writing skills.


Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

A: I enjoy writing late in the evening. I turn on my electronic candles and sometimes put on spooky music for motivation. My children are in bed, the house is quiet, and that allows me to dive into my make-believe world and try to bring my characters to life.


If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

A: If money were no object, I would love to create frightening book trailers and play them on all of the local networks. I feel that novel trailers have been a welcomed addition for novel promotion and they are so much fun to make.


How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

A: Self-promotion is the key to becoming a successful novelist. I’m not saying, it’s easy. I’m a modest person and have had a difficult time trying to drum up sales for my books. In the past, I saw it as bragging, but realized, if you do not sell your novel, then most likely no one will purchase it. If no one purchases it, you will never receive any feedback, whether it be positive or negative. That hinders your growth as an author.


What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

A: I believe many new writers give up their dream because the entire process can be frustrating. The length of time it takes the busy publishers to answer, the lack of any feedback for rejections, and the continual wondering where did you, as a writer, go wrong, when you receive the rejection letter can be overwhelming. There is also so much incredible talent in the field that sometimes you can lose your confidence.



Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

A: I have always felt that writers are born. Yes, the craft needs to be perfected, and it can be as you study your art, and move along with each novel. Like I said earlier, I have seen better writing on my own part in my third novel. Those of us that write, have always done so, and will always take pen to paper or finger to keyboard. While it may be a long, hard road to publication and fame will not brush the bulk of us, it’s still an obsession, a love and a desire. I say, Don’t give up. Keep writing and write everyday, no matter what it’s about.


Thank you for your interview, Maryann. I wish you much success!
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