Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wild Roses Blog Tour: Interview with Maya Blake

Welcome back to the Wild Roses Blog Tour!

My guest for the second leg of the tour is Crimson Rose romantic suspense writer Maya Blake. Maya's debut novel, Hostage to Love, was released by The Wild Rose Press last year, a lifelong dream come true for this 30-something writer. She lives in Kent, England with "my husband and two adorable (in my opinion, LOL!) kids."

I might also add that Maya has excellent taste in movies and leading men, as one of her favorite films is 2003's Girl with a Pearl Earring, starring Mr. Darcy himself, Colin Firth.

Before we begin, here's a quickie log line of Hostage to Love, for you to keep in mind during the interview.
Crushed by betrayal, Belle Winkworth-Jones flees the shambles of her short-lived marriage, only to be kidnapped by a vicious rebel soldier determined to keep her for himself. Nick Andreakos mounts a ruthless rescue to save the wife who walked away from him, even though he's resentful Belle could dismiss their marriage so easily.
Below, you'll find a link to where you can buy Maya's exciting romantic suspense, but for now, let's get going with the interview.

Aileen Harkwood: Welcome, Maya! Thanks for bringing the tour bus to a stop at my blog. My first question is something I think a lot of readers wonder about authors. You may spend all day writing, but what do you like to read? Is it the same type of fiction you write, or do you long for a change of pace when you pick up a book for pleasure?

Maya Blake: Writing and reading pure romance is my first love, but I also love reading crime thrillers – I finished the latest David Baldacci, True Blue, just this afternoon. Would I like to write pure crime? I think stopping myself from infusing a thread of romance into my writing would frustrate me endlessly. Even when reading non-romance book, I find myself secretly hoping for a touch or a spark of romance.

AH: The more I read, the more I've noticed that many authors like to pick a place and to set most of their stories there. For instance, Heather Graham concentrates on the southern coastal states in the U.S., while Kay Hooper likes to write about the Carolinas. Other romance novelists, Nora Roberts comes to mind ,will set their stories a variety of far flung places. How about you?

MB: While I love reading about places I’ve known and visited in the past, my wanderlust spirit is always exploring different places to write about, so most of my settings are a mixtures of places I’ve visited and places I’d love to visit, with a larger emphasis on the latter!

AH: Me, too! Do you have a favorite part of the story telling process to go with your favorite places?

MB: I have two – the first connection/meeting and the love scene. Why do I love it? I think there’s something about that first moment when you bring two characters together, knowing they have a bumpy ride ahead of them before they get their happy ending that gives me a thrill. Then there’s the first time they truly come together, the spiritual or emotional connection, because even though my characters don’t know it yet, that connection had bound them for life. That makes it very special for me.

AH: You loved Colin Firth in Girl with a Pearl Earring. Do you ever “cast” the roles in your books with film stars or other people you’ve seen?

MB: I don’t “cast” my characters per se. I might get an image in my head of what the characters could look like and then they seem to grow from there. I think when you concentrate too much on what TV or Hollywood character your hero or heroine could be like, it tends to dilute character building. Sure, I might “borrow” one or two physical attributes, like giving my heroine Mila Kunis’ awesome eyelashes, or McDreamy’s square jaw line, but that’s it.

AH: Speaking of characteristics, are there any potentially controversial qualities, or situations for heroes you would hesitate to write, and do you think these are things that would ever become accepted in the romance field in the future?

MB: Stem-cell research and the production of “designer babies” are subjects I’ve been particularly fascinated with, but not enough to venture writing a story about. I’m sure there’re some talented writers out there who would be happy to or are even tackling subjects like that now. Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, I believe, tackles this subject.

AH: Now for a total change of pace. I'm going to ask you to put on your book industry forecasting hat and give me your opinion: electronic or dead tree books? Where do you think we're headed? Are printed books dead-tomes-walking?

MB: Paper books will always be with us, IMO, because I know people who simply refuse to read electronically. For that reason, while I applaud the strides e-books have made, I think the two will continue to co-exist side by side for the near future, with hopefully, the e-book industry growing to match paper book power.

AH: I agree. Sometimes you love your eReader, others, you just want to hold an old-school style book in your hands. Last question, and I think you've earned it. What do you do to reward yourself at the end of a long day...or a long interview?

MB: By reading a great book or watching a movie with my husband with a glass of delicious rosé and chocolate within arm’s reach.

AH: What better combo? Before you go, can you give readers a hint of what you're working on right now?

MB: I have a few short stories in progress, which I hope to publish with The Wild Rose Press. I’m also working with a couple of Harlequin editors at the moment.

AH: Excellent! Sounds like readers have a lot to look forward to from you. Thank you, Maya! It's been a pleasure.

MB: It’s been fun answering your questions, Aileen, and thank you so much for having me here today!


Wondering where to find Maya on the Web?
Follow these links:
You can buy Hostage To Love here

I know that Maya would love to respond to your comments, so please leave one below, and check back next week when my guest will be paranormal and romantic suspense writer Christine de Petrillo.


  1. Hi Aileen, Hi Maya! Great interview. I love Colin Firth too (but then, I suspect all ladies with a pulse do!). I love reading and writing that emotional scene where the characters first truly connect too. I was watching Pretty Woman last night (research!!), and the moment when Julia Roberts kisses the sleeping Richard Gere on the mouth (the one thing she refuses to do with clients) was wonderful. So powerful, and no dialogue at all!

  2. Hi Sally. Thanks for stopping by. Colin Firth *sigh* Pretty Woman *double sigh*. I soooo get you on those "powerful without dialogue" scenes. I think that's what made me LOVE Girl With A Pearl Earring. There are so many of those scenes between Scarlet J and Colin F! Now if only I could harness all of that powerful emotion into my own writing, I'd one happy bunny!

  3. Me, too, guys! I am a total Colin Firth devotee. Once I saw him in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice there was no other period romance film actor who could compete.

    For me, the most romantic part of the book and mini-series is when Mr. Darcy comes upon Lizzy after she's read Jane's letters about Lydia. He immediately wants to spring into action on her behalf.

  4. Great interview, Aileen. And I'm definitely going to add Maya's book to my wish list for my Nook!

  5. Oh thanks, Lilly! Feeling Nook envy here though. Waiting impatiently for the Aug 27 when I get my UK Kindle!

  6. I love blurb and I'm looking forward to reading the book.


  7. Hi Maya,
    Great to 'meet' you here. I haven't tried rose wine with chocolate yet - what type of chocolate goes best with rose? For me, it's dark chocolate and dark red wine that's the magic combination.

  8. If you want to be fancy, Romy, M&S do a fab Swiss chocolate that goes with any wine. Otherwise, I adore any old milk chocolate. I've got the sweetest tooth known to man, so dark choc is okay but milk is KING!


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