Q&A with M.A.George
1. What are you listening to right now? Do you listen to music while you write?
I’m physically incapable of writing without tunes…I have a wee bit of an addiction to music. I’m currently listening to the Great Gatsby soundtrack. Holy cow, Florence Welch is phenomenal (as always)!
2. Would you mind explaining a little about your writing process? (Things you need or like to have with you. Any fun rituals?)
I occasionally jot story ideas in a spiral notebook; but the vast majority of the time, I’m sitting in my cushy chair in the living room with my netbook perched on my lap. Must have the ear buds in (see aforementioned music addiction). I write chronologically; so if I have ideas that aren’t going to fit into the current chapter, I put them in a random mishmash in a separate document. Then I pull them back into the story when the right moment comes along. I usually obsessively reread each chapter at least nine or ten times before I move on to the next. Who are you calling neurotic?…
3. Was there a specific event or anything that inspired you to write Proximity?
The idea for Proximity literally popped into my head one morning. It started as a vague idea…A woman living on Earth—trying to blend in like any other average person—only with one distinct hurdle: She isn’t human. From there, Palta’s story took off.
4. Did your characters ever take control of the story and surprise you?
Frequently! While I usually have a fairly good idea where I’m headed with the story, I do like to keep my mind open to random “suggestions” from my characters. They may take me on a detour that I never expected. I actually love it when they do that…It’s almost like I’m the original reader of their story, watching it unfold for the first time.
5. What book are you reading right now?
I’m all over the place with my reading (as in, I often wind up reading three or four things at once…Yes, it’s an illness). I had taken a break from The Sunne in Splendour (by Sharon Kay Penman) and I’m getting back to it now. It’s beautifully written, just a little intense…so I have to read it in segments to catch my breath.
. Can you tell me your top three favorite couples from the books you've read? Maybe a little about why?
I can’t help but go to the classics for these…not because I don’t love plenty of the “current” couples out there, but because I have an unnatural addiction to the classics. (Bear with me, it can’t be helped.) My first choice would be Jane Austen’s Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot (Persuasion). I love that they get a second chance at true love after all the years apart. My second pick is Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester. I know it’s a little creepy that his wife has been locked in the attic and whatnot, but I give him props for providing housing and one-on-one care for a woman he was deceived into marrying. And I love that he and Jane love each other for the person within, not the outward appearance. Finally, I’ll go with John Harmon and Bella Wilfer (from Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend). It’s all around just a fantastic story, and I love that John and Bella rise above being thrown together for monetary gain and choose instead to find real love, even if it means poverty.
7. If you had to write it all over again, would you change anything?
I’d probably be changing little things every day! I’m just that way. I know the romance between Eric and Palta develops quickly—and I’ve contemplated whether it should have taken more time for them to fall for one another—but I don’t think I would actually change it if I had the chance. There’s a sense of urgency throughout much of the story; and I think slowing it down might have killed that.
8. What was the hardest thing about writing Proximity?
Stopping to eat, sleep, do pretty much anything other than continually type! Proximity came out in a flood of ideas that wouldn’t turn off. Thankfully, the flood slowed down a little bit for the rest of the series…not to say I lost my enthusiasm, just the frenzy of ideas got a little better-controlled.
9. Would you mind sharing about whatever you’re working on right now?
I’m currently in the midst of the third book in the Proximity series. It picks up shortly after Relativity’s conclusion, and I’m sincerely hoping readers will enjoy the continuation of Palta’s story!
1. Can we expect any new series from you in the future?
I have my next story brewing in the back of my mind, and I’m very excited to get started with it. Since I can’t seem to focus on more than one project at a time, I will be finishing my current WIP before I move on to this new idea. I haven’t decided yet if it will be a stand-alone or a series. We’ll see!
11. Have you considered writing a novella about Sabela and Dominick?
It hadn’t occurred to me, but I’m loving that idea! Thanks for the food for thought!
12. Who was your favorite character from Proximity and Relativity and why?
Palta is a favorite. Even though she’s not “me” (i.e., she’s an entire person in her own right), I identify with her very much. And she often has the guts to say the things I’d only be thinking in the back of my mind. That being said, I have so many favorite characters from this story. And Eric (a.k.a. Aeron) is my dreamboat. Love him.
13. How about your least favorite? What makes them less appealing to you?
I think Bito Obo would have to be my obvious least favorite. The guy’s just a scumbag. Imagine the nerve, tormenting my favorite characters like that. To make it that much worse, he presents himself as squeaky clean. It’s infuriating.
44. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?
My kids are my life, so hands down that would be spending time with them. Specifically, we’ve taken up camping lately (trailer camping, that is), and it has been a complete blast. Making amazing memories with my favorite little guys.
15. Reese Cups or Reese Pieces?
Cups! No contest. I’m not that drawn in by a candy shell; but give me melty chocolate and peanut butter, and I’m done for.
16. And now, before you go back to the writing cave, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us? Or even a deleted scene?
How about an excerpt from Chapter 8? Palta stumbles upon an unexpected scene, and shortly thereafter finds herself passing out next to her secret crush *Gasp*…
I regained consciousness with my face still resting against his chest, rejoicing at its steady rise and fall. His heart thumped powerfully in my ear, and I paused there to listen to the most wonderful sound imaginable. I would have been content to daydream there for hours, but I snapped back into reality as a low groan resonated in Eric’s chest. I quickly pushed myself up and scooted back to sit a few feet away from him, suddenly uncomfortable with physical contact.
Eric reached his hand up to rub the side of his head as he slowly propped himself up with the opposite elbow. His eyes passed over the contents of the cramped shed, coming to rest on my face.
“Palta?” he asked, the confusion plainly visible on his face.
I hesitated momentarily, preoccupied with the fact that he knew my name. “Yes?” I finally managed to speak.
Regaining his polished composure, he lowered his hand and pushed up to a seated position. With a polite tone, he said, “Forgive me, Palta—but I seem to be having difficulty recalling how we got here…”
“How’s your head?” I asked, as he reached up again to massage the side of his scalp. “You took quite a blow.”
He lowered his eyes, tilting his head to the side and creasing his forehead for a moment as he considered the idea. Eventually he collected himself again as he looked back up toward the door. We both realized simultaneously that the light through the tiny window was beginning to fade to night.
Eric began to shift his weight to stand, but faltered as he stumbled backward into the cabinet behind him.
“Sit back down,” I urged him. “You’re still weak…You lost a lot of blood.”
Suddenly he froze, his eyes now wide with alarm as he focused on my left shoulder. I looked down to see the conspicuous patch of orange beginning to dry on my sleeve.
I looked back up at his face, still frozen with shock, with an anxious tension in my eyes. I waited for a moment, then sighed aloud with the thought of what I was about to do. Tentatively, I raised my hand and touched my fingertips to my right temple. Diverting my eyes away from his, I slowly swept my bangs up and back, carefully tucking the strands behind my ear. After a long pause, I shifted my eyes back to meet his gaze.
Eyes still wide, he swallowed hard as he took in the sight of me. Then, with a startling jolt, he turned and darted toward the door. I sat motionless as the sound of his footsteps pounding on the pavement rapidly receded into the distance.
I stayed there for several minutes, utterly spent, mulling over the images in my mind. I was used to the unusual—but this evening had gone well beyond unusual. My mind settled on two concerning realities:
Firstly, the sight of my ears could definitely clear a room.
Secondly—and much more disturbingly—Eric Moran was deathly afraid of me.
**Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you so much for having me over for an interview! It’s been a joy! And thanks for reading… :))
Thank you again for taking time and doing the interview. I truly enjoyed reading your book and chatting with you. Hope Palta told you about the interview she just did for me! *smirking*
About M.A. George
M. A. George is part happily married mother of two adorable children, part super top secret agent...Oops, probably just lost that job.
Writing is what keeps her up into the wee hours of the night. Fortunately, she has a lot of energy (Read: caffeine is her friend). She has a bit of an obsession with music (It does a fantastic job of tuning out rambunctious children while she attempts to focus).
She sincerely hopes people out there enjoy reading her work as much as she enjoys writing it. And if anyone hears of work for a super top secret agent, she's now available (Discretion guaranteed...).