Friday, May 29, 2020

Interview with Maria Claridge | Author of Hare and Tortoise Have Counselling

Amanda:  Give us a quick introduction to you. Published books, what you write, etc.
Maria: Hi, my name is Maria. Hare and Tortoise Have Counselling is my first self published book.
I am currently writing a pre school/children’s book about Japanese culture and also a fiction book about a young woman having bipolar.

Amanda: Favorite book you’ve published so far?
Maria: Hare and Tortoise haha as it’s the only book I have published so far. ☺

Amanda:  Most fun character to write? Favorite character to write? (Because they can definitely be different. ;) ) Hardest to write?
Maria: I found the counselor animals fun characters to write, choosing which animal they would be, and how they would interact with the Hare and Tortoise.
Being someone who likes goal setting, I found the Hare more relatable than the Tortoise so it took slightly longer to write the Tortoises story, as I wanted to ensure I got it right.

Amanda: Did you like to read as a child? Favorite book? Do you still have that book or reread it now?
Maria: I loved reading as a child! Growing up I read Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton. I am a huge fan of Jacqueline Wilson. Girls Under Pressure is a book all girls should read. The Phillip Pullman and JK Rowling book I also found very magical and inspirational. I still love rereading all these books.

Amanda:  Have you always been a writer/storyteller? How did you start?
Maria: I have always enjoyed writing short stories and poetry from a young age. I’m actually working on some stand up comedy, where I am learning how to tell stories in a comedic way.

Amanda:  Do you write to music? If so, what kind? I love to hear about new music!
Maria: I actually just wrote a short song (with the help from a dear friend) for my partner as an anniversary gift. I can’t sing very well, so I sing on top of my friends voice.

Amanda: I know for me, there have been some funny stories since I’ve been deep in the trenches of writing. Like a realization about a work in progress or characters (the funniest has to do with the song Mirrors by JT.) Do you have any funny stories that you’d like to share?
Maria: Through having counseling, and now studying counseling, I have learnt allot on what NOT to say as a counselor. We were taught early on not to make suggestions and I recall having a counselor who made endless suggestions to try solve my problems.

Amanda: Do you have a typical process or any writing rituals? Anything you have to have with you while writing? (Besides computer, paper, typewriter, whichever…)
Maria: Anything I write, I like to check it over with my partner as he always gives me very honest feedback! I like practicing yoga and mediation before I write, as ideas always come to me before writing.

Amanda: Who is a character that has influenced you (not from your books)?
Maria: Ellie from Girls in Love, Girls Out Late, Girls in Tears, Girls Under Pressure - Jacqueline Wilson

Amanda:  Which of your characters would you least want to go on a road trip with? Why? Most want to?
Maria: The current book I am writing, I write about an ex boyfriend, who I definitely would not want to go on a road trip with.

Amanda:  Top three favorite books and authors right now.
Maria: Bernardine Evaristo - Girl, Woman, Other – everyone needs to read this
Harriet Tyce - Blood Orange – gripping read
Morgan Harper Nichols – Story Teller - such inspiring poetry

Amanda: Favorite writing craft book?
Maria: The Illusion of Money (not a craft book, but really motivated me to write the book, and to follow passions)

This or that:
Strawberry vs. Chocolate  Chocolate always
Poetry vs. Fiction.  Ohooo BOTH
First draft vs. Editing.   First draft
T. V. Show vs. Movie.  Movie
Book vs. Movie. Book
Hero vs. Villain  Hero
Villiain vs. Anti-Hero Villian
Witch vs. Vampire.  Witch
E-book vs. Physical Book  Physcial Book
Tea vs. Coffee.       Green tea

Amanda: Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?
Maria: Yes!
Children’s book called ‘The Hafu Child’  - this is the story about a half English, half Japanese girl trying to understand her cultures and identity at her primary school in England.
Young Adult/Adult book called ‘This Girl Can…Sometimes’ – this is book about a young adult experiencing love, depression and mental health issues. You go on her journey and witness all the good, bad and the ugly.

Any last comments to share? :)
Maria: Thank you so much for this lovely interview!
Amanda: Thank you for stopping by!!

This is a story based on the characters from the Aesop’s Fable, ‘The Hare and Tortoise.’ For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Hare and Tortoise decide to have a race. In the race Hare decides to take a nap, allowing Tortoise to overtake him and win. But what happens to the Hare after losing the race? How does Tortoise come to terms with his new found fame? Through the different types of counselling Hare and Tortoise embark on a journey of self discovery.

Maria’s website
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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