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Maria Secoy on Writing

I found Maria through a Facebook site for Romance Writers. I was struggling with a question and Maria got back to me immediately. I was shocked to think that though she was across the other side of the world in the US, she would respond so quickly, until we discovered our time-zones overlapped for that short period.

'Why don't we catch up for a brief chat.' Maria suggested she could help me as a writer. No charge, just a free conversation. Rare these days, I thought.

So after a good half hour of insightful information, Maria felt she had helped me sufficiently to work my own way through the remainder of my needs. 'No charge. I just like connecting with other writers. If I can help I will. Some take up more consulting time and I charge, however just a small conversation is more like networking.' she told me. And so our friendship began.

Here is my interview with Maria.

What made you want to become a writer?

I didn't want to be a writer. I wanted to be a pediatrician. In fact, I started college as a biology major. It wasn't until halfway through my time at Truman State University, that I looked around and went wow, this is really hard. Getting an English degree would be much easier, so laziness played a big role in my path to becoming a writer. From there, I became a teacher. I loved supporting other writers, and I loved writing alongside them. It was so powerful to me to see the influence that written words can have both on readers and on the individual who wrote the words. So, that really pushed me to do a lot more of my own writing.

What book/s have you written? Genre? Why was your inspiration?

I write the On-trail Love Adventure series. It is a series of romantic suspense novels set along the Appalachian Trail in the eastern half of the United States.

It features strong women who never need rescued because they rescue themselves. They are happy and comfortable being independent individuals. They are still romance novels, though they allow love into their lives because it enriches them. It just adds to their joy in life. They already have fulfillment.

My books do include heavy elements of mystery and crime and my most recent one, Gloria’s Gumption just came out January 12. It features a serial killer stalking the Appalachian Trail.

Gloria works with FBI Special Agent Collin Warner to solve the case, but it’s ultimately her knowledge that solves the case. My inspiration is my own time along the Appalachian Trail. I live in the Appalachian Mountain, just about 20 minutes from the trail. I have hiked more than 200 miles of it. I hope to hike the entire thing before I die. That's on my bucket list. I usually hike solo, and it’s been incredibly powerful for several reasons. I always get the question “Are you okay and safe out here by yourself?” It’s always asked by a man who is hiking the trail by himself, so I usually look back at him and respond, “Well, you know, I have to ask you the same thing. Are you okay out here by yourself? Do you feel safe?” I've had this conversation with at least half a dozen different men on the trail. They give me a funny look and never seem sure how to respond, but it's just as valid a question for them as it is for me. Unless they plan to use their maleness as some form of weapon or protection, we’re both equally vulnerable out here.

What do you love about being a writer?

I love the ability to write the future and rewrite the past. I am a firm believer that we must first imagine things before they can become reality.

For us to have a world in which women truly are respected as being equally capable as men, in terms of running companies, hiking by themselves, and managing their own lives, we need to first imagine what that looks like. That’s ultimately what I strive to do as a writer. I look at the world around me and I think, I wish this were true. And every time I think that, I then go sit in front of my computer and I write a world in which it is true. I write a situation in which that does happen. And when I look at the past and I see things that feel wrong to me, I love being able to go sit in front of my computer and rewrite them to make them right. Because to me, art and reality reflect back on each other. They are mirror images of each other with just a slight distortion. And that distortion is where we are able to open up possibility.

So, I love being a writer because it ultimately empowers me to influence the culture of the world around me.

What do you help writers do and why?

I help writers become profitably self-published authors, because I believe that everyone should share their visions of the future, their revisions of the past, and their perspective on the world. I firmly believe that story is the vehicle that carries our culture through time and space. When we look at parables, fables, and the history of oral storytelling, story is the single most powerful method of communicating our culture. That makes it vitally, life-alteringly important.

When I say profitably self-published authors, it’s recognizing revenue as a symptom of connections between readers and writers. That's really what I specialize in. I'm not into fancy marketing. I'm not into you know, trying to push and sell your books. I am all about helping writers recognize who their reader is, who will appreciate, enjoy, be inspired or comforted by, and devour their stories. And then, how can we make sure their book is visible for those people? So that those readers can find their book.

That's what I help writers do. I help them connect their book with the readers who want and need to read it.

And, I do it because I firmly believe that stories are the single most powerful vehicle to carry our culture through time and space.

You can connect with Maria on Home - All Write Well | Self-publishing Support www.allwritewell,com or her Faceboo site. I would highly recommend her services and support if you are just starting out, or need a bit of inspiration - and dont forget to check out her books too

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