Thursday, June 30, 2011

Behind The Words // Maria Savva

Maria Savva is one of those fine folks who is always a pleasure to speak with, work with and, in my case, even write with. Late last year, I had the distinct pleasure of co-authoring a suspense-farce novella called Cutting The Fat with Maria and, boy, did we have a blast. Among many benefits, that exercise allowed a writer like myself into the world of someone like Maria and probably allowed some readers of hers to find me -- and vice versa. 

Maria's been writing and publishing for years and has a strong network of other authors, readers and friends. When Maria pipes up or follows something she feels is important or worthwhile, the entire internet turns its head. Trust me on that.

She's been called the nicest woman in indie lit...and for good reason. Without further pause, let's go Behind The Words with the wonderful writer known as Maria Savva...

Maria talks Maria...

I’m Maria Savva, and I’ve written lots of book, but I doubt anyone has heard of them. My first novel, ‘Coincidences’, was born when I was out of work in 1997 and decided that I should write a bestseller to save me from homelessness. Little did I know that the best route to homelessness is by becoming a writer. ‘Coincidences’ is the story of Alice, a young student who has a dream that awakens her curiosity about finding her father who abandoned her when she was just 2 years old. It’s a drama. I’m currently writing a new edition of ‘Coincidences’ (fully re-edited) for publication sometime this year, hopefully. At the moment it’s only available as a limited edition hardback and is out of print, so I want to make it more widely available.

My second novel is ‘A Time to Tell’, a family saga, spanning 50 years and three generations of the same family. Much like ‘Coincidences’ it contains the themes of secrets and lies. 

My third novel, ‘Second Chances’, is a modern tale about a marriage heading for the rocks. All my books are inspired by real-life, and examine human nature and relationships. 

I also have three collections of short stories. The first one, ‘Pieces of a Rainbow’, is a themed collection, about the darker side of life, each story inspired by a different colour of the rainbow. My other two collections, ‘Love and Loyalty (and Other Tales)’ and ‘Fusion’, both contain a diverse collection of short stories.

Maria talks writing space. Er. Actually she uses hand-signals. You'll understand why.

I prefer complete silence when I write. Although, living in London, there is invariably some background noise whatever time of day or night I decide to write. I used to always write whilst sitting up in bed. Much like someone would take a novel to bed to read before they go to sleep, I would take an A4 pad and a pen, and scribble away. Then I had the arduous task of typing everything up. For my most recent novel, ‘The Dream’, I wrote about half of it that way, then I started typing the story directly onto the computer in the daytime. I don’t have a particularly inspiring writing space. Just a computer on a desk in a bedroom. Pretty boring really. It would be nice to have a few sheep grazing outside the window LOL; or a mountain view, or perhaps even a sea view. Maybe one day.

Maria gets out her red pen...

As mentioned, I am currently re-writing ‘Coincidences’, and hope to release that sometime this year. The original version was written back in 1997/1998. I then published it in 2001. The publisher I used did minimal editing. It’s a great story, but as a writer with many years of experience editing my own work, and learning from feedback from editors and other writers, I realise that the book could be improved, just to make the story flow a bit better. Also, it’s a bit sparse, and I’m filling in some background as I go along, a few more twists and turns. I’m enjoying rewriting it. I’m hoping that readers who enjoyed the original will also love the new and improved version, and people who are interested in my writing will be able to compare the two and see how my writing has changed over the years. It’s a fun exercise.

Maria goes old-school...

I suppose the fact that I did, up until last year, write everything in longhand, would make me a bit unique, if not a bit masochistic LOL. Apart from that, I suppose the fact that my books are all different genres and each book contains a mix of a few genres. But having said that all my books have recurring themes -- relationships, regret, love, guilt, forgiveness. My first novel, ‘Coincidences’ is a drama, ‘A Time to Tell’ is a family saga, but also a romance. ‘Second Chances’, is a drama and romantic comedy. My latest, ‘The Dream’ has elements of the paranormal and time travel, and some humour. I suppose I can’t really seem to make my mind up as to what type of writer I am :)

Maria gets cozy with her tech...

I’m single, so my significant other is my computer at the moment, and I think it’s pretty happy that I spend so much time with it. My other significant other, my ipod, isn’t too pleased about that arrangement, so I try to split my time fairly between the two.

Maria, wherefore art thou?

Oh, Maria, what a divine treat it is to have you here this week! Thanks for stopping in. Readers everywhere have been enjoying your books for a while and this new turn your writing is taking will surely prove to be very exciting!


  1. Great interview Jason, and nice to learn more about Maria.

    Though I have a significant other, I do spend more conscious time with my laptop and ipad, and I totally get the rivalry your computer and ipod are having for your affection.


  2. Longhand, Maria? Yikes! I get cramps just *signing* my books! (Really!) I never even dabbled in writing until I bought my first computer in 1986. I have even greater respect for you now, knowing the lengths to which you go to tell your stories!

    I appreciate the fact that you flit about the genre bazaar; who says we have to be just one or the other? Experimentation unlocks genius…

    Readers would be wise to savour your books while they can; who knows if we'll see any more, once that computer gets replaced by a flesh-and-blood s.o.!

  3. Thanks, Eden -- my Apple products are like another member of the family so I get this feeling too!

    Marty -- Whoah there horsey. Let's not turn the Farthest Reaches into a dating service! Besides, anyone suitable to date Maria will have to be on side with her writing. We all know this about writers. Take us and our baggage too.

  4. LOL, thanks for the lovely comments :)
    It was a pleasure to write this guest post Jason, thank you for asking me here! I will have to come back here and read your lovely words about me whenever I need to cheer myself up. You are tooo kind.
    Marty, I agree that 'experimentation unlocks genius' that's a great phrase, I may have to steal it :) With me though, it's more of the case that I am never satisfied until I'm moving on and trying something new... I hate repeating things. I've always been like that and it comes out in my writing. Once I've tried something I'm onto something else...
    I have to agree with Jason, I've had such a long relationship with my writing that I don't think I could give it up, so no need to worry. I'm sure that the man of my dreams will also like writing or will like my writing ;)
    Eden, thanks for your comment, I'm glad I'm not alone in my obsessions!

  5. I loved getting to know you a little better, Maria!

    Jason's observation about the internet turning its head when you pipe up made me laugh, but only because it's so true. I certainly look twice when you have something to say or a recommend. You have 'Klout' with me, my dear!

  6. Clout is absolutely true when it comes to Maria, Ann -- thanks for stopping in!

    Maria, the pleasure's all mine. :)

  7. Jason, I agree that Maria is the nicest person in indie lit. In fact, she is indeed one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure to know.

    Maria, my iPod is also envious of my time with my computer. They are rival addictions - writing and music. Like you, I need silence to write. I wish I could rock out while writing, so my iPod would feel better about itself. :)

  8. Hmm. Darcia. Maria. So many others.

    Am I the only one who writes with music blasting?

  9. Jason, I've heard of a few authors who write with music playing in the background, so you're not alone :) For me, though, I am such a music freak that if I'm playing music, I have to sing along or dance (badly) lol, so there's absolutely no way I'd get any writing done...

    Oh, and thanks for the flattering comments you guys, you really are so lovely I wish I could take you all home with me... You're all so good for my ego. I hope my head will fit through the door when I try to go out of this room :)


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