Here I am awake at 4 am in the morning, I just can’t shake the event of Maria Lewis I went to last night. So I guess, I have to write about it. Around a week ago, I saw that REaD Cafe has posted three new books based on events over the course of the weekend. As this weekend was also the Gold Coast Supanova, Vicki the owner of REaD secured someone every interesting. Her name was Maria Lewis, and her book is Who’s Afraid? When I read this name, without even knowing anything about it made me think of the ‘Big Bad Wolf’, and as this book is about Werewolves how right was I?
A few little tidbits I learned this night was that at the age of 21, Maria wrote this book and then spent the next six years searching and securing first a literary agent and then a publisher. With six years under her belt, during this time she continued writing another three books of her five book series. I wonder if it would take me this long and would I try and follow the traditional path of publishing a book instead of my plan to self-publish? But I am not here to talk about my book, this is about Maria Lewis’s Q and A. Another thing that was provided was small booklets on a fan based gallery exhibition that showed the passions of her readers and her support of them. I really found some of the drawing and painting moving.
As I have not read her book, I found the session engaging and fun. Even though her questioner, Cath Webber an editor for the Gold Coast Bulletin sort of little spoiler, it showed her own excitement in this novel. During this event, I found some more interesting questions. Firstly was why did Maria decided to write this. Maria is a journalist and has loved the urban fantasy genre landscape but had found it to be lacking. Cath asked why did she write this novel and Maria responded by saying that the theme of adult female protagonists has been a steady change over the last twenty years. She talked about Buffy the Vampire slayer, Zena the Warrior Princess to name a few very strong and mature female lead roles. Now the landscape is filled with young teenage girls who’s skin rivals Snow White’s pale tone, who go off and ‘save the world’. Her main character Tommi Grayson is a twenty-something and of mixed heritage introduces a fresh perspective on this genre.
Originally this book was set on the coast but after talking to Matthew Reily, she changed it to another city which had the same feel as the Gold Coast. It was set in a city in Scotland called Dundee. This was done as opinions of Australian publishers has not wanted to roll the dice for a home based fantasy genre. Maria had procured a publisher Hachette Australia, and was distributed here , Matthew’s advice was very sound.
As I am not familiar with her tale, I thank you Wikipedia, God of Knowlege. At the age of 22 Maria had a stroke. This would impact any other person strongly but, she used it as a drive to complete her work and then have it published. I think many of fans are quite grateful for this fact. Then she gave advice that vibrated to the core of my writer’s soul. As you write your first book you will need the endurance to see yourself to the end. I hope I have some of the massive fortitude of this woman.
Now I could go on about this fantastic night, but as like everything, good things must come to an end. Listening to her last night showed similarities of her six years ago and me writing today, I’m not alone. If you like to see the Q and A, you just have to look on her facebook page in the below link and you will find the recording there. If you listen closely you can hear my booming laughter at the start of it. All I can say is that I really want to read this book . If it has only 1% of her personality and passion, it’s a must read!