Here’s an interview with Maria R. Riegger. Her debut novel, Miscalculated Risks is coming out this Fall. Miscalculated Risks is also the first novel in the series Law School Heretics. The second novel is going to Acceptable Misconduct, which will be released in 2016.
Maria is based at Wahsington DC, which is also her hometown, but she has spent time over seas. She’s a banking/corporate attorney by day and enjoys writing fiction in her spare time.
She’s also a gemini whose head has always been in the clouds, making up stories. She’s been caught air-guitaring in public, and always does her own thing. In true Gemini fashion, she indulge both her logical attorney personality as well as her creative author personality.
Now, on with the interview.
1. What are your favorite authors?
I love thrillers. When I was younger, I read a ton of Agatha Christie. I love Ken Follett. Eye of the Needle is a classic spy novel, and Pillars of the Earth is an epic. Follett writes a fast-paced thriller, but also has the ability to write in different genres. His novels always include strong female leads. I also enjoy reading Neil Gaiman; he is a great storyteller. His novel American Gods is incredible.
2. What are your favorite genres to write?
I write women’s fiction, with a brash, independent edge. I’m also currently working on a political fiction novel. I like to include humor and sarcasm in my writing.
3. What are your favorite aspects of writing? (plot, characters, dialogue, setting,etc.)
I really enjoy getting into the characters’ heads. I prefer characters who have a mix of positive and negative traits, who have some redeeming qualities but also (sometimes major) flaws. I also enjoy writing witty, sarcastic exchanges between characters.
4. What time do you usually do most of your writing?
I usually write between 8pm and 1am, when everything is calm and quiet. I get distracted easily, so this schedule works best for me. But I’m also constantly taking notes when ideas strike me, wherever I am.
5. Do you have any writing habits? If so, what are they?
I love to read, so I will write a couple of scenes and then read over them several times. I usually spend more time re-reading what I write than actually writing it. Sometimes I listen to music when I write, classical or something similar.
6. Do you usually type or write your first draft?
I type, because it’s faster and easier to back up in case my computer crashes.
7. How long does it take you to write a first draft?
I write on the side, in addition to my full-time day job as an attorney, so the answer really depends. If I’m concentrating and set aside time, I can write a first draft in a matter of weeks. However, the novel I’m publishing this Fall 2015 took two years to complete because life got in the way.
8. Are you a self-publisher? If yes, what made you decide to self-publish? If no, how was the process of finding a publisher?
Yes, I am currently a self-publisher. I am terribly impatient, and had no patience for shopping my novel around to publishers. It is possible to self-publish and keep your budget fairly low.
9. What’s your most recent book?
My first novel, Miscalculated Risks, will be published this Fall 2015.
10. On your recent book, what inspired you to write it?
The storyline came to me all at once. I had some ideas for scenes, and then everything coalesced one day. I wanted to write a book with Washington, DC, my hometown, as a setting, and also wanted to write about what it was like to go to law school there as a young professional.
I also wanted to experiment with characters who didn’t act the way people expect. The main character, Isabel, doesn’t always act as you would expect a woman to act; however, there are reasons for that. Isabel also applies her own stereotypes to people, which end up turning out to be untrue. This novel was a lot of fun to write.
As mentioned above Miscalculated Risks will be released this Fall. If your interested, add it to your to read shelf on Goodreads. Or Subscribe to the new monthly newsletter to receive update on its release.