Wednesday, July 24, 2019

New interview with paranormal romance author Maya Tyler

Novelist Maya Tyler is back in the hot seat today to chat about her new paranormal romance, A Wizard’s Choice.

She was last here in April 2017 to chat about A Vampire’s Tale.

During her virtual book tour, Maya will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a luck randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings. An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! She still believes that “True Love's Kiss” is the most powerful thing in the world. Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music (alternative rock, especially from the 1990s), practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.

Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, Maya! Please tell us about your newest release.
A Wizard’s Choice follows wizard apprentice Kurtis Warde, a character introduced in A Vampire’s Tale. Although it is the second book in a series, it can be read as a standalone.

Kurtis’ parents abandoned him as a baby, and his grandfather raised him. Becoming a full-fledged wizard is more of an obligation to his grandfather than a true career aspiration. He wants the freedom to choose his own path and perhaps find love.

Other forces—an ancient wizard-fairy feud and a secret from his past—are in play and threaten Kurtis’ choices and his life.

What inspired you to write this book?
As children, we owe a lot to our parents, but when do their dreams end and ours begin? When do you break out from underneath their expectations and stake claim to your own life?

In A Wizard’s Choice, I explore this theme as several characters have conflicts between their familial expectations and their dreams. Kurtis is becoming a wizard to please his grandfather. Another character, Alina Lehrer, is contemplating an arranged marriage to please her parents.

Excerpt from A Wizard’s Choice:
Something sharp poked him in the arm. Keeping his eyes closed, he batted the culprit—probably an insect looking for its breakfast—away. It poked him again, jabbing a little deeper.

“Go away.” Kurtis plopped his pillow over his face.

In a sudden, fluid motion, his bedding—sheets, comforter, and pillows—flew off his bed. He found himself laid on a bare mattress, staring at a black magic wand, suspended in mid-air.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” He raised his hands, careful not to make any sudden moves. Who owns this wand? Friend or foe? The wand had no equal, finely made from black walnut tree wood with a smooth and plain handle sandwiched between corkscrew-like carvings. The body tapered neatly to a dull point. The wand turned in the air, and Kurtis saw the distinctive “W” of his family crest engraved into the tip of the tenon. Waldor’s wand.

Like a compass needle, the wand pointed its desired direction. Unsanctioned movement was highly unusual behavior for a wand. But no stranger than anything else that happened in the last few days. He shrugged and followed the wand. It led him into the basement to the Spell Laboratory.

After a quick glance around the room, Kurtis determined nothing had changed. Nothing stood out as noteworthy. He glared at the wand. “If this wild goose chase is your idea of fun, then I’m going back to bed.”

Ignoring Kurtis’ threat—as if a wand could respond—it floated toward the far wall and rammed itself into a stone brick. An entire section of the wall rescinded, revealing a hidden passage.

“What?” His mouth gaped open. “How did I miss this?”

The wand disappeared into the now exposed hallway.

“Wait for me.” I can’t believe I’m talking to a wand.

What’s the next writing project?
This summer, I’m participating in a writing contest on the app Chapters: Interactive Stories. My story is called Duet at Midnight. The premise is a reverse Cinderella story with an older brother falling for a pop princess.

I’m posting Duet at Midnight one chapter at a time directly on the app which is a new experience for me.

What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)
My biggest writing challenge occurs when I get so far into the story…and then I get stuck. It’s a bit like writer’s block, except I’m only missing the piece in the middle. I ask myself, “What can I add to move the plot forward?” My husband often helps me brainstorm.

If your novels require research – please talk about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
My novels usually require research. From street names to subway stops, I check my facts. I do research before and during the writing process. I bookmark websites I’ve used as references and make handwritten notes as well.

In addition to fact checking, I also look up the meanings of my character names and often select names based on origin and meaning.

What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
In my house full of boys, I needed to have a feminine retreat. A place to escape the Star Wars shower curtain in the main bathroom and the Lego Star Wars battle scene hanging from the rec room ceiling. My solution? I have a lovely purple office. It’s a small space, but I’ve used every inch efficiently. I have three tall white bookshelves, of varying widths, and a white cabinet with half-glass doors. Over my desk, which is a white slab resting on white filing cabinets, I have two hanging box shelves. Before we went shopping at Ikea, I hadn’t planned on buying white furniture, but the end result is quite charming.

My office is my all-season writing room. During the non-winter months, I also spend a lot of time writing outside in my gazebo. About three years ago, we purchased a large gazebo with netting and heavy curtains. We furnished it with a wicker loveseat, chair and ottoman, and rocking chair. We added a fire table—that never worked—at least it’s pretty. We bought a cedar folding table and chairs set. We picked up a large rug and some wall hangings. And we called it the family room. When it’s not my writing space, we play board games and eat meals there.

What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
I love reading, and I have so many favorite authors. I read mainly romance in the subgenres of paranormal/fantasy and historical.

I recently found a new favorite, based on the recommendation of a friend, Sarah J. Maas, author of A Court of Thorns and Roses Series. When I read A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book 1), I could hardly put it down.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
I love to hear from fellow authors and readers! Please connect with me through social media (see links below) or the contact form on my website.

Buy Links
A Vampire’s Tale: Amazon | Smashwords | Apple | Kobo | Barnes and Noble
A Wizard’s Choice on Amazon

Thanks for having me here today!

Absolutely my pleasure. Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

Congrats on this tour and thank for the opportunity to read about another great book out there to read. It helps out so I can find books I know my family will enjoy reading. Thanks as well for the giveaway.

Maya Tyler said...

Thanks for the lovely interview.

Bernie Wallace said...

Are any of the people in this book based off of people that you know?

Victoria Alexander said...

Sounds like a book I'll enjoy reading!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Maya Tyler said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Bernie, thanks for your question. When I'm writing a book I don't intentionally base characters on people I know in real life. However, when I read the book later, I often realize that I've based a character, for instance the hero, on someone I know, like my husband. In A Wizard's Choice, I realized a lot of Kurtis Warde came from me personally—anger, conflicting expectations, complex introspect... I can't claim all aspects though... we had several disagreements over his coarse language. lol

Bea LaRocca said...

Do you read any other genres besides romance?

Maya Tyler said...

Thanks for your question, Bea. I love reading romance—gotta have my happily-ever-after—but I do occasionally enjoy other genres, especially fantasy.

Bernie Wallace said...

How long after you complete a book do you start thinking about your next book?

Maya Tyler said...

Hi Bernie, thanks for your question.

I like to give myself a rest between books. I use that break to complete projects around the house or even do something writing-related. I'm always thinking of story ideas. Every time I get an idea for a new story, I write it down somewhere. When I'm ready to start a new project, I see if any of those ideas feel right.

I published A Vampire's Tale (The Magicals Series, Book #1) in March of 2017 and started writing A Wizard's Choice about 9 months later. But I often work on multiple projects at the same time. Compile research. Write short stories. Promote my work.

Kim said...

Usually, stories and or characters surprise authors in some way. How were you surprised with this story?

Maya Tyler said...

Thanks for your question, Kim. A Wizard's Choice was the first book I've written using an outline. Despite following an outline... my story ended differently than I'd originally planned. My protagonist Kurtis Warde rejected the love interest I'd written for him. I pushed them together, but I couldn't convince him that she was "the one" for him. Another surprise... My heroes often resemble my husband, in some way or form, but Kurtis Warde was greatly (subconsciously) influenced by my personal experiences. When rereading my book, I realized I had been harbouring some anger. Understanding my character and helping him work through his issues was therapeutic for me.

Kim said...

Wow. That's a really interesting answer. I'm sure you feel a little better now. However, that must have also been challenging.

Maya's Musings said...

Thanks, Kim. The issue that caused my anger is still on-going, but I am dealing with it much better. When I realized I was angry, I was so surprised. I find out new things about myself every time I read my work.

Kim said...

So you put a lot of your personal self into your books? Are their characters who are you, but slightly different?

Maya's Musings said...

Thanks for your question, Kim. Although my characters may end up resembling me in some shape or form, it is more of a subconscious result than intentional effort. I draw from myself and my experiences, but also from people around me.