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Genre – Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG13
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Website http://www.maiasepp.com/If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? Oh, this is tough! In our house, the soundtrack is swing and big band, and we’re both itching to see what the roaring twenties were like. On the other hand, my husband and I are geeks who met at an Internet startup. I’m going to vote for the future, because I just gotta have that flying car.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? My husband, an ereader with 3g (maybe there will be a signal!), and a deluxe hammock.
What is one book everyone should read? It’s so hard to choose just one, but I’d have to say “Cockeyed: A Memoir of Blindness”. It’s a memoir by Canadian writer Ryan Knighton, who’s the best natural-born storyteller I’ve ever seen. (Pick up a copy of his memoir if you have a chance-you won’t be sorry).
If you were a superhero what would your name be? The Maianator! A few years back a friend of mine at work made business cards for me with that name on it, and it’s stuck.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Teleportation. Believe it or not, this is a conversation my husband and I have fairly often, and we had this exact discussion just last week. With teleportation you can get out of any jam, fight crime, and still make it home for dinner. I’m sold.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Chocolate Mint. My waistline-and, subsequently, my mental health-has been ruined ever since I bought a house near a Baskin Robbins.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Crepes! (With a side of bacon, naturally)
Night owl, or early bird? Night owl! Now that I write full time I have been able to shift my day so I go to bed at 3ish. Couldn’t be happier.
One food you would never eat? Tomatoes. They didn’t call it Attack of the Killer Brussels Sprouts, you know. I’m just saying.
Pet Peeves? Mean people. They have no imagination, their underpants are in a bunch all the time, and they basically just suck.
Skittles or M&Ms? Oh, M&Ms, completely.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. It’s a tale that can be enjoyed by everyone-one of life, love, and sock thievery.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I’m starting my next book next week. After I finish the first draft I’m going to let it sit for a while while I take another crack at my first novel, which has been trunked for a few years. A year from now, the plan is to have two more books out. Cross your fingers…
What inspired you to want to become a writer? It’s difficult to articulate, but I love entertaining people, making them laugh, making them think about things a little differently. I love that belly laugh when you hit a punchline at the exact right time.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. I’ve sold in 8 countries. I love that people all over the world have read my work, and I can’t wait to sell in new places. It’s like Star Trek, but more literary!
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be? Well, not “The Hunger Games”. Maybe I’d go for “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” – set in an interesting and quirky place, and hopefully no one would be trying to murder me all the time.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? I’m a little…polyamarous with my reading. I generally have a few favorites at any one time-basically I love them all. I’d have to say my favourite writer when I was younger was S.E. Hinton.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters? There’s a folk song I love called “She’s a Downtown Girl” that’s played by a band I see all the time. There’s a refrain that goes:
She loves waking up with her hair messed up,
She’s a downtown girl, she’s a get-around girl,
She loves waking up with her hair messed up,
She’s a downtown girl for sure.
It’s fun, whimsical and it’s about…a certain type of girl. I’m going to incorporate this into my next book. I’m not quite sure how yet, but that’s part of the fun.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Read, read, read, read, READ. Read great writers, read bad writers, read books on how to write. Write your drafts and then read your how-to books again. Lather, rinse, repeat until your eyeballs fall out.
If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why? Oh lordy. I guess I’d want to be Eros. If everyone felt loved, we’d have world peace.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Toronto, where I live! Great food, great people, great art and culture, great lake!
What is your favorite Quote? Well, right now it’s:
‘To live fully is to live with an awareness of the rumble of terror that underlies everything’
The novel I’m about to start revolves around a support group for people with migraine. (If I can make it work, it’ll be a comedy, believe it or not). It might sound a little odd, but this quote perfectly captures the idea of what it’s like to live with a chronic illness. Every minute of every day can go wrong in an instant if you live with migraine or another debilitating sickness. But, again, it’s going to be a comedy, because God knows we could all use a good laugh.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? Writer! I was ruined ever since that first pop-up book.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? Jeannine Garofolo. She’s smart, sassy and has a few miles on her.
Who are your favorite authors of all time? Ryan Knighton, Alice Walker, Susan Jane Gilman, Jonathan Tropper, Julie Otsuka, Sandra Scoppettone, Augusten Burroughs, Michael Chabon, Bill Clegg, Nora Ephron, Jamie Ford, Jon Krakauer, Edward Robertson, Alice Sebold, Lisa See, Amy Tan, Daniel H Wilson, Anne Lamott, Deborah Harkness, Stephen King, John Berendt, Joshua Ferris, Hugh Howey, Gail Carriger …oh, the list goes on…
Can you see yourself in any of your characters? I see myself in all my characters. I took a writing class about a decade ago with Canadian writer Sarah Sheard, who told us, “Oh just admit it, they’re all you.” She was right.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you? That it’s not a bad thing if things don’t come easily to you. It’s incredibly wise in a really irritating kind of a way.
Hidden talent? I have creepily good hearing, so if someone is across the room and talking about me, I can hear it. I’m blind as a bat, but I can hear people parking their cars in the suburbs.
Favorite Food? Oh God, so many. Maybe something with lamb. I had a rack of lamb in Belfast 5 years ago I still talk about today.
Favorite Candy? Uh…they’re all pretty good.
What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year? Was so looking forward to Skyfall, and I loved every minute. In terms of books, I’m looking forward to the final book in Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy, Gail Carriger’s novel “Etiquette and Espionage”, and pretty much everything else that’s going to come out. Can’t wait to see all the new releases.
Nickname? Mojo. In the 70′s my favourite food was an enamel-eroding candy called Mojos…and the name has stuck.
How do you react to a bad review? I appreciate people giving an unknown writer a chance, and my work is quirky and definitely not to everyone’s taste. I give myself 24 hours to be miserable, drown my sorrows in whipped dairy and vodka, and then try to move on.
If you were a bird, which one would you be? Blue Footed Boobie. Those poor things need some better marketing and some more fans.
If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be? My husband’s cooking. I love the man completely, but he’s made dinners that could be science fair contenders.
If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why? “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. I read that book in university for the first time – it’s simply exquisite.
You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy? I’d put my husband on a plane for a weekend in Venice and stay at a 5 star hotel, eat room service, and have my own personal gondolier.
What do you do in your free time? I sail in the summer, ski in the winter. I’m positively spoiled.
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? “I Told You I Didn’t Feel Well”. I saw this on a picture of a tombstone a few years ago, and it captures the essence of chronic illness perfectly. I probably won’t die from a migraine, but there’s no reason to confuse a good story with facts.
What’s your favorite season/weather? Since it’s December, I have to say winter. Christmas, skiing, hot toddies, beaver tails, snuggling in front of fireplaces. What else could you ask for?
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? Oh, there were some adult beverages. My husband took me out for steak and cocktails. Great food, great company, great night.
What is your guilty pleasure? The good girl’s drug…chocolate.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit? It’s definitely nothing to do with the Kardashians.
Favorite places to travel? Iceland, Quebec, New York, Estonia. They’re all awesome.
Favorite music? Swing, Big Band, bluegrass, Celtic, some contemporary stuff.
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with? Stephen King! I’d love to see what we could do with some angry aliens and a few plucky Canadians.