Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Author Interview: Maryrose Wood

After much delay (my apologies!), I present to you my first author interview! Maryrose Wood is a hilarious author of Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love, My Life: The Musical, Why I Let My Hair Grow Out, and How I Found the Perfect Dress!

First, what is it like to be an author? (Your struggles and what you love about your job, etc)

I love my job! I’ve always loved stories and using my imagination to create. I’m fascinated by human nature and what goes on inside people’s heads, and being a novelist gives me a lot of opportunity to think about that.

And I love language, not surprisingly. I love words and sentences: the way words sound, and the many ways you can evoke a feeling or experience or place by simply stringing the right words together in the right way.

The struggles of the job have to do with the reality that you’re working alone a lot. You have to find ways to keep your life in balance and not get sucked into playing with your imaginary friends all the time. Also, books are long, and it can be a challenge to stay focused and productive over the period of many months it will take to write multiple drafts until the book is ready for publication.

But my author friends are really the most interesting people I know; it’s a treat to be part of community of such smart and creative folks. In the world of writing for teens and tweens, at least, writers do try to offer each other the support and sense of collegiality that helps make the lonely life of the novelist bearable!

Curiously, did your parents have some sort of expectations of you when you were about to leave high school? Possibly wanting you to go into a certain field?

When I left high school I was already absolutely certain that I wanted to be a professional stage actor. I auditioned for three different university acting programs and got accepted at two of them. Ultimately I enrolled at New York University as a drama major.

Years later my mom told me she thought I was going to college to be a biologist. Why she imagined that biology programs would require me to sing, dance, and do dramatic monologues to get accepted is something I still cannot understand. One conclusion that you can safely draw from this story is that my family was not really paying that close attention to what I did. Another conclusion you can draw is that my career has evolved in many new directions since college!

Based on my own experience, my advice is to remember that no matter what career plan you have as you graduate high school, you are likely going to change that plan several times as you get older and get exposed to more potential interests and opportunities. If you have a passion I think the best choice is to pursue it wholeheartedly while also getting a well-rounded education.

What is your everyday life like?

I have two kids, so my daily routine involves prying them out of bed, making breakfast, packing lunches, and driving them to school. Once they’re dropped off I come home and walk the dog, make coffee and get to work. I work from home, in a tiny, messy upstairs office that overlooks my garden. My dog always sits under my chair when I’m writing. She’s very inspiring!

When I get stuck or need to walk around a bit to clear my head, I usually go put in a load of laundry. For some reason it helps!

Is there anything you want to do but still haven’t?

Wow, I can think of thousands of things I’d love to do! I love to travel and would like to do more exploring of new places. And I have tons of ideas for creative projects that I hope to get underway when the time is right.

Also, just once, I would love to have a nice clean house from top to bottom with no clutter, anywhere. That would be a major accomplishment!

I read from another interview that you are working on the third installment of the half-goddess Morgan stories. Can you briefly tell me what this one will be about and when I should be sitting outside a bookstore at 7 AM in the morning for it?

Your question is very sweet! I’m writing the third Morgan book right now, and though I have a list of “maybe” titles I don’t have a perfect one yet, so for the moment I’m just privately calling it Morgan Three. A better title will be forthcoming, I promise!

As junior year ends, Morgan is having a hard time making decisions about college and what her future might hold. She’s convinced there’s some kind of half-goddess destiny in store for her. She just doesn’t know what it is.

Then, an unexpected opportunity to take a campus tour at a famous university plops her in the middle of the biggest crisis the faery realm has ever known. Will Morgan throw her plans for college, career and romance out the window to put things right between the human world and the faeries? Just as importantly, will her relationship with Colin survive once he finds out the truth about her being a half-goddess?

The book’s been tons of fun to write. And – there are unicorns! Not your ordinary, everyday unicorns, either. These unicorns are talented!

Are there any other stories that you are working on at the moment? (Answer if yes to the first part: How about giving a brief summary for them too?)

I’m delighted to be working on a screenplay adaptation of my 2008 book, My Life: The Musical. It’s about contemporary teens who love Broadway musicals, and I think it’s going to make a very fresh and fun movie musical – imagine a cross between Juno and Singin’ in the Rain.

I’m also about to start working on my first series for younger readers, which should launch in summer of 2010. Book publishing takes a lot of time! I’ll announce more about that series on my website when it gets a little closer.

Colin is indeed one of my favourite male characters yet. (Hah! A non-Edward fan from Twilight for me!) Have you ever fell hard for the opposite sex before? How did that point of your life turned out to be

Well – bearing in mind that I am a grown woman with two children, I think you can safely assume that I have fallen for quite a few lucky fellows along the way! At the moment I’m single, however. Meeting new people and dating has its ups and downs at any age. It helps keep me in touch with my “inner teen,” that’s for sure!

And last, give one interesting fact about you that you have not yet mentioned anywhere on the net!

Okay, big admission: I have a long-held and completely unrealistic fantasy that I might someday run the New York City Marathon. It’s unrealistic only because I haven’t run at all in years, and at the moment I show no signs of resuming with any regularity.

But yesterday I rode my bike in the “Tour de Bronx,” which is a huge group bike event with thousands of riders that meanders all over the Bronx. I did the “short” route (25 miles), but because I rode to the start and then home again from the finish, my total miles for the day were nearer to 40. It was tons of fun (thought quite difficult at times). Overall it felt like a reasonable substitute for my Marathon fantasy!

Thanks for the fun questions, Diana! To find out more about me or my books, please visit me at

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Brooke Taylor said...

Hi Diana--Great interview! Looking forward to the unicorns!

Please contact me at BrookeTaylorbooks(at)yahoo(dot)com--You've won Ghost week prize and I need to know your choice of books and mailing addy!

Oh--and um, next week is Faery Week! Whoo hoo!


Diana Dang said...

Thank you!

Oh yay! I'll email you as soon as I choose!

Oooh, I love faeries! Can't wait for that one! Thank you very much!

Liviania said...

Great interview - I liked the answer to Maryrose Wood's parents' expectations.

Diana Dang said...

Thanks Liv!