While I'm busy sorting out photos and the next chapter of our travels in France, I thought I'd invite a guest on my blog here. Maria Savva is a lovely writer and blogger who I've known on Twitter for some time now. Like me, she is a music fan and she blogs about this here. She has also written a number of novels and short stories that have been very well received and she gets great reviews. Here is a link to her Amazon page. So, without further ado...
Maria, welcome on board! Could you tell us something of your background and how you came to be living in London?
I was born in London, Val. I moved out and lived in Hertfordshire for a few years but then moved back to London, not really through choice more due to the recession and having to come to London for work. I actually prefer the countryside and if I had the choice would either live in the countryside or by the sea. Growing up in a city was good, but as you get older I think it seems a bit too fast-paced and over-populated (maybe I’m just old LOL)
I studied Law and worked as a solicitor for about 15 years. I currently work in a legal advice centre at a university.
That must be both interesting and fun. An educational environment is so stimulating, isn't it? But tell, me since you have to live in London, what do you most like about living there?
I like the fact that there’s always something to do and something to see. You can’t really get bored in London because there are so many choices - whether you want to take in the museums and art galleries, parks, or go to gigs and clubs, everything is available.
Oh yes, it's such a great city, isn't it? I was also born and raised in London until I was 14! Okay next question. What prompted you to start writing and how long have you been writing?
I started writing seriously when I was in my mid to late twenties. I’d always joked about writing a bestselling novel, when I was a child. One day I decided to challenge myself to see whether I could write a novel. I started by writing short stories and entering lots of competitions. I did actually win one and was shortlisted a few time, and I had a story published in Writers’ News Magazine. All of that helped to motivate me to carry on with the writing. I’ve always been fascinated with words. I used to do lots of crossword puzzles and other word games. I could read before I started school, and was a bookworm. I preferred books to people when I was growing up, and I think I probably still do.
You sound just like me! What do you prefer? Fiction or fact and why?
Both really. I’ve always been interested in human nature and psychology, and wondered why people do things, what their motivations are. Those sorts of things come out in my writing; for example, I will have a character who does something and then through my writing I’ll figure out reasons behind why the character ended up doing that, what chain of events led to their actions. My fiction has a lot of real life inspiration. I also love reading memoirs and autobiographies/biographies. I suppose I’m a bit nosey.
|Published in March this year|
Aha, we have more and more in common, especially as I know you write music reviews and obviously love rock music (so do I!). Which is your favourite band (if you can pin one down) and why?
It would be impossible to name one favourite band. I was asked to write a blog post about 5 albums that shaped me and found that very hard to do because I’ve always been mad about music. Here’s a link to that, which kind of explains my eclectic music taste
I’ve had bands that kind of stand out as favourites at different times of my life. For example Bon Jovi made me love rock music. Thunder were a favourite of mine for many years, a band that I followed obsessively for a while. In my novel “Second Chances” they were my main characters’ favourite band. Anthrax, again are a band that I really feel a connection with and the same with Papa Roach. Metallica also. I suppose some bands have songs that really mean something to you at certain times in your life and that creates a bond with the music. There are many other bands that have made a similar kind of impression on me: R.E.M.,The Smiths, The Cure, The Cult, Whitesnake... the list goes on. More recently, since I started blogging about music, I’ve found even more favourite bands. This is a subject that I could write a book on, so I’ll stop there :)
It would be great if you did, I'm sure! So, here's a nice standard question for you. What is your greatest strength in life? And then (of course) what do you see as your weakest point?
My greatest strength is probably perseverance. My weakest is perfectionism.
I like that you see 'perfectionism' as a weakness! All right then, here's a challenge for you. If you had to live for a year with only one book, what would it be? And the same question for an album of music?
Hmm... that’s a tough one. Only one book. It would have to be something with substance that you could read over and over again without getting bored of it. I’m not sure. I suppose, from my most recent reads, I would choose Lang Leav’s “Memories”. She writes so beautifully and her words are thought provoking and the sort of thing you can go back and read again and again.
As for picking just one album, that is impossible. I listen to different types of music when I’m in different moods. If I had to choose one, I’d go for ”Cavalcade”, an album by The Slow Readers Club that I’ve been playing a lot over the past few months. It’s brilliant.
I know Lang Leav, but not The Slow Readers' Club. Interesting! I'll have to look them up. Are you writing anything at the moment? Can you tell us what it is?
At the moment, I’m writing a book for my 8-year-old niece, for her birthday, which is in August. So I have a deadline! I wrote a book for her sister for her birthday this year, which was in April, and she liked it and now wants me to write one for her. I’ve nearly finished it. It’s a fable with an adventure element to it.
What a lovely idea! That's a very special gift indeed! By the way, do you have a favourite among the books you've written? If so, which is it and why?
My favourite is usually my most recent book. The one I’ve just finished, my new novel (to be published sometime this year if all goes to plan), is probably my favourite at the moment. I love them all though for different reasons.
|A family saga published in Oct 2015|
Good point, and great that you still love them. If you had a bucket list, what would be in the top three positions?
1. Learn to play the guitar
2. Meet some of my online indie writer friends who live in different parts of the world.
3. Have one of my novels made into a film
That's a great set of ambitions, Maria! Thank you so much for joining me here on my watery blog. I don't have many guests, but the ones I have are special to me, and I loved having you on board. Good luck with the deadline and the new book!
For any Tweeps out there, Maria's Twitter handle is @Maria_Savva or you can find her at https://twitter.com/Maria_Savva