Friday, 24 June 2011

Author Interview - Ann Mauren

*Skips along, throwing daisies from a basket with blue birds fluttering around my head and forest animals following behind*

Y'all remember how I was singing and dancing about the Mayne Attraction series by Ann Mauren?

Well, Ann kindly agreed to answer some questions for me.

When you began writing In the Spotlight was it a spontaneous process or did you have to work yourself up to begin writing?

It was quite spontaneous. I had finished reading a certain saga (that shall remain nameless due to its polarizing nature) and thought “I wonder if I could write something that I enjoyed as much as this?”

What message do you want readers to go away with at the end of your book?

If you are young and especially if you are female, develop yourself into the grown-up you want to be long before you pursue romance. Reversing those steps rarely ever works out.

With the YA scene being filled with so much of the paranormal element did you feel some trepidation over how your book would be received?

I’m hoping the change to a real world feel will be refreshing and relatable to YA readers. I like to joke and say that my characters do all their own stunts (without special paranormal powers!)

As it is unfair to ask whether you would chose Grayson or Ash if you were in Ellery's shoes... I'll ask, who would you chose, Mr Darcy or Mr Rochester?

I would choose Fitzwilliam Darcy every day and twice on Sunday! Though both men are revealed to be deeply misunderstood, the uncovering of Mr. Darcy’s character never ceases to satisfy and please me, no matter how many times I read it.

I loved that Ellery was a sleepwalker (I thought it was pretty cute). What made you give her this disorder?

I was a sleepwalker as a girl, so I am familiar with the many humorous variables this behavior can create. Books two and three of the series will bring more of Ellery’s sleepwalking hijinks to light.

If you could walk in any other author’s shoes for a day (past or present), who would it be?

One of my very favorite authors is Bill Bryson who is particularly known for his humorous brand of travel writing. I would have loved to walk in his shoes the day he visited the island of Capri, off the coast Italy.

Why did you opt to go down the self publishing route over the traditional route?

I am ‘do it yourself’ oriented by nature, so it was very much in keeping with my style to pursue this new endeavor in the most accessible, rejection free manner available: self-publishing.

Would you say that the satisfaction of independently publishing your book was worth the extra work that you had to put in?

I am also a perfectionist and a control freak about my work, so yes, though the extra effort was par for the course, I find it very satisfying. And I have a completely new respect for publishing in general and authors in particular.

Did you plan on making Ellery's story span three books or did it just happen?

I originally envisioned just two books, each one written from Ellery’s and Ash’s perspectives. But as I began working my way through the story, it became clear that Gray’s perspective was too important to leave out. So he got his own book in the middle, though I’ve regretted this decision a time or two when I’ve had trouble getting into his mind. He’s complicated.

If you could describe your book in one word what would it be and why?

For ‘Spotlight’ the word is “Misconception”. The main character suffers from chronic misconceptions about her own abilities and value as a person, and the way she is perceived by others. Her security team completely underestimates her capabilities and intentions. Gray miscalculates her reaction to his reappearance in her life.

For the Mayne Attraction series as a whole the word is “Layers.” When you apply Gray’s filter over Ellery’s story, and then rest Ash’s perspective over top of that, what you will get is a rich tale with many layers of emotion, intention and detail. I want it to be fun, even amusing at times, to reread the first two volumes after having completed the third to see how seemingly minor details and dialogue take on new life through the application of these layers.

Anything else you would like to add?

One of the recurring comments in reviews has been the fact that the opening scene in the book’s prologue is seemingly never discussed again. Let me clear the air on this, if I may. The main body of the story is told from Ellery’s perspective, and as she was sleepwalking through that scene, she is unable to give further details of it in her narration, though she does meet up with Artan and Dritan Agoli again at the drug store, and glimpses their cousin Besnik at Kings Island. So in truth, they are not completely dropped or forgotten. And the brothers Agoli will play a major role in books two and three, where full disclosure of who they are and what they want will be made. (Wow, it feels good to get that off my chest!)

If you’d like to check out the world of Mayne Attraction, please stop by and have a look around. Be sure to leave a quick comment somewhere so I know you were there. It makes my day—it really does!
Thanks very much for this opportunity to “blether” about my book!

Thank you very much Ann for your time and for answering my questions! I can't wait to read more of Ellery's story.


  1. Hey! thank you for stopping by my blog, I'm now following yours :) Great interview, I haven't heard of these books before but they sound great!

  2. This is a lovely interview! :D

    I really need to look into these books ;)

  3. I should check these books out,I've heard alot about them.

  4. Your characters do all their own stunts? I bet you do all YOUR own, too, Ann! Great interview!

  5. Great interview, I read In the Spotlight and Barefoot Heroine - both great. Waiting patiently for the next installments.


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