- What was your motivation to become a writer?
Maureen: It’s kind of funny that since I have a background in science (degree & long term career) you might think being a fiction novelist would be the furthest thing from my mind. But here I am! I actually always felt very deeply that I was a writer. I received my Masters from a program at Wesleyan University that focused on writing and I was lucky enough to have some poetry published. Then life came along; kids, career, pets, etc., and I took a hiatus – a long one – before getting serious about committing to the marathon of writing a novel. I am so glad and feel so blessed that I took the leap of faith and ‘went for it.’ I think LITTLE LOVELY THINGS is a special story with many layers and I hope others feel the same way.
- What was your inspiration in writing “Little Lovely Things”?
Maureen: I used to believe it had something to do with having my third child later in life, after which I noticed so many abduction stories on TV and in the news (I was probably just really sensitive to these stories post-partum), but the more I think of it, the more I believe that this is a story that was in me for a while, one that I would like to have read and was not yet written – which is actually similar to a quote by the great Toni Morrison. So the short of it is that I am not absolutely certain – and I’m happy with how that stand – as it leads me to believe that I am open to creating many stories not yet written!
- What are your goals for your readers to take away after reading “Little Lovely Things”?
Maureen:Oh so many!!! But the main theme is about self-rescue. This is based on experience. No one can help you change the direction of your life. They can guide, cajole, support – but the change needs to come from within. This story places people in truly difficult – sometime tragic – situations and they must ‘feel’ their way forward to overcome. While most of us won’t deal with such extreme circumstances as child abduction, I like to think that parts of the experience rings true for everyone.
- What is a typical day in the life of Maureen Joyce Connolly?
Maureen: Now that I am a full-time author my life looks very different than only a year ago! I spend a great deal of time reading and writing and way too much on social media. I also schedule ‘blank’ time to let my imagination do its thing unfettered. I tend to be a slow writer (at least I think so) and hope to capture the first draft of my second novel by the end of 2019.
5.What are some of your favorite recipes to make?
Maureen: Other than fancy martini-type drinks? I have some tried and true recipes like goat cheese chicken, mozzarella and melon salad, the best darn chili in the world – but I also love to try new things and enjoy receiving recipes that feature ethnic ingredients or ones with a twist on old classics.
6.What are your hobbies or other things that you like to do in your downtime.?
Maureen:Spending time with my family and my dog and cat and friends is my favorite activity – not necessarily in that order! I belong to a Dragon Boat team which is very active in the spring and summer and is a blast! One thing I seem to never have enough time for is for painting and photography – I am an amateur at both, and will probably never improve. Did I mention gardening yet? I have an obsession for perennials which drives my photography & painting.
- Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?
Maureen:Advice is so tricky. I think of this often as I want to be supportive to others. Other than the very cliché ‘keep at it’, I would probably encourage any writer to finish their first draft before showing it to anyone. You don’t need input too early – just write, write, write. Also, you must train yourself to listen internally before you seek other opinions of your work –it is the only way to assess whether the input you receive is helpful or not.
8.What are your favorite genres to read? Write?
Maureen: Literary fiction, psychological suspense, memoir, non-fiction with a science focus.
- What are some of your new writing projects that you can share with us?
Maureen: Second novel. But I won’t talk about it yet as I find that mucks up the creative process.
- If “Little Lovely Things” were to become a screenplay, and movie, what actors would you like to see as your characters?
Maureen: I absolutely think Rooney Mara would be a terrific Moira. Definitely a Colin Farrell –type actor type actor. I waver on who should play Glen, but right now I’m feeling Chris Pratt. Andrea should be Vivien Lyra Blair, the actress named ‘Girl’, in The Bird Box. She blew me away. Haven’t decided on Claire as it’s so critical. All I am certain of is that it needs to be a strong actress that can display her vulnerability without making her look weak. Jay, well, he is so special…maybe Adam Driver? Also, I would love to see an unknown Native American actor in that role.
- How would you like readers to connect with you.?
Maureen: The best way to connect with me is to DM me on Instagram or Facebook or use good old fashioned Gmail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be patient with me! I still make a lot of mistakes on social media (like missing messages or accidentally erasing). Never be afraid to follow-up if you don’t hear back soon. I really don’t mind, I do it to people all the time – I used to be a project manager in my previous life. Please be certain, I truly want to hear from you!
Thank you so much, Maureen Joyce Connolly for this delightful, entertaining, and informative interview!! Our deepest thanks again.