Saturday, August 15, 2020

Inside the Mind: Maria DeVivo


Welcome to Inside the Mind where we here at The Faerie Review interview authors and creators.
Our guest today is Maria DeVivo, the author behind The Altered.

Lily: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview Maria I couldn’t put The Altered down. What inspired you to write it? 

Maria:   Thank you so much for reading it. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! My biggest inspiration for writing this story was my own fear. There are a few things that I’m afraid of, and zombies have always been one of my biggest. Weird, I know. Considering that I love everything dark and scary! So, writing this book was extremely cathartic.

Lily: Zombies are definitely scary! There's just something bone chilling about wanting to eat other people. Griffin is a great narrator, was he inspired by anyone? 

Maria:   I put a lot of myself into Griffin. It was my first time writing a novel in first person and it was fun to listen to him and hear the story in his voice. But it was me. But it wasn’t. I have two brothers, so I kinda pulled from my experiences of growing up with them and blended everything together to build Griffin.

Lily: You definitely brought Griffin to life. He sounded just like a teenager. The infected aren’t actually dead, why the twist on the typical zombie trope? 

Maria:   I wanted to do something different, and in the zombie genre, it’s all pretty much been done. I wanted to leave my own little personal mark/spin in the zombie world. 

Lily: You picked a great twist! I have to ask - please tell me there’s another installment coming! 

Maria:   YES! The trilogy is finished. I will be submitting book two to my publisher in a few weeks. “Plague Within” is the tentative title for the sequel! 

Lily: I can't wait to read it. Now we’d like to talk about you as a writer. Do you have a routine to help you get into the writing mindset? 

Maria:   I’m a teacher, and I’m also OCD, so I can only focus on one job at a time. My routine has been: teach for 10 months, and write for 2. When the end of the school year creeps up on me, that’s when I get into writing mode. The second school lets out, it’s GO time.

Lily: Sounds like a great way to stay focused and get a lot of writing done. How do you keep track of ideas when inspiration strikes? 

Maria: I use my phone to jot down sporadic notes throughout the year. When I plan, though, I have to do dedicated chapter outlines in a special book. I know, I have issues.

Lily: Hehe nothing wrong with outlines! I learn best with outlines but write best when everything is just a jumbled mass of notes. Where’s your favorite place to write? 

Maria:     I plan on my couch or in bed. When I actually write, I have to be in my office at the computer. 

Lily: I hope your office is comfy for spending hours writing. Let’s finish up with some fun questions and get inside your mind. What’s one thing everyone should try once? 

Maria:  My go-to answer is a cruise. It’s definitely my favorite way to vacation, and I think it’s a great experience that everyone should have at least once. However… with everything going on in the world now, I would say hold off on that for a little while!

Lily: A cruise is on my bucket list but I definitely don't plan on going anytime soon. Do you eat or drink soup? Why? 

Maria:   I love this question because it’s something most people don’t discuss! I have to eat soup. I need my soup filled with all kinds of stuff. Like, I need it chunky with meats and veggies and pasta. 

Lily: Now I kind of want soup for dinner... What one mythical/magical creature do you wish existed? 

Maria:   Dragons. Baby dragons. Like baby Drogon from Game of Thrones. Big enough to spit fire, but small enough so they can sit on your shoulder. 

Lily:  That would be amazing! Would you rather live under a sky with no stars at night or live under a sky with no clouds during the day? 

Maria:   I lived in NY for most of my life. There were barely any stars out at night EVER. I currently live in Florida, and when that sun is shining down on you and there’s no relief, it’s a killer. While I do love the stars, if I had to pick between the two, I could live without them.

Lily:  That's one of the things I love about the country being able to see stars. But I can definitely see wanting relief from the sun more. What are two of your favorite snacks?  

Maria:  I love love love chocolate covered jelly rings and rainbow cookies. 

Lily:  Rainbow cookies are amazing. My first attempt at making them was not successful unfortunately. What’s the most inspirational saying you’ve ever heard?  

Maria:   “It is what it is.” Once you can adopt that and accept it in your heart, life becomes so much easier.

Lily:  Acceptance is often the hardest thing, but its great advice. Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?  

Maria:   Thank you for asking the coolest questions!

Lily:  It was a lot of fun chatting with you! How can readers discover more about you and you work?  

Maria:   My website is jam-packed with info. I’m also big on Facebook. I know, I’m old!

Amazon Author Page | Goodreads Author Page | LinkedIn | Instagram | TikTok  

Buy a copy of The Altered

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