Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Top Five Favorite Authors

I believe most of us writers understand this concept: a good reader makes a good writer. So, what does this mean, really? Well, it means that we writers need to fully immerse ourselves in reading the writings of others, quality writings at that. And this does not mean reading only material in the genre in which you focus, but across multiple genres. Realize that there's absolutely nothing wrong with reading a lot in just one topic, however, you will stifle your growth as a writer if you fail to read beyond a single subject.

Now I’d like to share with you five well-known authors* and the way in which each has helped me define my own style of writing. See below in alphabetical order:

Sandra Brown – romance/suspense
Ms. Brown blends suspense with an element of contemporary romance. I enjoy reading Ms. Brown’s books because the stories are well-plotted and they offer just the right amount of tension. I also enjoy Ms. Brown’s ability to skillfully weave the romantic element in her stories.

Patricia Cornwell – suspense/tension
Ms. Cornwell writes predominantly murder mystery books, whodunit type of material. Ms. Cornwell’s background in forensics makes the autopsy scenes come alive on the page, the level of detail is phenomenal and the reader is engrossed in the moment, we can sense, almost smell the morgue, the embalming fluids. As a CSI: Las Vegas aficionado it’s really no surprise that I enjoy Ms. Cornwell’s work.

Rachel Gibson – romance/tension
Ms. Gibson writes sensual romance with a tinge of eroticism (right up my alley!) and her characters are strong and ‘real’, and by real I mean flawed; her heroes are not all sensitive-guy meets Viking-god meets white-in-shining-armor type of guy. I enjoy reading Ms. Gibson’s books because the stories are sexy, provocative, and emotionally satisfying.

Sandra Hill – romance/humor
Ms. Hill writes contemporary romance with a blend of drama and humor. Some of Ms. Hill’s work is downright goofy at times, but it makes for a quick pleasant read. I enjoy reading Ms. Hill’s books because her characters are likable and the stories highly entertaining.

Iris Johansen – mystery/tension
Ms. Johansen is a master as weaving great sexual tension with elements of mystery. The women portrayed in Ms. Johansen’s books are often strong to the point of obnoxiousness. Nevertheless, I enjoy reading Ms. Johansen’s books because the stories are suspenseful and the level of sexual tension is outstanding. The characters flirt, disagree, flight, flirt, argue; all foreplay, of course until the moment they surrender to their urges and copulate. Awe-some :)

*Material written after 2005.

So there it is folks, my top five! Do you know what you particularly like about your favorite authors?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Earth Day is April 22!

Earth Day is just a few days away. Please see below a handful of things everyone can do to make the planet a greener world:

1. Swap light bulbs
2. Plant a tree
3. Curb junk mail
4. Drive the speed limit
5. Carry your own water bottle

Here's a link to for other good ideas: http://www.earthday.org/takeaction/campaigns.html

Until next time friends!
Maria

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blog Tour: My Writing Process

I want to say thank you to my friend Leslie Jones for inviting me to participate in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. Leslie Jones writes military romantic suspense, please take a moment to check out her Blog Hop post here.

About my writing, well I knew at a very early age that I wanted to be a writer. What’s even more interesting is that I knew at the age of ten that I’d be a romance writer. Consequently, I wrote my first short love story at the age of eleven and I’ve continued to write ever since. Now, onto a few more interesting tidbits about Maria Cox—

What am I working on?
Right now, I’m in between projects. My latest novelette, Jungle Fever was released through Secret Cravings Publishing on 2/5 and my novella Captive (V.2) is in the hands of the beta readers. Currently, I’m finishing a first draft of a ghostwriting assignment.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work differs from others in my genre in that the characters in my stories are witty and down to earth people. I also believe that my work is different because the individuals portrayed in my novellas are diverse.

Why do I write what I do?
I write romance because I enjoy writing about complex human relationships and how men and women triumph over challenges to be together, and yes I am a sucker for a happy ending.

How does your writing process work?
When I began writing I was what other writers would call a pantser; I still have pantser tendencies, but my writing process has evolved. Today, I’m much more structured and I make it a point to write outlines and character profiles for each short story I write.

Next week: I’m honored to introduce you to 3 amazing authors. Their “My Writing Process” blog posts will be published on March 31st.

Claudia Burgoa: Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs, two Beagles that believe they’re human, and a Bichon that thinks she's a Beagle. While managing life Claudia works as a CFO at a small IT Company. Claudia is a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter, and a good story. Blog: http://www.claudiayburgoa.com/blog

Lisa Heartman: Lisa has a BA and MBA in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing. Although business is her first love, writing has become her passion. She loves the creative possibilities and escape it provides from a sometimes hectic everyday life. Lisa writes contemporary romance novels. She is finishing up her first book and looks forward to getting it into the hands of her readers. In addition to writing, Lisa enjoys movies, music, reading, anything dark chocolate or coffee related, and hobbies like jewelry making and sewing. Blog: http://www.lisaheartman.com/lisas-blog.html

Tara Majuta: Tara is a rare Arizona native. She recently moved to Phoenix in July 2012. A University of Phoenix graduate, Tara enjoys learning both academically and on her own. She primarily writes murder mystery and dark romance books that take place all over the country. A daydreamer at heart, Tara plans to find a way to turn dreaming and storytelling into a career. Tara enjoys books of all kinds, music, and art. Blog: http://taramajutabooks.com/blog/