M. Z. thoroughly enjoys adventuring, if there are lands to be discovered, stories to be told, or fun to be had—you can count on her to be there. M .Z. resides in Rhode Island with the love of her life, their two hilarious boys, a pair of energetic pups, and one cat to rule them all.
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Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?
As a child writing was my escape. My family immigrated from Ecuador, and I am first generation American. My siblings and I were born into poverty, and endured hardships. I will spare you and your readers the details. To protect ourselves we use to create worlds from our imagination and use them as refuge. When I was in third grade my mother was on her own and things, while still financially difficult, were getting better. I didn’t need my world of imagination. Therefore, instead of running away into it, I began to write about it. My dreams manifested into wild stories that yielded curious looks during poetry and story time. I brushed off the side eyes and continued to write, but I kept it to myself. Other than a murder mystery play I wrote for a RIC student group fundraiser, Island Eight is the first story I’ve been brave enough to share with the world.
Describe your desk / writing space.
My writing space has varied from the Ocean Community YMCA pool viewing area while my son was in practice, to my car when my other son was at soccer practice. My preferred writing space is somewhere outside of my home like a park, library, or café. A place where I am forced to be a writer because there is no one who requires me to be a mother, no clients to make requests, no errands I can run, and no house to clean. Where I can put my headphones on, summon that world my siblings and I created, and begin to write. But let’s be honest, the second my cellphone chimes with my husbands, kids, or home number it’s back to reality.
Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?
In order for me to write, I have to detach myself from this reality. Sounds weird I know, but it’s the truth. My routine starts with ensuring all the housework and errands are completed, meals are prepped and all the busy work from my job has been delegated out. Once that’s done, I am able to sit quietly with my laptop and notes and concentrate on my breathing. Eventually I’ll find myself far from here, and in whatever world I’ve created. Alternatively, if I feel inspired, I’ll grab a pen, and scribble away on the first thing I can write on. There are piles of junk mail and amazon boxes with my chicken scratch on it ^_^.
How do you come up with the title to your books?
When I write I use a work in progress title. As the story evolves during the initial writing process, I’ll sometimes find one that is more fitting. More often than not, the title will come to me during those painful rewrites.
What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?
The hardest scene for me to write was the breakfast celebration at Cytrines’. Getting into her head was difficult for some time, but after several rewrites I felt like I could understand her better. My favorite scene to write was the dance in the town square.
What inspired your book/series?
I have wild dreams. Those wild dreams inspire my writing. Island Eight was inspired by several of those dreams which featured the first incarnation of the character Gabriel.
What are you working on next?
I have two WIP. One is the continuation of the Island Eight series, I’m itching to dive deeper into several characters. The second is a modern-day urban fantasy which will also be a series.
What authors or books have influenced your writing?
I love the way Douglas Adams, and Terry Pratchett wrote. Their writing exuded freedom, and at the same time was meticulously controlled within that freedom. I admire, how they conveyed such organized chaos.
If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?
Zeal, from the game Chrono Trigger
What is your favorite meal?
While my favorite mealtime is breakfast (and second breakfast), my favorite meal is Peruvian or Ecuadorian ceviche
Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?
Loose leaf tea. Neither.
Describe yourself in three words.
Un poco loca.