Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Miss Mae, whose first children’s book, released under her alter-ego, M.M., The Misfits of Gum Drop Island, finished in the 2010 Top Ten P&E Poll for Children’s category. Her Young Adult book, When the Bough Breaks won the 2009 YA category.
Adventurer Sir O. Yuri Wiseguy-eh to the rescue! After convincing a lost damsel she must leave No place In Particular and come away to his Marshmallow Mansion on Gum Drop Island, (what is that crazy music that plays whenever those three words are spoken?), she enters the world of Yuri’s confectionary plantation. His oddball staff, as varied in character as a box of assorted chocolates, adds their own flavor of delicious nuttiness. When Yuri realizes his newest arrival is cousin to Mort the Mothball Millionaire, the quest is on to sail to Moldy Corners. But why do those spooky, sharp beaked vultures watch from the fence railing?
“This story was such fun to write! Not only do the characters go along with the plot, but they also know they are characters,” she told me. “Such references as, ‘is that really what this story is about?’ are threaded throughout.”
She’s currently working on the second book of The Mishaps of Gum Drop Island.
“The characters have reached their destination, Moldy Corners. Currently, I plan this story to be around 10,000 words, possibly 12,000, and I’ve got down the first 1000!”
I asked Miss Mae about her interesting name.
“Yes, Miss Mae is my pen name. I have a very short first name, but for all of my life it’s confused people with how to spell and pronounce it. Before I became published I decided I’d better have a unique name, but one easy to remember. Since I’m from the south, I thought of how (think of Gone With the Wind) proper genteel ladies were addressed as ‘Miss This’ or ‘Miss That’. I added Miss to my middle name, and voila! I was born!”
Miss Mae’s favorite character is from The Mishaps of Gum Drop Island. He has his own little section in the book, but he doesn’t actually add to the plot.
“Here’s what I mean,” she explained. “His name is I.B. Nosey, and he’s a cyberspace reporter. He actually reports about Gum Drop Island, and all of her wonderful and unique personalities. Not only that, he’s shared with other authors and has granted them interviews. (viewed at the website of: Mishaps of Gum Drop Island ) Nosey is great fun. He’s very full of himself, and always reports back to the frequently referenced but never seen ‘Gander’. Nosey has many trials and tribulations, and those interviews always manage to turn the tables on him. He now has his own blog. http://feelingnosey.blogspot.com .”
When Miss Mae was young, she was very influenced by the Nancy Drew books.
“I adored her, adored all the mysteries she became involved in. It was especially thrilling if her ‘case’ happened in an old, abandoned house. I loved the idea of sliding doors and secret staircases! In high school, after I moved away from Nancy, I was a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and I still am today). Sherlock Holmes absolutely intrigues me, and Doyle’s writing is fantastic. If anyone has read It’s Extraordinary, My Dear Winifred, they will see how much I patterned the plot after both Nancy’s escapades, plus the added touch of a Doyle-ian flair.”
Titles don’t come easily to Miss Mae; sometimes they don’t come until after the rough draft is completed. She thinks over the whole plot and tries to concentrate on the one main theme.
“I ask myself: will this convey the overall idea without revealing too much? I’m not sure why it is, but it appears all my titles turn out to be lengthy ones!” She laughed. “One thing I’ve noticed — before I actually settle on a title, maybe I’ve should’ve Googled them first. After I’ve gone ahead and published, then what do you know? I discover other books out there with the exact same one as mine! Duh. Some preliminary detective work definitely needs to happen in future,” she added with a smile.
Miss Mae has written ten books: five full-length (over 40,000 words), three are novellas (over 10,000 words), and two are shorts (less than 5,000 words). She loves them all, but said if she had to choose one, it would be the book she wrote first; the one she dreamed about seeing in print the longest; the book whose hero, even today, leaves her breathless—her YA When the Bough Breaks.
“I must have written the original manuscript almost 30 years ago — with pen and paper!! You know, where you got writer’s cramp? I still have those original, now yellowed papers stuck in a folder,” she said. “The ink has smeared, pages have glued together from disuse, and some words are faded and indistinguishable, but I re-read with a smile as I catch all those errors of a budding, but amateur writer.”
Although Miss Mae’s books are available as e-books, she doesn’t care for them. She doesn’t own an e-reader nor does she have any interest in owning one.
“Print for this gal, all the way! And why? To say ‘because that’s what I grew up with’ isn’t the whole answer. Let me give a ‘fer instance’. Consider archeology. How would we know history, or learn anything of the past without hard, concrete evidence left behind?” she asked. “Languages, documents, everything was recorded on parchments or clay tablets. Physical words tell us the story. If we should abandon all things print within the next twenty years or so, I shudder to think of how our events, our lives will be lost. Imagine another era coming along and digging up our history, but all they find are Kindles or Nooks, or iPhones. How will they know anything? All these electronic gadgets need to be turned ‘on’ and must operate with batteries. But at that time there will be no batteries. I personally feel we’re losing ourselves with the digital revolution.”
“What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?” I asked.
“That I look EXACTLY like my avatar!!! Okay, well, I exaggerate…maybe a little. I really don’t have dark brown eyes. Come to think of it, I don’t have dark hair either! In truth, I bear little resemblance to that picture at all. And now THAT is, of course, the great surprise!”
About the Author:
Miss Mae is all about romantic mysteries. Said the Spider to the Fly, When the Bough Breaks, Dove Island, It’s Extraordinary, My Dear Winifred, and See No Evil, My Pretty Lady are award winning best sellers. Her latest, Catch Me If You Can, and the novellas Miss Penelope’s Letters and Through a Glass Darkly have already received top rated five-star reviews. Tantalizing trailers, and more information, is readily available at her website: www.MissMaeSite.com
Miss Mae also enjoys writing humor and non-fiction articles. Besides her monthly contributions to the ezine American Chronicle, some of her publications can be found in The Front Porch Magazine, Good Old Days, and WritersWeekly.
She co-mod’s The Sweetest Romance Authors Yahoo Group, a group of romance authors who guarantee their stories adhere to a G-rating. Visit our blog at http://thesweetestromanceauthors.blogspot.com.
Her alter ego, M.M. also has her first children’s/humor book, The Mishaps of Gum Drop Island available in digital download at Smashwords and Kindle, and now in print at Amazon.
She also designs eBook covers. View some samples at her site: www.MissMaeSite.com/designingbookcovers.htm
Find her online at:
When the Bough Breaks winner of the 2009 P&E Readers Poll.
Late 1960’s. Time of the Vietnam War, hippies, fishnet hose, and mini-skirts. Add a flirtatious wink from the baby blues of ‘love ’em and leave ’em’ Parker Shane and sixteen-year-old Darlene Moore wonders if she’ll ever be the same. Winner of the 2009 P&E Readers Poll in the YA category, When the Bough Breaks is more than a romance tale. Combining suspense, intrigue, and danger, Miss Mae pens a riveting story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats and gasping, “What’s next?”