INTERVIEW: MISS MAE

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:

www.MissMaeSite.com
https://www.facebook.com/MysteryAuthorMissMae
http://twitter.com/AuthorMissMae
http://mishapsofgumdropisland.webs.com
http://feelingnosey.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/MishapsofGumDrop
http://twitter.com/MmofMishaps

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?”

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Comments

  1. Great to learn more about you…and you even look like your avatar. Now that is creative genius.

  2. Terrific interview, Miss Mae. I, too, was a fan of Nancy Drew. Who wasn’t? I love the Nosey blog and can’t wait to see what happens next in his escapades.

  3. Hi Miss Mae,
    Congratulations on your new book. How neat that you are writing children’s books, an ideal place for your wonderful imagination. I’ve read one of Miss Mae’s books, and it was a page turner. I’ve also encountered I.B. Nosey. He’s a fun guy.

  4. Great interview, Miss Mae. Congrats on your new book. I wish you mega sales and fabulous reviews!

  5. Miss Mae knows how to keep her readers on the edge of her/his seat. “When The Bough Breaks” kept me looking over my shoulder for days after I finished it.

    On the other hand, when Miss Mae created “The Mishaps Of Gum Drop Island,” proving her diverse skills included adding humor to mystery, I laughed one minute and shivered the next. You never knew when some odd character or spooky situation would pop up.

    I thoroughly enjoyed both books and would recommend this gifted author to anyone who enjoys suspense, mystery, or even a belly-rollicking laugh.

  6. Hello Miss Mae,

    We haven’t chatted in a long while, and it’s great to catch up on this wonderful blog interview. Congratulations on all your success. I did learn things I didn’t know about you. Your middle name is Mae? Spelled M-a-e? That’s MY middle name, spelled that way. 🙂 I am a huge GWTW fan, so I think it’s very cool that it influenced your pen name, even in a small way.

    Love your stories I’ve read so far. Definitely going to have to check out more. Also impressed that you design ebook covers. I wouldn’t know where to start.

    Wishing you great success!

    Alicia/Ally

  7. For an author who doesn’t title her books until later in the process, you certainly make up for it with delightful choices of Titles.

    Sally

  8. I enjoyed your interview, Miss Mae! Good choice for your pen name and found it interesting how you decided on it. I liked your excellent reason for preferring print books. I enjoy my Kindle a lot but it’s nice to sometimes to read a paperback or a hardback.

    I have enjoyed all your mysteries I’ve read. Also your book covers you design are gorgeous. You are one talented lady.

    The best to you and hope you have mega sales for all your books!

  9. Thanks to everyone for coming over! Your support is wonderful, and I appreciate each and everyone of you! 🙂

  10. Wonderful interview. I love how you came up with your pen name. It’s very different. 🙂

    menina.iscrazy @ yahoo.com

  11. Hello Miss Mae

    What a great interview. We’ve known each other quite a while now and I didn’t think there was much about you I didn’t know, but I was fascinated to know how you came up with your pseudonym!

    I’ve read all your books, including ‘Gumdrop Island’ and loved them all,althogh I have to say ‘When The Bough Breaks’ is my favourite – you really are multi-talented. And your covers are beautiuful – I love the one you designed for me and there you designed two for a friend of mine over here in the UK – is there no end to your talents?:)

    Congratulatins on all your achievements, dear friend, and may you go on to have many more!

  12. I met Miss Mae and Nosey in one of those serrendipitous moments by responding to a call for writers to interview that I didn’t even see — my editor did and told me to e-mail her. What a wonderful day that was! Miss Mae and Nosey have become treasured friends, I count her as one of my mentors and our emails brighten my days. The Misadventures of Gum Drop Island is a classic. I ordered it for my grandson (sort of, he can have it when I’m gone) and it is an autographed, utter delight!

  13. Loved yor interview, found it very interesting. best wishes with Gumdrop Island 2

  14. Thank you, Menina, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  15. Ah, dear friend, Lyn, I’m so glad you came by. 🙂 You’ve been with me every step of the way on this publishing journey, and I can’t imagine my life now without you, lovely British lady! 🙂

    Hugs!

  16. Hey Gail! Where would I be without you? 🙂 I’m so HAPPY that you’ve fallen in love with our “hero”, Nosey! 🙂 And thank you for the kind words, Miss Southern Belle. 🙂 You are a true Georgia peach. 🙂

  17. Hi Sherry! Thank you very much on the congrats, and for coming over. Wishing you the best too! 🙂

  18. Miss Mae, I so enjoyed your interview. I hadn’t realized you had a kid’s book out. (It’s been a while.) Congrats for that accomplishment! I truly want to reach out to the YA community with my stories. Only God knows what the future will bring. That said, I laughed at your “true name” issue. I have a very long first name. Once you know it, it’s easy, but those first few (or half a dozen tries) can be a mouth full, hence, I became known as Evie. Simple enough, right?

    MM, so glad to see you active and inspired. It inspires me!

    Much love.

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