One of my favorite things about being a writer is meeting other writers. It’s been a joy getting to know Maureen Joyce Connolly and reading her debut novel, LITTLE LOVELY THINGS, out April 2, 2019. An abduction novel that asks the question, how do we rescue ourselves after extreme tragedy?
Look for my full review on BookReporter.com later this month. Now, here’s your chance to get to know a bit about Maureen.
What did you learn about yourself while writing this novel?
So many things! That I am tenacious and willing to stay with a project to the bloody end. I mean this book took me close to ten years to write! I had to learn so much about the writing process which in turn, taught me about myself. I’m a pretty social person and love being with friends and family, but I discovered that I also crave absolute alone time to craft and create – and it is is, in fact, key to my long-term balance as a person.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Don’t share too early! I would caution against readers taking a peek at your work until you have a decent handle on the second draft at the very least. And be careful! Know who you are getting input from in terms of setting realistic expectations. I never asked friends or family to read early in my writing process, and I only asked a few people I truly trusted when things began to really gel. People you know well can interpret things in certain ways based on your relationship, which ultimately may not be helpful.
Besides being a writer, do you have another job?
I majored in science as an undergrad, physiology to be exact, which was the pre-med program at my school (Michigan State University). I’ve always loved science and made it my primary career. It wasn’t until I received an offer for LITTLE LOVELY THINGS by Sourcebooks that I decided to quit what I was doing – managing drug development projects specifically for ultra-rare diseases, and become a full-time writer.
Has anyone ever thought a character you wrote was based on them?
LOL! All the time! Especially family members. I think they look for threads of familiarity from our shared past in the characters, which quite possibly may be present, but it’s important to note that traits are manipulated by the writer which creates an entirely new person/character.
Do you have a favorite character in your book?
I love this question because I love my characters. I would enjoy hosting a talk show and entertain them as guests even though they are not real (I know, weird!). Ultimately, I am not able to answer my own question because picking a favorite is not fair since they have all presented so many challenges, so much heartache and so much hope, to me as a writer, that I fear I might slight one.
What is your favorite charity or cause?
I think that the Fistula Foundation is one of the most amazing charities in the world. Anyone familiar with the trauma of fistula, which is the destruction of tissue that results from giving birth because the mother’s body is too small, is aware of what a huge need there is for support. Occurring mainly in third world countries, the devastating effects of birth-related fistula are both physical and mental, as many times the young women (too young or malnourished) are treated as pariahs, since they are often incontinent after delivery. Repair is possible only with specialized surgery. The Foundation, which supports healing on many levels, is a ray of hope in otherwise very bleak lives. Here’s the contact for anyone interesting in helping out be donating – https://www.fistulafoundation.org/donate