Veronica's #WritersDiary; Oh, Those Southern Nights; a Chat with #Author Cathleen Maza!
"Savannah is a lovely, gentle, sad old city. You can walk through the shadowy, cobbled streets of the town on a tranquil Sunday morning and feel the atmosphere heavy with the burden of lost greatness and relaxed by quiet decay..." Mills Lane
This week I'm honored to have as my guest, #author Cathleen Maza. She's a multi-genre writer who certainly knows her way around a scary tale! Her #NewRelease, Savannah at Midnight, is an atmospheric collection of stories that whisks you away to the darker side of this southern city gem and its rich history. I absolutely loved this book and I'm sure you will too--it's a perfect #read for segueing into the #Halloween season with #spooktacular grandeur...Let's catch up with Cathy:
Q1. I just finished your book, Savannah at Midnight and was so eerily enchanted at how you brought this historical, southern city's atmosphere alive in these tales! What was your inspiration for this fabulous collection?
Thank you, Veronica! I visited Savannah for the first time in the summer of 2018 and fell head over heels in love with it. I just couldn’t get over the beauty and rich history of the city. I like both reading and writing a good ghost story, and I was definitely in the right place for picking up a haunted vibe. I kept thinking about the idea of using Savannah as a backdrop for a story collection…but I also wanted it to be more than that. I wanted people to experience the feel of the city like I did.
My college-bound teen chose to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, so I made four additional trips there before publishing my book. Each time I went, I tried to venture into different significant places to visit. The last two times I was there, I was able to meet up with a writer friend who actually lived in Savannah and I talked about the spirit of the city and what I wanted to do with my writing. After those conversations, I sat down with my pen and the words started flowing. Once I knew that I wanted to convey the idea of the city having a living form, the book practically wrote itself.
Q2. As a multi-genre author, how do you decide what tale to write next--what triggers your writing muse? As a follow-up to the multi-genre topic--any advice/tips you can offer on marketing to capture your target reader audience?
My writing muse is most definitely an eclectic and elusive creature at times. But once a thought or idea really appeals to her, look out! Sometimes it’s full speed ahead on a certain theme (like Savannah at Midnight) and at other times I just write a number of multi-genre short stories until the muse decides on a direction to take with each of them.
As far as marketing goes, it’s a long game of patience when working with more than one genre. Every week I decide which audience I’m going to appeal to, and work from there. I get to know readers and writers (a lot of readers are also writers) and what genres they prefer. So, for example, if I see a writers lift on Twitter hosted by a horror writer, I’m going to post a link to my paranormal writing. And if I’m pitching a short story to a literary magazine, I look carefully at what they like to publish. Knowing your audience always makes good sense. My long-term goal, of course, is to establish readers who follow me for my particular style of writing and not necessarily for a specific genre.
Q3. As a reader, do you have a preference for genre's? Do you prefer standalone books or series? Any helpful hints to writers who want to gain your reading attention?
I’m a very eclectic reader, although I do tend to avoid books that have strictly romantic plots or are erotic in nature. No offense to those genres, they just don’t click with me. I like standalone books as well as a good series, and I have a great appreciation for a series where I can pick up the books in any order and not feel lost. I can’t tell writers how to grab my reading attention, because it’s something I need to feel for myself. I’m a huge fan of book blurbs because that’s what will make or break purchasing a book for me. Also, unless we have an established relationship, I make a point of NOT reading or reviewing books writers try to put in front of me in personal messages to my social media accounts…so that’s a big no-no.
I just finished books by Ken Stark and Michael J. Straczynski. As I’m writing this, I’m eagerly looking forward to reading Tangled Webs very soon! I do try to support mainly indie authors, though I don’t hesitate to throw in a mainstream writer when I see something of interest. Sitting in my reading que on Kindle right now I have Joyce Carol Oates, Lali Love, Lorna Dounaeva, and the third book of a very British cozy mystery series that I’m fond of (she types with a smile). That’s a very typical mix for me. Once I’ve gotten through those, I’ll be scouting out Twitter and GoodReads for more
Q4. Enquiring minds want to know--what's in your #writing queue for the remainder of the year and 2022?
For the remainder of this year, I’m re-working two books I had previously published but had taken off the market because I’ve “re-imagined” them. The first one is nearly ready for re-publication and is a short collection of literary women’s fiction. I’m also hoping to get a holiday story out there before the holidays are actually upon us…but we’ll see what the writing muse and editing fairy have to say about that.
For 2022, I’m hoping to complete the second book that I’m re-working. It’s more involved because I’m changing stories based on fact into personal essays. I want to publish it as creative non-fiction, which will be a first for me. I’m also looking to finish up and publish a sequel to Inherited, as well as hopefully beginning a third and final installment to that series.
Cathy, thank you so much for being my guest today and again, many congratulations on your fabulous, new release, Savannah at Midnight! If you'd like to learn more about Cathy's works, take a look here:
Savannah at Midnight link: www.amazon.com/dp/B09BDLRMDV
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Cathleen-Maza/e/B012KU14XO
Follow Cathy on Twitter: @CathleenMaza
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The #BookReviews for Tangled Webs are Coming In!
Thank you, thank you to all the readers who have left these fabulous #bookreviews for our new release! Bibiana and I are so grateful and appreciate your awesome reviews!
We had another drawing this past Monday for some more #Halloween swag. This week the winner was: Cynthia Raleigh!👻🎃 Thanks to all! We'll have one more drawing for a very unique giveaway on #Halloween night---there's still one more chance to win!
Tales on the dark streets of Savannah this week from the writers of Twitter...
Author Cathleen Maza, Savannah at Midnight, 5⭐
The clock strikes midnight in this latest collection of haunting mystery and intrigue from author Cathleen Maza. Each click of the town clock brings us closer to the witching hour, as we're whisked away to locations in the southern city of Savannah, where spine tingling tales await.
Romantic liaisons, a petty break-in, a conversation laced in accusations, a strange encounter in a cemetery, a mysterious boat ride...click by click we meet the inhabitants and visitors who walk the cobbled stone streets of this historic town. As the night air swirls around these chilling tales, we meet the mysterious apparition who just happens to appear--is it by chance, or is this spirit of the city waiting and watching as the action unfolds?
Author Maza has written a brilliant collection of paranormal tales that draw you right into the haunting streets of Savannah. I absolutely enjoyed reading these stories--the mystery and enchantment of each is so well done! A highly recommended read!
Next up in the #reading queue:
Anniversary Fun in the Sun!
A spectacular time was had by all last week during our trip over to Catalina for our anniversary. The weather was fabulous and the food awesome. Twenty-six miles across the sea was just what we needed to celebrate anniversary number 22!
Crowns and Kisses,