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Marianne Woolbert-Maxwell Interview Published on: 18, Apr 2022



Q. What did your childhood home look like?


A. It was a large old house that had been a duplex but was made into one big home.


Q. What were your hopes and aspirations as a kid and have you achieved any of them?


A. I wanted to write and I guess I have achieved that!


Q. Have you always loved books?


A.  Yes!


Q.  Why did you choose the suspense/thriller genre? According to you, what makes an unforgettable suspense book?


A.   I am a lawyer and was drawn to write about something that I know. To be unforgettable the book needs to have a good pace and keep the reader on edge wanting to know what happens next.


Q.  What is the most valuable lesson you have learned while studying writing with Natalie Goldberg?


A.   To get out of your own way and just let the words come out. She does what I call fast writing. The key is you set a timer and you just write. Don't worry about what you are saying or if there are misspelled words etc. just put what comes to mind on the paper. Many times I will do that when I am writing a chapter--especially if I am stuck. I just set a timer and write. It's amazing what comes out when you get out of your own way. After I am finished I go back and read it and edit it.


Q. Who or what was the inspiration behind your character Megan O'Reilly?


A. She is a combination of people and situations. The main influence was a friend of mine is a lawyer. He had worked at a big law firm for years trying to get the brass ring and the goal was in sight. He was asked by the "powers that be" to train a new attorney and a paralegal right out of school so they could join the firm. He did and the firm then fired him and kept them. They could get two people for the price of what they would have to pay him when he made partner.


Q. What kind of research was involved when you were writing "Victim of the Defense"?There was some research but it dealt with the particulars of Washington D.C.--locations there, weather, etc. The main storyline came from my years of practicing law.


 Q. While you are superb at writing thrilling scenes, is there any kind of scene or theme that you struggle at writing (romance, racy, historical, etc)?Probably romance and racy!


Q.  What are some of the most profound "shower thoughts" you've had?


A. I seem to write in mental chapters. I don't outline but when I sit down to write I just go with the flow and one chapter leads to the next. In Victim of the Defense, there were several shower thoughts but I can't tell them without giving away the intricacies of the plot! LOL


Q. Audio book vs e-book vs printed book, which one do you prefer and why?I love the feel of holding a real book. I love everything about it. Ebooks are handy since they don't take up space and I am trying to be mindful of all the books I have and could have. I donate a lot of them to libraries. I sometimes listen to audiobooks but I find that I like the real book the best.


Q. What is the best review you've received for your debut book, Victim of the Defense?I have been fortunate to receive quite a few very nice reviews (I don't mean that egotistically!) but my favorite one probably is from a reviewer who said the book was "An excellent and outstanding debut novel" and said, " Don't ever quit writing, Marianne!" I was really touched and contacted her to thank her. At times in this business, you need a good review to remind you why you keep doing this! LOL


Q.Having learned the ins and outs of the business, was the process of getting your books published easier for you?


A. It was quite a learning experience. You can send out hundreds of query letters but it all comes down to finding an agent or publisher who is looking for a book like yours and you click with them. Sometimes you are better off just self-publishing. Finding an agent or publisher is like having a round peg and trying to find a round hole in a huge sea of pegs and holes!


Q. In what ways has becoming an author changed your life in ways you didn't expect?


A. It's like everything in life, there is a variable involved you can't control. Some people will love your work, some won't. Some people will interpret things differently. All you can do is put together the best book that is possible and put it out there.


Q. Are you working on anything new at the moment? If so, when can we expect its release or publication?I am working on another book that I hope to have out in the next year. It is a continuation of Megan O'Reilly character.


Q. Having spent quite a long time with AllAuthor by now, what is your feedback?


A. I can't say enough good about AllAuthor!. I am thrilled with it. You have support and services that don't cost a fortune and get your book out there. Excellent! I highly recommend it!