FIRST FIVE SENTENCES OF...THE CROWS
The crows cawed a warning. Then came the gunshots. Three in succession, a pause, then two more. The sound was close—too close—and a shiver of fear slid down my spine. Those shots had come from somewhere in my woods.
The Crows is available now!
Fun FIRST facts about Maris:
1. What was the first romance you ever read?
The title was Bold Venture, but I don't remember the author. It was a YA romance (although I don't remember them being classified as that back then) about a girl, a horse, and a riding instructor. The big, exciting moment was when he kissed her.
The romance that had the biggest initial impact on me was written by Kathleen Woodiweiss. The Flame and the Flower. What wasn't there to like? Even years later, when I started writing, I'd go back to that book to see how she did something. I always planned to only read a paragraph or two, but soon I'd find myself turning pages, once again caught up in the story.
2. What was the very first piece of fiction you ever wrote?
It was was when I was 12. If I recall correctly, it was a bit of a romance, but mostly a horse story. I thought it was so great, but no one else did, so I threw it away and decided writing wasn't for me. Many years later, I gave writing another try. That first attempt was really, really bad, but I didn't give up this time. That story never went anywhere, but I took parts of it and used them in several of the 25 romances that I wrote and had published after that story.
3. What's the first thing you do when starting a new story?
For me a book usually starts with an idea or a character. Generally I start by playing with the idea in my head, asking myself questions: What would happen next? Why? How can I make this more complicated? For example, in THE CROWS, which opens with the 5 sentences here, the idea came from an actual shooting that took place in the woods about 6 miles from where I lived. Two men were found dead and it took several years before they discovered who shot them. In my mind, I began playing with the idea. I wanted my main character to be female and for her to have a dog (a Rhodesian Ridgeback) like the one I had. I needed to decide why she would be walking in the woods and how to create a situation where she would have to be involved in solving the crime. I didn't want her to be in law enforcement, but I knew I would need someone in law enforcement to help her, so why not also create a romance between those two? And that's how things progressed. I'm working on the third book in my "Crow" series and right now, in my head, I have a boat blowing up on Lake Michigan. It's the whys and hows that have me stumped, but I'm getting there.
Thanks so much, Maris! Your book sounds awesome.******************