Monday, June 3, 2013

Interview with Women’s Fiction Author Maria Hoagland

Maria Hoagland has a knack for procrastinating, but somehow, eventually things usually get done. She has three children, a very supportive husband, a job working with English language learners at a local elementary school, and teaches in the women’s organization, called Relief Society, at her church. She’s looking forward to the summer to write the rough draft of her next novel and spend time enjoying the sun and raspberries in her backyard. Maria currently has two published novels, Nourish & Strengthen and Family Size and enjoys editing and formatting for other authors.

Welcome back to my blog, Maria. Please tell us about your new book Family Size.

Thank you, Linda, for hosting this interview! I’m excited about my newest novel, Family Size. I had so much fun writing from three different perspectives in this book—three main characters who experience unique situations dealing with fertility and their individual families and then weaving those stories together: Sloane desperately wants a baby, Jessica needs a break, and Maya could just use someone to lean on. It is a novel about friendships and faith as well as fertility, and one I think any mom can relate to.

Stories that we can relate to makes it more interesting. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

You know when a group of women get together—especially at a book club or play group for the kids—and the conversation so often turn to labor stories? It always gets me to thinking about how we have no idea what’s going on in someone’s life. There was a time in my life when I was saddened by these stories, wondering if I’d ever have one of my own, which is probably why I always felt that adoption stories were a special treat. All of the women’s stories I’ve heard over the years have inspired me, and after mulling over them for years, I formed characters that I felt had interesting family stories to share that I think most women should be able to relate to and feel inspired by.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I love doing research for fiction. Medical issues intrigue me. My ideas usually start with anecdotal information—personal experiences either in my own life or in the life of family and friends. I also do a lot of internet research on blogs to see how people feel and react to specific situations I plan to use in my book. I do as much fact-checking as I can on informational websites, but then where I am especially lacking in experience, I make sure to send the manuscript on to someone who has expertise that I don’t—in this case, with adoption.

You love to write Women’s Fiction. What intrigues you most about writing stories like this?

I started writing women’s fiction because it is my favorite genre to read. Sure, I appreciate a good Harry Potter or The Giver or The Night Circus, but I enjoy realistic fiction that teaches without being overly instructional, lets me experience without leaving my house, and entertains and enlightens. So that’s what I try to do. I figure if I like to read it, someone else probably will, too. At least that’s what I’m hoping!

Thanks, Maria, for this wonderful interview. I really appreciate getting to know you.


Library Lady said...

I enjoyed reading Maria's interview and would love to win this book.
Janet E.

Mary Preston said...

I always enjoy realistic stories as well. Great to add you to my reading list.


Videoclimber said...

Thank you Linda for introducing me to this author. She sounds like someone I could relate to and enjoy.


Meghan said...

This looks so great! Thanks for sharing with us! I adore that cover as well.
Did the author have any say on the design of the book cover? Also, who in the author's life encouraged them to sit down and write their first book?
Thanks for the giveaway!
mestith at gmail dot com

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I agree that we never know what someone else is going through (or has gone through. I enjoyed this interview

Anonymous said...

I grew up in the small Wintersville Branch where Maria's father was Branch President...I am thrilled to see that Maria is an author...I look forward to reading her daughter gave up her baby to a dear family who struggled to have children...we keep in touch with our little Brianna's family and am so grateful for them...adoption is very near and dear to my blesses the lives of so to you Maria...Cindy Kalogeras

Unknown said...

adoption in my pinion is still in a gray area. Many people adopt a child for the wrong reason *sigh*

crescent. ivy @gmail. com

Unknown said...

Sounds good, realism is real ;) Thanks and good luck to all

Unknown said...

Sounds like an interesting read. And, I like the cover.

MistyRios said...

Thanks for introducing me to this great author!

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a very interesting story. One that I would love to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Ever since I became a mother these kinds of stories are what i turn too more and more often. I used to love reading murder mysteries, I still do, but find myself setting them down more often for family/women stories.Love the color too!

Unknown said...

opps forgot to leave my email, lol :)

Two Tall Tales said...

It was a very nice interview. I loved learning more about Maria and how much she love to write clean fun going fiction. Happy Writing Maria!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Meghan said...

Great interview! I love these hops! My 'Best Book Ever' is definitely "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon. I also have to admit that I'm a big fan of the Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and I LOVE the Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward. An author who continues to surprise me throughout their series of books is well worth anyone's time!
Thanks for the giveaway!

mestith at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Oh! have I made it in time??? I have a soft spot in my heart for this topic and would love to read this story... Yes, I love fantasy ,but I could really use a story like this one at this time in my life... one of community and relationship, and real care. thank you for the chance to win!! What a treat!


mrsdayseye at gmail dot com

Mindy Holt said...

Great interview.

holtmin at yahoo dot com

Maria Hoagland said...

Thank you so much to all of you who commented on the interview and expressed interest in my book. To answer Meghan's question, I DID have a say in the cover! In fact, I created the cover, so I'm so glad you liked it (and the rest who commented about it). It's a fun part of being indie published--I have total control over all aspects of the book and I love being able to use my creativity in more ways that words. Thank you, Linda, for hosting the interview and giveaway!

Maria Hoagland said...

Now for the winner of a copy of Family Size...Michelle Koerner!! I'll be emailing about all the details. Thanks, everyone for entering!