Monday, June 26, 2017

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Maria Hoagland

When Maria Hoagland is not working at her computer, she can be found combing used furniture stores, remodeling houses with her husband, or sitting on the sideline of a son's soccer game. She loves crunching leaves in the fall, stealing cookie dough from the mixing bowl, and listening to musicals on her iPod. While she appreciates the home office she shares with her husband, Maria's favorite writing places are outdoors where there is sunlight and no internet. Maria Hoagland has several published works including two Whitney Award finalists, The {Re}Model Marriage and Still Time. Other works include Kayaks & Kisses, Home for the Holidays, Nourish & Strengthen, and Family Size.

Welcome to my blog, Maria. Please tell us about your novella, Beauty and the Billionaire Beast.

Thank you so much for hosting this interview, Linda. It’s always great to visit your blog!

Beauty and the Billionaire Beast is part of the Destination Billionaire Romance series, sweet romance novellas set in a fun place with at least one billionaire as a main character. Each Destination Billionaire book is written by a different author and a new one is released every month. There are some fabulous ones out there, so check them out as well, but this is my first.

Beauty and the Billionaire Beast is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but there’s a little more than you might expect. There’s a family mystery that draws the two main characters together, but a family feud keeping them apart. Some of my favorite parts, besides the sweet romance which always makes me happy, are the hints of magic and the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast details which were so fun for me to weave into the story!

Did you get your inspiration from the Beauty and the Beast fairytale or was it more personal?

When I first starting writing this story, Beauty and the Beast wasn’t even on my mind. I was enchanted by my setting, a beautiful, mysterious antebellum plantation in Louisiana—magical gardens, a run-down, imposing mansion, and it seemed to fit. Add to that what some of the community might think about my main character, and I realized that it would work great as one of my favorite fairy tales, Beauty & the Beast. To add the Beauty and the Beast flavor, I made sure I was familiar with the original version, written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, as well as rewatching the animated Disney version. I wasn’t able to watch the new live-action film until just after I sent it to my editor for the first pass; I did, however, choose to name my character Emma because of Emma Watson’s portrayal of Belle.

Did you have to do any research for this story?

One of the things I love best about writing is doing research. Some of the most important research for this story happened before I wrote it. My family and I took a trip to New Orleans, and when we visited a plantation, I took copious notes and photos that helped me ground my story. During the writing phase, I researched to find the perfect prop, checked out plantation graveyards, and hoodoo traditions.

I agree with you about research. It’s one of the things I love about writing a story. I learn so much. Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

I had so much fun writing Emma’s character. She is a landscape architect, something I know little about, so it was fun searching out some of the best gardens in the world. Now I have a whole bucket list of places I want to visit. My favorite part, though, was writing her spunk and imagining what the “Belle and Beast dancing scene” might be for this character. That was the best!

Your story sounds intriguing. Where is your website and blog so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

I love connecting with readers, and you can find me multiple places. The best place to learn about my books is my website at and on Amazon. I also have a Facebook page, Maria Hoagland, Author and a home renovation blog

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Linda, and I look forward to hearing from your readers!

Thank you for this interview, Maria. I appreciate your time on my blog. I hope my followers will check out your book.


Michelle Willms said...

This book sounds beautifully intriguing. I love that there's hints of magic in it, as well as the traditionally sweet romance. Thank you for a lovely interview.

Sonja said...

Sounds like a fun re-make. I'm sure it's a great book! sonja dot nishimoto at gmail do com

Nancy Luebke said...

I love that you enjoy your research so much and I'm sure it comes out in your work. Thanks for this opportunity. Nancy at jluebke(at)frontier(dot)com

Library Lady said...

We all need romance from time to time no matter how old you are. One of our church library readers is 95 years old and she loves to read. She says you can never get enough of romance even if it is only through books.
Janet E.

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a fun remake. I love a good romance.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Maria Hoagland said...

Thank you, Linda, for having me on your blog! I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you to those who have commented and entered the contest. I have run a random number generator and am contacting the winner now. Happy reading!

mamacita5 said...

I loved the twists and turns in this novella.