Who’s Afraid by Maria Lewis + Exclusive Blog Interview!!!

Read3r’z Re-Vu had the pleasure of meeting Maria Lewis as she joined us as our special guest author for our February Session that was themed “Diversity”. It was fantastic to get to know Maria as a new friend and as a debut author – learning about her inspiration to write and her journey to her first manuscript. Maria’s so great and we are so grateful that she agreed to be our first author for our exclusive Read3r’z Re-Vu Blog Interview!!!!

Who’s Afraid?
This is the story of Tommi, a young Scottish woman living an ordinary life, who stumbles violently into her birthright as the world’s most powerful werewolf. The sudden appearance of a dark, mysterious (and very attractive) guardian further confuses her as her powers begin to develop and she begins to understand that her life can never be the same again. The reader will be swept up in Tommi’s journey as she’s thrown into the middle of a centuries-old battle and a world peopled with expert warriors and vicious enemies – this is the start of a series – and a world – you will fall in love with.
Goodreads.com

Annie’s Re-Vu:
5 well deserved stars!!!
What an epic urban fantasy!!! In a world of Paranormal Practitioners, Askari-the nerds of the outfit and girls you just have to kick in the hoo-hah (yes they would have to be some of my favourite lines of the book) comes a story about Tommi who travels to the other side of the world for information on her estranged father, only to find that her heritage is not what she thought it to be. A carefully plotted story with creative world building and such whitty dialogue, this story brings Maori culture, legend and fantasy together. This is a gripping story that leaves you gobsmacked on the edge of your seat!!!

Exclusive Blog Interview with Author: Maria Lewis

When did you first get inspiration to write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, yet it wasn’t so much about finding inspiration rather than being made to do a lot of writing in school. Then when I transitioned into a career as a professional journalist you don’t have the luxury of waiting to get inspired: you have multiple deadlines to hit every day and if you don’t hit them, the paper doesn’t get out so for me it has always been a case of just doing it because it needs to be done. Thankfully, it’s something I love.

What is the title of your debut novel and what inspired you to write this book?
My debut novel is called Who’s Afraid? and it’s the first in a five-book urban fantasy series published by Little Brown Books in London (Hachette Australia locally). The thing that inspired me was getting frustrated with the genre novels I was reading at the time, which all had the same type or heroine and were reliving the same tropes over and over. So I was motivated to try and write a book that I didn’t think existed in the market at the time and would be something that I would be interested in reading.

Is there any particular reason you chose this genre?
I chose it purely because I love it: I love reading urban fantasy and that felt like the genre where I had something to say. That also felt like the genre where Tommi Grayson’s story naturally ran into, but that’s not to say I don’t have ambitions outside of urban fantasy. I write non-fiction for a living in my job as a journo, plus I have designs on a crime thriller series and there’s a science fiction series I have written about a merman that’s being shopped around at the moment. I’ve also had a horror short story published in Germany, a non-fiction comic released in the UK and a romance short story here in Australia with Harper Collins so I’m loose when it comes to sticking with genre – I tend to roll where the story leads.

What’s the name of your favourite book?
Matilda.

What’s the first book you ever read?
No idea.

Where is your favourite place to read?
In bed.

If you’re not reading or writing, what would you be doing?
If not working or watching movies, the most likely option is sleep. ALL of the sleep.

If you had the chance to have a dinner date with any fictional literary character, who would it be, where would it be and why?
It would be DC Comics badass Huntress aka Helena Bertinelli from the Birds Of Prey as she’s one of my favourite comic book characters. Period. It would be at one of my favourite local sushi restaurants just because it’s delicious.

What was the last book you read?
It was Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar which is romance novel set in Brisbane and not something I would typically read, but I tore through it in about a day. I found it an interesting location to set the story as I grew up in that area and it reminded me a lot of my late teens.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever received from a fan?
I had one fan come along to a Who’s Afraid? Q & A with a beautiful container full of homemade lolly cake, which she had decorated in the coolest way. Lolly cake is a traditional New Zealand treat which you can only make with this specific type of Kiwi confectionary: it’s delicious and gave me an intense sense of nostalgia. It was extra special because not only is New Zealand my home country, but it’s heavily featured in the plot of the Who’s Afraid? books. And, plus, anything vaguely food related makes my heart swell.

If your life was turned into a movie, who would you like to play you?
That would be a boring-ass movie no one would watch.

As an author, what was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Know your genre. Whether it’s science-fiction or an Outback romance, know your genre as well as you possibly can so you know the rules, the tropes, the clichés and the restrictions – that way you can bend and break it to your will.

The Top 10: This or That 
Ice-Cream or Ice-Block?
Ice T.

Library or Bookstore?
Bookstore.

Vegemite or Peanut Butter?
Peanut Butter or die.

Chicken or Beef?
Chickeeeeeen.

Winter or Summer?
Winter.

Tea or Coffee?
Tea.

Favourite Chocolate
Whatever one is in my mouth.

Favourite Colour
Purple.

Ultimate Holiday Destination
Scotland.

When reading, I love to eat/drink…
Drink tea. I can’t eat when reading because I consume food like a savage.

Famous last words: Riots not diets.

For more on Maria and her work, head to: Maria Lewis’ website
Maria, thankyou so much for taking the time to be part of this exclusive interview for the Read3r’z Re-Vu Blog!!!!

Re-Vu and Interview by: Annie

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