I'm Swedish originally, and came to the US late 2008. I live in Florida today, with my husband Mike and a little gang of rescue dogs. (I volunteer at Ewenity Farms Border Collie Haven.) I go to school, aiming for a Bachelor's degree in business management, and I work part time at Pet Doors USA.
Skc Why did you choose to write this book, Maria?
Maria That is an interesting question, I've never thought about it that way. Theoretically, I guess I could do something else, or write about something else, but when the ideas come it's like a pressure building up inside, and I want to write it. Need to write it, even. It sounds a little crazy in written words, but once I get an idea and get engulfed in the project, it's the only thing I want to do. I don't think I would be happy if I tried to ignore it.
Skc What would you like readers to take away from your book?
Maria My books don't come with an explicit message, but when I write, my view of the world sneaks its way onto the pages. Few things in life are completely black or white, and few people are completely good or bad. My heroine, Patricia, finds kindness where she least expects it, and learns to see beneath the surface.
Skc What is something readers would be surprised you do?
Maria I do a lot of weird things. I decided many years ago that when my time comes to leave this life, I don't want to look back at it wondering what it would have been like if I had done this or that. This year it's been archery; I got a compound bow from my husband for Christmas and it's fun to shoot at targets. I wouldn't go hunting or anything, I don't even eat meat, but target practice is okay. I also enjoy driving off-road, and I play the bass.
Skc What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?
Maria Oh, there are so many. When it comes to writing itself, talented Christy Elkins taught me to stop using the words "that" and "had" - I still have to practice because they still sneak their way in, but I'm getting better at it.
Skc How do you plan to reach new readers?
Maria I'm going on a blog tour this summer, and I hope it will help make readers curious about me and my books. I have also signed up for my first radio appearance. That will be a little scary - I'm foreign and I have a funny accent - but I think it will be fun too.
Skc Great idea; If you could ask a new reader any question at a book signing what might your question be?
Maria I'd like to know, "What is the one thing you dislike most in books?" I know one should ask positive questions, but I'm curious about what irritates readers in books, and I think the answers could be both interesting and unexpected.
Skc Now that's an intriguing question. Where can the readers find you and what book would you like to donate today, Maria?
Maria I have a website with information about myself and the books: http://www.hammarblad.com. I also have a facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/mariahammarblad , a blog, http://www.scifiromance.info , and I am on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/mariahammarblad . I enjoy hearing from people, so do stop by!
I want to give away a copy of my new novel, Kidnapped. It's available as e-book in all sorts of formats.
Thanks again for being here with us. I look forward to seeing the answers to your question come in.