Marcia Maidana

Marcia writes young adult/adult fiction. She and I connected on Facebook. Her books look delightful and I’m glad to get to know her a little more through this interview. I loved finding out we have a common interest in Genealogy!

Author Bio:

I was born and raised in Argentina among a mixed culture of Spaniards and Italians. I got my first library card when I was eight years old. It meant so much to me that after more than three decades, I still have it in my possession. The library allowed patrons to check out two books per week, which wasn’t enough for me. I then decided that I’d volunteer at the library so I could read books during breaks.

I learned a little British English in Argentina. When I arrived in the United States, I had no idea what language was being spoken.

I’m an International Genealogist specializing in the countries of France, Italy, and Spain.

I love to plant flowers and see them grow. I love mint, so I grow it in my garden as well.

My grandmother was Italian. She made her pasta from scratch and it was delicious. Very rarely do I eat store-bought pasta since its taste is so different.

My childhood home is located a block away from a Catholic convent. I was fascinated with the nuns and priests; hence, there are nuns and priests in Shadows of Time Duology.

My children laugh when I tell them who the most influential women in my life are (of course they aren’t the most influential, but I do appreciate them very much), they are: Agatha Christie, for her incredible stories which inspired me to be a better writer; Denise Austin, who has kept me in shape through her workout videos without having to leave the house; Mary Kay, whose make-up products I can’t live without.

1. Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Argentina during the military regime which ended with the loss of many young lives in the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Amidst the devastating effects of military government and war, reading and writing became a passion which expanded and transported my imagination with the possibility of a brighter future.

At the age of eighteen, I moved to the United States, where I studied English and started my own family. Soon I discovered that the love I have for my husband and children would naturally unfold towards my European roots, leading me to become a genealogist and family historian. A decade of searching, compiling, and learning the stories of thousands of people has instilled in me a profound gratitude for the strong ties that can be achieved in families through personal sacrifice.

So it is that through fiction, Shadows of Time duology (Awaken, Shadows of a Forgotten Past and Alive, Shadows of a Living Past) explores and exposes the characteristics of true love and loyalty in times of fear, war, and finally, death. But perhaps the most captivating element in the story is the battle within the souls of the main characters as they search to know who they really are and how they are connected.

2. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I started writing short stories when I was about eight years old, but I never imagined that I would publish anything.

Six years ago, I was learning about a man in my father’s Italian line whose wife died at a younger age, but the man never remarried although he lived for another 30 years. I started to wonder how things might have been different if something a little magical had happened.

That’s when the idea for “Awaken,” a historical, time travel romance, popped into my head.

I wasn’t thinking to become a writer, rather the story made me a writer. I fell in love with the idea and I wanted to see how it would play out.

3. What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I love to read and to write in the following genres: Historical romance, mystery, action, time travel, with a supernatural twist.

I love writing a combination of genres. Awaken and Alive are a mixture of romance, mystery, time travel, and action with a supernatural twist.

4. Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Young adults and adults.

5. What is your current release or project?

I’m working on another historical mystery. 

6. Tell us about the key characters

The story will focus on a young lady, who has been sheltered from the world by her parents her entire life. Due to unexpected events, she’ll have to grow up and face the real world by herself.

7. What advice would you give a beginner?

Never give up! Keep writing!

Social Media Links


Purchasing Links


Barnes & Noble


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the cost of the item at all.

A Good Story

I haven’t written a lot in the way of stories in a while.  I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t anymore.  I’ve been editing, writing patterns and so on but actually sitting down to write scene after scene, I haven’t done in months.

Last night I got lost in the telling of my story.  I started out grumbling to myself about how tired I was and how I wasn’t sure where I was going, and a variety of other things.  I had this whole mental dialog at the end of which I essentially told myself to quit whining.  I spent several hours writing and by the time I was done, I had written eight small scenes, about 4000 words.

As I was writing the flow just seemed to come to me.  I couldn’t type fast enough, as I was finishing one scene the next would pop into my head.  I could almost see them play out in my head.

Being a responsible adult – which not as fun as kids think it is – I turned out the lights at 11:15 to go to bed so Monday wouldn’t be MONDAY.  Instead of sleeping, I lay in the dark wondering if I had written good scenes, if they were too short, too back and forth.  Among a million other things, the book kept going through my head.

After a bad night’s sleep and a long day at work, I’m back at my computer.  I reread the scenes and they are quick but I don’t think too quick.  I think I’ve got the right mood, tone, and rhythm I want in them.  One or two of them might need to be fleshed out more with a bit of description but for the most part these are conversations so you get to know the characters better.

Wayfarer Expansion is out after I had my freak out about ten books in a series and thinking it was time to wrap it up or maybe not or …. I said it was a freak out.  I got in my own way with writing.  Granted I was doing a lot of crocheting and writing of patterns but still I got in my own way with story telling.  It doesn’t matter if it is book 1 or 100 (wonder if I could make it that far with this series?) as long as I’m telling a good and complete story, that is all that matters.

Ultimately that is the goal – a good story.  I want it to be one which will make you laugh, cry, and hold your breath.  I want you to hate putting it down and hate waiting for the next one.  I want you to love the characters unless they are bad – then I want you to love hating them.  I know this is asking a lot of my readers but I’m asking it of myself first.

There are still parts of books when I go back to read them (yes my own) where I still cry, laugh and so on.  There are books I hate putting down from other authors – ones I will stay up all night reading even if I have to work the next day.  On my own, I’m not such a good judge on this criteria.  I think that’s what makes a good story.   I think this is what keeps readers coming back – a couple of hours of escape into another world which involves you so much you forget about whatever is going on in your own life and focus solely on the story.

It’s Official

I’ve published my first book!  This morning I spent four hours finishing up the prep for submissions to Smashwords.  It was complicated, frustrating, and exciting.  Secret Past by Eileen Troemel is out there for sale on their site!
I’m only three months later than I planned but it is finally out there and available.  Please go look and buy if you feel inclined.  Vicki was the first one to buy a copy. 
You would think publication would be the end of the road for a book. I have to market the book through social media and however else I can.  Also this is an electronic version and the next step is to see how much it will cost to do a paper version.  Once that comes out, I’ll have to do more marketing. 
For right now though, I’m going to bask in getting my first book published and the momentary sense of accomplishment!  


While organizing in my office this weekend, I unearthed the manuscript I had been editing.  My first thought was to just put it in the bin with the others for that overall story.  I couldn’t quite bring myself to do that.  I picked it up to move it to the bin and couldn’t so set it back down – in the way of course.  After doing this a couple of times I realized – I need to put this back in my purse and take it with me. 

Editing is a part of writing.  A good editor is worth their weight in gold.  There is nothing more irritating when you are reading a book than to edit it as you go.  If the manuscript hasn’t been edited thoroughly almost anything can slip through from a grammatical issue to a typographical issue to even a story inconsistency. 

The biggest complaint about self-published books is that they are poorly edited.  Part of the problem is that writers often cannot afford a professional editor and/or think they are good enough to not need one.  The thing is no matter how good you are – you need an editor even if you are your own editor. 

It is better to have other eyes on the manuscript because after the third or fourth round of edits you stop seeing what is on the page and start seeing what you think is supposed to be there.  A good editor should catch those things.  A good editor will tell you where your story lags or is inconsistent or doesn’t make sense. 

Editing is a tough job because authors (this one included) don’t like to hear criticisms of their baby.  Believe me their manuscripts have the authors blood, sweat, and tears in them.  The hardest thing as an author is to take a step back and say – what doesn’t work, what does, and why are you keeping something someone else says should go. 

As an author and editor, it is usually pretty easy for me to say add or delete (though deleting is hard for me) even when it is my own work.  However, I have people who will kick me in the bum if I don’t follow my instinct. 

For my current manuscript, I wanted to try out a different beginning so I rewrote it based on people’s criticism.  I like the second opening to the story but it didn’t pop and sort of slowed the action.  When I presented it to two of my readers, one liked it and one didn’t.  The one who liked it said it read more like a movie script than a book.  As I’m writing a book, I am sticking with the original opening. 

Having reworked it doesn’t mean I’m tossing out the opening.  If I ever get to a point where the book is popular enough to be a tv series or movie, I would do the other opening I wrote – maybe.  I listened to my critics and considered an alternative but ultimately made my own decision about how to rework (or not) the section of writing. 

Editor fees can run anywhere from $25 – $100 per hour.  Some editors won’t even look at your work for under a certain dollar amount.  Most editors want payment up front.  This sounds very demanding but I can tell you from personal experience it is hard to do work and then have the author not pay you – especially when it gets into bigger figures.
An editor is an advisor who will offer suggestions on how to make a manuscript better.  The author has to decide if they trust the editor’s experience and advice as well as whether the changes suggested are good for the manuscript.  It is your choice as the author – make it a wise one.

Content vs Style vs Context

What is more important your content or the style in which it is written?  This has been an ongoing debate in my Prose Stylistics class.  I say content is primary, with style playing a secondary role and context coming in third – this is a photo finish fall these three. 
Style involves things like sentence structure, tropes and schemes (like alliteration, metaphors, syllepsis etc.), word choice, punctuation and so on.  It is how you write your content.  Content of course is what you are saying.   
As an author I know I don’t take style into consideration at all (at least not consciously) when I’m writing for the first time.  If I’m doing a rough draft of fiction, I just write.  I don’t’ think about my word choices, sentence structure, or anything else – it is just a matter of getting the story out of my head and onto the paper. 
When I’m editing, I make all those tough choices.  It is then I look at my metaphors and similes to see if they are tired.  I look at the structure of the sentence – does it sound right?  Often I will read it out loud to see how it sounds.  This is when style comes into play. 
If I’m writing for a particular publication, I look at their writing guidelines and issues to see what has been successful.  Depending on what it is – an essay or fiction or ??? – I will model my work after what has already made it into the publication.  The one caution about this though is that you have to remember to keep your approach fresh.  Following someone else’s format too closely may make your own piece seem a bit stilted and tired. 
For me, I just want to write a good story, essay, directions, or whatever it is I’m writing.  I want it to entertain, instruct, or persuade.  You do that with great content and great editing to adjust the style to the context you want the piece to fit.

The Art of a Good Critique

There is an art to critiquing writing.  I had another short story critiqued last night.  I listened to the critique closely as I had written on a controversial topic.  The complements are nice.  They definitely stroke my ego but don’t really help me be a better writer. 
With each workshop, we are required to read the story and as we read it we edit it (think copy editing where you are looking for grammar mistakes, tone, punctuation, and so on).  In addition to the technical aspect of the writing we are also supposed to write about the content – what works, what doesn’t work, what we like and don’t like.  I take this part very seriously.  I edit like I would for my daughters or a client.
We then have to write a letter to the author summing up what we edited.  With each class period we hand these over to the author.  I’ve done mine each time.  I’ve read mine as well.  Sometimes as I’m reading the critiques I wonder about people’s comprehension levels because I can’t find what they are talking about in my story. 
Wading through these critiques is like trying to find a diamond in a pile of shit.  Crude maybe but true.  Most of what these people have to say is arrogant, condescending, and idiotic.  However, I’ve had some really thoughtful critiques.  These gems in amongst the crap are really helpful and thought provoking. 
Most people want you to write the way they want to read and if the story doesn’t go the way they think it should go then they don’t like it.  They don’t look beyond their personal preferences (I know I’m guilty of this which is why I wait to write my letter so I’m not writing it with my first gut reaction.)  The problem with this is they aren’t analyzing how it was written but how they reacted to it. 

When I find these gems, it usually inspires me to go back to the story for another revision.  It inspires me to edit thoughtfully and with impudence.  It can really spark the creative juices so that I can improve my work.  That is the point of the critique – to be relevant and constructive.  Something I hope I keep in mind when I do my own critiques and something I will continue to mine for when I read the critiques I have gotten.