Young: My guest author today is Ms. Mya O’Malley who was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. Her family also consists of two boxers; Destiny and Dolce and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.
Mya: Thank you Young for having me as your guest author today.
Young: My pleasure, Mya. It's always great to glimpse into the lives, passions and projects of my fellow Solstice authors. :)
Tell my readers about your books and projects you are currently working on?
Mya: My passion is writing, I've been creating stories and poetry since I was a child. I spends my free time reading just about anything I can get her hands on. I'm a romantic at heart and I love to create stories with unforgettable characters. I also like to travel. I've visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. I'm currently working on my sixth novel.
Young: How exciting!
Mya: Currently I've two new releases published: At First Sight - it's a contemporary romance about dating in the modern world, published by Astraea Press, and Where There is Love, is a contemporary romance in which a woman struggles with past obstacles, ultimately faced with whether or not she will open her heart to love. This novel is published by Solstice Publishing. I'm excited to say that Astraea Press will be releasing my contemporary holiday paranormal romance on November 25, 2014 titled If You Believe. Due out in late January is The Calm After the Storm. This book is published by TouchPoint Press. This novel is a contemporary romance that is set within a backdrop of Hurricane Sandy. The story revolves around the idea of a utility worker from Georgia falling in love with a woman in New York.
Young: Give us a little insight into At First Sight.
At First Sight
Johnny’s was packed. Standing on line to place her order, Annie took in her surroundings. Just as the owner, Johnny, was coming over to take her order, something caught Annie’s eye. The guy near the window, he seemed familiar somehow. Where had she seen him before? He was eating dinner with a pretty brunette. He lifted his head to look at Annie as their eyes locked. On no! It was the guy from the mall, the one she bumped into. She quickly spun around, knocking right into the waitress who was carrying a tray of soft drinks.
Soda soaked her shirt and dripped onto the floor. The waitress was clearly annoyed and appeared like she would have loved to tell Annie off. Instead she rolled her eyes and ran to get a towel. If Annie thought she was embarrassed before, it was nothing compared to how she felt now. Every eye in the place was on her, including the guy from the mall. Helpless to do anything else, she grabbed some napkins and bent down to sop up some of the mess.
“It seems you have a knack for causing a scene everywhere you go.” It was his voice. The voice that filled her head with inappropriate thoughts, with longing. What was she thinking? Did she dare look up? His gaze was a magnet, forcing her to meet his eyes.
His eyes were a warmer brown than she had remembered, drawing her in.
“I’m joking. Here, let me help you with that.” He grabbed the napkins from her hand. The heat between them jolted her back. She moved quickly, surprised he could evoke such a reaction from her. Nobody had ever made her feel so exposed before. What was going on here? Annie felt foolish.
“I’m Shane. Shane Nicholls.” He extended his hand to her. They must have appeared to be quite the sight, bending over to clean up the mess while shaking hands.
“Annie.” Annie remembered her new rules of safety in the dating world. One of them was she would not reveal her last name or any other personal information until she was sure the guy wasn’t a stalker or anything.
“Annie. It suits you, I like it.” Annie had almost forgot about the woman waiting for Shane at the table near the window. She glanced over and took in a tight-lipped woman. It hit Annie that this woman was not the same stunning woman from the mall. Hmm, she had met his type before. This guy had “player” written all over him. She quickly brushed herself off and excused herself.
“Hey, Annie. Wait.” He reached for her hand. Annie forgot all about placing her order and made a beeline for the door. She didn’t look back. Well, Annie figured, it looked like it would be Chinese food tonight.
Young: That's great Mya. How did you discover Solstice Publishing to publish your novel, Where There is Love?
Mya: I discovered Solstice by word of mouth from fellow authors. I heard about how wonderful it was to work with Solstice and researched the company, it seemed that my novel fit the criteria for the books Solstice represents. There was plenty of positive feedback from various sources and I felt that Solstice looked very professional. I submitted to Summer Solstice division and was very happy when I was offered a contract for Where There is Love. I recently submitted a manuscript, my first Young Adult fantasy book, Miranda’s Choice to the Solstice Shadows division and am thrilled to announce that I have signed another contract with Solstice Publishing.
Young: That is fabulous, Mya. This bring me to my next question; Where did your inspiration come from for Where There is Love? Was there a character that just had to be heard? Was there an event that inspired you to start writing?
Mya: My inspiration for this book came from my background as a special education teacher. I’m lucky to be in a profession in which I can make a difference in the lives of others. My main character, Mia is a young special education teacher who has always dreamed of helping her students reach for their dreams. Mia accepts a home-schooling position tutoring a troubled high school senior named Cassidy. Cassidy is misunderstood and her self-esteem has been lowered by her past experiences. I developed the character of Mia to help Cassidy overcome her weaknesses and reach for her dreams. In the process of writing this story, I thought that it would be great to have Mia benefit from her role of mentor. It came to me then and there that Mia should have some of her own demons to battle in this story. Mia finds herself in a trusting relationship with her neighbor, Jamie, a man that she has developed a strong friendship with. Will Mia open her heart to love and allow herself to heal from past obstacles?
Young: Will you read us an exercept from Where There is Love?
Mya: Here it is:
Where There is Love
I would have done anything for that girl. Anything. I have dreamed of Mia, I have waited for Mia. I have loved Mia.
I can’t trust Mia.
I can’t get my hopes up again, only to be crushed by her. I couldn’t stand it.
She doesn’t allow herself to be happy. What has happened in her life to cause her to reject the people who love her, who care for her?
I remember the first time I ever laid eyes one her. The way she bumped into me, how embarrassed she was. I swear to this day that she is the most beautiful creature I’ve laid eyes on. Her slim build, dark hair and striking eyes. And that smile, that smile still warms my heart.
I went to see my grandma in Maine for the weekend once I realized that I was falling in love with Mia. My grandmother and I have always been close. She has been there for me through thick and thin ever since I was a child. I grew even closer to her as I was growing up, finding my way in life. For some reason, I always found it easiest to share my feelings with Grandma, the two of us like kindred spirits.
My feelings for Mia scared the life out of me. I told my grandmother that I didn’t want to risk getting hurt again and that Mia seemed so unsure of herself. She offered me a piece of advice that I will hold true to my heart forever: She placed her hand over my heart and said, “Go where there is love, surround yourself with love.” So I did, I went to Mia and tried to tell her how I felt, only to be brushed off with news of Josh coming back into the picture.
I’m happy with Danielle, she’s smart and she’s beautiful. Yeah, I’m going to give this a chance, I would be a fool not to.
But...I think...she’s not Mia. My heart can’t take Mia.
Young: Describe the genres in which you write (paranormal, contemporary, westerns, etc.) to the readers. Obviously you are writing in more than one genre or area, do you have a different process when you're writing different kinds of genres?
Mya: I started writing in the genre of contemporary romance. I have three novels that are in this genre. I also have a novel that is a paranormal holiday romance coming out soon. I recently signed with Solstice again, this time for a young adult fantasy. My process for writing doesn’t change when writing in different genres, but the research itself is quite different. Also, the target audience that I'm writing to and marketing to is different.
Young: Does your background in terms of job, family, geographic location, etc., play into your writing? What kind of research went into your story?
Mya: Yes, definitely. My background as a special education teacher enabled me to portray realistic components of the story, such as the chapter in which Mia utilizes multi-sensory strategies in her reading instruction. Throughout the course of my career, I have been trained in many different reading programs and learned techniques on my own as well. Many of the strategies that I discussed from story come from my own experience in teaching reading and writing. In my own teaching, I like to pull from a variety of sources and add my own strategies. I think I portrayed that experience in the tutoring scenes.
Young: I'm sure my readers will love to know your mind set or process as you sit down to write? Do you have a playlist going? Do you need complete silence? Are you a 6 am writer or an 11 pm writer?
Mya: Sometimes I have a playlist for certain scenes, but most of the time I write at the dining room table with the television on just for background noise. I also have a busy house, but I manage to write regardless of what is going on around me. I guess you could say that absolute silence doesn’t work well for me.
Young: You lead a pretty busy life, how do you balance writing with work and/or personal life? Do you have any other projects you're working on?
Mya: I mostly write during the weekends and breaks from school. On the weekdays my schedule is too busy to do any writing. I’m lucky to have summers off and other breaks during the school year to write. I have become skillful at marketing over the last several months. I have apps on my cell phone for my social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, my blog, Pinterest and Tumbler. You’d be surprised how easy it is to tweet or post while waiting for a train, standing on line at the store or even while watching television. My husband has said to me, “what are you doing on that phone?” countless times. :)
Young: Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?
Mya: If writing is a true passion of yours, don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The great thing about writing is that you get better as you continue to write. It’s important to have a support system in place, such as friends and family to help read your stories and give advice about your writing. I’ve also found that it’s extremely important to reach out to fellow authors on Facebook to ask for guidance and help each other out. I have found that so many of the authors working at Solstice are amazing; there’s a real sense of community.
Young: Tell us where readers can find you and your books ?
Mya: My books are available at:
Trailer: Where There is Love
Website: Mya O'Malley-Website
Pinterest- Mya O’Malley- www.pinterest.com/myaomalley
Tags- #contemporary romance, #new release #romance #chiclit #women’s fiction
Amazon Author Page- amazon.com/author/myaomalley
Young: Thank You Mya for dropping by for a chat. I wish you all the best to your forth-coming endevours, writing, book sales and all the delightful things that goes with being a successful author.
Mya: Thank you for having me.