‘To be Maria’: How it all Started

November 2009. ‘Day of Revenge’ is complete. I’m on the editing stage, but I’m searching for another idea for a new historical novel. I’m thinking and I’m thinking. Finally, I found what I thought would be the perfect idea for a historical. I found one at last. The story would be set in 1600s France and would entail the story of a noble girl who seeks revenge on her power hungry Uncle for the murder of her parents. This is a great idea and would make for one hell of a story. But, just as I was building a list of characters, another story appeared on my horizon.

It was the most simultaneous thing because it came to me and not the other way around. The story came to me in early December of that year. It was ‘To be Maria’–my WIP. I set to work on it in January, but my creativity was blocked by the stress of rejection and by having to search for a new job. The story just wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to. And, besides, my heart was set on writing another historical novel. So, I put ‘To be Maria’ on the shelf and decided that I would not visit it again.

A few months later, something happened to me that has never happened before. My mind was haunted by my infant story, ‘To be Maria’. I could almost hear a voice inside my head telling me to write this story. It needed to be told and I’m the only one who could write it. So, at my friend’s office in early April, I rewrote the first two chapters of ‘To be Maria’. The right words flowed from my head and onto paper like a waterfall, free falling from a cliff to the stream below. It was like magic.

I spent the rest of April, completely absorbed by this story. I lived it; breathed it. I could not get my mind off of it. While I found the writing process much easier than that of ‘Day of Revenge’, it was a hard story to write. ‘To be Maria’ entails the story of two teenage girls who, in their quest for popularity, befriend people who have dangerous connections that will put their lives at stake. Anya Preschnikov–my MC–is an aspiring actress, but she is very poor, neglected and downtrodden. She believes that, in order to get her stepping stone to stardom, she needs to be surrounded by friends. Maria Hernandez–my other MC–sees the potential in Anya that everyone else refuses to acknowledge and so she takes her under her wing.

This story was hard to write because it covers some very heavy subject matter. Also, when I started writing it, I was going through a significant change in my personal life. It was a bitter-sweet experience. I was moved by this story, pained by this story and satisfied by this story.


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