Maya Reynolds has had a varied career path on her way to becoming an author. She trained to be a teacher and later became a stockbroker, but quit after ten years to return to graduate school. She became a psychiatric social worker and eventually took charge of operations for the public mental health system of Dallas.
Maya called upon her experiences to write her first novel—a contemporary erotic thriller titled Bad Girl.
Author blog: http://mayareynoldswriter.blogspot.com.
Bad Girl: Sandy Davis told herself that her hobby of spying on neighbors in the high-rise across the street was just a game; it didn’t hurt anyone. No one knew. Until the night the phone call came . . .
“You’ve been a bad girl.”
He calls himself Justice. He has a pastime, too. Watching Sandy watch others. He has the photos to prove it. Now it’s his turn to play—by making Sandy pay the price in exchange for holding on to her naughty little secret.
As the sensual dance between two strangers begins, so does Sandy’s fear that she’s moving closer to the edge of extreme desire—and inescapable danger.
BookEnds: Where did the idea for this story come from?
Maya: I’ve always loved edgy thrillers, and I was looking for a storyline that would combine a hot romance and a suspenseful plot. Sandy’s peeping begins after her boyfriend dumps her, leaving her feeling vulnerable. Now she’s caught up in a situation spiraling out of her control.
Writing the novel offered me the opportunity to explore the boundaries of passion and intimacy with a likeable heroine and the man who both excites and terrifies her.
BookEnds: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Maya: Begin early to think of yourself as a professional. When you do that, you make different decisions than you do when you think of writing as your hobby. You begin to set regular times aside to write, and you don’t allow yourself to be distracted by friends, email, and phone calls. During my writing time, I don’t answer the phone or read emails. I’m on the job, and I respect that time.
BookEnds: What else did you do right on your way to being published?
Maya: I started my list of possible agents very early—while I was still writing my first manuscript. By the time I was ready to query, I had a list of agents I’d researched and whom I knew could do a great job of representing me.
Another thing I did right was to research the publishing industry. I learned who the publishers were, how to avoid getting scammed, and the terms that the professionals used to describe the business.
BookEnds: Did you make any mistakes?
Maya: I can think of a couple: First, I waited too long to join professional organizations like RWA and Sisters-in-Crime. The workshops and networking opportunities are invaluable. And, second, I waited until I finished my first manuscript to look for critique partners. The time to find critique partners is while you’re writing your manuscript, not after you’ve finished it.
Feel free to ask Maya questions in the comments section. She’ll pop in during the day to answer them.