Wednesday, September 19, 2012

10 Questions: Maribeth Graham

Maribeth Graham, reader/writer

About Maribeth

I am a writer and a reader. I have been writing for about ten years and have obtained two diplomas from the Institute of Children's Literature.I write middle-grade and young adult novels. In the past year, I have come very close to landing an agent for my middle-grade novel but in the end got rejected. I am just happy to know that I received many requests for partials and fulls. It gives me hope that I am on the right track. I am currently preparing to query my young adult novel and hope to do so by late fall early winter.
I am also an avid reader. I enjoy reading everything and try to stay up to date with all the books getting buzz or hitting the NY times best sellers lists. I have made it a goal to  read  more of the classics. I recently purchased Great Expectations which I am eager to read. Some of my favorite authors are Edgar Allen Poe, Ray Bradbury, Lois Duncan, Neil Gaiman, Dean Koontz, Mitch Albom, Suzanne Collins, Jodi Piccoult, Shel Silverstein, S.E. Hinton (I guess you can say I have eclectic taste).

I have been blogging for about ten years. My current blog is titled Writing Like Crazy and can be visited at 
I can be found on Twitter @YolaRamunno
My publishing credits include -All You Magazine, Stories for Children Magazine, LCCC Annual Literary Magazine, Alien Skin and I once received payment from ABC studios for a short story about motherhood.
The Interview
#1: This question was submitted by @lkhillbooks: If you have two books, both of which sound interesting and are the type of thing you generally read, how do you choose between the two? What are your deciding factors?

Good question! I love book covers, so it might depend on which cover looks most appealing to me. I’d also be more apt to select the book that is most different from what I recently read .If I just finished reading a book about angels, I’d probably be interested in a book with an entirely different concept.

#2: Do you ever venture outside the NYT Best Seller's list and sample indie writers?

Absolutely, I don’t think a book needs to be on the NYT Best Seller’s List to be a gem.  I applaud indie writers for all of the work they do to get their book out there. I recently met Indie author Jozef Rothstein (author of As the Matzo Ball Turns) at our local Barnes and Nobles. He was great fun and his book is super funny. I featured him on my blog and gave away a signed copy to one lucky reader. I believe in supporting all authors.

#3: Are you a genre-specific reader?

Not really. I am a mood reader. In the past few months I have read picture-books, middle-grade, young adult, spiritual, mystery and books on the craft of writing. I love them all.

#4: What format do you read most? Nook? Kindle? Print? Do you find yourself browsing books in brick and mortar stores most of the time, or online, at Amazon or B&N?

I still love the feel of a traditional book but I am also a fan of the Kindle. I love that with one click, I can have a book at my fingertips. But, since my Kindle is currently broken, I have been reading more print books. I adore B&N so I definitely would rather browse for books at one of their stores than search online. There is something about being surrounded by books that is inspiring. I can’t get that same feeling from online searching.

#5: Ten years is a long time to be blogging. Tell us about that experience and how it has changed over the last decade.

Yeah I can’t believe it myself. It all started from reading an article written by Christina Katz (The Writer Mama). She mentioned that writers should blog. At the time, I didn’t even know what a blog was. I sent her a comment and asked if she could explain a little bit about this blog thing. She was awesome and actually gave me step by step directions on how to start a blog. Within a few hours I had my very own blog Moments to Memories up and running. I blogged about moments in life that I found funny, sad, inspiring and heartwarming. Beginning that blog made my love for writing grow to deeper levels. I loved receiving comments from people who shared similar stories or thought one of mine touched home. It was especially special to me because my father often commented. Now that my father is no longer living, I can go back to my posts and see and hear him through the comments he left.

After a while, I decided that I should start a new blog which focused on the journey of becoming a writer. I began Writing Like Crazy four-years ago. Each posts varies in topic but are all  related to the writing world.

#6: This question was submitted by Renee DeAngelo. When you finish a really great book by an author, do you look for other books by that author, or move on to someone else?

Good question Renee, I am a bit of a scattered reader so I can’t say I would run right out and look for another book by the same author. If the book is part of a trilogy, then definitely, I’d pick up the other books, but then would probably move on to someone else. I like the idea of letting time lapse before reading another book by that same great author. It’s more of a treat that way.

#7: Now for a writer question: You mentioned rejections in your bio. Have you ever considered self-publishing?

I often think about what would happen if I were to self-publish. Like I said earlier, I commend any author who decides to take that route but for right now in this moment I still want to become published the traditional way. I feel like I have spent ten years trying to hone my craft so that one day someone somewhere would take notice and want to take a chance on me. For me, self-publishing takes away the excitement of getting an agent, finding a publisher, meeting an editor. I want to experience all of that emotion.

#8: Tell us about your writing projects. What type of books are you writing and who is your target audience?

Currently, I have several picture books, a middle grade novel and a ya novel written.  In the beginning I couldn’t pinpoint what genre I loved the most so I wrote them all.  But it is said that all writers eventually discover what genre feels like home. I’d like my target audience to be upper middle-grade and young adults, writing for those genres feels very natural for me.

#9: You once received payment for a short story about motherhood. Tell us something about your own family and how much of an influence they have on your writing.

So much of my writing is influenced by my family. Whether it is reflections of moments from my childhood and what it was like having three sisters and a brother or my current life now raising three girls and a boy.  All those moments add gravy to my stories. I have experienced, love, grief, hope, disappointment, excitement, fear, birth and death with my family. Every emotion that makes a story great, I went through with my family.  They will continue to influence me and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

#10:  Let's do something different. There has to be a question you were hoping I would or wouldn't ask. Ask yourself that question (please let us see the question), then answer it.

Question: What is your biggest wish when it comes to writing?
Answer: That someone would decide I was worth taking a chance on. I always hope someone sees potential and says “okay, let’s do it”. And if that were ever to happen, I would work my fingers to the bone so I would be worth the risk.
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Thank You, Maribeth, and good luck with your writing. I encourage everyone to check out Maribeth's blog, as well as following up this interview with questions or comments of your own. I particularly would like to see some discussion of Maribeth's question/answer in response to #10. I think it would make a good conversation. What do you think?


  1. Great interview! Pleasantly surprised to see my question! :D I'll check out her blog! :D This 10-month blogger wouldn't mind some tips from a 1-year blogger! :D

  2. Hi Liesel ( I love that name). Thanks for commenting. If you ever have any questions about blogging I'd love to help. Have a great day!