Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Meet Author Maria Riegger #WriterWednesday


Today's guest, author Maria Riegger is an attorney by day and a fiction writer by night. She makes a perfect friend as she is always eager to laugh at lame jokes. A Gemini, she claims her greatest fear is boredom, which may explain why she speaks so many different languages, including "Catalan and some Portuguese."

Maria's Law School Heretic series begins with Miscalculated Risks, followed by her second thriller, Acceptable Misconduct. The setting for her stories is the Washington DC area. Her protagonist is contrarily described as an antagonist.

 
From a synopsis of Acceptable Misconduct
(Law School Heretic Series, #2)
by Maria Riegger:

Antagonistic Washington DC law student Isabel must face her unsettled past and navigate the final weeks of the semester while figuring out fellow student Tarek's feelings for her before he slips away. Her rational mind and her emotions are at odds, but will she have the guts to see where this leads in spite of an uncertain future?

*****
 
Gail:
Thank you, Maria, for sharing some of your thoughts today about your writing style and information about your published books. The books mentioned above are listed as romance. Does writing in this genre come naturally to you?
 
Maria Riegger:
Not really, no. I prefer reading other genres, such as crime/procedural fiction and thrillers, over romance, although I do read a fair bit of romance. 

For this series, I had a story arc in mind, and when I was done, it most clearly fit the romance genre. While the romance between the main characters is the main arc of this series, the books touch on other themes such as feeling out of place in society and dealing with past family issues.  
 
 
Gail:
A story’s protagonist often reflects an author’s personality, or displays characteristics the author has chosen to explore. In the case of your antagonist, do bits of your personality shine through in the writing of your Heretic Law School series?
 

Maria Riegger:
Yes, definitely. Just like Isabel, the main character, I also attended law school in Washington, DC, and some of the scenes in the series are based on real events. I’m definitely an introvert and a loner as well, although Isabel’s personality is more extreme than mine. 
 ***** 

I had to admit, however, that I was intrigued as well as annoyed. Few people had the nerve to come and talk to me like this, with no warning.

 
I decided not to say anything at first. I just stared and raised my eyebrows.

He waited a good three to four seconds before he spoke. The left corner of my mouth started to go up into a smirk. Invariably, there were only two reasons a guy like this, a semi-stranger no less, would deign to talk to me. If he was going to miss class and wanted to get my notes, he was shit outta luck. And if he wanted a booty call, well, I wasn’t quite sure yet how I would handle that. Little did I know, he wasn’t going to ask me either of those things.
*****
 
Gail:
Often people think after writing one novel, subsequent novels flow out fully formed. The author has the basics down: format for the storyline; a feel for the proper number of plot lines and chapters; techniques for creating a charismatic protagonist and supporting characters; secrets to making the antagonist likeable; and guidelines for adding conflict right up to and through the denouement. How has writing become easier for you and what remains as difficult now as when you wrote your first novel? 

Maria Riegger:
Since writing Miscalculated Risks, I’ve read a ton on writing techniques and crafting a story with conflict and resolution, making it interesting and thought-provoking for the reader. I also read a ton of fiction to see how successful authors write. That has helped me focus on the elements that need work. 
 
I’ve had to abandon the notion that everything will be perfect as soon as the words are written down. I’ve learned from other authors just to write, even if you’re not sure where the story is going yet, and that often inspires ideas. You can always edit later, but if you wait until you’re inspired to write, you will not get as much writing done as you would like.
 
 
Gail:
Writing in any genre requires a certain amount of research. At what point in your writing do you do the most research, and is this more chore or pleasure for you?

Maria Riegger:
I love to research, but I’m also impatient when I have to stop writing to researching something for a book. For example, my upcoming novel is a romance set during a fictionalized political campaign. I wrote the manuscript first and made notes of the things I needed to research, e.g. filing dates for campaigns in Virginia, state delegate salaries. I researched those details last and filled them in where necessary.
 
You can contact Maria here:
@RieggerM (Twitter account)






 

3 comments:

  1. Maria, thank you so much for sharing interesting information about your series and offering excellent advice on your research process.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for hosting, Gail!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for hosting, Gail!

    ReplyDelete

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