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I recently read Maria’s first novel Perfect on paper – the (mis)adventures of Waverly Bryson and loved it. Maria kindly agreed to take part in a mini interview here on Blue Archipelago.

Maria spent 10 years working in PR in Silicon Valley before she decided to quit her job and found herself in Argentina for a year – where she played semi-pro soccer and wrote Perfect on paper. Her interests include writing, soccer, yoga and eating dark chocolate – and she’s a big fan of American Idol!

Here’s what she had to say about her book:

Mrs S: What inspired you to write Perfect on paper?

Maria: I guess you could say about eight years of working and being single in San Francisco! It just got to the point where I had so many funny stories running around in my head that I needed to do something with them.

Mrs S: Did you base Waverly Bryson’s character on yourself or someone you know?

Maria: My friends all say that reading “Perfect on Paper” is like listening to me talk for 320 pages, so that should answer the question! I like to say that Waverly Bryson’s life is essentially my life—if my life were more exciting.

Mrs S: How did you come up with the name Waverly Bryson?

Maria: I wanted to choose an unusual name for the main character, and after sitting in front of my laptop for a few minutes to think, that name just popped into my head. When I was in high school the stepmom of a girl on my soccer team had a baby and named her Waverly, and I always loved that name. To this day I’ve never heard it used again, except of course for Waverly Bryson. The last name I just made up entirely—I thought Bryson went well with Waverly!

Mrs S: What was your favourite book as a child?

Maria: As a kid I read every Beverly Cleary book I could get my hands on, and when I got a little older I also tore through the Judy Blume books. (“Deenie” was one of my favorites.) I also read a bunch of the Black Stallion books, and I remember being obsessed with “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Mrs S: What inspired you to become a writer?

Maria: I’ve always loved to write letters to friends, but I honestly think the emergence of email had a lot to do with the creation of this book. I realized how much I loved making my friends laugh through words—and how they were actually laughing at what I was writing. People can’t write you back 10 seconds later if you write them a funny letter, you know?

Mrs S: What advice would you give someone writing their first novel?

Maria: Just sit down and do it. Write and write and write, and when you can’t think of what to write next, go back and rewrite everything you’ve already written.

Mrs S: You’re currently offering freelance services at – do you have plans for another novel too?

Maria: A lot of people have asked me if I’m going to write a sequel—everyone wants to know what happens to Waverly! I would love to write another book, so we’ll see.

Mrs S: Finally, if Perfect on paper were to be made into a movie who would you like to cast as Waverly and Jake?

Maria: Ha ha ha I must admit that Jake is based entirely on my ultimate BF Tom Brady, but I’m not sure he can act. (I’d love to get him to audition though…) As for Waverly, I’ve always thought Amanda Peet would be a perfect fit, at least on paper! My sister Monica thinks Katie Holmes would be good too. I’d love to hear what your readers think!

My thanks go to Maria for taking part in the interview – and to Karlene from InkSplasher who was the inspiration behind some of the questions!

If you’re looking for a great book to read this summer then you can’t go wrong with Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)adventures of Waverly Bryson so be sure to pick up a copy and then stop by and let me know what you thought.

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