writing woman

I’m just the instrument in this one, I’m honored to post Maryanne’s leg of the Writing Process Blog Tour, so with no further ado, take it away Maryanne!

1.What are you working on?

I am now tweaking a fictitious chick lit love story that takes place in the 1980s called “Love Cats.” I’m thrilled that Cynthia Santiglia will be copyediting. She’s worked as copy editor with an author I highly admire, Lisa Carver, so it’s an honor that Cynthia took an interest in working for me!

2.How does your work differ from others of it’s genre?

For my first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” it’s different than other rock ‘n’ roll memoirs because there’s no downward spiral into drugs and depression. (That’s how one of my endorsers, columnist and author Judy McGuire, put it!)

“On the Guest List” is an upbeat book with many fun stories. I don’t knock anyone. It’s just my perspective on life as a music journalist and it’s written to inspire other writers to tell their stories too.

For “Love Cats” it’s different than other chick lit fiction, I think, because it has the lead male role taking on the sensitive part and the female lead screwing up the relationship only because of her insecurities. The characters are real to life and I’d like to believe the story is unpredictable with first-time experiences and a slight element of danger that most 20-somethings experience.

It’s a fun and fast moving love story with growth. The moral is that people do change!

3.Why do you write what you do?

For my memoir “On the Guest List” – I was always told that I should write a book. I had a bunch of great stories and wanted to share the best of them that I thought others could relate to. I saw a similar book that was very negative. The author put down most of the people she bragged about meeting; which, to me, was very sad. My book comes from a place of admiration for not only the musicians I wrote about but all the people I’ve experienced some of the adventures with, those who were my “plus one.”

For my upcoming fictitious “Love Cats” I simply write what I know and then let the imagination run wild. But to make it 1980s authentic I did a lot of Google searching, as my memory is great but not that great!

4.How does your writing process work?

I write from my heart, then go back and edit. With “On the Guest List” I went through years of paper diaries and online diaries to pick out the best stories. I also consulted many of the people I wrote about, asking for their blessing. There’s a brother and sister in the book that were a grand part of my youth. They never answered my emails about whether or not I could use their names, so I just gave them fake names – either way, it’s an honor, they were cool kids!

For “Love Cats,” since it’s fiction, I just grab a glass of wine and then go for it! Since the book is also from a male perspective, I asked a friend for advice on the dialogue – “Is this how a guy would say something?” My friend is a screen writer from Massachusetts, Todd Gordon, and he’ll definitely be thanked in the book.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist”

Pear Tree Enterprises

HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.)





The sweetest alien fell to the earth and man, can she write! Last week Ali asked me to participate in a Blog Tour. I said yes before I knew what I was saying yes to, that’s how much I love Ali. I didn’t realize what an honor it was to be asked until I realized I was going to be writing about my writing process. I am very honored to involved in The Writing Process Blog Tour, and delighted to be able to pass it on. Here’s a link to Ali’s blog, and with no further ado, let us commence.

1.) What are you working on?
Too many things at once! Oh wait, sorry, I think I’m supposed to keep that to myself so I don’t sound scatterbrained and unorganized. Ahem.
Truth is I have a few irons in the fire right now, I’m spending a lot of my fiction-writing time fine tuning a novel length urban fantasy about a girl and her Muse who get caught up in an Apocalyptic war amongst the Djinn. I’m also working on a vampire romance as well as my own version of the Persephone Myth but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to keep myself away from writing poetry/prose. I just love to write, and writing here, on my blog, gives me an opportunity to play with words. Ok I cannot tell a lie, my most serious, now off-line project I’m working on is The Tower Story, about a girl surviving the apocalypse in Cape May NJ and I was afraid I’d jinx it if I said it. I think there’s a special unjinx thingy if you’re being honest though. Did I mention I’m unemployed and allocate my time? Still sound scatterbrained? I’m more organized than I sound. Really!

2.) How does your work differ from others of its genre?
In my opinion, regardless of what we write, we can’t help but be influenced by our own life experiences. Does that mean I’ve had experiences with vampires or Djinn? While I’d love to answer that with a resounding yes, unfortunately I haven’t, so that’s where the making-stuff-up part comes into play. I know that there are countless excellent books out there written in the same genre that I’m drawn to and it’s important that my own style shines through. I believe the sum of my parts have given me a multifaceted unique view of the world, therefore I believe I have a multifaceted unique voice. It’s important to me that the words I write be relatable to each reader, so while I may be writing about vampires or Djinn or crazy mad Muses, I try to humanize them to a certain degree.

3.) Why do you write what you do?
I guess for the most part I write what I would like to read. I’ve been an avid reader from the start and was lucky enough to have access to an endless amount of books. Most of my employment history consists of managing bookstores but even as a kid I always had a book with me wherever I went. I’ve been known to sit alone in a corner reading while a loud band was playing in a club. Those novels later turned to blank books as I began to write song lyrics. A lot of what I write comes from observing anything and everything, then filling in the blanks, but I’ve always been drawn to all things paranormal and apocalyptic. Maybe it’s partly from being a Baby Boomer who remembers getting into position under my school desk when we had Air Raid Drills, or some of the apocalyptic images burned in my brain from Catholic School and Revelations. I still remember being a kid and dreaming about the end of the world and thinking about surviving it, going so far as to dig myself a little shelter in the clay pits up the street, complete with shelves, tables, and a sleeping area. When I was really young, maybe 7 or 8 years old I would kneel on the backseat of the car on the drive back from Grandma’s house and pretend the car lights behind us were dragons or monsters chasing after us and all the cars ahead of us had already gotten away safe and we were the next in line. In my tiny little mind I knew the only way we’d get home safe was if I kept watching them so I wouldn’t take my eyes off those monster-lights till we got off the Parkway, for some reason, off the Parkway was the safe zone. I’d dream of Angels and then I’d dream of vampires. One vampire dream was so real I actually checked my neck the following morning as the dream took place in my room with me dressed in the same clothes I fell asleep in, and I woke up feeling drained. I was only 16 when I had that dream. Although I would read anything about anything when I was a kid, I gravitated towards the paranormal direction, so I guess it’s only natural that my writing is influenced by my favorite books. If I had to pick one book that influenced my writing choices/needs, it would be The Stand by Steven King; it’s got all my favorites, an apocalypse, a battle between Good and Evil, mystical magical happenings… yeah, that book left a big impression on me.

4.) How does your writing process work?
My writing process is pretty simple, I just write. I write what I want to read for the most part. My blog is a big part of my writing process because I can experiment, try different things as I search for my voice. I try to push myself to do things I’m not comfortable with, for example, dialogue: it’s been a fear of mine so I force myself to write dialogue as much as possible. I’m also grateful for the theater classes I took throughout high school because I’m able to step into my characters shoes, so to speak, it helps me especially with dialogue and enables me to look at things in a different way than the actual “me” might. I’ve heard writers talk about whether the plot drives the character or the character drives the plot, I try to let the characters move the plot along rather than the other way around. Oh who am I kidding, the characters usually don’t give me a choice! When I’m doing some of my best writing it’s like the characters are just using my fingers to tell their story. And when things like that happen, it’s a very good thing.

5.) Say who is on next week (up to three people you would tag), and provide a bio and link to their website).
I hate to be a copycat, but as with sweet Ali, I’m still on the waiting part with my fellow hoppers, and will unfortunately have to add them here or write another post tomorrow. I didn’t want to wait to post this so I’m looking at it this way; now we have more time to read sweet Ali’s post, as well as Silverleaf’s, and hop around their blogs before hopping around some others 😀 Although it may be a day late, I guarantee it’ll be worth the wait.


et cetera