Maria Murnane is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies known as the Waverly books, which have sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide. In addition to writing novels, she has embarked on a career as a public speaker and author consultant. She graduated with high honors in English and Spanish from UC Berkeley and received a master’s degree in integrated marketed communications from Northwestern University. She currently lives in New York City. Learn more at her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What one word describes you?
If I gave you a brick, what would you do with it?
Throw it at the master programming code that charges us $150 to change our own flight reservations online. I will never understand that.
What do you do when you see a spider in your house?
I try to catch it so I can release it outside. (Now if it were a snake, I’d run screaming into the street.)
Do you bake or buy?
Do you believe in UFOs?
What kitchen utensil would you be?
Ice cream scooper. How could you not be happy if you were an ice cream scooper?
If you could be anyone else, who would you be?
Adam Levine has a pretty ideal life. He gets paid very well to do what he loves with his buddies in Maroon 5 and also gets paid very well to help those who aspire to be where he is on The Voice.
If you were a road sign, what would you be?
Detour. I ditched a successful career to try to make it as an author. And I did it!
What is your concession stand must-have at the movies?
I rarely eat at the movies, but if someone with me is eating popcorn, it’s hard not to have a few handfuls.
Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud or too quiet?
What is one quality that you really appreciate in a person?
What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city?
Statue of Liberty.
What classifies as a boring conversation? What classifies as an interesting one?
If I can’t thinkof anything to say next, I’m bored. If I can’t decide what to say next, I’m interested.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
My mom tucking me in for an afternoon nap.
What is your favorite board game?
What food item would you remove from the market altogether?
What would you rather have: a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, or a chauffeur?
Would you rather be trapped in an elevator or stuck in traffic?
Traffic. At least I can listen to music. I can’t sing to save my life, but I love to listen.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m not exactly sure—I’d always thought it would be cool to write a novel, and I guess one day I decided to stop thinking about and just do it.
What do you think you do best in your writing? Bragging is encouraged.
Fans tell me that reading my books is like watching a movie because I paint such a vivid picture for them, which I think is an incredible compliment. A lot of readers also tell me they love my dialogue because it sounds so authentic.
What books have most influenced your life?
Probably the Judy Blume novels. I grew up reading them.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Jennifer Weiner. When I read In Her Shoes I remember thinking life would be so much more fun if my job were to write novels instead of working in high-tech PR, which is what I’d been doing. I wonder if she has any idea who I am now. That would be amazing.
What book are you reading now?
The Paris Wife.
Name one entity that supported your writing journey outside of family members.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes! I would never stop editing every book I write if my publisher didn’t force me to turn them in.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing? What comes easily?
Dialogue comes easily to me. Keeping a story moving forward can be challenging.
Who’s your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have just one favorite author, but I love Pat Conroy’s prose. It’s beautiful.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you feel like there’s a book inside of you, just write it! You’ll be so glad you did, and no one will ever be able to take that feeling of accomplishment away from you.