I am delighted to welcome Chill With A Book Award winner Maria Gibbs to the blog today …
Huge congratulations on winning your Chill Award! You must be so happy that your work has been recognised in this way. Now, before we carry on, would you please introduce yourself to my readers, just in case they don’t know you already …
Thank you Emma.
My name is Maria Gibbs, the author of A Boy from the Streets and three novelettes as well as a whole host of stories that are crowded inside my head waiting for release. I have loved reading and writing ever since I can remember. I love the thrill of escaping into a new world and being the one who creates that world is an incredible feeling. Currently writing is the thing I do after finishing my full time job but I would love to be able to make a living from writing.
As well as books I love traveling, crafts, music and riding my motorbike.
So, your book has been awarded with a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award, what inspired you to write this story?
I was researching for a Work in Progress about a character who goes to Afghanistan as a foreign correspondent and bought Christina Lamb’s book Small Wars Permitting: Despatches from Foreign Lands. Not only did she talk about her time In Afghanistan but in Brazil also. There were hundreds of thousands, some say millions, of children living rough on the streets. Tourists were clearly not comfortable seeing them and in an attempt to combat it they started to kill the children. This as you can imagine horrified me, causing me to go cold at their treatment. From there a spark of an idea formed of twins orphaned at birth, one is adopted into a life of luxury and the other end up on the streets.
What does the award mean to you?
My good friend and fellow author Su S’ari (Rose English) nominated me for this award unbeknownst to me when Boy was published. She read through it three time for me prior to publication before and after my editor got her hands on it. Last night, Sunday 7th May, Su called me and told me the exciting news that not only had she put me forward for the award but that I’d won it also. It was the most incredible feeling to not only have such an amazing friend who has such faith in my work but to win the award. It makes all the hard work and doubts worthwhile.
What other titles have you published? Tell us a little about them …
I have three novelettes published and they are all different.
As Dreams are Made on:
Newly wed Matty Taylor is plagued by visions that force her to seek out a Gypsy at a local fair. Dragged violently into a frightening dream world, she is soon rescued by the mysterious Thomas Trevelyan and taken to his secluded house in the woods.â€¨â€¨Will her husband, Donald, suspend his disbelief and wake her from her nightmare? Can Thomas win her heart and keep her from the lure of her real life and the love of her husband?
A Lifetime or a Season:
Athena finds herself in the wet and windy South Coast of England as she tries to forget the enigmatic man who ignited her dreams.
Roberto seems determined to hold her at arms length but can’t seem to set her free once and for all.
Having lived in the shadows of her self-centred mother, Athena struggles to find her true identity.
A Lifetime or a Season is a journey of personal discovery for Athena as she takes an independent step into the unknown in order to achieve a life-long dream.
Will she find the love that she is searching for with Roberto or will the sacrifice be too much?
The Storm Creature:
At eighteen, Lucy had everything going for her: a supportive family, a rapt audience, and her dream of becoming a published author about to be realised.
A single moment in time on a dark, rainy road changes things forever.
That was then, but this is now. Lucy has suffered through eight years of haunting visions and thoughts with every raging storm thanks to a tempestuous storm creature who torments her. What does the baleful creature want with Lucy? Will the troubled woman ever be able to let go of the past and forgive herself?
Or will she sacrifice everything she holds dear?
Are you working on a new book? Tell me about that …
I have a book that is due to go to an editor when I can scrape the funds together lol which is a love story with a bit of a gritty twist but I have also started, and am 20,000 words into, a spin off from A Boy from the Streets. One of the characters, Carlos got inside my head and whispered to me that his story needed to be told.
When not writing, what can you be found doing?
I work eight to five as an administrator/property manager for a property/construction company. When I’m not working or writing I like to read, listen to music, craft, go to the gym and ride my motorbike.
Which three authors have most influenced your journey to becoming an author?
The three most inspirational authors in my opinion would have to start with Enid Blyton, Sharon Penman and Tom Clancy. I would say that Enid was the only one to influence my journey as my love of the written word came from the fantastic worlds she created.
Why did you choose the genre you write in?
I can’t to one genre – I know I should – I really write whatever is inside my head and demands release.
Quick fire questions …
Twitter or Facebook?
Tea or coffee?
Marmite – yes or no?
Early riser or sleep in?
Early ish but not a morning person.
Pj’s or ‘normal’ clothes when writing?
Planner or pantster?
Pantser, but some of it does need planner to connect how you get from one part of the story to another that is in your head.
Book or kindle? Book is my favourite but Kindle is what I use for convenience.
Pineapple on pizza – yes or no?
And finally … What is your favourite book of all time?
The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman
Thank you for joining me today and many congratulations again on your Chill with A Book Award!
Thank you for inviting me.
You can get your copy of A Boy From the Streets over at Amazon UK … Here’s the blurb …
On the 12th of September, 1981, twin boys are born in a Brasilian hospital and left to their fate as orphans. Jose is adopted by a couple who takes him to England, but the other isn’t so lucky. Pedro ends up on the streets of Rio, left to fend for himself in a harsh and unforgiving world.
Love and betrayal.
Twelve years later Jose’s family returns to Brasil, where he learns the truth about his adoption and his twin. Thinking his adoptive parents no longer want him, he runs away to find his brother. What follows will shake Jose to the core and shape the rest of his life – if he can survive.
Jose isn’t the only one whose life will change. Pedro is offered an opportunity beyond any of his wildest dreams, but to keep it will mean the betrayal of someone he loves. This proves to be a far greater challenge than he anticipated when the orphan finds himself suddenly surrounded by family who, unfortunately, don’t all have good intentions.
Hopes and dreams.
A Boy from the Streets will tug at your heart-strings and have you rooting for the little guy as you follow the twists and turns this multi-continental tale takes.