Welcome to a Halu-Halo series: Author-ish. Halu-halo, as a blog, has always focused on inspiration, and our interviews will ask authors about theirs. Author-ish is named as such because these interviews won't be about the craft of writing, but more about their intention behind their processes.
Featured Author: MAIDA MALBY
With a poet for a grandfather, a short-story writer/teacher for a mother, and a voracious reader for a father, Maida's new career as a writer is a natural fit.
Spouse to a USAF Veteran and mother to a kid who loves Texas and Super Mario, Maida writes multicultural contemporary romances set all over the world. At some point in her life, Maida has lived and worked in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States so it's not surprising those are favorite locations for her novels.
Maida studied several languages and can speak English, Filipino, Indonesian, French, and Thai in various degrees of fluency. Her Spanish and Japanese are great for counting numbers and ordering food.
When not writing or reading, Maida cooks the dishes she features in her books, photographs other people's front yards during her morning walk, and watches Food Network, Golf Channel, and Game of Thrones on TV.
Recent Release - BORACAY VOWS (Book 1, Carpe Diem Chronicles) - OUT NOW! (11.21.17) - Published by EOT Publications
They plan to seize the day
Demure and career-driven, Krista Lopez is almost thirty, yet she has never been kissed. Her friends conspire to help fulfill her Turning-Thirty Vow—the promise to do something life-changing in celebration of this milestone birthday—with the help of a sexy makeover and a one-week stay in Perlas, a posh resort in the island paradise of Boracay, Philippines.
Not-so-coincidentally, Blake Ryan, Krista’s Irish-American hunk of a boss is vacationing in the same resort at the same time. The CEO has seen through her armor of conservative simplicity to the sensual woman underneath. Setting aside his rule not to become personally involved with his employees, Blake plans a seduction to make Krista his, but only while they are in Boracay.
But what about a lifetime?
Krista and Blake seize the opportunity to have a scorching affair away from the prying eyes of their colleagues. Far away from family’s judgement and disapproval. All too soon their week is over, and they must decide whether they will end their fling, or say Carpe diem to the love of a lifetime.
BORACAY VOWS is the first book in the fun and sexy multicultural contemporary romance series Carpe Diem Chronicles.
Welcome to Halu-Halo, Maida! I'm so tickled to meet another author who writes Filipino characters. What was your inspiration for Boracay Vows?
Mainly me and my husband and the tens of thousands of pairings like us: Asian wife/American husband, particularly the Filipina and American couples. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was ten or so, but until my friend Rainne Mendoza wrote Fobolous and you came out with East in Paradise I haven’t read a story like my own. As the oft-quoted Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” That’s what I did with Boracay Vows and what I’m still doing with the rest of the Carpe Diem Chronicles series.
How do you keep this inspiration forefront while you work?
It’s easy because I’m practically writing MY story. The characters are based on real people, the settings are places I love, and the scenes are situations that happen in everyday life.
I belong to several book clubs and I always see the requests for books such as the ones I write - diverse characters and set outside of the usual locations.
I love that you're writing what you know. Also, I too, am a book club aficionado! When do you do your best work? Do you have a routine?
I write best in the evening, after my guys go to bed. Everything is quiet, I’m offline, just writing for at least an hour. My mornings are mostly spent on social media, research, plotting, reading craft books or other romance novels, monitoring my book’s performance, and networking with other authors.
What fuels your spirit? What fills your tank?
Love and friendship. Food and exercise. Books. I write for the sheer love of it, not to earn millions or to gain popularity. I’m never empty because I have a deep well from which I could draw support and encouragement should I need them.
What are your biggest distractions and how do you stay focused?
Facebook. Food. Family. With Facebook and other social media, I incorporate them into the work to maximize my time. Food is a necessity and I use cooking to make my food descriptions more authentic. My boys are my life and I drop everything if they need me. That kind of flexibility is one of the advantages of indie publishing, which I very much appreciate.
Social media also gets me. It's tough to balance what we have to get done with keeping in touch with our readers and friends! Give me five words that describe your book.
Kilig, Mouthwatering, International, Present, and Life-changing
I love all of those. Especially life-changing, as books should be! What do you love most about this book?
That it’s my first baby. It’s set in one of my favorite places in the world. It’s a goal achieved, and dream fulfilled.
Thank you so much, Maida, for coming by Halu-Halo! I wish you well in your author journey! And for everyone else, don't forget to pick up Boracay Vows!