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Adam Interviews...Maria P. Frino!


The logo for Adam Interviews - a hand holding a pen, superimposed on an old-fashioned typewriter

Welcome back!

How was that weekend? Did you have good weather and opportunity for fun with family and friends? I hope so!

Well, before you get TOO involved in work-type things, let's do an author interview!

Today I have Maria P. Frino, and she's an amazing author from Australia. But that's not the only thing that makes her special!


Well, just look here:


The cover for the Edward's Cat trilogy box set, featuring the three covers and some quotes

She's part of the Fantasy Box Set Storybundle that I'm putting together!

I gathered a bunch of authors, and we've all put in a BOX SET - MULTIPLE NOVELS AND NOVELLAS - for a bundle you can get, starting July 31!

You can check out the current bundle at www.storybundle.com - the rules are the same for every bundle. You can get ALL of the books in the bundle for $20 (or more, if you're so inclined). That's going to be such AMAZING value for you! But if that's a stretch - and let's face it, sometimes you need to prioritize (I know, I know, gas over books? Heresy!) - that's okay; for $5, you get four books. In this case, you'll get four collections, so you're already winning.

Over the next weeks, I'll be featuring authors who are part of the bundle, so you can be as excited about this as I am!


Enough from me; let's have her introduce herself!


My career is in using words to communicate. As a freelance writer, I have written and edited PR, ads, corporate communications, and newsletters. For products from food to jewellery, fashion, and interiors as well as garden and building products. When I'm not writing corporate communications or as a Senior Reviewer for the online site, Weekend Notes, I work on my self-published fiction books.

My first published story, The Studio is a short crime story. Xenure Station: A Billion Light Years is my second short story. Both are available as eBooks wherever books are sold online.



The author, Maria P. Frino - a woman with short brown hair, smiling, wearing a white blouse against a background of flowering plants

 

The Decision They Made, my debut novel, and my other books are available on my website – www.mariapfrino.com.

 

Weaving Words, an anthology I collaborated on, is also available as an audiobook. I contributed two short stories to this anthology along with eight other authors. I am open to collaborations with fellow authors and artists. You can follow me on X, Instagram, Threads, and Facebook.

 

As mentioned, I am happy to collaborate with other creatives -  writing, editing, publishing, or podcasts. I have been interviewed on a few podcasts and have interviewed authors as well. I'm happy to discuss book publishing, writing, and collaborations with you.

 

Recently, with other authors, I set up Sydney Authors Inked, a collective of self-published authors who do free book talks in Sydney. We discuss books, reading, publishing, and all book-related topics. We have introduced an interview format where Sydney Authors Inked is in conversation with an author, traditional or self-published. We have authors interested in being interviewed. These talks are currently held at The Little Big House, Summer Hill, a beautiful space where events like ours are held regularly. Anyone is welcome to attend, look out for tickets on Humanitix.



Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars


Coffee, tea, or cacao? Coffee


Favorite hangover recovery recipe? Greasy hamburger and classic coke


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

My first job was in television where I was given ads to type, I was eighteen and knew then I wanted to write. Even though my career has always involved writing, I didn’t become a published author until 2019.


Cover of "The Decision They Made" with two people silhousetted against an archway

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

My first book, a novel, was ‘The Decision They Made’, which started with the working title ‘Visions’ was shelved for years, I was 27 at the time. When I found the original typed manuscript, I decided to rewrite it and eventually published in 2019, I was in my 50s by then. The following year I had it translated into Italian as it is set in Italy, Russia and Australia. A copy of the Italian version is available to borrow at some Italian libraries.


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy gardening, knitting and watching movies. Netflix is another pastime, their range of shows is great and good for writing ideas too. I don’t mind a bit of binge watching.


What does your family think of your writing?

They like that I’m doing something I enjoy and ask how things are going often. They haven’t read my books though, which I’m actually fine with, I don’t write with them in mind.

 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

How easy it is to write, my ideas tend to flow and I can write fast. But, all the other things you have to do to have a book published, that was the surprising part. Marketing, posting, selling … thankfully I have met many other authors who are willing to help with ideas, many of whom have become friends.


The cover of Edward's Cat, a teen boy facing away from the viewer and an orange tabby cat walking toward the viewer, against a forest background

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have 10 books published, not all are novels, some are short stories, others novellas. I don’t have a favourite book, but my first one, The Decision They Made, I do have a soft spot for. Being the first one published, it took the most time to write and there was a learning curve to publish it. Along with the Edward’s Cat series, it is my best selling book.


Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I sell my books at local markets and this is where I interact with readers. Most people are surprised to meet an author and usually ask why I write in different genres. Some are more inquisitive than others – why do you write? Where else can I find your books?. Also, as part of Sydney Authors Inked, a collective of authors I am a committee member of, I speak to many readers (and aspiring authors) at festivals.


Do you like to create books for adults?

Mainly, yes. I do have two young adult series, one science fantasy, the other magical realism. I write for adults mostly.


What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Vanity publishing. Taking money from struggling authors is just wrong. When I first published, I had three publishing contracts on my desk, all from Vanity publishers asking me to pay them. Something felt off about that so I threw those contracts out. That’s when I decided to self-publish.


The cover of "Edward's Cat 2", with four children (tweens), all with colorful backpacks, facing away from the viewer towards a flowering tree

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I do write under a pseudonym – Maria P Frino is my maiden name. I have never used my middle name and this is the only time I do, but only the P.


What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have author friends from my writing group that have helped me with my writing. I know I have improved as a writer since becoming part of this group, especially with POV and plot points. Also, I have met authors on social media, we catch up a few times a year.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Start publishing sooner, stop second guessing yourself.


Are you traditionally or self published? Or both? Do you feel there are advantages to one over the other?

I’m self-published. I did have one of my books with a publisher two years ago, but they sat on it for 14 months, so I took it back. This book will be self-published later this year. I like the control that self-publishing gives me and I answer to myself, I’m my own boss.


What do you have coming next?

Fame and Other Disasters, my contemporary women’s fiction novel will be published later in 2024. This is the book that the publisher was interested in, I have tweaked it and have just finished draft 7. Having worked in television the story is inspired by people I worked with (and their egos). This story is about two female hosts who have a huge fight over social media. The story follows the fallout of what they do and say to each other. It explores the good and bad side of female friendships in the era of the internet.




The over of Edward's Cat 3, with three cats up in a tree looking at the viewer

Excerpt from Edward’s Cat Book Three –

 

Introduction -

 

A Brief History of The Magicals.

 

Jacaranda Trees are well known in Australia with the most common variety being Jacaranda Mimosifolia. Even though many Australians think of Jacarandas as being native to Australia, they are actually native to South America.

 

So, it is in South America that The Magical’s Australian story begins. In 1800, the Rodriguez family sailed to Sydney, Australia. Santiago and Isabella along with their child, Lucas were invited to live in Sydney as Santiago’s medical skills were required in this new territory. As a trained doctor, Santiago was able to help at Sydney’s hospitals by training Australian doctors with his modern ways of medicating the population. One of which was the use of opium to treat oral conditions and toothache. This, along with his other skills, became valuable to the medical profession of Sydney.

 

The Rodriguez family found themselves in the top echelons of Sydney’s society, living in a sprawling house not far from the hospitals and universities Santiago had to attend. Once the Rodriguez family became established, others from South America followed. Some were family, others were friends. They were all magicals.

 

Santiago did not need to change his last name to be part of Sydney’s elite because of his good reputation, but some of the other South Americans he encouraged to emigrate, did. Santos became, Smith, Cabello became Cabel … many names were changed to Anglo spelling. They wanted to fit into the Sydney high society quickly and progress to the status that was afforded to their friend, Santiago.

 

With the help of these overseas counterparts, the magicals set up the first Australian magical committee of whom Santiago was the head. He proceeded to appoint members of his family to positions within the committee and two of his good friends as well.

 

This secret society grew as Sydney grew. They were always wary of not exposing themselves to the non-magicals. Although, there was an incident in 1908 that nearly outed all of them.

 

As the economies of this new country prospered, so did Santiago and his family. They moved several times to newer and more affluent suburbs, one of which was Glenndale. The house in which Santiago would take his last breath is now a derelict house near the old industrial area of the suburb. This is still the headquarters for The Magicals.

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