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Adam Interviews...Mary Ann Sciavillo Lopez!

Good morning, happy Monday to you!

I'm thrilled to have a new-to-me author here today. She's a science fiction and time travel author as well as...well, check it out!

In addition to her recent novel, "Sail Again – An Unexpected Travel in Time," Mary Ann is the author of two historical fictions created around the timeline of when Yeshua (Jesus) walked the earth.

A Journey of Faith: Book I – “Sons Rise,” Book II – “A New Day”

She has also written several short stories. As a member of the Florida Writers Association, one of her short stories, "Scents of Heaven," had been chosen as one of sixty short stories published in the FWA 2009 Anthology compilation "From Our Family to Yours."

After a long eight-year hiatus from writing her last novel, Mary Ann began writing "Sail Again" during the pandemic to fill the hours. The Titanic-themed time travel novel had been developing in her thoughts for many years and finally came to fruition on April 10, 2022, the 110 Anniversary of the Titanic’s sailing.

Mary Ann has contributed several serial stories on Amazon Kindle Vella and is working on her new novel, “The Gateway Continuum,” Book 2 in the Unexpected Travel in Time series.

She has also published two low-content journals – “A Writer’s Notebook” and “Pay It Forward.”

Mary Ann lives in North Central Florida with her husband, Felix, and her two dogs, Declan and Eddie.


Amazon Author Page Link:

Facebook Author Page Link:

“Sail Again” Novel Amazon Link:

“Sail Again” Novel Barnes & Noble Link:

Vella Stories Link:

Journal – “A Writer’s Notebook” Link

Journal – “Pay It Forward” Link

Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity?

Sometimes reboots work, but the writers often try to make them too different. Sometimes they reboot the wrong series.

A book you’re looking forward to release (by someone else)?

Anything by Michael Connelly in the Detective Bosch series.

Coffee, tea, or cacao?

All of the above. Coffee first, however. Especially in the morning to kick-start my brain.

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

I’ve been writing since I was around eight or nine. I’d write plays and act them out with my brothers or neighbors. Sometimes we’d invite our parents to watch.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I’ve been a fan of the time-travel genre for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been intrigued by the history of Titanic. Put the two together, and there’s a story.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Now that I’m retired, my schedule is flexible. I try to write or edit at least four times a week.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I’ve read and watched many time-travel stories, as well as reincarnation. Which, I feel, also fits the narrative. Since it’s a historical event, there are easily obtainable facts to study.

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

I started writing Christian Historical fiction in my early 50s while working. It took several years to finish two novels. I was very green in my writing. I didn’t sell many books, became discouraged, and stopped writing, though I kept up with learning to write with how-to’s and attended conferences to sharpen my skills.

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

Besides spending time with my dogs, my husband, Felix, and I like to attend festivals and try different restaurants.

What does your family think of your writing?

They don’t say much. They aren’t readers, so they haven’t given me much feedback. They don’t even ask about my journey. I guess to them; it’s just a hobby because I can’t live on my royalties.

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

As I mentioned l, two Christian Historical fiction novels. My latest released novel, “Sail Again,” is my third and Book 2, “Gateway’s Continuum,” for the Unexpect Travel in Time series is in the works. I have also published two low-content journals; one for a writer’s journey and one for tracking good deeds to encourage paying it forward.

Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Start writing. Connect with other writers either in a group setting or on Social Media. Keep learning. Go to conferences to hone your talent. Take online virtual courses. Most of all, write.

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

I hear back mostly from my local readers. They enjoy my time-travel book. I wish I could get them to review it on Amazon. The more positive reviews, the better your ranking and the more people see your book to purchase.

Do you like to create books for adults?

My novels are for adults and young adults. I don’t have any profanity or erotic scenes in my stories.

What do you think makes a good story?

I like happy endings. If the story leaves me sad or asking why, it’s disappointing.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I always thought I would be a Biology teacher or a photographer.

What is the first book that made you cry?

“Follow my Leader.” It is a book for young readers. I was about ten years old when I read it. The book is about a boy hit in the face with a firecracker and loses his eyesight. It shows his struggles and how his German Sheppard Guide Dog, Leader, helps him get out of his depression and his feeling sorry for himself.

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

I don’t know if it’s unethical, but most of the time, if you're not a celebrity or a famous author, it's rare that a traditional publisher would even look at your manuscript. Of course, they are in it for the money, but many of the stories they publish aren’t very good; the author’s name sells them.

Also, traditional publishers take too long to get back to the author.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Self-doubt. Even the most talented writer never feels they’re good enough.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections between each book?

Currently, I am working on book two of my time-travel story. I’m not sure if it needs a book three yet.

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

Don’t let anyone, not even family, tell you you’re not good enough to do this or that. Instead, do what makes you happy.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Before self-publishing became so easily accessible, I used a Vanity Publisher. It cost me a lot of money, and they didn’t keep up their end of the bargain. There wasn’t any marketing from them as promised. I was green and didn’t know how to market the book myself. My second book was created on Amazon’s Create Space and didn’t cost me anything to publish, but I still didn’t know much about marketing, so neither book sold well.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Attending writers’ conferences. Learning and connecting with authors is fun.

Do you write novels, novellas, short stories, episodic fiction, poems, screenplays, or something else? What is your preferred format?

I write fantasy fiction novels and short stories in any genre. I also write Episodes on Amazon Kindle Vella. I prefer writing novels, but the Vella story royalties help pay for some of my writing expenses. Writing short stories gives me a break from my book to clear my imagination.

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

I only do self-publishing at this time. I would love to be traditionally published, but it’s not easy to get “in.” Also, I don’t have enough patience to wait so long to hear back. However, self-publishing does allow control of release dates, genres, and pricing.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

My current novel will be completed and published before Christmas 2023; fingers crossed.

What does literary success look like to you?

I would love to make enough royalties to supplement my retirement income. Of course, I don’t expect to become rich from writing, but a small income would be wonderful.

What’s the best way to market your books?

I use Social Media a lot to promote my books and Vella stories. I also attend as many local writers’ events that are available and don’t costs too much to vend.

What do you have coming next?

Part 2 of my Unexpected Travel in Time story, and I always have a Vella story being continued on Amazon Kindle Vella.

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1 Comment

Excellent interview, thank you. I appreciate the author's frankness about her publishing journey and find it inspiring. As a bit of a historical novel fan, I am looking forward to reading her book about the Titanic.

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