When did you start writing A Curse of Roses?
I started in the 10th grade so that's like, what? When I was fifteen? So almost ten years ago. When I think back to the original plot I can't help but smile. There were dream-walkers and vampires. Maybe something I can revisit in future books.
Who is your favourite character?
Ryalie is easily my favourite character. He's all wicked smiles and easy laughter. I call him the crouching-dumbass-hidden-badass, which is mean because he's not dumb, he just takes a very relaxed outlook on life despite the many reasons why he shouldn't.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
My Instagram, @maria_b_writes, is your best bet. I'm not a socially active person because I have books to write and shows to binge on, but if you're going to find me then Instagram is where I'm usually posting and scrolling. And TikTok every now and again.
Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
My main character gets to attend a ball! Which is super exciting and was even better to write, and rewrite, and rewrite. It's like the last bit of happiness before everything takes a turn for the worst for like the fifth time in the story.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Yes, Alle does. She's the Lady of Legend, a healer in the prince's palace, and inspired by a high school friend of mine. I think she is the only character, besides Lilly, to stay consistent throughout the many drafts I've written. I had to cut many of her scenes, though, which broke my heart.
What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Make no apologies for being. My main character is hated, even despised, called a monster, not because of the colour of her skin or because she's a female but because she was born into a certain family. It's something she had no control over and it was decided several years before she was even born. It's a tricky and hard subject to tackle without coming across as preachy, but I think I nailed it. If not, I have two more books I can use to get it right.
What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
Yes book two, A Path of Thorns, is already in the works and we get to explore Glorus, meet a lot more characters and ask more questions about the sudden end in A Curse of Roses. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
Writing the scene when everything takes a sudden turn. It kind of blindsides you as a major plot twist. I probably rewrote that part the least out of any scene because once I had it I didn't want to change it. Because it feels like everything's coming to a messy end, but then... it doesn't. Such fun.
Do you have any new series planned?
Yes! I am super excited to say I am already working on my next series, Myths & Mages, more high fantasy and arguably higher stakes. An unwilling lead playing in the webs of fate, or is she? But readers will have to wait and see.