It's so hard to believe that we are so close to half way through the year! I am very close to meeting half of my reading goal. Currently hitting that snag. I hope everyone else I close to their goals!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Interview with Maira Rayanne

Welcome to Jagged Edge Reviews! Thanks for joining us today. Now we thought we would start you off with some easier questions.  

Tell us a little about yourself:
Hi there! My name is Maira Rayanne. I’m a non-fiction writer originally from Brazil. I grew up mainly in Miami, FL and I am currently based out of Atlanta, GA. I’m a lover of animals, people in general and all things spirituality. I’m also a suicide prevention and aftercare advocate, and I’m a trained facilitator for one of our local support groups here in Atlanta.

When you walk into a book store, where is the first place you go?
Self-help/non-fiction/biography sections.

What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading “The Stranger Beside Me,” the famous biography about Ted Bundy.

Who are your favorite authors?
Mitch Albom, Dr. Wayne Dyer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and my father. I like a good blend of modern mixed with classics.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I’m either out in nature, doing some kind of outdoor activity, exercising, cuddling with my pup, or hanging out with friends. It varies on a day-to-day basis.

Tell us about your latest book.
My debut memoir, “Georgia Haven: A Love Story Across States and Time” was released April 2018. It is about a romantic relationship I was in with a man named Declan that changed my life. It takes place over the span of three years, across different states, and it encourages us to reflect on what unconditional love is to us, what sacrifices we are willing to make, what it means to follow your heart, and how we easily find or lose ourselves in the process.

Do you have another work in progress? Tell us about it.
My second memoir, “Beyond These Green Eyes: A Memoir of Fragmented Pieces and Rediscovery,” is a collection of personal narratives, essays and poems. From romantic love to family to spirituality to sexuality, it covers various themes and poignant stages of my life, up to my early thirties. This memoir was actually written well before “Georgia Haven,” but it has been sitting on the back burner for years. It will finally be released in the spring of 2019. I’m also currently working on my third memoir, which is about grief loss and suicide loss.

What led you to writing in this genre?
In my 30-something years on Earth, I guess it is safe to say that I’ve experienced way more than your average person. Both my parents have passed away (due to natural causes); I’ve loved and I’ve lost, and I’ve suffered the kind of anguish and heartache that can cripple us to our knees. I’ve often been told that my personal life experiences have encouraged or inspired others, or made them feel less alone. I’ve also written non-fiction ever since I was a little girl; it’s simply the one genre I best identify with.

What advice do you have for other writers?
At times you will feel discouraged in life, or you may find yourself surrounded by individuals who want to bring you down, but stay to yourself regardless, because whatever story is deep inside your heart is worth telling. Dedicate the time and effort to your passions – that which makes you feel alive. As a friend once said to me, at the end of the day you’re the one who has the courage to put your heart and soul out there, and that alone speaks volumes.

What keeps you motivated while writing?
I believe that hard work always pays off, and knowing that my truth can hopefully be a source of comfort or inspiration to another human being keeps me going. Writing is also very cathartic for me, so I have my own selfish reasons to keep writing as well.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
I learned that the book writing process – from revising multiple drafts to copywriting your work to formatting your manuscript to designing the cover – is oftentimes tedious and very emotionally draining, but it is so worth it in the end to see your finished product.

Who inspires you?
My father, Jose Marcos. He was the best human being and the wisest man I have ever known. I hope I can be half the person he was.

How do you research your books?
Well, since I write memoirs based on my own life, my book writing process is rather different from those who are fiction writers. I rely on journals, letters, emails, and my personal memories to write. I also include bits of dialogue I’ve captured in my journals, and I have in-person or phone conversations with those who are mentioned in my books to make sure my recollection of details is accurate.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I think every writer should follow the path that is right for them. For me, self-publishing seemed the best fit as it gave me full control of my writing. I also didn’t have to wait years upon years, take rejection after rejection, before my work was finally released.

What is one of your favorite quotes?
I have a few:
“This too shall pass.”

 “Despite how open, peaceful and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves.”

 “Life is too short not to follow your dreams.”

What do you like to snack on while you write?
A nice glass of wine.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Inconsiderate, dishonest individuals. Also those with no manners who don’t say “please” or “thank you.”

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I currently don’t have my own website, but they are welcome to follow me on Instagram at @inspirerayanne. Or they can reach me via email at: mairarayanne@yahoo.com “Georgia Haven” is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all other major retailers for those interested.

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