Julie Ann Maahs
The Serpent and the Stag
Q: How did you come up with your story?
The idea came from more than one source, but the center of it came from one conversation. You can find the story on the web in several forms: Otter Zell (now Oberon), found out a bit late that his neighbor Leonard Lake was a serial killer. Fortunately, he, his wife, and their unicorns came out of it alive….but were they unscathed?
So I wondered…what would it be like to live next door to a serial killer? Could you tell? Could I tell? In fact, what guidelines do we have to decide who is good and who is not? How good is human intuition, anyway?
Q: Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I cannot remember learning to read. Throughout my childhood, I brought home as large a stack of library books as I could carry, each and every week. And I read them all and was anxious to go back for more. By the third grade I knew I wanted to be a writer. And yet, somehow it took me until 35 to sit down and write a book, and until 50 to get it out there.
Q: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? Why?
I do taxes for a living. If I’d been thinking more clearly at a younger age, I’d probably be a computer programmer. Just because it’s fun and challenging. I’m also co-owner of an art gallery, but that’s because I’m married to an artist. The fun part of that for me is designing the postcards. I don’t know that they bring anyone in the door, but they’re fun anyway.
Q: Favorite genres to read?
History/Historical Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Noir, Romance, Sci Fi/Fantasy.
Q: What are your pet peeves?
I hate marketing. I don’t know how to do it. I’ve never figured out how to get a job or sell anything whatsoever. I can market my heart out and three people will come to an art opening, or five people will glance at my book and look away.
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
People keep trying to put me in a box that I don’t fit into. If they know something of my political views, they assume that I’m a vegetarian or take drugs or…. something. If they have only known me professionally, they’re shocked that I’m shy in social groups. And so forth. I don’t talk about Paganism unless I’m asked, but I think I gave myself away with “Serpent.”
Q: Where else can we find you, other titles, or anything else you’d like to share?
My books are listed at www.julieannmaahs.com.
“My Little Book of the Soul” is almost ready, but the illustrator (my husband) is balking a bit, and wants to do a new set. It’s a little (24pp)picture book of philosophy. Interestingly, it’s gotten praise from people of various religions: Pagan, Catholic, Mormon, even a Satanist. I really hope to get that out there very soon. I’m working on a novel, a ghost story. I was hoping it would be nearly finished by now, but I’m struggling with it.