Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Sunday, October 4, 2015

#Interview With Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is here today with us.  Maria, please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written. :-)

Maria:  I recently retired from teaching literature at the middle school level to devote one hundred percent of my time to my craft. Before that, I taught literature, writing, and theory at the university level, as well. Have lived around the world, been a professional dancer, singer, and done commercials for TV. Love to include in the setting of my novels the flavor of the places in which I lived. Have a wonderful husband (been married 30+ years) and have two sons, equally wonderful. I started writing seriously 20+ years ago and have finally published two novels, The Coin and The Book of Hours. Have finished several short stories and am currently writing my third full novel, a detective story set in NYC with my character, Nick Larson.

Me:  Wow! Sounds like you've had an interesting life! :-)  What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Maria:  The Book of Hours is the second of my duology. It is the sequel to my first novel, The Coin. The original story with Gabriela Martinez and Richard Harrison was too big to put into one novel. As a matter of fact, I found I had two complete story arcs, much like a Venn diagram, with my two characters as the uniting force. Had to finish the two conflicts while telling their story. The Book of Hours finishes that. But the inspiration started with an outing in France, where I used to live, where I found coins on the ground. This sparked: what if an innocent woman finds a coin in the middle of nowhere, which puts her in deadly danger? And what if there is only one man who can save her, which will also place her in danger, but a different kind?

Me:  Oooo!! Love the "what-ifs," they're always so intriguing. ;-)  What are you working on now?

Maria:  I’m working on a detective novel, set in NYC where I used to live. The plot was inspired by something I saw on FB that made me ask my favorite questions: Why? And What if?

Me:  Ha! Great stories often start with those questions. ;-)  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Maria:  I have so, so many, I can’t begin to list them. Shakespeare is one. Dante. Chesterton is another. Anya Seton, Marlys Millhiser, Dick Francis, Michael Crichton, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Jayne Ann Krentz, García Marques, García Lorca, Stella Cameron, Linda Howard, Poe, Twain, Wilde, Blake, Dunnett, Christina Skye…should I go on?

Me:  HA! Typical author's response. ;-)  What are you reading now?

Maria:  Trying to get back to reading. Has been a brutal two years. But I’m finally picking it up once more. Re-reading State of Fear by Michael Crichton simply because the novel was inside my husband’s night table when I unpacked.

Me:  He was one of my favorite authors too, such a story-teller! :-)  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Maria:  Intrigue, action, suspense, and a healthy dose of romantic tension. Readers should compare The Coin to Casablanca meets James Bond, without the gadgets. The Book of Hours is more a now retired intelligence officer who goes after the woman he loves, not only to save her, but to keep her in his life forever.

Me:  Sounds like a sweet storyline. :-)  What is your favorite part of being an author?

Maria:  Writing a good story that readers can really get into. The creating of the world, the characters, the story. I love bringing the people who live in my imagination to life, and love when readers respond with the same enthusiasm and love to those characters as I do.

Me:  Yes, it's a lot of fun to play with our imaginary friends. ;-)  Do you have a day job as well?

Maria:  No, not any more. I am dedicating all my time to writing and promoting my work.

Me:  Wonderful!!  What would you say are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Maria:  Actually it is a two-fold answer. As an independent, self-published writer, the hardest part is promoting your work and getting started on the next one. One takes the time of the other, so that is difficult. The other hard part is the revision process.  The easiest part of writing is sitting down and creating the story. There are moments of block, but, usually, characters, dialogue, and plot come easy. At least, to me.

Me:  I think most indie authors would agree with you. :-)  What genre do you place your book in?

Maria:  Romantic suspense/thriller.

Me:  Cool! :-)  Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Maria:  I love to hear from readers. Wish they would communicate more. Review more. But, most importantly, I always want them to know how grateful I am to them for sharing Gabriela and Richard’s world. It is truly a wonderful thing. They keep me writing. I hope those novels will be ones they’ll enjoy.

Me:  Amen!!  And so these fine folks can find Gabriela and Richard's adventures, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Maria:  The usual buy links for those readers who want to read my novels and share Gabriela and Richard’s world:

The Coin:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1I8Y8Z9
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/kwpzve2
Amazon Australia: http://tinyurl.com/p443uwc
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/13Pbdcn
Kobo Worldwide: http://ow.ly/Rxe8Y

The Book of Hours:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/14kNQbI
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/15vMMlv
Amazon Australia: http://tinyurl.com/pmqrnjx
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1sWiXFm
Kobo Worldwide: http://ow.ly/RxecT

And those links where readers can always reach me, leave a comment, or say “hi.”
Web: www.mariaelenawrites.com
Blog: www.mariaelenawrites.blogspot.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/MariaElenaWrite
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MariaElenaAlonsoSierraWrites
Newsletter: www.mariaelenawrites.com/newsletter.html

Awesome! :-)  Thank you so much for stopping by today, Maria, and best of luck with your writing.  Everyone else, thank you for joining us, and don't forget to stay tuned for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)


  1. Thanks, Mistral, for the wonderful interview! It was great chatting with you.
    Maria Elena

    1. You're welcome, Maria! It was great chatting with you too! :-)