VIP Interview: Maisey Yates

When someone mocks the romance industry or your genre, what’s your go-to comment? My readers love it, I love it. We devalue what matters to women, and I reject that wholly. It should be enough that we love it. 

How do you choose a story idea / which one to follow? Often times I get little bits of an idea, and the little bits kind of free float around for a while and then suddenly it comes together – a missing piece to the puzzle, a very strong character, and when the book feels REAL like that I know it’s time to write it. 

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started? I’d tell myself not to take it so seriously – and I don’t mean that flippantly, I meant…writing stories for a living is a joy. Take risks and chances and don’t be upset if someone doesn’t get it, don’t be sad if you have to rewrite – it’s not a failure, it means you took a big swing and missed, but that’s okay. 

What question do you wish someone would ask, but no one ever has? What do you do when you don’t feel like writing? I do it anyway! I find the pressure we put on ourselves to be HAPPY to write and feel JOY to be such an unnecessary pressure. Like any endeavor sometimes the reward is in having done it, not in doing it, and that’s okay. I’ve written many things angrily. I promise no one can tell the difference. 

Do you have any writing rituals / superstitions? Increasingly less and less! Every book is different and some require playlists and pinterest boards, others I just have to sit and write. 

Are you a plotter, panster or a combination of both? Definitely a combo, and definitely book dependent!

Why do you write? It’s my job, and that’s the easy answer. But why do I write even when it’s hard, and I have setbacks (and I do, no one is immune to professional disappointment at any stage of their career) it’s still the only thing I can imagine doing. I can’t NOT write. 

Do you have a writing routine? Not really, I definitely fluctuate with each book. Some like early morning words (rare) some only get written in a burst of fury in the late afternoon. Some are fast drafts, some aren’t. It’s all dependent on the book. 

Do you believe in Writers block, and if so, what would you suggest moving passed it? I don’t believe in it in the traditional sense. I find writer’s block and burnout tend to actually be more about surrounding issues in your life or the industry rather than the book itself, but writing is emotional, so anything impacting our emotions impacts our ability to write. At its heart though writer’s block is about being unable to make a decision. But there are a limited number of ways a book can go (if you’re writing in genre there are genre conventions, and beyond that, your characters will only behave in ways you’ve established) so ‘what happens next?’ has a finite list of possibilities. Choose one, and move on. If you hate it, delete what you wrote and try something else. But don’t let the blank page paralyze you. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I sold my first book. Before I didn’t really talk about the fact I was writing. I’ve always written though, and in hindsight I realize I was always a writer, from the time I was seven and learned what quotation marks were and was absolutely thrilled I could write a story with dialogue, I was a writer.