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Duck Chat What a treat for you today! Maya Banks has taken a few minutes out her very busy schedule to chat with us.

The first book in her Breathless series, Rush, is in bookstores now, and the next two are in the works, to be released by August of this year. So you can imagine how busy she is.

So sit back and have some fun with Maya. Let’s chat!

2011-12-mayabanks-meetDUCK CHAT: Welcome to The Good, the Bad and the Unread, Maya. Instead of the usual tell-us-about-yourself question, how about sharing with fans something they don’t know about you?

MAYA BANKS: I’m a huge introvert and am terrified of public speaking and book signings 🙂

DC: If you could retire any interview question and never, ever have it asked again, what would it be? Feel free to answer it.

MB: I’m asked all the time if I base my characters on movie stars. That’s the one I’d love never to be asked again lol. It’s not something I’ve ever done or will ever do. I’m totally ignorant of pop culture. I rarely watch TV. Can’t tell you the last time I went to see a movie and Hollywood people are too “pretty” and “polished” for the kinds of characters I write.

DC: I’ve heard writers often say their stories take them in surprising directions, or dialogue flows from some unknown place. Is it the same with you? Do your characters surprise you sometimes?

MB: Oh absolutely. I don’t sit down and plot out a story in advance. If I did, I’d get bored and wouldn’t want to write it. For me the joy and wonder of writing is in the discovery of the story as it unfolds. While I have a general premise going in, each scene is written not knowing what happens next. I write like I read a book. I don’t know what’s going to happen until I turn the page.

DC: Your fans love your sinfully erotic books. Was erotica what you had your sights set on when you first began your career?

Book CoverMB: Absolutely not. I began my attempt at being published by writing historicals. I always planned to write historicals. I dabbled with some contemporaries and even wrote Seducing Simon, never planning to publish it because it didn’t “fit” anywhere. But it was something I enjoyed and so I wrote it for me.

But I got to a point where I was really discouraged after several close calls with my historicals and I wanted to do something different and fun, just for me, no pressure. And so I began working on two projects, Colters’ Woman and the novellas that would eventually become the anthology, For Her Pleasure. I was looking for a home for my erotic romances but was wary of publishers because there weren’t that many out there, and Samhain had just started up, so I decided to use Seducing Simon, a book I’d already written as sort of a test to see if Samhain was a publisher I would want to continue working with. They contracted Seducing Simon and then ironically, Colters’ Woman and For Her Pleasure were my next published books. One through Samhain and one through Berkley.

DC: What has been your favorite book cover from all of your releases and why?Book Cover

MB: That’s hard because I’ve had a lot of really awesome covers. But I think my favorite is Highlander Most Wanted, which I fondly refer to as my “mermaid cover” It’s lush, gorgeous, and so romantic and tender. It definitely captures the feel of the book and it’s beautiful to look at.

DC: Which fictional character would you like to hang out with?

MB: The Sweet characters from my Sweet series 🙂

DC: What advice would you give to your younger self?

MB: Grow the hell up

DC: What is the best thing about being a full-time romance author? What’s the most challenging?

MB: Working from home in my PJ’s, being my own boss, no set time or schedule. And I can work from anywhere. Most challenging is BECAUSE I’m home. In the earlier days of my career, the husband and kids didn’t really see me as working and made more demands of my time. Or hey, can you run this errand or since you’re home can you do this? It was hard in the beginning, but now they absolutely realize that not only do I work, but I work LONG hours and it’s not easy just because I’m doing it from home.

DC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever learned by Googling your name?

MB: I don’t Google my name, don’t have Google alerts. I think this is like the worst idea ever. Me knowing what is being said about me doesn’t change what is said. If I don’t know about it, then I can live in ignorant bliss, and as the saying goes, ignorance truly IS bliss.

Lightning Round:

– dark or milk chocolate?     – Not a chocolate fan! But caramel? OMG. *LOVE*

– smooth or chunky peanut butter?    – Smooth. I hate nuts in ANYTHING

– heels or flats?    – Flip flops. I’m a disaster in heels. Never wear them. Don’t even own a pair.

– coffee or tea?     – Sweet iced tea

– summer or winter?      – Winter

– mountains or beach?    – Mountains

– mustard or mayonnaise?    – Yuck!

– flowers or candy?    – Caramels *g*

– pockets or purse?    – Not really either. I do carry a purse sometimes but not often. Usually I just carry a wallet.

– Pepsi or Coke?     – Sweet tea 😉

– ebook or print?    – Love both!

And because we still enjoy the answers we get:

1. What is your favorite word?   – Fuck

2. What is your least favorite word?    – No

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?    – A good book

4. What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?     – A bad book

5. What sound or noise do you love?    – Windchimes

6. What sound or noise do you hate?   – Any repetitive tapping noise

7. What is your favorite curse word?    – Fuck

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?    – Absolutely none

9. What profession would you not like to do?    – Any nine to five desk job

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?    – “You’re not going to hell”

DC: Thanks for being with us today, Maya!