Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Case Maynard!
With over 20 years’ experience in the legal and medical fields, Case Maynard decided to trade in her briefs and reports to write the stories that have been floating around in her head since childhood. She lives with her two teenagers and husband in South Georgia, while maintaining a long-distance liaison with her oldest daughter and partner in crime in Alaska. When not writing, she enjoys reading as often as possible, binge watching anything good on Netflix, and all things NCAA football (Go Noles!).
I love reading author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Pretty much. I basically came out of the womb with a fanatical love for reading. I cut my teeth on Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. I devoured every word of every installment in the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal. I pilfered my mother’s Harlequin and Silhouette romance novels, drinking them in by the hundreds while she wasn’t looking. I perused yard sales and book nooks to garner every Stephen King paperback available. I slept with Dean Koontz’ latest work of art tucked beneath my arm and took long drives with Clive Barker. I made weekly trips to the local library and signed up for every direct-mail book club offer that was ever deposited into my mailbox just so I could read more. [Kindred spirit…]
Oftentimes, with the last page of each book, I would find myself wishing desperately that there was more to the story. I hated for them to end and would sometimes imagine my own continuations, introducing new characters and settings, and constructing new themes and plots. And then one day, it dawned on me. I was creating my own stories! And it was then that I knew. I am a writer! [So cool!]
Why did you choose to write your genre? My love for young adult started while reading Twilight with my oldest daughter and then The Hunger Games with my son. Up to that point, I mostly wrote adult fantasy and sometimes romance. But I loved these books so much, that I tried my hand at stories geared more toward a teenage audience. I can’t get enough of young adult now, both reading and writing.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? I don’t think any of my current works could be categorized as strange, but when I was a teenager, I wrote some very dark poetry. I’m a pretty positive, upbeat person, so looking back at how depressing they were, I have to just shake my head in wonder. [It’s called being a teenager.]
What are you currently working on? Right now, I’m working on the sequel to The Surrendered, while also working to revise a new adult fantasy that I wrote several years ago.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? I came up with the idea to write The Surrendered from a dream. I know it sounds very cliché, but it’s true! [It happens. That’s how Regress was started.] I dreamed I was in a huge civic center type auditorium, and I was there to “turn my children in” because I couldn’t afford to pay the fees that had been demanded for them. As I stood in line with thousands of other families who were surrendering their children, my mind swirled with ways that I could come up with the money to pay the fees for them. Just as I decided we would just have to live in the streets and scavenge food for ourselves, I turned to leave and encountered a small child, no older than three or four, who had been abandoned there. She was dirty, and crying, and I knew in that moment that I would never be able to leave her. And there was no way I could pay for another child. We would have no choice but to run and hide from the law. It was very stressful! [Wow! What a dream!]
What was the hardest story for you to write? I am struggling pretty good with The Underground (the sequel to The Surrendered). I didn’t realize how hard it was to write a continuation. I know that it will come to me and will be just as good as The Surrendered in the end, but for now, I find I am gnashing my teeth somewhat.
What process do you use to plan your novels? I am a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ kind of writer. I don’t do a lot of plotting or character development before starting. Generally, I just sit down, start to type, and see what happens. I usually do have a broad idea where I am going with the story, and sometimes it ends up where I thought it would. Other times, it goes in a completely different direction.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I love all of my main characters. They literally feel like a part of my family, and we discuss them in my house like they are! For now, the character I’m enjoying the most is Vee in The Surrendered. She is an amazingly strong girl, and her personality reminds me very much of my youngest daughter.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? I have experienced writer’s block plenty of times, just as every writer does at some point. My advice to other authors is to take a step back from your work, focus on something else temporarily, and then return to it. Sometimes, you can just be too close to a story. [#truth]
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Maybe not so much my own personality as much as the personalities of others. Almost all of my characters are based on someone who has affected me in some way in my life.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Why? I actually would like to try my hand at writing adult paranormal romance. It’s one of my favorite genres to read, but I seem to have a block against writing sex scenes myself. Still, I’d like to give it a whirl, and one day I will. [Yes… the dreaded sex scenes. Fun to read. A bear to write.]
Which authors inspire you? My absolute favorite author is Kresley Cole. Everything she writes is out-of-this-world good. She’s amazing, and inspires me to write better!
What novel would you read multiple times? I would (and have!) read Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles series over and over again. It’s my absolute favorite young adult series!
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) I would love to meet Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I really need to visit her beautiful library!
What is your favorite quote?
This quote really hits home for me. I have attempted multiple careers in my life and, before writing, was never able to excel or to be happy. I believe without passion, there is no happiness or excellence to be had.
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? I almost hate to admit this, but I am not a huge animal person. They are all super cute, but I just don’t have the time to care for a pet. If I had to choose based on cuteness alone, I’d have to pick a little kitten. They have the sweetest, most adorable faces.
What is your favorite color? I can’t really say that I have a favorite color, but I have a crazy, amazing love for the Florida State Seminoles, so I am going to say Garnet and Gold!
What do you do when you’re not writing? Right now, writing is part-time for me, but hopefully will one day become full-time. My “day job” is as a cardiac sonographer at a local hospital. [Not a bad day job.]
It was such a pleasure to get to know you, Case!
Next week’s featured author will be KT Webb.