JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Maria Mitchell, author of Magnolia Cristiana St. Claire
Magnolia is born near New Orleans and blessed with a special spirit. Her mother Madelaine, a free spirit herself, encourages Magnolia to embrace her encounters with Gypsies and ghosts. Magnolia meets her one true love, Bobby, the first day of first grade but she shuns him. He shows up at her gate that very evening with a bouquet of magnolias, her heart melts, and their lives are entwined from then on. They live a very exciting childhood.
Bobby leaves for Spain the day after graduation to follow his passion of Flamenco guitar where he becomes Roberto, a well-known guitarist.
At the age of fourteen, Madelaine and Magnolia visit Merida, Mexico, where her future becomes quickly mapped out for her in the exciting world of Anthropology. Magnolia pursues her life in Merida as she becomes involved in her first project of restoring a deserted Hacienda that holds many secrets from the Maya Caste War in the 1850’s.
She discovers the memoirs of Solita, the Spanish mistress of the Hacienda whom Magnolia believes is the same ghost, “The Lady in White” who came to her in her garden at a young age.
Through the restoration and the reading of the memoirs, Magnolia becomes immersed in another world. She and her family buy the Hacienda and turn it into a five-star resort which quickly becomes a cultural treasure.
Eventually, after a long separation, Magnolia and Roberto are reunited and continue their mysterious lives in the Hacienda where the walls breath and ghosts walk the corridors.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Magnolia Cristiana St. Claire?
Maria Mitchell: Several years ago, I wrote a short story entitled “Solita” for a writing course. Because it constantly talked to me in the back of mind, I decided to build a novel around it. My lengthy time in Mexico allowed me to be familiar with the true culture of Mexico and to build the story based upon both truth and fiction and characters I had actually known.
Once I began writing Magnolia Cristiana St. Claire, she and I became one and I lived her life with ease, embracing each drama as it occurred.
JP: What sets Magnolia Cristiana St. Claire apart from other books in the same genre?
MM: This is a multi-cultural adventure fiction that embraces life both in New Orleans, a city filled with mysterious history, and Mexcico, a colorful country filled with surprises. The multi-layered plots and the cast of characters in this novel are both unusual and enticing to the reader.
Magnolia steals the hearts of her readers and sweeps them into a never-ending drama with romance, mystery and adventure. Each page is filled with a unique approach to life.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Magnolia Cristiana St. Claire getting out to the public?
MM: My publisher, Silverlake ebooks, is helpful and supportive in every way possible by Facebook ads, Tweeting nonstop, arranging and procuring an interview with Joey Pinkney, and I myself am working with Goodreads and their readers. The book is available on Amazon and all platforms as an ebook.
I believe this book to be excellent for a professional screen adaptation, and I currently have a musician composing the score.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Magnolia Cristiana St. Claire?
MM: This book, Magnolia Cristiana St. Claire, came from deep within my heart and soul as most of my writings do. It is hard for me to explain where the stories come from, they just seem to happen.
Through life experiences, knowledge of Mexico, personal experience with unusual and colorful characters, the story flowed. From start to finish, changing, refining, and editing, it probably took me about a year.
JP: What’s next for Maria Mitchell?
MM: My next fiction is somewhat a sequel to Magnolia Cristiana St. Claire. The title is Laughing at the River’s Edge and will probably be released sometime this year by Silverlake ebooks.
It, too, is an adventure fiction with a young artist named Zia who has amazing adventures and drama in her life as she trips off to Mexico with another artist named JP. I guess you’ll have to wait until it is published.
I trust my readers will love this novel as much as I do!