JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Maura Stone, author of Five-Star FLEECING
(Written in Stone)
Five-Star FLEECING is a comedy set in the mid-1990’s about a corrupt luxury hotel in New York City. It’s the hotel version of “The Devil Wears Prada only funnier!
Having fled from dubious circumstances in her prior career, Linda Lane is now the acting Resident Manager of the esteemed Supreme Superior Hotel, all the rage of the entertainment, business and hospitality industries.
Surrounded by world famous celebrities, movie junkets, upscale guests and strangely conflicted hotel colleagues, Linda finds that the most daunting aspect of her job is her association with her celebrated boss, the General Manager, Mr. Ganiff. The longer she works for him, the more she realizes that perhaps her flight from her past was not precisely an escape from wild corruption and the most audacious and stunning discrimination.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Five-Star FLEECING?
Maura Stone: Five-Star FLEECING started out as, strangely enough, a complaint letter. I railed at the indecencies committed at the hotel where I worked and felt compelled to notify senior management. Then, in the process, I found that writing was far more effective than therapy.
Let’s say it developed into a hobby over the years, a secretive one I did late at night. My neighbors complained incessantly about the strange cackling noises that woke them up, believing it was another tenant. Over ten years, what was once a four page letter became a five hundred page manuscript.
JP: What sets Five-Star FLEECING apart from other books in the same genre?
MS: Five-Star FLEECING has the distinction of being the only comedy out there about a hotel in two decades. It’s the only comedy about hospitality corruption! Even so, it’s a tale of redemption.
Linda Lane is unlike any chick lit heroine because she’s confronted with a choice that many people encounter in their jobs: to either go with the flow, take the hit or walk away, losing her ability to earn a living. In this way, Five-Star possesses such an universal element, it could’ve been written through the eyes of a man.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Five-Star FLEECING getting out to the public?
MS: You’d think that my MBA in marketing would help! Ha! It’s a very difficult process being a writer and self-promoter, requiring different skill sets. Skill sets I’m learning ad hoc!
Through my own ferklempt marketing strategy, Five-Star FLEECING has done well, winning the 2011 National Indie Excellence Award for Comedy, receiving 5-star highly recommended review from the Midwest Book Review and touted by the King of All Media, Howard Stern, not to mention record sales for a first book.
I have a firm belief that Five-Star FLEECING will find its way to the top. Hopefully, it won’t occur posthumously.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Five-Star FLEECING?
MS: My writing process is simple. I sit down at the computer and write. Even so, it took me a decade to get Five-Star FLEECING at the level I enjoy, mostly due to the huge cast of characters, plots and subplots.
Not to kvetch, but writing comedy’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, up there with making yogurt and training deer not to smoke on my deck. Joking aside, comedy requires a build up, a pitch, a timing, requiring an inner ear. Luckily, I didn’t go deaf until after Five-Star was published!
JP: What’s next for Maura Stone?
MS: I’m hands-deep in another comedy, another massive tome, this time skewing another industry. However, it’ll take years before it’s whipped up into shape.
In the interval, I’ve managed to write a series of comedy ebooks focusing on the wonderful eworld of edating, eDating Advice from the Bubbameistah. The first ebook was launched in May 2012, Men, eDating and Mast*****ion (on sale at major online retailers) where it lampoons edating advice, columns and books. Through the perspective of the Bubbameistah, a witty and sassy gal with no-holds barred advice, she explains why those wonderful men women dally with online don’t segue into dates offline.
The second ebook of the series, eWomen are Lunatics will be launched in June 2012. eWomen are Lunatics is for men what Men, eDating and Mast*****ion is for women. Only this time, it’s a cautionary tale. Hey, payback’s a bitch!
Yes! I’ve a mini ebook, Arc of Passion, a literary treat in small bites. Arc of Passion is a compilation of six quick short stories about an unconventional, mostly virtual relationship. These stories were performed in front of a live audience.