Jaime Boler: Did you always want to be a writer?
Maria Goodin: Yes, among other things. I am quite changeable and restless, so I don’t think I was ever destined to just think of a
career I wanted and head straight down that route.
I have worked as a teacher, a massage therapist, a counselor, an administrator…I think I will always have a varied career. But yes, writing a novel was always an ambition of mine. I think there is a lot of negative talk out there about becoming a writer, though, and how hard it is to get published. To be honest, I probably saw being an author as the least obtainable career option, and so for a long time it was left on the shelf while I focused on finding other ways to pay the bills. The desire to write a book was always there though, nagging at the back of my mind.
JB: How did you come up with the idea for FROM THE KITCHEN OF HALF TRUTH?
MG: I was out and about one day when I heard one lady say to another “and the baby was caught in a frying pan”, or at least that’s what I thought she said. I was on a busy, noisy street at the time and I’m sure I must have misheard. But the image was such a funny one it really stuck in my mind. I wrote a short story, “Nutmeg”, based around this idea, and when that won a writing competition I was inspired to turn that story into a novel.
JB: What do you hope readers take with them after reading your story?
MG: One reader said it made them think about what’s important in life, and I think it would be a great achievement if my readers took that message away with them. Life passes so quickly and it’s so easy to forget what really matters and take it for granted.
I’m also very interested in this question about reality –the idea of an absolute reality versus individual self-created realities – and if readers wanted to consider that issue after reading the book then I think that would be a positive thing. It’s easy to go through life assuming that we are all living the same ‘reality’, and perhaps getting frustrated when other people don’t appear to be on the same page as us, but I think we all create our own worlds as a result of individual life experiences. I think an appreciation of this can help us develop empathy and be less judgmental.
MG: I have fond memories of being read to as a child, and later I read quite a lot by myself. I also watched a fair bit of television and quite a lot of films. As a consequence, I developed a very vivid imagination. I was always disappearing into my own little world, and I became quite skilled at envisaging characters and scenarios. I was always daydreaming, and even as an adult I have a bit of a tendency to get lost in my own head at times. Expressed positively it makes me creative, but expressed negatively it doesn’t always help in addressing practical matters!
Fiction has always provided an escape from the stresses and strains of daily life for me, whether it comes from a book, the television or from my own imagination.
JB: Thank you very much, Maria, for answering my questions!