Maria Alony studied literature and writing at the university and graduated with honors. She recently published two children's books on Amazon Kindle. Following their success as bestsellers, she intends to publish more books for children as well as adult fiction
When did you decide to become a writer?
I fell in love with books, literature, and writing shortly after learning to read and write.
I decided to become a writer when I was just a young girl, about age 11, when I wrote and illustrated my first children's book. At the same time, I also decided to become a painter and pianist as I loved the arts in general.
In subsequent years, reading and writing became the central preoccupations of my spare time.
During my time at the university, I realized that I had a unique writing skill and the ability to look at the world with different eyes. I realized that I want to be a writer.
After graduating, I decided that in addition to my vocation, my dream would be to teach children to love and appreciate literature. I, therefore, turned my direction. Over the past few years, I've focused on my development as a writer.
So, what have you written?
I have written children's books and many short stories for adults. I have also started a number of novels (not yet finished). In general, many projects are usually in process because I'm very critical of my writing and tend to rewrite and edit everything countless times. For example, I have a short story I have been editing for three years!
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a number of works simultaneously: a series of children's books, a collection of short stories, and a novel. It depends on how I feel in the morning… I find it best for me to work on several things at once.
How much research do you do?
I usually invest a lot of time in research and reading the theoretical literature on the issue I'm writing about. I think this is a very important part of the planning stage.
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from everyday experience, from observing people and interacting with them, from the events happening in my life, as well as from exposure to other art works–books, the visual arts, and film.
The sources of my inspiration can be divided into two areas because my writing is divided into two parts: writing for children and for adults. Despite the fact that my fingerprints as a writer are evident in both genres, I draw inspiration for my writing from various sources. For children, it is very diverse and includes children's literature that I remember from my childhood, such as Andersen's and the Brothers Grimm's stories, Winnie the Pooh, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I also love Lea Goldberg's writing for children, to which I was introduced only as an adult. I don't know to put my finger exactly on how these works have influenced my writing, but for me they resonate somewhere deep inside.
Another Influence is my work with children in the past as a teacher and educator which developed my ability to listen and understand children. I think the biggest influence on my writing for children today is my son, Matan, who is almost 3 years old. I ask myself: what story would I like to tell my son and then I write it.
The inspiration for my writing for adults is much more homogeneous–the urban existence. On the one hand, it allows for individualism; and despite the relative density compared to rural surroundings, you can maintain your private space. In addition, the city is replete with a diverse and interesting population that provides wonderful material for writing. As a result, within the collection of stories I have been working on in recent years, a most significant piece for me is full of tragic urban characters. Although I feel a greater connection to the urban essence of the city, it is somehow a little sad to me. There is a sense of detachment, a lack of community and genuine support, and an aura of loneliness. This permeates how I design my characters, which on the one hand, are very independent, but on the other suffer solitude, alienation, and even slip into madness.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Set aside time for writing regularly. Don’t wait for the moment when you have a muse: it may happen rarely. Even if you don’t have something to write about, just think and imagine. Learn to develop your skills by reading books, taking literature courses, and writing as a daily practice.
Take a look at Maria's page on Amazon.