Hello, my name is Maria.
I have many interests: films, art, museums, Art Nouveau, learning languages, paper, postcards, snail mail, design, branding, tennis, Woody Allen, and romantic comedies.
I enjoy the following genres: historical fiction, coming-of-age, chick lit, YA, classics, comedy of manners, graphic novels, fairy tales.
Some of my favorite authors are: Charles Bukowski, Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Paul Zindel, Victor Pelevin, Jeffrey Eugenides, Mary Gaitskill, Jhumpa Lahiri, Tom Perrotta, Junot Diaz
Favorite Books: I Capture the Castle, Tamara Drewe, Persepolis, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Alice, I Think, The Virgin Suicides, Russian Fairy Tales (illustrated by Ivan Bilibin)
Favorite Chick Lit: Le Divorce
Favorite Movies: 2 Days in Paris, 2 Days in New York, Midnight in Paris [yeah, they all have places in them... :)], Marie Antoinette, The Devil Wears Prada, Wimbledon, The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, Roman Holiday
TV: Downton Abbey, The Borgias, Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl, Wonderfalls, The Mindy Project, Happy Endings
I also love to write, and try to follow Elmore Leonard's guide to writing (but violate it anyway):
1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10: If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.