≡ Menu

Day 27: 2012 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Mariam Kobras

Success breeds success. Everyone knows that, right?

Mariam Kobras is a member of my International Beyond Busy Book Club and when she burst out with the news that she’d won a recent IPPY award, I checked out her book.

And we were all in luck, because even though Mariam lives abroad, her publisher has signed copies of her books here in the states, so one lucky commenter will win one today!

Congrats to Mariam on her IPPY! Please help me welcome her.

About Mariam Kobras

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Mariam lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia with her parents as a child before they decided to settle in Germany. She attended school there and studied American Literature and Psychology at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen. Today she lives and writes in Hamburg, Germany, with her husband, two sons and two cats.

The storyline for The Distant Shore was inspired by her fascination with the limitations fame can impose on people. Her book explores the value of love in a world where money and a front-page photo are sometimes more important than a person’s soul.

About The Distant Shore

There’s nothing like finding a letter on your breakfast table telling you there’s a teenage son you knew nothing about…but this is what happens to international rock star, Jonathon Stone. He drops everything he is doing to find the boy and his mother, Naomi—the girl he loved so many years ago and who left him when his rock ’n roll life became too much for her to bear.

Seeing her again means falling in love all over. For a while they hide in Naomi’s hotel in a Norwegian coastal village and celebrate their reunion. But Jon’s life soon calls him back, and once more Naomi follows him to Hollywood.

Everything seems perfect, but there are always jealous fans, and one of them is out to get the rockstar’s wife…

The Very Short Interview

When did you know for sure that you were a writer and that writing would be a major energy focus in your life?

Actually quite late in life. I used to dabble a bit in writing as a teenager – the usual stuff, a journal, a story about Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise, that kind of thing. Then I let it slip. At university, while studying American Lit., I did take some creative writing courses, and they went rather well.

But my serious writing began three years ago, when, waking up one December morning, I knew it was time. So I sat down and wrote The Distant Shore within a few months. Minutes after posting page 99 of the novel on my blog, I got a DM on twitter from Buddhapuss Ink, requesting a full manuscript. A few weeks later they offered a deal.

Who has always been behind your writing career and who helped pull you up the ladder of success?

My husband, in his very calm and kind way. He always wanted me to write, to start earlier, but I never had the guts. For me, it was important to know there would validation for what I did. It’s as if by having my work accepted, I can justify the amount of time I spend doing it. See, deep down I’m a mom and housewife, and I feel guilty neglecting my dirty kitchen.

Now, of course, everything is different. With three book deals, one published book, one about to be released and the third nearly finished, it’s my job.

My family has adjusted to our new life.

The ladder of success – that’s a different story.

I haven’t had a long writing journey like most authors. I’ve never had to face piles of rejections, I didn’t have to write submission letters!

Overnight, I was a signed author, stumbling through the confusion of this brand new world. I had a contract, business cards, was sent on a book tour, told to write a new book, and quickly, please, and I had NO idea what I was doing.

As an author, I’m standing on the shoulders of Mary Chris Bradley of Buddhapuss Ink. She has the patience of an angel, and she pulled me up the ladder.

What is the most frequent comment you hear about your book (or books) from readers? Tell us a little story about the response to your work.

Oh goodness – what a question!

First of all, I haven’t had any negative responses. Well, there was one who wasn’t overly thrilled, but that person had won the book in a giveaway and only reads SciFi. My books definitely aren’t SciFi.

One comment that keeps coming back—and that I love very much—is, “poetic, lyrical”. The characters “feel real, like real people”, the “sense of setting makes me think I’m really there”. Those are the most frequent comments I get.

Readers are asking when the sequel will be out. They say they can’t wait for it. Which is great, of course!

I think I can tell you now that the next book in the Stone Trilogy, titled Under The Same Sun, is scheduled to release October 1st, this year.

The most THRILLING responses I got for The Distant Shore were the first words my publisher ever said to me, in a Skype conference: “I totally believe in your project!” Dream words, words every writer wants to hear from a publisher!

The other one would be the IPPY Award The Distant Shore has just won.

I mean, really. You wake up one morning, decide to write a novel, it gets signed off the spot, sells out within hours after its release and THEN wins an award a couple of months later. Who could ask for anything more?

And Now, Your Turn

Now it’s your turn. You remember how this works right?

I ask you a question. You answer in the comments for your chance to win a book each day.

Please just respond once, even if you make a typo. ;)

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! I hope to see you here every day this month. Bring your friends!

Mariam asks a good question. Who could ask for anything more? What something more would you like to ask for and how would that something more support your writing goals?

Ready, set, comment!

Like this post? Subscribe to my Feed!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • MLTCG May 26, 2012, 10:39 pm

                    Sherrie Eldridge, in her book Questions Adoptees Are Asking, says “Connection with our past, with our heritage. This is one of our most basic needs as adoptees.”  It took me years to recognize this fact.
                    In 2012 it is still too difficult for my extended family to tell me the rest of the truth about my birth father.  My goal is to do my part to awaken the secret holders, to tell adoptees to search and families to tell the secrets. Do it now! Don’t wait or time will run out.
                    Moral support would help right now. Soon I will ask my extended family to support my writing for what it is, a fictionalized story that can help open the eyes of so many other families who are still keeping secrets.  I will proceed with or with out their approval but their support would be a great moral boost.

  • Edith May 27, 2012, 5:41 am

    What an amazing story! Thanks for making me smile! Who could ask for more? Well the ‘more’ for me would be having one of my short stories published. That ‘more’ would be enough for now! 🙂

  • Sue May 27, 2012, 12:42 am

    As a newbie I want to get something, a short piece
    published, so I can feel like a real writer. For me I know that would be highly
    motivating. In the meantime I am writing more so at this point in my life it is
    success, so who could ask for more? All steps in the right direction.

  • Pegsarj1 May 27, 2012, 4:07 am

    After being introduced to it here, on your blog, I am reading your book ‘Get Known Before the Book Deal.’ I write fiction and so your ideas about one’s niche didn’t really click with me until I read the fiction chapter. My niche, I’ve since discovered, is my way of using place as character; it’s turning my many travel experiences into story. For me, what I would ask for is the pie in the sky book deal that would finance my next adventurous journey, a journey that would be turned into my next collection of short stories, or my next novel.

  • Lara Krupicka May 27, 2012, 5:19 am

    I would ask for grease for the wheels of my writing career. Success seems so slow sometimes – and growth too. I’d like to find an area of my career where a little work goes a long way (whether it be speaking, writing or coaching). For now it takes a lot of work to make tiny steps – and without a long view, which thankfully I can remind myself to take every day, it can be disheartening.

  • Cara Holman May 27, 2012, 5:46 am

    I suppose there’s always
    something more to ask for, but I think I’m in a pretty good place right now in
    my writing life.  I have the time, space,
    and motivation to write. My haiku and related forms are being published
    regularly in journals I highly respect. I’ve been doing well in poetry competitions,
    and have won some very personally meaningful awards. I am continually
    challenging myself to try new poetry forms, and submit to new journals. I have
    hit all my targets (thus far) for getting my personal essays published in a
    variety of venues. And best of all, I have discovered a wonderfully supportive
    online community of poets and writers, who enrich my life. So do I need to ask
    for anything more right now? No, I don’t think so!

  • Diane J. May 27, 2012, 10:11 am

    I can’t ask for anything more. I am very blessed with a healthy family and a nice, but modest home. My friends and extended family are mostly supportive of my writing. I work a part-time job in addition to writing so I have days wide open for all the writing I want to do. I have everything I need to write: Pen and paper, computer, printer. I also have mounds of helpful writing information available (for questions, idea gathering, how-to or where-to submit, etc) within a few keystrokes.

    I would feel guilty asking for anything more, so I’m just going to take a moment and be thankful….of course, if Mary Poppins wanted to pop in and entertain the children during the summer, I would not oppose.

  • Mar May 27, 2012, 10:58 am

    My something more would be more time, more money, more freedom, more support. I would love for someone to take over the financial responsibilities and say . . . “Honey, don’t worry. I’ll take care of the bills. You hire someone to run the agency and do whatever you need to do to finish your novel.” If I had that . . . just for a year, maybe less, I could find out if my novel is marketable and publishable. Perhaps it’s better not knowing because it keeps the dream alive.

  • Lisa S. May 27, 2012, 11:52 am

    I feel so very blessed in my life and I am thankful for all that I have. I really do try to not take everything I have for granted. That being said what more would I ask for, quite simply a cleaning lady. The dirt and dust weighs on my mind. It is a distraction that prevents me from tackling writing projects and focusing the way I should. If my writing career were to take off and I could afford it, the first thing I would treat myself to is cleaning help once a week. The freedom from housework would be wonderful to experience.

  • Deb May 27, 2012, 1:36 pm

    The something more I would ask for would be the strength of overcoming fear. The fear of failure, the fear of success, the fear of being outed as an imposter. Having that something more would support my writing goals by giving me the freedom to write and submit and do it repeatedly with confidence instead of doubt.

  • Kristy Grieve May 27, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Mariam’s success is so inspiring! She sounds like the kind of gal that would help lift you up when you’re having a bad day. 

    I would like to ask for more confidence in my writing skills. I would also like to banish the fear of rejection. Having more tenacity to keep going even after getting rejected would go a long way in supporting my writing goals. Lisa S. mentioned a house cleaner and that would be swell too.

  • Mariam Kobras May 27, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Find me on Facebook or twitter, Kristy. 🙂