Q&A with Mia Sheridan

Posted by Goodreads on October 16, 2017
"Maybe, I thought, that was what love was supposed to do—peel your layers back and uncover all your tender spots so they, too, could be healed," Mia Sheridan writes in Most of All You.

Do you need a little healing? Then come soothe your soul with uplifting tales of perseverance, redemption, and true love from Sheridan. The bestselling author of Archer's Voice and Leo takes broken characters and gives them peace and takes cynical readers and gives them hope. As one fan notes, her books serve as reminders that all of us are just "one plot twist away from a happy ending."

And right in time for the cooler months, Sheridan is here to warm your heart with a brand-new romance. In Most of All You, Crystal hides her dark past behind a tough exterior—until she meets Gabriel, a man who struggles with his own inner demons but still shines a light on everything in her life.

Sheridan answers your questions about why we're all here (for love, of course!), how Gaston and Lara Croft could actually be soul mates, and what insight years of "honoring my own heart and shooting myself in the foot" have given her about relationships.

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Michelle: Hello, gorgeous book! I want you in my hands already! I'm so excited for Most of All You (if you can't tell). What sets apart Crystal and Gabriel's love story from all your other stories?

Mia Sheridan: Thank you, Michelle! In most of my books, my male characters tend to be the broken ones. In Most of All You, however, my hero is the healer—a wounded healer, but a healer nonetheless. Gabriel is very much the light in this novel.

Sasha: I love how hopeful your books always are! They give me hope, too. Like no matter how bad life gets, you're only one plot twist away from a happy ending. What books give you hope?

MS: Thank you, Sasha! I love the way you phrased that: "No matter how bad life gets, you're only one plot twist away from a happy ending." I believe that strongly, too, and I'm so grateful to know that that belief comes through in my stories.

So many books have given me hope over the years…and for so many reasons. Some books give me hope because I relate so strongly to the female narrator—they make me feel like I'm not alone in the things I think about, the things I feel, the things that hurt me. Books that have comforted me in this way are A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables, just to name a few. Romance novels give me hope because they reinforce the belief that love (of every variety) is the reason we're all here. Love truly does move mountains.

Amy: I've been obsessed with your writing since I read Archer's Voice. Sooooooo good. How does an idea for one of your books begin? Is it with a character, a moment, a bit of dialogue?

MS: Hi, Amy! Thank you! It's been different with each of my books so far, and inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere: a song, a random thought, something I overhear in a crowded restaurant.

For my current book, my inspiration came from a quote I read last year (often attributed to Bob Marley—though there's some debate about that): "If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing. If she's worth it, you won't give up. If you give up, you're not worthy. Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." It totally knocked me for a loop, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Most of All You was formed from my reflections on that quote.

Laney: Who's your ultimate book boyfriend?

MS: The ultimate?? I have to go with Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. He is just the ultimate tortured hero, and I naturally clench my hands to my chest every time I think about him. "If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years as I could in a day." I mean, really? Gah! Be still my heart!

Beth: What's a typical day of writing like for you?

MS: Hi, Beth! My kids are finally all in school now, so I have a quiet house to myself in which to work during the week. I try to be at my computer by about nine. I work on administrative stuff (answering messages, etc.) for about an hour before diving in to my current WIP. My brain can really only handle about three or four hours of writing, so I'm typically wrapping up right around the time my middle schooler is getting off the bus. In general, I like to get in about 2,000 words a day.

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Dana: You have this quote in Archer's Voice—"Sometimes an understanding silence was better than a bunch of meaningless words"—that I just adore. Where do you get such powerful perspective on relationships? From your own, from friends and family, or from your imagination?

MS: Thank you, Dana. What an amazing compliment. I've always been introspective (maybe too much sometimes—I tend to live in my own head a lot), and so if I do have any insight on the workings of the human heart, it's because I spend a lot of time pondering the subject.

But I've also made plenty of mistakes in life and insisted on learning the hard way a time or 20. From those experiences, I've learned the difference between honoring my own heart and shooting myself in the foot. Nothing teaches you more about yourself, and relationships, than making poor choices and having to live with the consequences. So I suppose, on that note, I'm grateful for my mistakes because I chose to learn from them.

Cat: Guess who's probably going to fall in love with Gabriel as soon as I read Most of All You? This gal! Did Gabriel and Crystal's story turn out the way you initially envisioned it? Or did it change as you wrote it?

MS: Hi, Cat! Originally I pictured these two characters to be on more even footing, as far as their damage goes. But as the story clarified—and as Gabriel's character formed in my mind—I realized that he was, in fact, far more emotionally solid and open to love. From there the story just flowed.

Emily: Out of all your characters, which one would you choose to bring to life?

MS: Hi, Emily! Hmm. That's tough! To me, they already are sort of living, breathing people. But if I had to choose only one to turn into an actual human, I think I'd choose Gabriel from Most of All You. I'd love to just sit and watch him work for hours because I find what he does fascinating (no spoilers!). Or maybe I'd choose Calder from Becoming Calder, so I could just watch him paint. Or maybe I'd choose Holden or Lily from Midnight Lily, and I'd try to untangle all the secrets of their minds. Can I go with my top five?

Pam: Thank you so much for all your stories! They've comforted and inspired me. When did you first think that maybe you could be a writer for real?

MS: Thank you, Pam! That is so wonderful to hear. In some ways, I think I'm still waiting to feel like a writer for real!

But the first time I really thought writing might be something I could actually do for a living was when I got a personal note from a reader (much like what you wrote above) telling me that my first book, Leo, had comforted her during a really hard time. The idea that something I put out in the world might be able to change someone else's life in a positive way made me believe what I was doing was a worthwhile endeavor—not only for me, but for others.

Evie: OK, imagine you could ship any two fictional characters from any book (or movie or TV show!) together. Who would you choose? And what would the title of their love story be?

MS: Hi, Evie. My favorite love stories are the ones that are completely unlikely and that serve to redeem the characters in one way or another. So I'm going to go with one of the most unlikable male characters in Disney history: Gaston. (Boos all around!) And let's pair him with someone completely unlike Belle, who chose to use avoidance techniques when Gaston attempted to turn on the "charm." How about Lara Croft? I think she'd properly put him in his place right off the bat. She'd let him know what a complete idiot he is—maybe, just maybe, compelling him to take a closer look at himself and study his secret pain. (Any good antihero always has secret pain, right?) Then maybe everyone could have been spared all that nasty business with the beast. I'd title their story Gaston's Redemption.

Read more of our exclusive author interviews on our Voice page.

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Patricia Maestranzi Very interesting interview. I have never read any of Mia's books, but intend to read her new novel asap.

message 2: by Ginny (new)

Ginny Stone Fabulous interview! Now I have to go look for Mia's books too. I'm new to Goodreads and this wretched site is going to bankrupt me :-) !!

message 3: by C.R. (new)

C.R. Misty Great interview everyone! Yes, I agree with that Gaston discussion at the end. He for sure needed a storm Female match to set him right. Belle was just too much of a gentle soul.

message 4: by Constanza (last edited Oct 24, 2017 08:36AM) (new)

Constanza Charles Great interview!! I recently started reading her books and I haven't been disappointed! Highly recommend Grayson's Vow and Leo! I'll definitely have to add quite a few more to my reading list!!!

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