Meet author Maria Johnson

Author of historical fiction and young adult fantasy, Maria's writing is going from strength to strength as she releases her fourth novel as a gift for readers!

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1) Tell me a bit about you

Hi, I’m Maria (pen name)! I’m originally from North Wales and now live near Manchester. As well as writing, I enjoy reading, walking my dog Chewie, a good cup of coffee and spending time with family and friends.

2) Summarise your writing career

My main focus is my Dark Ages Celtic era historical fiction series. The first novel, The Boy from the Snow, was published in 2018. The sequel, the Veiled Wolf, came out in 2019. The third novel in the series is currently in process of publication and I hope this will come out later on this year.

I’ve also had a fantasy/mystery novel for older adults and children, Lottie’s Locket, published in 2020.

My most recent novel has just been released, a historical mystery romance novel, The Oak Tree Calls. This is a free release, available exclusively for newsletter subscribers.

3) Why did you take up writing?

I’ve always enjoyed scribbling stories, for as long as I can remember! I had an active imagination in making up stories as a child and as I grew older I began writing them down.

4) What inspires your story ideas?

I’m influenced by lots of different things – for example I think The Boy from the Snow was influenced a lot by Lord of the Rings. I’m often influenced by getting out into nature when walking my dog, too – you never know when inspiration might strike!

5) What do you enjoy most about being an author/ writing?

Everything to do with writing! I really enjoy the process of plotting and crafting ideas, drafting and even editing. Editing is a struggle at times, but mostly I enjoy the process of honing my craft and making the story accessible to readers.

6) What do you find most challenging about being an author/ writing?

The thing I find hardest is marketing – trying to reach readers about your books. It can often feel a bit isolating to be an independent author as you’re one author in a very big pond of authors. However, the writing communities on social media and the writing groups I’m in help massively to connect with one another and support each other.

7) What are you most proud of in your writing career so far?

Probably the books I’ve had published! Also how my confidence has grown as an author – when I started out, I kept my pen name private and hardly told anyone about it (which probably didn’t help my marketing efforts much!) However, I now talk about it quite openly and do Facebook Live videos sometimes.

8) Are you an indie author or traditionally published? How have you found the experience?

I’m somewhere in the middle because I’m an indie author but not self-published – all of my published novels (not including my free novel, The Oak Tree Calls) have been published by a small press. I’ve really enjoyed this process and for me it’s like the best of both worlds – I don’t have to worry about every single aspect of self-publishing, but I don’t have to go into the query process of bigger traditional publishing houses, either.

9) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

To give it a go! Write that story down, even if you’re not quite sure how it works out yet. The brilliant thing is nobody ever even needs to see it, either. Even if it’s just for you, writing is hugely beneficial and powerful. If the blank page intimidates you, perhaps try an old fashioned notebook – there’s something quite unlocking about going back to a pen and paper.

10) If you could meet any author living or passed, who would it be and why?

That would be either Charlotte Bronte or JRR Tolkien (or both, if I’m allowed two! ????) Both authors have been very influential for me.

Also, a fantastic aspect of being an indie author is that you get to read amazing books and then connect with the authors who wrote them. Like the lovely Lelita! ????


Connect with Maria


Instagram: instagram/com/mariajauthor


Personal website:


Free novel for subscribers

Maria's latest novel, The Oak Tree Calls is not formally published, but is being offered as a free gift to all subscribers to her newsletter. Sign up to stay in touch with Maria and access this great read!

Maria's Novels are available through Amazon