About Maria

My love of reading dates back to my childhood when I would borrow at least four books from the library every week. During the summer, I would sit in the house and read, until my mother, totally frustrated, would send me outside to play and lock me out. I always found my way back in. However, I must confess, I hated to write. In every English and writing class throughout college, I dreaded trying to be creative. As a friend from law school so aptly put it, “The reason why we’re here is because we don’t have a creative bone in our bodies.” 

Despite my dislike of creative writing back then, I embraced legal writing, and was first published in Volume 5 of the Fordham International Law Journal. My article was entitled “In re Mackin: Is the Application of the Political Offense Exception an Extradition Issue for the Judicial or Executive Branch?” I would advise you against reading it, for you will surely fall asleep.

While practicing law as a divorce attorney, I decided to try for some balance in my life and began writing romance. Thankfully, I found my creative bone. Instead of only drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, I started to spend my free time creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through my contemporary romance novels. 

I am a member of Romance Writers of America and New Jersey Romance Writers, and have received many honors for my work including the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award and the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers Award. I also finaled in the New England Readers’ Choice Contest and NJ Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest.

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In addition to writing fiction, I also speak to local groups. Below is a list of my Presentation Topics.

From Divorce Lawyer to Romance Author – Following Your Dream
I will take you through my journey from law school, to representing highly contentious and emotional divorce clients, to my current writing and speaking career. Perhaps it will inspire you to follow your dream.

A Year in the Life of a Writer
Taking a story from idea to published novel is not an easy task but it’s worth it to see your book in print. I will cover my process from vague concept through creation of characters, plotting, blueprinting, writing and editing.

What It Takes to Write a Novel
The three “P’s” of writing success are Process, Patience and Persistance. I will discuss how each of these elements contributes to a published novel (or any other goal).

How to Plot Your Story
My writing process, which starts with an in-depth outline or blueprint of the entire book, will make those of you who are linear thinkers ecstatic and those of you who are pantsers willing to try it another way.

Lawyers as Characters, Lawsuits as Plot Points
Lawyers make interesting characters and I have worked with and against dozens of them to give you insight into their general traits. Lawsuits also engage characters in high conflict which is instrumental in keeping the tension up. I will discuss the many types of lawsuits that can make your novel a page-turner.

Finding Balance

There isn’t enough time in the day for career, family, volunteering and hobbies. Find out how I managed my time to include a well-established career as a matrimonial attorney in my community, sat on non-profit boards and wrote romance novels, all while raising my family.