Saturday, April 13, 2013

Family Size and Interview with Maria Hoagland

Jessica loves being the mom of an ever-expanding family, but when an ultrasound throws her a curve, can she adapt with grace?

Dragged away from home, Maya feels deserted by her workaholic husband in a land of confusing accents and church cliques. What will it take to acclimate and save her marriage—or does she even want to?

Sloane is an algebra teacher and runner who would give up both to be a mom, but no matter what she does, pregnancy remains elusive. Can she adjust her thinking and find purpose in her life?

As their lives intertwine, can friendship and faith help these women hurdle expectations of an ideal family size?

“Hoagland has a talent for taking us into people’s hearts, allowing us to see both the bad and the good, and showing us the strength that comes only from trial. The characters in Family Size could be your neighbors or anyone from your ward. They think as we think, learn as we learn. They fail and weep, and then they dust themselves off and try again. In the end they come through for each other—and brilliantly. I very much enjoyed this novel.”—Rachel Ann Nunes – Bestselling author of Line of Fire and Before I Say Goodbye

Family Size is a touching story of three women who know heartache and trial, but also know where to turn for help. I loved this book. I laughed. I cried. I believe every woman will relate to the different tales of heartache and hope and come away with more compassion and understanding for others. I would recommend you not only read Family Size, but share it with all the sisters in your life.” –Cami Checketts,The Broken Path

Family Size is a touching story of three women's struggles with motherhood. Their issues with pregnancy, health, and fertility are well balanced and told so any woman can relate to them. Another great book by Maria Hoagland.” –Heather Justesen, The Switch

Maria Hoagland has written two books: Nourish & Strengthen and Family Size. She earned her degree from Brigham Young University in English. She and her husband have three children and have lived in Texas, Missouri, Utah, and Idaho. Maria enjoys watching anything her children are involved in, going to book clubs and lunch groups, long-distance running, walking barefoot in the green grass, and eating raspberries from her backyard. She loves to connect with readers at the following places:
Twitter: @MariaHoagland

Deirdra:  What is your writing schedule like?
Maria: Because I started a part-time job recently, my schedule is in flux…but who am I kidding? I never really had a set schedule to write. I do it when I get the chance because I love doing it, but being a mom, sometimes other things take precedence. My best writing time, though, is when it’s quiet and the kids are at school. I like to write in my home office, an upstairs converted bedroom I call my “tower” (because my husband’s office is in the basement which we refer to as the “dungeon”), but I also love to write outdoors at picnic tables, stone benches, in the grass under a tree, and occasionally in a squishy armchair at B&N or Starbucks. Also, I take my netbook everywhere so that I can write when I’m waiting in the car for my kids, or waiting for their concerts/games to begin.

Deirdra: What do you do to relax and unwind?
Maria: I have a love/hate relationship with running. Most of the time, it helps me get away from writing as well as to get things straight in my head so I can move on. Sometimes, though, I just like to veg on the couch with my husband and watch TV.

Deirdra: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
Maria: I’m a collector. When I see, hear, read, or experience something I think would go great in some kind of story, I write it down. Usually I carry a small notebook for just such occasions, but I also use my phone, scraps of paper, or whatever else is handy. The problem with that is that when I’m ready to write, I’ve got to pull all those resources together and get them into some kind of organized mess. To do so, I use Post-It notes on my wall (easy to move around), the Scrivener notecard feature, and an outline. That, of course, doesn’t mean that I stick to the outline as I write, but it makes thing easier if I do.

Deirdra: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
Maria: One of the things that has helped the most with my writing is surrounding myself with people to help me. It took someone who invested countless hours helping edit my first book to make me feel truly confident enough to share my writing with other editors and publishers and to eventually feel ready to publish on my own. Now being part of a critique group and the encouragement and help of other writers and editors helps me create a quality product, and more than that, helps me fulfill my dream.

Deirdra:  What are you working on now?
Maria: I’m in that collecting/ outlining mode right now as well as doing a little research on the side. I’m excited about the book, but it will be a bit of a stretch for me and I am looking forward to the challenge. I don’t want to say too much about it, though, because I don’t know how much of it I’ll change before it’s ready for the light of the world. It will be in the same genre—LDS women’s fiction—and another stand-alone book.

Deirdra:  What do you hope readers will get from your books?
Maria: I like the idea of taking LDS issues and tackling them honestly but with faith. I want readers to feel uplifted and strengthened and to feel good about themselves and others around them.

Deirdra:  What is the best thing about being an author?
Maria: It is thrilling (and scary) to see someone reading about my book, but my favorite part of being an author is seeing that book in someone’s hands, or hearing from them after they’ve finished and have them talk about how the book made them think. I just love hearing people’s reactions.

Deirdra: Where can readers go to find your books and order them?

Thank you so much, Maria. It’s a real honor to get your insights.


  1. Thanks for interviewing me, Deirdra! Almost as fun as talking with you in person :) See you at Storymakers!

  2. Beautiful blog! Just stopping by for the A-Z Challenge. Please check us out and sign up to follow if you like what you see. Juliet atCity Muse Country Muse


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