This week HO Press Published Maura Stone’s eDating the Old School Way: A comedic guide to online dating. We wanted to introduce you to author Maura Stone and allow you to get a peek at what makes her the one and only Maura!
Tell us about Maura Stone: growing up, school, family etc.
The family roots were mostly in the entertainment industry: my father’s father was one of the primary shareholders of Fox Studios, my mother’s step-father was an entertainment lawyer representing the munchkins in the Wizard of Oz among other bizarre clients, my father was a comedy writer for my cousin, the humorist and author, Sam Levenson. Outside of that, my family was conventionally dysfunctional.
How did you start writing?
I was always a voracious reader to escape my family’s pervasive lunacy: three kids, two adults, three feral animals and one bathroom in a very small house with a tv turned on high deafening volume all day and night. I dabbled in writing, mostly poetry which was published in my high school literary magazine. After leaving home, in the quiet of my apartment I attempted to write novels, but failed because I wasn’t sufficiently focused. Guess I needed three savage dogs, no bathroom privacy and a blasting tv to think. Over those same years, my mother nagged, “Why don’t you write your stories?” I wailed back, “I’m not a writer, Mom,” which was in a way ludicrous as I earned my living as a professional financial writer. As it turns out, Mom knew best.
What was the inspiration for eDating the Old School Way?
During the early 2000’s, I played in an internet chatroom on a dating site. A woman in that room confided a heart-wrenching story about a man whom she met online, a familiar tale I heard numerous times from men as well. It was clear that many people didn’t know how to distinguish the various types of online predators. I came up with a comedic dating advice series which received amazing reception and success in chatrooms as an underground hit. I will even go so far as to say that I coined the term, “edating.”
You write in such a bold style. Did you always write without fear or did you gradually work yourself up to it?
Funny you describe my writing as bold: perhaps it’s deemed bold because I’m not a flowery, adverb-obsessed kind of gal. My writing style is terse as a result of my former profession which included financial analysis, reports, corporate presentations and speeches. As a work for hire chameleon, I had to mimic the pre-existent style of each organization to fit into their corporate culture and jargon. That explains why it took decades to figure out my own voice. One truth about writing which, incidentally, is the same for acting, is sincerity. Stripped of narrative, my snarky attitude emerges, bold and fearless.
What topics interest you the most?
I’ve always been attracted to writing pornographic comedy. Or is that comedic pornography? I honestly don’t know why I’ve this predilection, but there it is ever since my teen-age years. In fact, I almost lost a job where for two years or so I wrote thinly veiled pornography in the context of B2B financial analysis. It took one committee meeting where they finally read my work out loud to realize what I was up to.
My other interest is politics on every scale: local, regional, national and global. I find today’s morass fascinating. Even more so the denial of what’s so. This is when I enjoy combining my pornographic comedy with my outlook on political situations. Although it doesn’t endear me at all to any political party.
What’s your philosophy regarding your writing?
I spent ten years on my first novel, Five-Star FLEECING, which explains why I’m single today. On the surface it’s a light-hearted satire poking at unscrupulous people in a luxury hotel addressing greed, discrimination and evil. For those into arcane 16th century French literature, there are literary references galore. Lastly, to those who get my snark, I’ve embedded three conceptual jokes. On the other hand, eDating the Old School Way can be read as is—strictly for entertainment—because I wanted time to have a social life.
Any advice on how to read the book?
As the first inductee of the National Bathroom Readers’ Hall of Fame, I endorse reading the book in the bathroom. Outside of that, I suggest that men and women read the entire book from the very beginning right side up. It gets puzzling should anyone read it from the end to the beginning upside down in darkness. And there you have a demonstration of my snarkiness, bold and fearless.