Author Interview: Mya O’Malley

 -Are there therapeutic benefits to modeling a character after someone you know?

I believe so! I think writing can be very therapeutic. Writing can help us to sort through our feelings of not only others, but feelings withing ourselves as well. I’ve found the process to be cathartic at certain points of my life. I feel that writing complex characters and situations within the fiction genre can be viewed in a similar vein as journaling, for once those feelings and thoughts hit paper, it’s a release on the part of the writer.  

One of the most interesting things I’ve found to be true within my own writing is that I recognize myself the most in my stories. I look up to my heroines and aspire to hold similar qualities. My villains may be fears I hide deep inside. It makes sense after all, that if a writer invents the fictional characters, gives birth to them, that there would be a connection.  That being said, I always develop my characters to be their unique selves with their own personalities, flaws, and quirks. Creating a unique fictional being is one of my favorite parts of weaving tales.

-Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

This one is easy- they’ve never gotten in the way! Not only do my pets keep me company, make me laugh, and give me the needed breaks from writing, but they have the ability to work themselves into many of my stories.

I’ve written about shelter dogs and cats in several books. These animals have become integral parts of the story, some have even disguised their true selves and later revealed their shining spirits that help the plot to move along. I love the dimension that animals add to stories, how they become as therapeutic to my characters as they are to us in reality. Our pets love us unconditionally, so in my opinion, whether they’re sitting beside us while we work, or speaking to us from our stories, it’s a win- win situation!

 -Have you ever traveled as research for your book?

I think I’ve worked my way backward for this one. While I haven’t yet traveled for research, I’ve taken settings from my favorite vacations spots and created unforgettable settings in which my stories spark to life. Some settings include Block Island, St. Augustine, Florida, Marathon, Florida, Key West, and Cape May, N.J.

Living in New York state also lends to itself to some pretty incredible settings, for example, along the trails and beaches of Hudson River in Nyack, NY.

One of the coolest perks of being a writer is to not only create fictional settings from your imagination, but to take pieces of your personal experiences back home and spin a hell of a story.

-Have you listened to any audiobooks? Which did you enjoy the most?

I adore, adore, adore listening to audiobooks, particularly in the genre of non-fiction. I devour titles from inspirational authors such as Gabby Bernstein, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Glennon Doyle, Rachel Hollis, Dave Hollis, and Cheryl Strayed. I like to carve in time to listen to these authors while getting ready in the morning and commuting to work.

-How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written fourteen full length novels and many short novellas as well. I hold a special place in my heart for each and every story I’ve written; it’s hard not to feel this way when you create characters from your imagination, ones that no one else could ever develop, ones in which our own uniqueness gives birth to these characters. We connect with, and live and breathe these unforgettable creatures that drive our stories, so not unlike children, it’s quite difficult to pick a favorite.

The stories that I enjoyed writing the most and connecting with on the most personal level are hands down my Maggie trilogy and Matching Miriam spin off.

The character, Naomi, is the driving force of the Maggie trilogy novels. Naomi is a writer and a ghost whisperer of sorts. Naomi helps lost souls find peace and take it from me, (and her boyfriend Bryce) there’s never a dull moment.

Maggie began as a short story, meant to be part of a Halloween anthology with one of my publishers. Right from the start, I knew I Couldn’t let Maggie go. I also knew Maggie had so much to share, so much to tell me. Maggie became a standalone full-length novel, my very first self- published book. As I mentioned, I had a hard time letting go. I formed such a bond with all of these characters, especially Naomi. The fact that Naomi is a writer is only the beginning. Naomi holds beliefs and values that resonate with me and therefore I felt it was so easy and natural to write her. She loves ghost stories and dives into mysteries with her whole heart. Naomi’s love for animals, particularly her cat Zelda, made me laugh and ultimately cry.

There’s something so special about finding a character, sinking your teeth in and holding on. It was challenging to have Naomi take a back seat to detective Miriam Marty in Matching Miriam, but I think if anyone deserves their own spin-off it’s Miriam.

-If you could be a character in one of your favorite books, who would you be?

I think you can all guess this one! I’m going to share the blurbs for Naomi’s Maggie trilogy stories so you can check it out for yourself:


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to share your home with an unearthly spirit who can’t find closure? Living on the edge of a cemetery with souls dating back to the 1700s would be enough to spook anyone, but Naomi finds it oddly romantic, and becomes inspired to write her next novel. Why not, when her muse, Maggie, calls to her from beyond her own window? 

After all, the story couldn’t possibly be as complicated as Naomi’s own love life. Torn between Ryan, the mysterious and seemingly perfect man she just started dating, and Bryce, the sexy single dad who recently moved in next door, Naomi must navigate the tangled web of dating—all while trying to solve the mystery of Maggie’s death.

When things turn dangerous, Naomi quickly learns whom she can trust and, more importantly, whom she can’t. Will she be able to write Maggie’s story and finally give Maggie the peace she deserves?


Naomi has a knack for attracting attention from ethereal beings—whether she wants it or not. Newly engaged to her sexy neighbor, Bryce, she has little time to celebrate and plan for her upcoming wedding, because no sooner does she wrap up a heartbreaking cold case than she finds herself right back where she started, searching for answers alongside ghostly spirits.
This time, however, Naomi learns that things are not what they seem as a man from her past quickly becomes her worst nightmare. If she’s not careful, this man might crush her hopes and dreams forever as he proves to be her most difficult opponent yet. 
Still, Naomi tries to focus on her relationship with Bryce. Can it withstand head games and cruel intentions? Naomi makes it her mission to keep Bryce and his daughter safe from harm, but will true love be tough enough to withstand her adversaries? 
Naomi must keep her eyes wide open and question everything— and everyone—in order to survive.


If Naomi thought solving three murders was going to earn her a respite from the spirits who flock to her for guidance and resolution, she couldn’t have been more wrong. This time around, helping her friend, Officer Miriam Marty, solve a particularly daunting case is just the beginning. 
Newly married to her soul mate, Bryce, Naomi figured she could settle in and enjoy the first few months of marriage without the all-consuming task of helping the spirits around her find the closure they so desperately seek. She should have known there was no chance of normalcy, though—even her stepdaughter Holly’s quirky new friend, Lillie, adds to the confusion. 
This time, Naomi’s challenge is unique. Not only does she have to put her heart and soul into helping an intricate, beautiful ghost, but this precious soul soon teaches Naomi that her path in life, her fate, has led her to precisely where she needs to be. 
Everything about Naomi’s past experiences with the paranormal crashes together as Naomi becomes entwined in the entangled plot that has become her life, alongside the unique souls that complete her destiny. 

Matching Miriam:

What happens when Detective Miriam Marty shields her heart from the past and comes face to face with a serial killer? The plain and simple answer is trouble; but with Miriam Marty, there’s always more to the story and it’s never simple. 
Miriam bleeds integrity with a tough as nails exterior that permits only a few trusted people inside of her world. After spending years building up the walls that have sheltered Miriam from her past, Jesse, the only man she’s ever loved, makes an unexpected return back to Miriam’s home town. 
Jesse has acquired all of the necessary skills for keeping relationships at bay. His new job as a fireman finds him returning to a place he once called home. What should be a sentimental homecoming turns into disaster for his heart when he finds old feelings stirred up, stronger than ever, for Miriam. 
Miriam questions her own sanity as sleepless nights find her hunting the Decade Hunter, believing it to be the most challenging case of her career. She soon discovers that resisting Jesse at every turn proves even more difficult than the daunting task of chasing down a serial killer at large. 
In plain sight lies the façade of a man who has played them all for fools, educating Miriam on a lesson she’s failed miserably at in her past–trust. Trust, not only in the game of love, but in laying one’s trust down in the safe cocoon we all find comfort in –only to have it blown apart in a heartbeat.

-What are the essential characteristics of a hero you can root for?

To me, heroes are best when they’re portrayed as human. Heroes need to learn and grow throughout their journey. That growth takes place when characters are challenged, when they have so much at stake that there can be no other options other than to grow and change. The most memorable heroes are vulnerable and touch a nerve within us all, reminding us that within us, we all have the potential to be our best selves, to be heroes.

-What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

I create my characters by visualizing not only their physical appearance, but what’s on the inside as well. What are their likes, dislikes, quirks? How would they react in specific situations? What are their morals? I decide what’s most meaningful to my characters and raise the stakes to see how they react.

I learn my characters’ personalities and let them tell me their thoughts. Very often they surprise me and do something out of character, showing me that just like us, they have layers, make mistakes, and either rise or fall as a result of their actions.

-What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a full- time special education teacher and I feel lucky to have found two jobs that inspire passion within me. For me, there’s nothing quite like making a difference in the lives of my students.

I’m a Reiki Master and am working on increasing my knowledge in this area and within spirituality so that I can share this positive energy with others.

When I’m not working or writing, I enjoy going for walks, reading, painting, and catching up on non-fiction audiobooks. I love to travel and enjoy photography. I love watching movies; thrillers are among my favorites, and I’m a sucker for a great series on Netflix. Recently, I’ve become a fan of love reality shows such as Married at First Sight, Love is Blind, and Love Island; I guess you could say they’re my guilty pleasures.

-What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

One of my most interesting writing quirks is how I write best when there’s noise and activity around me. For me it’s much easier to write with the television on and chatter around me than complete silence.

Did I mention my guilty pleasures? Yes, I can be spotted writing with Love Island playing in the background!

Amazon Author Page

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