Interview with Maria Milot, author of The Betrayed

06 Aug 2018

What can you tell us about your new release, The Betrayed?

The book is set in the posh oceanside city of Newport, RI where forbidden desires, money, power, betrayals and murders tangle.

We have an anxiety-plagued protagonist struggling to trust herself again, an unscrupulous wannabe mobster from Federal Hill in Providence, love interests with both Gilded Age old wealth and new money, and a secret affair between two men.

I think of myself as an armchair sleuth and this book is intended for someone like me, trying to figure out ‘whodunit’ through motive, means and opportunity but with plot twists to keep one guessing until the very end.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

My undergraduate degree is in English, so I’ve always enjoyed writing.  However, the inspiration to write a book came when, by chance, I picked up a murder mystery book by a well-known author whose work I had not read yet.  The book was set in Newport, RI where I’ve lived.  Upon finishing the book I was frustrated as the ending was predictable and the setting could have been ‘Anytown’, USA with only a couple of Newport reference points thrown in.  That’s when I decided to write a book that would give the reader a strong sense of place, a bit of history, some romantic tension and a lot of mystery.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Night Shift by Stephen King.  It was the first Stephen King book (technically a collection of short stories) I had ever read.  I was in the sixth grade and I was indelibly impressed by the master of macabre, suspense and thriller.  I could name many other Stephen King books as favorites but I’ll move on.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  The only book I have ever read where I felt so invested in a relationship that it actually made me cry.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.  I really enjoy his style of fast-paced story, historical context and description of place.

Harry Potter, the entire series, by J.K. Rowling

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

It will have to be a supernatural talk show.  Perhaps employing the Ouija Board (which, fun fact, is made by Hasbro in Rhode Island) so I can interview Charlotte Bronte.  Often time writers base their characters on real people.  I would ask her if there was a real person inspiration for the character of Jane Eyre.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The freedom to explore ideas, identities and actions that might take you deeper into self-reflection or be completely incongruous to your own life.

What is a typical day like for you?

The day starts with a ritual of making coffee in a French press, I sit at my desk and check news headlines, emails, social media.  At some point daily projects like grocery shopping, gardening, laundry and cooking get done.  I am a bit of an obsessive cleaner, so that takes place daily.  I try, emphasis on try, to exercise.  To be honest, most days I consider cleaning to be a workout, which then justifies my having a glass of wine. Oh, and I write.

What scene in The Betrayed was your favorite to write?

Without giving too much away, the final confrontation where all is revealed.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Yes.  It’s an oldie but a goodie.

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.  It’s the life in your years.”—Abraham Lincoln

Maria Milot is the author of the new book The Betrayed

Connect with Maria:
Author Page

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