Interview with writer Maureen Paraventi

Writer Maureen Paraventi joins me today
and we’re chatting about her new self-help book, The New Old Maid: Satisfied Single Women.
Bio:
Maureen Paraventi has worked as a morning radio personality, an
assistant to a famous movie star, a website developer, a journalist, and as a
social media manager and web content editor. She has written in many genres:
fiction (Palm
Tree Pipe Dreams
)
, screen plays, stage plays and songwriting,
and non-fiction, with her new book The
New Old Maid: Satisfied Single Women
.
Maureen also acts with local
theatre companies and performs as a singer/songwriter/musician in McLaughlin’s
Alley, a pop-rock band she co-founded.
Welcome, Maureen. Please tell us about
your current release.
The New Old Maid
examines what it’s like to be a single woman in a society that relentlessly
promotes marriage as the normal and only desirable way for adults to live. In
stories that will strike a chord with any woman striving for independence, real-life
women discuss their lives, experiences and hopes with unflinching honesty and
wry self-awareness. The women in the book share the paths they took to overcome
barriers and frustrations along with the exhilarating freedom that goes with
being single.
The New Old Maid
also takes a look at how depictions of fictional old maids in books, movies,
stage plays and TV shows have evolved over time – and explains why such
portrayals matter. Another section discusses well-known successful single women,
from Diane Keaton and Darryl Hannah to Clara Barton and Oprah Winfrey.
The book speaks
to a topic that’s trending and a demographic that is growing. The percentage of
never-married women in the U.S. has been on the rise for decades, with more
women identifying as single and eager to discuss what that means, especially in
blogs.
What inspired you to write this book?
I am a single
woman living what I think is an interesting and fulfilling life, but many
people I meet can’t get past my unmarried status – and feel free to ask me to
explain my choices in life. I decided to seek out other single women over 40
and find out how they feel about their lives; about relationships, intimacy,
careers, loneliness, financial security, friendships, having children and more.
Excerpt from The New Old Maid: Satisfied Single Women:
Another
single woman who has crafted a life that is ideal for her is Marcy, a ski bum
in her late 50s. Actually, I’m being ironic. The word “bum” is hardly
applicable; the hard-working Colorado resident is a five feet tall bundle of
energy who talks as fast as she moves. Marcy teaches skiing every winter and
works at a golf course every summer, doing a physically demanding job usually
performed by teenagers. If that weren’t enough, she is also a server for a
catering company, which she calls, “lots of fun.” (I did catering jobs when I
was young, and “fun” wasn’t the word I would have used to describe them.)
In
the spring and fall, Marcy travels, to Hawaii; Reno, Nevada; Mexico and to
special events like Austin City Limits in Austin, Texas.
In
spite of all the time she spends in the sun, Marcy is fair-skinned, with blue
eyes, dark brown hair and what friends describe as a “force of nature”
personality. “If you go skiing with her,” says one, “you have to be prepared
for her to call out all of the way up the lift to all of the people she knows
who are skiing below her!”
“I
love to work,” Marcy says. “I couldn’t ski every day of my life. I like
teaching and having free ski days, but I don’t think I could just ever not
work. I love my life and I live in a beautiful place.”
When
she was young, she thought she’d be the first one in her family to get married.
“So
I started traveling and doing other things because I thought when I settled
down and had kids and had a family, I wasn’t going to have time to do that. I
think it was a little bit selfish on my part but I wanted to travel. Then I
ended up never finding the right person. And I’m happy with me, just being me.
I don’t need another part. I don’t want or need to get married, because I’m so
independent that I think I’m selfish, in a way. I like to be able – at the drop
of a hat – to travel, to do things I want to do. I love my life.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
A friend
suggested an intriguing topic to me and I’m exploring it: single motherhood by
choice. (I’m exploring writing about it, not doing it!) My friend reached a
certain age and hadn’t met Mr. Right, so she decided to contact a sperm bank.
She became pregnant and has given birth to a beautiful baby boy. There is,
apparently, a large number of women who become single mothers by choice, for a
variety of reasons.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I wrote and
published a neighborhood newspaper when I was about ten years old. (It only
lasted a few issues!) In college my writing efforts became more serious and
focused. I wrote for the university newspaper and worked as a paid stringer for
several local papers and magazines. At the same time, I was writing short
stories and screenplays. Stage plays came much later. They have the advantage
of allowing you to see people experience your work live.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
Like a lot of
writers, I have a “day job,” but I do manage to squeeze in as much writing time
as I can. There’s no set schedule. I work out a lot of story ideas and plot
points when I’m swimming, which I do for exercise. Spending time in a hot tub
also seems helps move my writing along in my head.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I bring
a lot of humor to my writing. It’s a natural part of my personality.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
I wanted
to be an actress on Broadway and a spy.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
Thank you for
reading this! I hope you’ll check out my book. I’ve gotten a lot of positive
feedback on it. Single women enjoy having their perspective represented, and married
women find it interesting to see a different lifestyle.
Links:
Thank you for being here today, Maureen!

One thought on “Interview with writer Maureen Paraventi

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