Interview with Author Maureen Morrissey

Maureen Morrissey

I am thrilled to have interviewed author Maureen Morrissey, who shared with us details of her writing life, her book ‘Seeing is Believing‘, which was released on 26th July 2023, and answered a few fun questions. This post contains affiliate links.

Maureen Morrissey

Maureen Morrissey is a writer for online publications and a published novelist; retired educator; wife/mother/grandmother/dog mommy; amateur photographer; traveler who loves to wander and wonder; and most recently, half-marathon runner. In her spare time, she attends live theater events and rock concerts, and investigates the integrity of roof top bars in her hometown NYC.

Maureen began writing her first novel, Woven: Six Stories, One Epic Journey, the day after retiring from teaching fourth grade, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. She published a second novel, Sonder: Janie’s Story in March 2022, and her third, Seeing is Believing in June 2023.

interview picture 2023


1) Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

This book grew out of experiences I had with family friends, and continued with my ongoing fascination of unexplainable, extraordinary things that happen to ordinary people. The part at the beginning when baby Mary Christina somehow knows it’s her father on the phone actually happened to someone I know, and the reactions of people around her inspired the reactions of everyone around the little girl in my novel.

2) How did you plan out the plot?

I began by just writing and letting things develop. Once I got into the story, I made a timeline of events and people to keep track and make sure it all made sense. I refer back to the timeline and add details until I’m completely done and ready to publish. I hate finding inconsistencies in a plot of a novel I’m reading, so I’m really dedicated to this as a writer.

3) When did you choose the title for your book?

The title for this book came to me early on, but I kept it as a working title until the day I published it. That happens a lot and I rarely wind up changing it in the end.

4) How did you come up with the names for your characters?

With some of them, there is an association to someone I know. For example, Danny is the name of a long-time good friend who is just the nicest, loveliest man and it fit the character in the book. The main character needed a name that her mother would choose; one that could feasibly change later in the story into another name.

Interestingly enough, it was the later name she adopted that came to me first, from the name of a favorite professor. I try to avoid using names of people I know as much as possible, they can be pretty sensitive about it! Movies, other books, newspaper articles and deep, old memories of acquaintances are good sources for names.

5) How did you go about researching the content for your book?

I have done a lot of road trips through the area, so am familiar with the culture of the people and the scenery. The story takes place in the midwestern U.S. in the 1980’s, so I sought out fun websites where people share about old stores and restaurants that existed then, games they played, and things they did with friends and family. I dug into the Native American experience for one of the scenes, as well as some history of African Americans. Thank goodness for the internet!

For the psychic part, on which I’m no expert even though I’m fascinated, I bought and read several memoirs by reluctant psychics who eventually gave in and accepted and even embraced their unusual abilities.

6) What made you choose this genre?

It chose me. I have always loved ghost stories and scary stories and the type of novels Stephen King writes. Even though my other two novels are historical fiction, I believe this type of story comes more naturally to me. I’m pretty sure being the child of Holocaust survivors and refugees who grew up hearing horror stories led me to embrace tales that put people in tough and scary situations.

7) How long did it take you to complete your book?

Seeing is Believing took about a year to complete. I seem to have the habit of getting a first draft done in a matter of months, and then take many more months and drafts until I’m satisfied.

8) Can you describe your book in three words?

Reluctant psychic’s journey

9) What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

I love being a writer so this question is giving me pause. I believe the self-doubt, that phrase “imposter syndrome” that writers use on social media, is the worst thing for me. Especially with the first two novels, I kept thinking, “Why are these established, professional, lifelong writers being so nice to the new kid?” I started writing fulltime after retiring from teaching and published my first novel at fifty-nine. It took a while to find my groove, as they say.

10) Why should our readers pick your book up?

I write about strong women who have to overcome adversity to find their strength. I think that even though each of us faces completely different types of adversity, we all share the journey in common. Everyone will find something to relate to in this story.

Seeing is Believing

Author – Maureen Morrissey
Publisher – M Publishers
Pages – 294
Release Date – 26th July 2023
ISBN 13 – 979-8218253967
Format – Paperback


Mary Christina Barnes is an ordinary small-city Midwestern girl except for one thing: she was born with the uncanny power to feel the emotions of others and hear their thoughts.

Her deeply religious mother sees her psychic gift as a sinister force. Haunted by her mother’s conviction that she is evil, the young woman embarks on a tumultuous journey to understand her gift and use it for good. While her compassionate side aids the police in finding missing children, a darker side threatens to consume her. All she wants is a normal life, but she finds herself having to fight for it.

Her work with the police leads to some unexpected attention and makes this reluctant psychic a target for both those who want her help and those who want to stop her. Seeing is Believing is an evocative tale that explores the complexities of identity, acceptance, and the delicate balance between good and evil.

Will Mary Christina succumb to the pressures around her or rise above them, embracing her unique gifts to forge a path uniquely her own?

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Fun Questions

Talking Owl Interview Pic 2023

1) Do you have a writing buddy (i.e. a pet)?

Harley is our rescue pup, and he loves hanging around me now that I’m home all day.

harley shirt smiling

2) Do you have any writing quirks?

I like it silent, and I like to write in the morning. My preference is to get in five or six hours with small breaks and I aim for at least a thousand words a day. When (not if) I get stuck on something, I gear up and go for a long run through the woods where we live. I get into a zone and am able to solve plot tangles or find just the exact bit of dialog I need.

3) Where do you write?

I have a desk in an office in our house and it sits in front of a window. We live on a dirt road in horse country so I can see our beautiful Japanese red maple, expanse of lawn and runners, dog walkers and the occasional car go by.

4) Your book has been made into a movie, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what will you be doing?

Ha, ha! I’m either one of the gossipy girls at work, or a college friend at the end of the semester celebrating.

5) A talking owl has just finished reading your book, what’s the first thing he says to you?

This book is going to keep this night owl up all day! It’s a bit of a whoo-dunnit!

Author links


A big thank you to Maureen Morrissey for sharing her writing life with us and for a wonderful interview.

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links above. Thank you.

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