We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariah Ankenman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mariah, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
Showing my kids my success and failures. It’s very important that my children don’t see me as some superhero who can do it all. They need to know I’m human and I make mistakes too. I have hard days. I ask for help and keep working even when I fail. They need to see me do these things so they know it’s okay for them to do these things too. I want my kids to know working toward their dreams and goal will take hard work and it won’t always be easy, but if they keep going, keep getting up after each fall, they’ll make it. I also want them to know it’s okay to fail. Failure is not fatal, it’s simply part of the process.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a romance author. Being an author is difficult. Being a romance author is doubly so because you have to deal with the societal stigma placed on the genre. It’s dismissed as trashy by people who have never read it even though it’s the highest selling genre out there. It’s a genre focused on hope and love, but people only want to make jokes about Fabio (who hasn’t been on a cover in decades). I love writing romance, giving people a chance to escape into a story that will take them on a wild ride of emotions and guarantee them a happy ending. The romance genre is all about the hope that we can find happiness with ourselves and with others and I love that.
It wasn’t easy getting published. I took the traditional route, simply a choice I made. Traditional publishing is not better or worse than self publishing. Both paths are valid. I queried for four years and received many rejections before my first book was published. Rejection is a constant in the publishing world. It doesn’t stop once you get an agent or a book contract. Just because you sold one book doesn’t mean you’ll sell the next. You also have to deal with bad reviews. It’s just a fact. Not every book is for every person and people will hate your book. It doesn’t mean it’s bad, it simply means they don’t like it. That’s fine, books are art and art is subjective. Not everyone has to like your work. The thing to remember is someone out there loves your book. It’s their safe space on a bad day, a light in the darkness. Remember that reader, remember that you’re writing for them and others who need your stories.
I write contemporary and paranormal romance on the steamy side. My books are full of humor, heat, and heart. I want to provide a safe space with my books. A place readers can escape into for just a little while and forget about their troubles, enjoy a good story, and fall in love.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Denver is a great city! Whenever people visit I make sure we head to some of my favorite spots: 1Up barcade for some drinks, tetris, and skeeball.
Sonodas sushi, delicious!
Red Rocks. It isn’t a Colorado trip if you don’t visit Red Rocks.
Denver Public Library (my favorite spot in the city)
Dozens for the best coffee in town!
Puzzah! Denver has some great escape rooms but this one is my favorite.
Casa Bonita. Cliff divers inside a restaurant, no one ever believes me until I take them.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science where I’d take them on the hunt for the gnomes.
B&GC speakeasy is such a fun experience!
Benny’s is the best Mexican restaurant in town.
And it wouldn’t be a Denver trip if we didn’t go to at least one craft brewery for a tasting tour. I’d probably pick Wynkoop.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
So many people have helped me on my author journey. My writing groups, critique partner, agent, editors, family and friends, but most of all my spouse. He’s always been my number one supporter. Without his encouragement and assistance I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m very grateful every day for his unending love and support.
Other: tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/mariahankenman bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mariah-ankenman goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15251057.Mariah_Ankenman amazon: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B01DUNU4AY