Maria Murnane: She’s Perfect on Paper

September 18 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: One for the Books

What was the last book you read? I am notoriously a very slow reader. I can skim the heck out of a college textbook, but give me a novel and I’ll see you next year. Plenty of people surpass my pace, like the 4-year-old girl from Georgia who has read a really, truly shabby number of books: only 1,000! She visits her local library every day, discovering new worlds in new texts. Dang it if I’m not a teensy bit jealous of her mad reading skills. Today, let’s challenge ourselves to spend at least 10 minutes reading so maybe by the time we reach the age of 94, we’ll catch up to this preschool bookworm.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Twice as Likely

When it comes to publishing women writers, the traditional publishing industry is lagging. But according to Wise Ink, which helps writers through the hurdles of publishing, it’s a good time to be a female author, as independent, self-published best-sellers are twice as likely to be written by women than best-sellers published through traditional publishing houses. Considering about 40 percent of all e-book revenue goes to independent authors, that translates to more moolah for hard-working female writers!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Maria Murnane, Best-selling Author

If your dream is to write a book, you’re not alone. If you’ve been waiting for that push to get you going, today’s Woman to Watch may give you the encouraging nudge you need. Maria Murnane is a wildly successful novelist—and a wonderful role model for any woman looking to carve out a name for herself in the publishing world.

Maria’s path to successful author began in a totally different industry: public relations. Though she was moving her way up in that world, Maria felt her job lacked meaning and fulfillment. So, she did what any gratification-seeking free spirit would do: She quit her job and took a not-so-short vacation in Argentina. Seems legit, right? OK, maybe it’s not for everyone. But the experience was a life-changing eye-opener for Maria.

What was meant to be a two-week trip turned into a year of Maria playing semi-pro soccer for one of the most prestigious soccer clubs in the world. While taking in all the wonders of Argentina, Maria decided it was time she checked another item off her bucket list: writing a book. She wrote a humorous novel loosely based on her own life titled Perfect on Paper, and though she’d accomplished the task of hammering out a novel, the next step turned out to be the most difficult.

Many major publishers rejected her work, but undaunted—and with years of PR and marketing experience—Maria became inspired to launch a grassroots campaign, eventually self-publishing her novel, to rave reviews. Once, which boasts the world’s biggest online book selection, heard the buzz, the e-commerce behemoth came calling, choosing Perfect on Paper from 10,000 self-published books to initiate its leap into publishing.

After the book’s rise, PopSugar Daily referred to Maria’s leading lady as “the new Bridget Jones.” With plenty of cheeky comedy, romance and 1980s and ’90s references, Perfect on Paper is a stellar beach read that’ll keep you chuckling.

Maria is now the best-selling author of eight romantic-comedy novels, including the Waverly Bryson series. Her newest, called Bridges, released in 2017, follows a character named Daphne White, who just so happens to face a struggle not unlike Maria’s own: No one wants to publish her book. But thanks to her two best friends, a little laughter, love and a few tears, Daphne finds her calling. It’s a story that proves you should never underestimate the power of female friendship!


Whatever your industry or your passion, ladies, take this advice from award-winning writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron, who said:

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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