About the Author: “Maika Moulite is a Miami native and the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Miami. When she’s not using her digital prowess to help nonprofits and major organizations tell their stories online, she’s sharpening her skills as a PhD student at Howard University’s Communication, Culture and Media Studies program. Her research focuses on representation in media and its impact on marginalized groups. She’s the eldest of four sisters and loves young adult novels, fierce female leads, and laughing.” (Bio taken from author’s website)
Find Maika on the following platforms:
About the Author: “Maritza Moulite graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY. Maritza is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania exploring ways to improve literacy in under-resourced communities after being inspired to study education from her time as a literacy tutor and pre-k teacher assistant. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.” (Bio taken from author’s website)
Find Maritza on the following platforms:
A huge thank you to Maika Moulite and Martiza Moulite, as well as Laura Gianino for making this interview possible. Read on for a discussion on family, writing during a pandemic, and the Moulite sisters’ two novels, Dear Haiti, Love Alaine and One of the Good Ones! Don’t miss our blogs on Dear Haiti, Love Alaine and One of the Good Ones.
Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite: The great thing about writing is that you can use real life as inspiration and then completely do your own thing! We definitely were able to pull from our interactions as sisters, as well as our relationships with our two younger sisters. For example, any “hurry up you’re taking forever in the bathroom” scenes are from real life but we’re also able to explore a lot of fictional things as we write too.
MM & MM: A memoir? Whoa! We would say it’s a bit early to think about that one just yet. We don’t know what the future holds, but for now, our two younger sisters are our biggest fans and it’s great to know that they’re always rooting for us.
MM & MM: Yes! We’ve been able to take some of the things that we like about each other’s writing and incorporate it into our own. Maika is a pantser and Maritza is a plotter but lately we’ve been doing more plantsing… or should we say plotsering?
MM & MM: Whenever we come across something that we can’t quite agree on, we take a moment and step back. Then we come together again and each try to make our case. Whoever is most convincing wins out because we figure that more conviction will translate into a better story. In the rare instances where we can’t come to a consensus between the two of us, we’ll pull in our family and ask them. Perks of having a big family!
MM & MM: The pandemic hasn’t impacted our writing as a unit, but it has made it a bit harder to write in general. We’re just getting into the groove of things again. It’s helped that sometimes we’ll write things just for ourselves. That’s been a nice way for us to remember to love the act of writing. And it’s also been a great help to know that it’s okay to step away when we need to. There is a lot going on in the world right now (to say the least) so it’s important to be kind to ourselves.
MM & MM: Something that we’ve noticed is that we tend to incorporate a bit of history into our stories. Even when we aren’t thinking about it, the past just seeps in. We want to write in other genres and for readers of all ages though so don’t be surprised if you ever see us writing romance or fantasy or anything in between!
MM & MM: We wrote Dear Haiti, Love Alaine as a standalone but if we were to ever write in that world again we would love to write a story about Tatiana, Alaine’s best friend. Her upbringing was closer to our own so it would be cool to explore that.
MM & MM: This is something completely out of our control, but we would love both of our stories to be adapted for television or film. We would want whichever medium lends itself to best tell the story. Regarding Happi and Alaine, we don’t know that they’d be the best of friends necessarily, but Kezi and Alaine definitely have more in common!
MM & MM: We are library girls at heart so we rely on the library for a lot of our research. Research might also involve us reading other stories within the genre we’re writing in or stories that strike a similar tone. We read lots of news articles depending on the topic we’re writing about. We’ll also ask our parents and grandma for insight. The research process is really just us getting to explore and learn new things and figure out a way to translate that into something that’s exciting and entertaining. The past informs so many of our decisions today so it’s likely that we’ll try to sprinkle in a little bit of history here and there within our stories to help provide more context.
MM & MM: Our outlines are pretty tight before we start drafting. Since there are two of us writing, it’s important for us both to know where the story is headed, who the characters are, etc. We create Pinterest boards and background stories for our characters that we pull into the narrative as we write.
MM & MM: We’re both students right now so we haven’t had a lot of time to binge but when we’re able to relax for a moment, Maritza enjoys Kim’s Convenience and Maika is obsessed with audiobooks. Social media is great for connecting with readers. We try to balance making ourselves accessible and also having boundaries. We’re still navigating it all but it’s been an enjoyable learning process.
MM & MM: If our sisters are our biggest fans, our mom, dad, and grandma are our unofficial agents! We’re very blessed to have our entire family support us like this because we know that it’s not always the case. We’re able to have great conversations with our family about all kinds of things so our stories are just one additional thing we can talk about.
MM & MM: Right now we’re putting the finishing touches on our short story for the upcoming Latinx young adult horror anthology Our Shadows Have Claws. We also hope to share about our next book soon so stay tuned for that! It’s been awesome writing as sisters because we know that we can tell each other the truth when something isn’t working as it should and also give each other major props when we do a great job. The most important thing to us is our relationship as siblings. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
PRR Writer, Jackie Balbastro