Maura Jortner

The Backstory

Maura was born in Salem, NH. She has a twin sister (fraternal) and a younger brother. She moved to OH to go to college and worked as a stage manager and puppeteer in Cincinnati after earning her degree in English. After traveling around the Midwest for a few years and working nights as a secretary to get through her master's degree, she went to Pittsburgh, PA for even more school! She earned a Ph.D. in Theater History, studying 19th century American theater. Maura moved to Waco, TX to work at Baylor University. There, she is a Senior Lecturer, which means she is always in the classroom. Maura reads, writes, and nerds-out with students about literature and creative writing.

Notebook and Pen

A bit more personal

Maura has two amazing daughters, one wonderful husband, and a cat who plays fetch. Her cat, Shiloh, also knows some tricks. (He's smart and food-motivated.) He can do "dance," "high five," "kiss," and "up," which means he jumps onto her shoulders. Here is a picture of him there.

me and Shiloh.jpg

It all began a long time ago...

Maura began writing about ten years ago. Her oldest  daughter was five at the time, and one night she asked Maura to tell her a story. She didn't want her to read a story. She insisted she tell one. So Maura began constructing a tale about how her daughter was really a fairy in disguise, but after continuing the story for a week, she couldn't keep the names or what actually happened straight in her head. She decided she'd better write it out. Her first book came from that, and although her daughter loved it, Maura knew it was really, really bad. Like drive-a-truck-through-the-plot-holes bad. But it gave Maura inspiration. She decided she wanted to become a writer.

When Maura was writing her second book, she met two other writers who would become hugely influential in her life--Michelle A. Barry and Tracy Townsend. They would become her CPs (critique partners).

Maura wrote many books and queried many projects, finally finding the agent who was right for her in 2021. Rena Rossner has been a dream--a real advocate. She sold Maura's book 102 DAYS OF LYING ABOUT LAUREN in November 2021, and the deal was finalized in late spring 2022. It took a long time, but her dream has finally come true.


My favorite place in the world

Can you guess where it is?

Me and the Haunted Mansion_edited.jpg