Island author releases romance novel

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND ─ The new sports romance novel “Seeing Red,” written by island native Mariah Coffin, will warm hearts this Valentine’s Day.  

Combining her middle and maiden names, Coffin, of Tremont, uses the alias Hannah Gray to write the NE University books’ stand-alone series. “Seeing Red” is the second in a planned trilogy and was released in early January. Since writing the first book, “Chasing Sunshine,” Coffin has continued to use the pen name to maintain anonymity.   

“If you type the title by Hannah Gray in the Amazon search engine, it will come up,” she said.  

“Seeing Red” tells the story of a couple who navigate their way through an off-limits romance while attending university in Massachusetts. During her sophomore year at the New England university, Anna develops feelings for her boyfriend’s half-brother Mason and finds that the undeniable connection is mutual. The story shares the same college setting as “Chasing Sunshine,” but it has different characters that makes it easy to be read by itself.   

“You can read them singly because the characters are so intertwined with each book,” said Coffin.  

The experience of growing up on Mount Desert Island influenced Coffin to write the books with a coastal setting. Like most authors, Coffin used fictional towns in her story to avoid inaccurate geographical and cultural depictions for readers. “The landscape has a similar feelin one of the chapters, they go to the character’s hometown that’s similar to Bar Harbor,” said Coffin.  

During her years attending Mount Desert Island High School, reading and writing were Coffin’s favorite subjects. “What I always enjoyed about going to school was when we got to write stories,” she said. “After I graduated, I did hair school and it wasn’t for me; I also did medical assisting school and hated it.” Though she did not enjoy adult education, Coffin continued to read her favorite romance novels until one day she decided to write one herself. “‘Beautiful Disaster’ by Jamie Maguire is a book that inspired me to try writing,” she said.   

“I went in blind, not knowing much about what it takes to be an author,” she continued. So when Coffin had the majority of her material on paper, she hired independent editor and owner of Unforeseen Editing, Jovanna Shirley, to help format her work.   

“For a while I thought about working with a publishing company, but decided to self-publish,” she said.   

The more Coffin researched about working with a publishing company, she also learned how independent authors receive more royalties.   

“The pros outweighed the cons for me.”  

As a mom of three young girls, Coffin enjoys working on her books whenever she has the time. “Sometimes after I put my kids to bed and even random times of the day, for instance, when I’m driving, if I hear or think of something cool, I will pull over to write it down, so I don’t lose it,” she said.  

To Coffin’s surprise, the series is doing remarkably well. So far on Amazon, both books remain rated four and a half stars. “They’ve both [books] been doing better than I thought that they would,” she said. Coffin thinks it’s interesting how now at any given time she can log in to her Amazon account and see how many pages of her digital versions are being read.  

Early this spring, Coffin has plans to release the final book in her sports romance trilogy. She has been actively working on the last novel in her series, which will be titled “Losing Memphis.” 

After she finishes the series, her goals are to continue writing more romance books. Coffin said one day it would be nice to have a movie or television series made based on her books. “Friday Night Lights is one of my favorite shows,” she said.  

“Seeing Red” can be purchased on Amazon to read on Kindle eBook or shipped as a paperback copy.  

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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