Maria StaalMaria Staal is an Indie author. She loves architecture, but also has a soft spot for the surreal and slightly absurd.

Maria was born in the Netherlands, 46 years ago. She spent seven years of her life abroad, meeting people and doing the weirdest jobs to earn her keep (all legal, of course). In 2004, she was lucky enough to move to York in the United Kingdom, an amazing city, not only for its medieval houses, but also for the many ‘characters’ that call it home, quite a few of who became her friends. Inspired by the beautiful architecture and fascinating history of York, Maria wrote her first two books – Romans, Vikings, Churches and Chocolate and From Dissenters to Fire Engines.

Besides living in York,  Maria lived in Australia for two years and in New Zealand for six months. On top of that, she worked on two container ships. The trips on these ships inspired her to write two more books – Time Zones, Containers and Three Square Meals a Day, and its sequel More Stories of Time Zones and Containers. Time Zones is the only of her books so far that has been translated into Dutch.

Maria is now back in her hometown in the Netherlands, where she works part-time as a receptionist at the town hall. In her ‘spare time’, Maria writes books.
In June 2013 she came up with the idea for a fictional cosy mystery series and started writing. Having never forayed into fictional writing before, she soon realised it was rather different from writing non-fiction. Now blogging about her first attempts to write fiction, she is determined to ‘get it right’ and learn a new craft as she goes along.

Maria’s new series goes by the working title Jacob Hicks Murder Mysteries and will be published under Maria’s penname ‘Annie Appleton’. If everything goes according to plan, Don’t feed the Rat!, Book One of the Jacob Hick Murder Mysteries, will be published in May 2017. More information about the series can be found on Annie Appelton’s website, where readers can also register for the new release mailing list.

  • Maria’s Favourite Book: Dog Rock by David Foster, a fantastic surreal murder mystery (or is it?)
  • Maria’s Favourite TV-show: Corner Gas, these guys just love to play with words


Check out Maria’s Books, or get a head start and read the first chapter of Time Zones, Containers and Three Square Meals a Day.

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