At fifteen Maria left Santa Barbara to study at The American School in Switzerland. She continued her studies at Brillantmont in Lausanne, then went on to London to complete her A levels. She was accepted to the London School of Economics and studied International Economics and Politics of International Aid. After graduating, she moved to Italy where she taught summer school at The American School in Genova, an elementary school. Maria later moved to Paris and wrote her first novel. When she returned to Los Angeles she continued working on her novel, Making It up as I Go Along, which was published in 2004.
Maria’s screenplay about the Red Brigade was a third place finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s screenwriter’s competition. Today, she lives in Laurel Canyon and has four children. When not driving one of her children to school or volunteering at school libraries, she can be found sitting in a parked car, a café or a library writing novels, travel articles or just passed out.