(Brushing the last of the packing tape off the porch) Welcome back, my swampy friends. Now that we’re all settled in, time for us to get back into the groove. Today we welcome the talented Maggi Andersen with her historical hunks and daunting debutantes. Now, I may be an avid Urban Fantasy and Romantic Suspense fan, but I cut my reading teeth on historicals. So if you like your history with a little pulse pounding adventure, gather ’round and make Maggi feel at home. She’s come a long way from the Land Down Under…
As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?
I can remember always wanting to tell stories, but I also dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer. Not a good idea as it turned out. I’m tall and broad-shouldered. It would have been cruel to expect the male dancers to lift me aloft. After reality struck, I toyed with pursuing a career as an interior designer, but while working in a shop, I discovered my ideas were too idiosyncratic to appeal to most of the customers. They all wanted beige at that time, and I was bored.
My creativity was then directed into raising three children while renovating houses and designing gardens. I worked in my husband’s law office, and attended university. I didn’t begin to write creatively until quite late.
–I think raising three kiddos and creating garden oasises would be challenging enough, then to take on writing? Kudos, Maggie, just kuddos…
If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?
Beware: My heroes are too sexy to resist. And my heroines have minds of their own.
–got to love those independent natures, they make us travel paths we’d probably never peek down…
Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?
I have. When I first began, I used to write without worrying about how it turned out. Consequently I ended up with an unstructured mess which required a lot of rewriting. Now, before I begin to write, I have a few lines of my concept taped to my computer to remind me of how it affects the book in every scene, and a good idea of where I’m going.
–The more I write, the more I learn how utterly wild it is I ever finished the first book, considering how much I fumbled along with out a map. Pantsing is great, but some days a few sign posts can make a world of difference…
What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?
I didn’t think I’d write science fiction, but I just wrote a story for my grandson, and it was fun. Probably horror. Can’t watch scary movies, so I doubt I could do that genre justice.
–I’m not the greatest at the slasher flicks either, but writing it–that works for me…However, I’ll leave the genre to those who do it well (King, Eerie…)
What is the best advice you can share with others?
Whether you’ve plotted it out, or are a panster, just write the scene. Don’t edit, and don’t judge what you’ve written until you finish and do a second draft. You can always improve on what is on the page. The more you write the better you get. And don’t be too impatient to send that manuscript out. Put it aside for a while, you’ll be amazed at the improvements you can make to it with a fresh pair of eyes.
–Great advice, unfortunately, it’s one of the hardest to follow….
And now, Maggi, prepare yourself for our Bullet List…
Blades, guns, fists or feet?
All of them. They’re Regency spies.
Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?
Cinderella. The story is quite old; first appearing in Ancient Greece.
–Wow, I didn’t know that…how cool.
Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?
I’m reading my third, Anne Perry book, Paragon Walk.
Next, is The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan.
Then, Beyond Innocence, by Joanna Lloyd.
Greatest one liner of all time?
Oscar Wilde “The English country gentleman galloping after a fox is the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.”
Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?
Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
A small book a girlfriend gave me, The Little Book of Dreams.
Favorite supernatural creature?
Love historical romance? Because, let’s be honest, there’s just something about a man in a cravat. Want more of Maggi? Then check out her TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPY, from her Spies of Mayfair series…
John Haldane, Earl of Strathairn, is on an urgent mission to find the killer of his fellow spy. Has the treasonous Frenchman, Count Forney, returned to England to wreak havoc? Or has someone new landed on English shores to stir up rebellion in the Midlands? After visiting the young widow of one of his agents, Strathairn strengthens his resolve. A spy should never marry. And most certainly not to Lady Sibella Winborne, with her romantic ideas of love and marriage. Unable to give Sibella up entirely, he has kept her close as a friend. And then, weak fool that he is, he kissed her… Lady Sibella Winborne has refused several offers of marriage since her first Season years ago — when she first set eyes on the handsome Earl of Strathairn. Sibella’s many siblings always rush to her aid to discourage an ardent suitor, but not this time. Her elder brother, Chaloner, Marquess of Brandreth, has approved Lord Coombe’s suit. Sibella yearns to set up her own household. She is known to be the sensible member of the family. But she doesn’t feel at all sensible about Lord Strathairn. If only she could forget that kiss…
TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPY NOW AVAILABLE:
Maggi Andersen lives in the countryside outside Sydney, Australia, with her lawyer husband. After gaining a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing, and raising three children, Maggi now indulges her passion for writing.
When not writing she is feeding the local wildlife. Kookaburras (Australian Kingfishers) love to be hand fed.
She writes in several genres, contemporary and historical romances and young adult novels. You’ll find adventure and elements of danger in everyone.
More information on her website: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com
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