First off, I need to explain…Summer doesn’t end down here in the south just because it’s Labor Day Weekend. How can it, when the temperatures are still in the upper 80’s, the heat index is in the 90’s and the humidty is so thick you can’t breath? So we weill continue our summer beach reads through the month of September.
I am thrilled to have Maggie participate with my interviews, and enjoyed reading her responses. Maggie is an Award Winning Author and writes Culinary Cozies, Cozy Mystery and Paranormal Cozies. Her books are distributed widely and in KU (see the links by each book). You can find all of her books in the below links and while you’re there, don’t forget to follow Maggie so you can easily be updated when she releases her next book.
Where is your favorite vacation spot? Beach, Resort or Poolside?
I am head over heels in love with the beach. As a teen, I would sun for hours at the beach, and of course, be reading a book. Nowadays, I have to limit my high intensity sun experience to early mornings and late afternoons, but that only makes it all the more personal for me. I love the sight, the sound, the smell, the feel of sand crunching under my toes and water foaming over the tops. I would say it engages all of my senses but I try not to taste it! Another reason I love the beach is beachcombing. I love to hunt for treasures in the receding tide or up above the high water mark. You just never know what you will find!
Everyone takes a tote back with them when they head out for a day at the beach, what is in yours?
My bag has cellphone in a plastic bag, towels, wipes, and sunscreen. I often include a small, perforated cloth bag for seashells, and of course, there’s a book! I carry drinks and snacks in a cooler with ice packs. And these days, I also take some kind of shade with me too.
What makes your books perfect for a beach read? The setting, the story or the characters?
All three books in my Seafood Caper Mysteries released during the pandemic, so I believe readers are finding them to be a delightful way to travel to the beach without ever leaving home. The island setting makes it a great beach read, and the plot and characters aren’t too shabby either.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written 27 books, 2 of which are nonfiction. My works of fiction include a puzzle to solve, no matter the genre, and there is often a relationship subplot. I’ve been writing for publication since 1995, and my first novel released in 2006, as I had a lot of technical writing skills to unlearn. My favorite book is the one I’m working on, no matter which book that is. One reason is it is brain overload for me to keep 25 entire story worlds fresh in my head. The other is that I care so much about each story and want it to be the best I can make it, that all my attention and passion goes into that effort. Right now my fav is Shrimply Dead, book 3 in my culinary cozy series!
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am a walking sponge for ideas and inspiration. I’ve been inspired by golf clubhouse stories, overheard conversations, newspaper headlines, obituaries, and generally everything I see, do, touch, taste, or hear. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in this creative absorption, but getting the idea is the easy part. It is much harder to sit down and link all of the ideas together into something compelling that readers will enjoy.
What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting?
Despite the months and sometimes years that go into a story, don’t market your work until it is ready. Often I hear this as “write the best book you can, every time.” This is because you aren’t competing with the bottom of the market, you’re competing with the cream of the crop. In other words, you’ve got one chance to wow agents, editors, and readers. Get it right before subbing.
Do you have a library membership?
Yes! I’ve had one every place we’ve lived. The library was a home away from home for me growing up. It truly held all the treasures of the universe within the covers of books. Then, when my kids were small, we went to the library each week and checked out a tote bag of books. I support libraries with talks and encourage everyone to visit their library. I even served on our local library board for three years. We need libraries, and libraries need users. Don’t let libraries go the way of Dodo birds.
Tea or coffee?
I’m a tea drinker. My fav is iced tea, but I drink hot tea at breakfast and peppermint tea before bedtime. The rest of the day is the iced tea zone. Tea works for me on several levels. The caffeine helps headaches, and it gets me going as well. My go-to tea brand is Luzianne for black tea and Celestial Seasons for peppermint. I had brief love affairs with Constant Comment, Chai, and Earl Grey tea, but my favorite “named” tea is English Breakfast. Oh, and have you tried Ginger Tea? It’s really great for settling your tummy. I make sure to have that in pantry, just in case, you know?
And here is a tease about something I’m participating in! This is a Christmas Cozy Anthology with 20 writers. I’ve had a sneak peak, and the stories look great. Keep watching for the full cover reveal!