ASK MAGGIE

Got a question, ask Maggie:

 

Judy from Seattle, Washington asks:  How long did it take you to get published?

Judy, I started writing at a young age but didn't get to see my name in print until I was 20 years old.  I've been published in magazines and several books.  If you're writing and you haven't yet seen your name in print, don't worry, just keep your eye on your goal.  It will happen.

 

Beth from Wichita Falls, Texas asks:  Where do you get your story ideas?

Beth, I find ideas all around me.  There's usually stories in newspapers, magazines and even other books that you can twist and turn to make a new story out of it.  I also play the "What if" game.  I take an idea and say what if this happened or what if that happened.  Doing that can lead you down paths you hadn't considered before.

  
Liz from Seattle, Washington asks:  Are there any men who write romances?

Yes, there are lots of men who write romance.  Some use their own names and others use female names.  The idea behind using a female pseudonym is that readers think women write better romances.  Read one of Wayne Jordan's books and judge for yourself.

  
Bill from South Dakota asks:  Do you need help with the research for your sex scenes?

Thank you very much, Bill, for offering your services.  However, I have plenty of researchers in the sex scene department.  However, I do need someone that I can practice the murder scenes on.  Would you like to volunteer?

 

Tasha from Chicago, Illinois asks:  Do you plan your books from beginning to end before you write them?

No, I'm what's called a pantser.  I sit down at my computer and I just type whatever comes into my head.  I don't go back and try to correct or improve what I've written until I'm completely done with the story.  Once I've reached the end, then I go back and take a look at the overall plot to see what needs to be changed.  I've made notes on a separate pad of paper as I type for things that need to be fixed.  Once I've done all that, I look at the manuscript line by line to see if I can tighten the sentence or use better, more descriptive wording, etc.  Once I've done all that I put it aside for a month before picking it back up and reading it through from page one to the end.  If I think it's ready, I'll give it to one of my critique partners for a reading.

 

MaryAnn from Biloxi, Mississippi asks:  What do you do when you're not writing?

I'm an avid wildlife photographer.  I've taken many photography workshop with wildlife experts across the country.  You can see some of my work in the Wildlife Photography section in the Fun Suff category. 

I also play Hammered Dulcimer, Mountain Dulcimer and Piano.  So I tend to pick an instrument some days and just play for the fun of it.

 

Halie from Carlisle, Iowa asks:  Do you ever get recognized when you're out in public?

Actually, Halie, I have been recognized a couple of times by some of my former writing students.  That was a rush!  Maybe someday I'll be recognized by someone just from the photo in my book. 

 

Lucy from Fairfield, Iowa asks:  Do you ever come to smaller towns with mom and pop bookstores for book signings?

Lucy, if a bookstore wants me to sign books, I'm there.  I also go to book clubs/discussion groups, etc. to do signings.  Women's groups, organizations, clubs - I'm there.  Just give me a call.

 

Got a question for Maggie - just e-mail your question and Maggie will get back to you.  Your question and answer could be posted here.

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Keep your eyes on your dream and never give up!