Name Maggie Anderson (also writing as M. A. Anderson)
Age Prefer not to say 🙂
Where are you from
Australia. I was born and raised in Melbourne, Victoria but moved to Brisbane, Queensland after I married and have lived here ever since. Queensland has a tropical climate similar to Florida, so we don’t have a very cold winter.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My recent news is that my romance novel A Night of Passion was nominated for a InD’tale Magazine RONE award. That was exciting. Also, I’m currently working on three projects. A prequel to my Dark Legacy paranormal fantasy series, book four in the same series and book one in a paranormal romance series. Hoping to have the PNR book out in November.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As a child, I loved reading and that encouraged me to write stories for myself (around 8 years old). Later on, in my teens, I wrote song lyrics and plays which were performed at my high school during lunch breaks. I’d still like to write another play.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always been a writer. Life gets in the way of writing sometimes, especially when you’re a wife and mother, but I began the journey again in 1999.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
At the time, there wasn’t a lot of vampire books out there that I wanted to read. As they say ‘If you can’t find the book you want to read write it yourself,’ so I did J
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My own, I guess. I don’t write like anyone else. And I don’t want to. As writers, we pour our heart and soul into our work and I’d like that to reflect in my writing and stories.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are easy once I’ve written the book and know it cover to cover. I don’t have a problem with finding a title for my books, they usually seem to find me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really. I suppose, if anything, good overcomes evil. Especially with the kinds of stories I write.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Everything in my books is fictitious. No resemblance to any person, place or situation. Pure imagination J
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
When I was fourteen, our English class had to read Dracula for a book review. After having read a number of Shakespeare’s plays back then, I thought this book would be just like those, unreadable and unenjoyable. But from the very first page I was seduced by Bram Stoker’s unorthodox, charismatic character and that’s why I love all things vampire and write in the genre. No, I don’t have a mentor.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I found Liliana Hart’s Addison Holmes series and really enjoy the characters and plot. There is a fun element to the books as well as a great story. My favorite author is James Patterson. I love his Alex Cross series. Alex is a fascinating character. He’s a psychologist who used to work for the FBI and has been in some pretty prickly situations along the journey. They’re a page turning read.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Friends. When I was writing my first book I belonged to a writers’ group and they supported me through the whole process. Work colleagues too. When I had my first book launch they all attended (about 50 of them along with other guests) and it was a sellout night, which was lovely.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do. I’m a full time writer right now J
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think so. I wanted to emulate the first book in my series and I think I achieved that. The only difference with the third book is that it continues into the fourth one. Books one and two are stand alone.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As I mentioned in question three, as a child I loved to read and it just progressed from there.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Let’s go with the paranormal romance: it’s set in a small, fictional USA town in Illinois. The main character, Paige, has inherited her uncle’s house and moves there from Washington DC. Her parents disappeared under suspicious circumstances when she was a child (five years old) and she moved to Washington to live with her aunt. She finds herself attracted to the local sheriff, Eli and the feeling is clearly mutual. But not only does the town have secrets, so does he…
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
There are times when I get to the middle of a story I’m writing and I go blank. For some reason my muse takes a vacation and leaves me to figure it out. I usually take a break for a day or two and work on something else then go back to it and it flows along nicely again.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not as much as I’d like to. But I have. I’ve done a number of local events, but the biggest trip was to Las Vegas in 2013 for a romance convention. It was a lot of fun and I made some wonderful writer friends, and I’d like to do it again some time.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My youngest daughter (28 yrs) and I design them and my daughter creates them. I want the covers to reflect the story inside the book not just look pretty J With A Night of Passion, I wanted a more elegant visual appeal. Most steamy romance covers have half naked men or couples on them and I wanted to do something different. So I designed a seductive black and white cover with pink writing.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
With the first book, Dark Legacy, I was working a full time job, so I could only write when I had time. I always felt as though I wasn’t achieving enough, timewise. It took 11 years to complete. That was hard! Now I write a couple of books a year J
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes. As writers, we have to hone our craft. Make it the best it can be. Polish it and polish it until it shines, especially as independent authors. If we don’t produce a quality read we won’t have readers. I cringe now when I think about sending my manuscript out to publishers back then because it wasn’t anywhere near ready to meet the world. I now have a degree in publishing and editing so my books are a quality read.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
For Reece Daniels’ character I could see Chris Hemsworth playing the lead role. He definitely has the look.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
For aspiring writers especially, make sure you have a quality story (professionally edited), professional cover design, and a blurb that pulls readers in before you self-publish (if that’s what you plan to do). Go to writer workshops; learn all you can before introducing your book to the world. Your reputation as an author depends on it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you love a book you’ve read (not just mine) please, please, please post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. For indie authors, this is more important because it moves our books up the ranks and gives us more exposure. Traditionally published and famous authors don’t need this as much as self-published authors do. And it shows an indie author that you love what they do.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading The Successful Author Mindset by Joanna Penn. Some great advice in that book. And I’m also reading Have You Seen This Girl by Carissa Ann Lynch and Hanover House by Brenda Novak. I usually read three books at the same time.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It would have been the John and Betty readers for school. But the first book that made an impression on me was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A funny or sad movie. I recently saw Central Intelligence starring the Rock and it was the funniest movie I’ve seen in a while. I laughed till I cried, literally! J
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would want to meet and why?
Abraham Lincoln. He was a self-made man with innovative ideas for his time and an appreciation for all human beings. He taught himself law by reading Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England and became a successful lawyer. He fought clinical depression his whole life and still ran for and became the USA’s 16th president. I admire his tenacity.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
To be honest, I’ve never given it any thought. Ok, as a writer I should be able to come up with something… Here goes: Newly Appointed Ghost Writer. How’s that? J
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I’m too busy to have hobbies but I love collecting and watching movies. I have a large collection of my favorite movies and shows.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
TV shows: Pretty Little Liars, The Strain, Sleepy Hollow. Movies: Scary, funny, and suspenseful. My all-time favorite movie is The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite color is purple. Favorite food is Italian. Favorite music is rather eclectic. I like alternative, pop rock, classical, movie scores, all sorts really. Depends on my mood J
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I wanted to be an actor/singer when I was young. I was part of my school choir and had performed in a few things.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is: www.m-anderson.com.au
Amazon Authors Page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-A-Anderson/e/B008MFJ2YU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1473210481&sr=1-2-ent
Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/M.-A.-Anderson/e/B008MFJ2YU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1