Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Interview of Author Maggie Le Page
Latest Book: The Trouble With Dying
Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B00QTAAGFY
Maggie lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her life leans toward chaotic, with writing time often losing out to kidstuff, home stuff and part-time work. Being a ditz comes naturally to Maggie, so she has no trouble writing her characters into embarrassing situations. No surprise, then, that she writes chick lit—albeit with serious undertones. Maggie has just released her second novel, The Trouble With Dying.
Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: Actually, I didn’t. I’m an indie author so I simply clicked “publish” and that was that. Sure, my partner and I opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate, but after the gargantuan effort of writing the book and getting it ready for publication, it was a bit of a letdown. I won’t make that mistake again! I’ve just released my second book and as soon as the paperbacks arrive in the post I’m holding a release party. Can’t wait!
Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: Networking/marketing is definitely a major focus. Oh, to be able to simply write! But some wonderful things have come out of the hours I put into networking. I love interacting directly with readers – it’s so affirming to know your work resonates with others. And I’ve met some wonderful fellow writers online; people who are incredibly supportive and caring and fun to hang out with in this solitary game.
Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: I love my heroes and heroines – if I didn’t I’d hate writing their stories. But my favourite characters are definitely the quirky, humorous ones. Jim, the belching, messy, tell-it-like-it-is flatmate in A Heat Of The Moment Thing; and Gran, the anti-authority, irreverent ghost in The Trouble With Dying. Writing those characters was a lot of fun.
Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: No to the music – I need silence (or white noise) to write. But a big fat HECK, YES! To the food. OMG. I pack away so much food when I’m writing that my chair needs reinforcing. Which reminds me, I need to start a fitness/exercise regime this year. (sobs)
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I angst over names. Seriously. I spend hours on names. The first names usually come to me quite easily, but it’s the surnames that give me grief. I google surname lists and country-specific names and most common names and least common names and you name it (Ha!) (Bad joke. Sorry.) and I say them out loud and read them as I eat breakfast and ask the cosmos for guidance and . . . (head-desk)
Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: Yep. My first book’s original cover. I designed it myself. It took me forever – and I mean for.ev.ah. Sure, I learned some nifty skills doing it, but it wasn’t a cover that actually sold the book. Thank goodness I called in reinforcements (Book Cover By Design). Kellie sorted me out within twelve hours and I ended up with the most gorgeous replacement cover ever. I’ll never design another cover. Nuh-uh. No way.
Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Don’t be a perfectionist. Save that for when you’ve finished the first draft and are ready to edit/revise. (PS this is something I still haven’t mastered. I really really need to learn the art of writing quick’n’dirty.)
Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: Start writing that first book already! You know you want to, so stop thinking about it and get on with it!
Q: Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
A: With only two books published (so far!), I don’t really have a backlist as such. But my favourite opening line is from The Trouble With Dying:
“It’s one of those falling-to-your-death moments; the sort where you hope it’s just a dream but have a nasty feeling you’re going to wake up dead.”
Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: All of the above! It’s probably fair to say I have too many lists. Mental list – tick. (Not that I trust myself to remember everything. Hence . . .) Computer file – tick. Several, actually. With varying degrees of detail. Aaaand when I get really excited I write the idea in an Ideas clearfile as well. When an idea really starts to take shape I give it its own clearfile. (Ooh! Excitement plus!) I have four of these at present.
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Boxing Day. I love the anticipation and the preparations and the magic of Christmas Day, but I adore the relaxation and simplicity that follows on Boxing Day.
Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I dropped English in my final year at school because (ssh!) the teacher was boring. And I have been known to devour a King-sized bar of chocolate (Cadburys) (Dairy Milk) in one sitting.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: LOL I wanted to be a teacher. I used to stand at a blackboard in our garage and teach my poor, long-suffering, younger sister ad nauseum.
Q: Favorite food.
A: Thai. YUM.
Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Lying with my partner outside a tent in the middle of nowhere, stargazing for hours on end, trying to outdo each other as we spotted shooting stars and satellites.
Q: Favorite drink.
A: Wine – and coffee. It’s a close-run thing. But both have to be top quality. Not that I’m fussy or anything . . .
Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Hot summer days. In winter my hands and feet turn into blocks of ice. It’s just not fun.
Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: I’ve sat and stared at this question for so long it’s ridiculous! Okay, I’d go with a trip to Antarctica except (see previous question) I doubt I’d cope with the cold. So instead I’d love to visit Machu Picchu (Inca Ruins in Peru).
Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: Hmm. Either teleportation abilities and time-meddling (y’know, slowing down or speeding up time as required). That said, I’ll take any super power. I’m a mum, so I need every bit of help I can get!
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/maggielepage
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/xNOu5
When Faith Carson wakes up on a hospital ceiling looking down on her body in a coma, it’s a bad start to the week. A very bad start. She has no idea who she is or how she got there or why, and the biggest mystery of all is why she married the schmuck who wants her ventilator switched off.
As if that’s not enough Faith has a dead gran haunting her, a young daughter missing her, and one devilishly delicious man making her wish she could have a second chance at life. And maybe she can, if she finds a way back into her body and wakes up by Friday. But if she doesn’t, this will be her last bad week—ever.
Nate Sutherland decided long ago he’d settle for friendship if he couldn’t have Faith’s heart. But now, as she nears death, he’s going to have to listen to his feelings in a whole new way—and act. Because if he doesn’t, this week will be the worst damn week of his life. He’ll lose everything he’s ever loved.
“Just hurry up and get better, okay?” In the silence that follows, he drains his coffee. Chuckles. “At least you don’t argue when you’re in a coma.”
The C-word trills along my veins. My scalp tightens, lifting the hairs on my head.
I turn to Gran, and this time she doesn’t avoid my gaze or change the subject or dissolve. I have her full attention.
“A coma.” I force the word through stiff lips. “I’ve left my body.”
Apprehension squeezes the air from my lungs. “Oh God. I really am dying.”
“Hogwash. You’re not even close. You’re very much alive. And that’s the way you’re going to stay if I have anything to do with it.”
But does she have anything to do with it? Whatever’s going on here, it’s all a bit Secret Squirrel for my liking.
Nate drains his coffee and shuffles closer to the bed. “Did you see Tess’s card? It’s special.”
He glances at the bedside table, where an enormous card sits in pride of place, outflanking all the others. I strain to see it, but it’s facing the wrong way.
“She misses you.”
Tess. The name doesn’t spark any memories, but I’m getting used to that.
Nate reaches for Faith-in-the-bed’s hand, clasping it in his, and the shock of his touch fizzes through me, so intense I can almost feel it.
My breath hitches. I can feel it. I watch as he touches his lips to her hand, and I’m feeling it.
Gran raises an eyebrow. “Well, now. That’s useful.”
Useful? I feel like I’ve won the freaking Lottery.
I turn to her, elated. Then suspicion takes over. “You read my mind?”
Her expression is all wide-eyed innocence, but I’m not fooled. “How did you—?”
She pointedly turns her gaze on Nate. “Ssh.”
“You know what I love about arguing with you, Pixie?” He brings Faith-in-the-bed’s hand up to his cheek and the gentle rasp of stubble comes through to my own hand. I shiver. Heat floods my cheeks. It feels so intimate. In a good way. The sort of good way you don’t want your dead Gran in the room for.
“We get to make up.” Nate kisses her fingertips, and sparks of heat flicker deep in my belly.
It’s weird. I’m watching this man touch Faith-in-the-bed but, ventriloquist-style, I’m feeling it all. This must be how it is for babies when they first work out the baby in the mirror is them.
Only way more sensual.
Then I remember Gran and my body heats again, but this time it’s in a totally un-sensual, frying-with-embarrassment way. She’s witnessing all of this. Worse, she’s probably reading my mind as it happens. I blush so hard even my bones are burning.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Whoever said chick lit is dead was talking a load of rubbish!