1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? Honestly, I have no idea. If I had to guess a turning point: I was reading a romance that I absolutely loved…until I got to the end. I hated the end, and a part of me wanted to erase it and come up with a better one. But it wasn’t until years after that when I actually picked up a pen and a notebook (I didn’t have a computer back then) and started writing. I finished my first book The Chase is On in two weeks.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? Oh, there’s no structure in my life. I work at home, so most of my day I sit in my family room with my laptop and stare at the screen. I have no boards, no outlines. The most I have our post-it notes haphazardly scattered over my side table. Some days I write like someone is chasing me, other days I watch YouTube videos of old 80’s love songs (wow, they were bad)
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I did. Once. And it took me eight years to get past it. Turns out, the reason I was blocked was because I wasn’t being true to my voice. I was forcing myself to write something that just wasn’t in my heart. Once I recognized that and accepted the truth, I finished the book in two weeks and then went on to write two more.
4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story? In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a punster. Not just a pantser, but a hanging-from-a-ledge-with-my-fingers-slipping sort of writer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shocked myself with where the story goes. And, yes, I’ve had characters refused to cooperate because I wrote them one way and they wanted to go another.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published? I’m with a hybrid publisher; Booktrope. Basically, it’s the same as a traditional publisher, but I have a lot more say in every aspect in the process. My favorite is, I get to choose my own cover.
6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? It took me a very long time to finally get published, and I believe it’s because I knew nothing going in. I wrote nine books before I even took a writing workshop/course. I never went to college, never took a writing class, so my one major piece of advice would be: learn your craft!
7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? The delight I see in people’s faces when they tell me how much the loved my book. No, it’s not pride, it’s much more intimate (but, ya know, not in a creepy way). There’s something very special in sharing something so close to me with another person and having them love it as much as I do.
8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience? Angels in Seashore Cove is Book Two in my Love and Laugh in Seashore Cove series. It’s a contemporary romance with a supernatural element (I bet you can guess what). Anyone who enjoys matchmaking, friends to lovers stories with a light-hearted, funny voice, will love this book.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) This is where you lose me. I know little to nothing about marketing and building an audience. Thankfully, Booktrope offers marketing managers who are trained for that sort of thing. I will say I use Facebook a lot, and every morning I write a #MorningEpiphany on Twitter. After that, I look to my marketing manager and plead for help.
10.How long on average does it take you to write a book? If you take out my eight year writer’s block, I’d say about four months, depending on how easily it flows.
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. The idea for the cover of Angels in Seashore Cove was fairly easy. I wanted it to have the same look and feel as the first book in the series, Crazy Little Thing Called Matchmaking. There had to be a red heart as the focus. Since my heroine, Dianna, is a cake designer, I knew it had to be a cake of some sort. After that, my cover designer worked his magic and voilà!
12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I play hidden object games. Seriously, they’re addicting. I also sing karaoke, very loudly, when no one is around. So naughty, I know. I often visit the beach to walk along the shore, and every now and then take a jaunt into Manhattan. My favorite, though, is spending time with family, and hanging with my ladies from my writers’ group.
Feel free to include your: Website: http://www.maggievanwell.com