Brace yourselves everyone, we're visiting the South Island of New Zealand this week!
Name? Maggie Le Page
Where are you? Christchurch, New Zealand (aka QuakeZone)
How many years have you been a member of RWNZ? Three years – and they’ve been full-on!
What genre do you write? Contemporary romances with humour. Some might say romantic comedy. With a bit of suspense or whatever to mix things up. Okay, I admit it. I write chick lit. (cringes) I know, I know, chick lit is dead. But I say LONG LIVE CHICK LIT!
Chick lit is funky, and fun, and all my friends read it so I refuse to believe there’s no longer a market for it (she says, burrowing her head firmly in the sand).
Who are your favourite authors? Sophie Kinsella is my all-time favourite, but I have a whole swag of wish-I-could-write-like-her authors – Catherine Alliott, Marian Keyes and Jill Mansell, for starters.
I’ve recently discovered Angie Fox, Nalini Singh (yeah!) and Jane Porter, and I’m looking forward to being a fan of Leah Ashton (I loved her scenes in the M&B New Voices competition).
In other genres? Jeffery Deaver, Dan Brown, Stephen King, Wilbur Smith’s River God trilogy... and, Kylie, you really should put a limit on the number of authors we can list!
What inspired you to write romance? I kind-of fell into it, really, but I can’t imagine writing a story that doesn’t have at least a hint of romance. I like the escapism offered by romance, and I love happy endings. If I read a good book and everyone’s miserable at the end I feel seriously ripped-off! There’s enough misery in the real world without putting it in fiction as well!
Who's your dream agent and/or dream publisher? One who loves my work as much as I do! (I’m still hunting…) Having just read that quick-fire response I’m now thinking "Oops, that sounds egotistical." But I don’t mean it that way.
The fact is you’ve got to love your own work because, in this business, you get so many knocks. And if you don’t believe in yourself and your work your writing career will simply wither and die. I’m determined not to let that happen.
What's the best thing about going to conference? The camaraderie. No, the workshops. No, the pitching opportunities. No, the ‘full immersion’. No, the Three-Whole-Kid-Free-Days part. No, the… hang on, do I really have to choose just ONE thing? You’re mean. I can’t choose. I love it all.
And lastly, finish these statements...
My greatest strength as a writer is...my determination. (I think…)
A sexy hero needs...a feisty heroine to stand up to him and really set the pages alight.
My latest WIP (work in progress) is about...Life’s complicated when you’re juggling kids and work. But it’s far worse when, thanks to your husband’s murderous lover, you’re stuck on a hospital room ceiling, unable to move and unable to remember. Now Faith needs to stop sulking, work out what happened and who she really is, then find a way back to her body – or it’ll be too late: they’ll switch off the life support.
When I write I like to...be alone. No kids, no partner, no interruptions. My muse only comes out to play when it’s quiet which, these days, generally means late at night. I also need close to hand a never-ending supply of tea (Earl Grey, Lady Grey, green) and snacks (home-made biscuits, chips, toast).
I usually write at the computer, but if a scene is refusing to work I’ll go out for a coffee and write by hand. It’s amazing how often the scene just seems to write itself while I’m enjoying a rare café treat.
My best writing milestone to date is...finishing my first novel. That was the most amazing feeling. I felt as if I’d finished a Ph.D.! But a very close second was getting my website up and running (blows kisses to Jem and Gracie).
Thanks for answering my questions, Maggie!
Thanks for asking, Kylie!
If you'd like to find out more about Maggie, check out her website.