Interview with Historical & Contemporary Romance Author Maggi Andersen

 

 

Introduction message on Paper torn ripped opening

 

 

 

Please welcome Maggi Andersen, historical and contemporary romance author from New South Wales, Australia. She has a BA and Master of Arts in Creative Writing, loves local wildlife, and pens the Regency, Baxendale Sisters, and Spies of Mayfair series.  And she has an AWESOME WEBSITE. Please check it out, Maggiandersenauthor.com

 

 

 

Maggi Anderson

 

 

Now, let’s learn a little more about our friend, Maggi…

 

 

*What’s it like living in Australia?

It’s great! Australians are known for their easy-going attitude to life. I grew up close to the beach and my childhood was all sun, sand, and sea. My brother and I roamed free in those days. Now I live in a bustling village in the Southern Highlands near Sydney, where the spring and autumn are glorious and it sometimes snows, but lightly and rarely! It’s wine country, with rolling green hills, some covered in vines, horse studs and farms. The highlands has many endangered bird species and a large koala population. Old inns, and their ghosts, still operate in the historic villages nearby where the stage coaches once passed through during the 1800s. When I feel I need to break out of my self-imposed writer’s cocoon, I head to Sydney for a writer’s conference or Melbourne to visit family.

 

This is great. Would love to visit there one day. My wife has a cousin, uh, somewhere over there. Sorry memory fails me at the moment. 

 

 

 

 

Location Australia. Green pin on the map.

 

 

 

Here’s some additional pics…

 

 

Australia 2

 

 

Australia 3

 

 

Australia

 

 

 

 

*What led you to read the books of Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt?

My mother loved them, and she handed them on to me. We reread them many times over and had lengthy discussion on each one. It was a special thing to share with her, with lovely memories now that she is no longer with us.

It’s lovely to share the joy of books with others, especially another family member. 

 

 

A book is a gift you can open again and again. -Garrison Keillor

 

 

*What do you love most about the Georgian and Regency worlds?

There is so much to write about. The history, manners, culture, fashions, gardens, mansions, and food aside, there was also the extravagant and extraordinarily self-indulgent Prince Regent, plus the lengthy Napoleonic wars. There was also the pulsating underworld where crime and vice of every kind flourished. The colorful Georgian era was less mannered, but equally as fascinating. Some of the people who existed in these eras seem larger than life, like Beau Brummel, who was a profound influence on men’s fashion and their bathing habits in the early 1800s. He was befriended by the Prince of Wales, but was always on the verge of poverty, which was then labeled ‘dun territory’. He lost the Prince’s friendship and left England a broken man. Young gentlemen were dangerously idle. Great gamblers, there are many instances where huge estates and wealth were lost at the gaming tables and the races.

I love what you’ve done with your historical series. It not only brings history alive, but it also transports you there in many ways. 

 

 

 

Vintage compass lies on an ancient world map.

 

 

*If you could send yourself back to those time periods what would you do?

Marry a duke of course. 🙂  Seriously, I would hope to be a member of the ton, the Upper Ten Thousand in society. Life could be very hard for the lower classes. If I was born without money or family, I’d be an actress, I always wanted to tread the boards.

Splendid! I always enjoy the answers to this question. 

 

*What are your top three experiences writing about these times?

Creating the three books in The Spies of Mayfair Series. A Dangerous Deception, A Spy to Love, and A Secret Affair. They were enjoyable to write, I loved the heroes and heroines, and researching interesting historical facts which included Napoleon’s escape from Elba, The Peterloo Massacre, and the famous Hope diamond, the blue diamond of the French Crown, stolen from King Louis XIV in 1791.

Awesome! Can’t wait to read all of them. 

 

 

A Dangerous Deception

 

 

A Spy to Love

 

 

A Secret Affair

 

 

 

*Tell us about your new release, The Baron’s Wife.

My new release The Baron’s Wife has just hit an historical mystery bestseller list on Amazon! Another of my favorite stories to write, it’s set during the late Victorian era, teetering on the brink of the 20 th Century, when so much was changing. Women were fighting for their right to vote, to gain access to university degrees and have other freedoms allowed to men. It would take many years for these things to be realized. My heroine, Laura Parr was involved in the Suffrage movement when she met her hero, Baron, Nathaniel Lanyon. She puts these dreams on hold after he sweeps her off her feet, marries her and takes her to his home, an ancient abbey in Cornwall. Laura soon discovers all is not as it seems in her new home. There’s a mystery surrounding Nathaniel’s first wife’s death. Nathaniel had been confident he could offer Laura a happy life, but the past comes back to claim him.

This sounds like an intriguing story!

 

 

The Barron's Wife

 

 

*What was a courtship like at the time of Laura Parr and Baron, Lord Nathaniel Lanyon?

For a strictly raised young lady such as Laura, her future marriage partner, and her courtship was often chosen and managed by the parents. Her father must first approve of the suitor and her mother would make sure she was chaperoned until the wedding. Many couples were virtual strangers when they married.

Wow. That’s amazing. The thought of my parents choosing my spouse makes me cringe.

 

 

*Is this a standalone or part of a series?

The Baron’s Wife is a standalone novel. It’s my third Victorian mystery romance. The first two are The Folly at Falconbridge Hall and The Diary of a Painted Lady.

I already downloaded this one!

 

 

*What else are you working on?

At present, I’m working on a new Regency series, The Kinsey Family, Unmasking Lady Helen, Book One. The story is filled with mystery, suspense and romance, Ancient Egyptian tombs, and art forgery. I hope to have it published by August. Also, my contemporary romantic suspense novella Finding Daniel is part of a boxed set coming in February 2018.

Sounds great, keep us posted. 

 

 

Thanks Maggi!

 

 

 

A Baron’s Wife: https://books2read.com/u/bzpXE9

Amazon Author page:http://lrd.to/9bwVEjmPBk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maggiandersenauthor/

Twitter: @maggiandersen

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2786221.Maggi_Andersen

Website: http//www.maggiandersenauthor.com

 

 

 

GUEST POST: WRITING LESSON SECTION 2 PART 1 BY DAVID KUMMER

 Welcome to this lesson of David Kummer’s writing course. That’s me, by the way. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, success stories, or just something fun to say, email me at davidkummer7@gmail.com. I’d love to talk about anything and everything, especially if that everything has to do with books, basketball, or Chinese food. I am a teenager, after all. So that’s that! Head on down and read what might be the best writing course of your life, but also might be the worst 😉 You won’t know until you try!

Continue reading “GUEST POST: WRITING LESSON SECTION 2 PART 1 BY DAVID KUMMER”

GUEST POST: WRITING LESSON 4 BY DAVID KUMMER

Welcome to this lesson of David Kummer’s writing course. That’s me, by the way. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, success stories, or just something fun to say, email me at davidkummer7@gmail.com. I’d love to talk about anything and everything, especially if that everything has to do with books, basketball, or Chinese food. I am a teenager, after all. So that’s that! Head on down and read what might be the best writing course of your life, but also might be the worst 😉 You won’t know until you try!

Continue reading “GUEST POST: WRITING LESSON 4 BY DAVID KUMMER”

Interview with John D. Bethel Author of Blood Moon

 

Blood Moon

 

 

 

J. David Bethel is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He has been published in popular consumer magazines and respected political journals. He is the author of Evil Town, a novel of political intrigue that is receiving praise from a number of Washington opinion leaders

 

 

 

“Truth is stranger than fiction”…Mark Twain

 

 

“This was a story well worth telling.”- Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

Questions and Answers for Mystery Thriller Week

 

How did you come across this story and what compelled you to tell it?

The details of the crime came to me from Ed DuBois.  Ed runs a security firm, Investigators, Inc., and had been brought into the case by a mutual friend of Marc Schiller, the victim.  Ed read my novel Evil Town and enjoyed it, and when he wanted to explore the possibilities of having a book written about the crime, he contacted me.

Initially, Ed wanted a true crime book written to counter the treatment the real story was getting in a movie that was being made of the crime, “Pain and Gain.”  Ed was serving as a consultant on the movie and grew disenchanted with the “black comedy” slant being applied to the script.  I wrote a treatment of the book but when it became apparent a true crime book could not be written and published in time to provide a balance to the movie, that project was abandoned.

I had become intrigued by the crime, especially by the courage of the victim, Marc Schiller, and Ed’s determination to get the “bad guys.”  Schiller’s survival of 30 days in captivity during which he was brutally tortured, and had every single penny of his substantial estate extorted, was a story that was too compelling to ignore.  My wheelhouse is fiction so I went to Ed and Marc and asked if they’d mind if I treated the story as fiction, hewing close enough to the real events to convey the true horror of what Marc endured and how Ed worked skillfully to solve the crime.

With resources like Marc and Ed, and a story of human will and courage, how could I go wrong?  Marc agreed to add another layer to the book by writing the Foreword and Ed wrote an Afterword.

 

 

 

Courage

 

 

 

What was your first reaction after hearing what happened to Mr. Schiller?

Astounded. Dumbstruck. Horrified. All of which grew into admiration and respect for the courage that Mr. Schiller displayed is surviving the ordeal, and for Mr. DuBois who was like a dog with a bone until the case was solved and the perpetrators brought to justice.

 

 

“Sometimes the wheels of justice grind slowly.” -Terry Waite

 

 

 

What was it like working with him?

Marc Schiller and Ed DuBois were very giving of their time and very open about their experiences. Without their cooperation Blood Moon would never have been written. I am in their debt.

Marc Schiller has written a first person account of his experience that readers can find at: Pain and Gain- The Untold True Story

 

 

 

 

What was different writing this book compared to your other novel?

The books are different genres, Evil Town being a political thriller.  Other than that, there really wasn’t much of a difference in the writing or the creative process.

For Blood Moon, I worked with a story line that had some markers for me to follow since I was inspired by a true-to- life crime.  I also had some traits I could instill in the main characters by studying the ways Marc and Ed dealt with their challenges.  Developing the characters of the antagonists was a little different since I don’t think like a psychopath.  Putting myself in the shoes of Dario Pedrajo and his cohorts was disturbing.  But by playing them off against the courage and actions of Suarez and Stevens, and having the antagonists react in the extreme opposite of civilized, empathetic human beings, I think these characters are believable as multi-dimensional human beings, if very evil human beings.

For Evil Town, I mined my 30-plus years in politics to add dimension, reality and, hopefully, to create a compelling story that takes a look behind the curtain at how Washington and the political system work.  My experience provided me with markers along the way much in the same way as did those I followed in writing Blood Moon, thereby allowing me to create believable scenarios and characters.  A former member of Congress, Jim Lightfoot put it this way in his review of Evil Town:  “For those of us who have been there and lived the political life it is easy to attach the names of people we know and/or have known to David’s characters. I think you will find that part of the fun when you read his book.  Perhaps you will also pick up a little understanding of the high stakes poker is played with your life and income by thousands of faceless bureaucrats and unscrupulous politicians whose only goal in life is re-election.” 

 

 

 

Writer

 

 

 

Is there a certain theme employed in Blood Moon?

If you’re referring to a “message” or “takeaway” that I intentionally incorporated into the novel, then “no.” I had a compelling story to tell and I told it.

That said, Blood Moon – simply in its telling — is an account of good versus evil. There is evil in this world; evil that most of us will never have to deal with and cannot possibly imagine. There are also people like Marc and Ed (as represented by Recidio Suarez and Nolan Stevens, respectively, in the novel) who are courageous enough and good enough to stand against it and defeat it.

At any time Schiller/Suarez could have succumbed and said “to hell with all this pain and indignity” and laid down and died. That, believe it or not, would have been the easy way out for him. DuBois/Stevens could have given up when the authorities wouldn’t cooperate with him to find the psychopaths, and he could have gone on to another case, but he refused. He put himself at risk and stayed on it until his efforts forced the police to do their job.

 

 

 

Justice on Wooden Piece Arranged by Businessman

 

 

 

Are all your books based upon true stories or current events?

To date my novels have been based on true stories or current events. The novel I am currently working is not; however, it is told around events occurring during the final days of World War Two. For more on this see my answer to the final question.

 

 

Why did you decide to write fiction?

The novels of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald entranced me and demonstrated how brilliantly-written fiction could gobble readers up and transport them to another place and time. And the storytelling ability of Stephen King showed me that a good tale could pull the reader into the story, increase their heartbeat, cause them to perspire with fear and anticipation, and come out the other end invigorated.

Plus, I have an imagination that plants stories with me that I feel compelled to write about. I’m cursed with a very active imagination.

 

 

 

Conceptual Light Bulb (Set) - Imagine

 

 

 

What are you working on next? 

I am working on a novel set in a small Midwestern town during the final days of World War Two.  The gruesome murder of a local family starts an investigation that opens a door onto the national stage of politics and treason.

 

 

I wanted to thank Marc Schiller for his courage, Ed DuBois for his service, and John D. Bethel for taking the time to tell this story. It is truly a story of survival, hope, and justice.

-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

If you haven’t done so already, purchase Blood Moon on Amazon or add it to your Goodreads account. 

 

 

 

GUEST POST: WRITING LESSON 3 BY DAVID KUMMER

Welcome to this lesson of David Kummer’s writing course. That’s me, by the way. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, success stories, or just something fun to say, email me at davidkummer7@gmail.com. I’d love to talk about anything and everything, especially if that everything has to do with books, basketball, or Chinese food. I am a teenager, after all. So that’s that! Head on down and read what might be the best writing course of your life, but also might be the worst 😉 You won’t know until you try!

Character

When your character cries, the reader should weep. When your character hurts, the reader should feel like dying. When your character succeeds, the reader should celebrate. When your character is real, the reader will love them.

  Continue reading “GUEST POST: WRITING LESSON 3 BY DAVID KUMMER”

Magical and Mysterious Cenotes by A.K Smith

Magical and Mysterious Cenotes

What is a cenote?

 

First things first, let’s learn how to pronounce it correctly. The word Cenote is pronounced “say-no-tay.” It is not pronounced “see-note.” It is a flowing three syllable word, much like the wonder of nature it describes.

 

Okay now that we know how to pronounce it, do you know what a cenote is?

Continue reading “Magical and Mysterious Cenotes by A.K Smith”

Stalker by P. J. Lazos

 

It is not as you believe, my Angel. I am not a bad man.  You may think it odd that we have never spoken.  I stand within ten feet of you, my Love, and the words falter, trapped in my throat.  I wait for you on the platform this morning and when I don’t see you I begin my search.  I spy you in the last car, walking to your seat.  You prefer the solitude of the quiet car.  I get that.

Continue reading “Stalker by P. J. Lazos”

Guest Post: Keep Your Readers Reading by L. C. Hayden

 

Sometimes I pick up a book and after a couple of pages, I toss it aside.  It failed to keep my interest.  Other times, I can’t seem to put the book down.  The author has hooked me.  I began to wonder why this was so and I analyzed the writing to see what the successful authors do.  Here are my results.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Keep Your Readers Reading by L. C. Hayden”

GUEST POST: WRITING LESSON 2 BY DAVID KUMMER

Continue reading “GUEST POST: WRITING LESSON 2 BY DAVID KUMMER”

How to write a mystery thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock by Tony Lee Moral

 

As the author of three books on Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, including a ‘how to’ write a thriller, called Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass, I was naturally inspired by his stories when writing my mystery thriller, Ghost Maven, about a teenage girl who falls in love with a ghost in Monterey Bay, California.

  cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “How to write a mystery thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock by Tony Lee Moral”