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#Author #Interview Maggie Rivers

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When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
          I think I must have been 4 or 5 years old.  I can remember lying on our front porch, in the summer time, with all my dolls lined up and I’d read them stories I had written.  Since I had no clue how to actually write my alphabet at that age, my stories were all written in squiggles.  But the squiggles made sense to me.  The stories were always about Prince Charming riding in to take my dolls and me (we were a package deal) away on his white horse.


How long does it take you to write a book?
          Usually around a month for the first draft.


What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
           I’m always writing!  The voices wake me up around 2 a.m.  I write until around 6 a.m. then go back to bed for an hour or so.  When I wake up this time, I’m up for the rest of the day and I write all day.  I head to bed for the night around 10:30 or 11:00 p.m.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
         That would have to be that I write with my teacup Chihuahua, Mouse, in my lap.  If she’s not there, then something’s missing.  You can see her on my website.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
          Everywhere!  I can walk through a cemetery, read the tombstones and play the “what if” game.  I can see a vehicle broken down on the side of the road and I immediately start in with “what if”.  People watching is great for characters and listening to other people’s conversations at restaurants is always good for starting an idea.


What do you like to do when you're not writing?
          Not writing – heaven forbid!  LOL!  Actually I play the hammered dulcimer for relaxation.  Music is always soothing and when I’m stuck on a plot, I’ll play for a bit and something usually pops into my head and it’s back to writing.


What does your family think of your writing?
           My son and my brother fully support my writing endeavors.  

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
            When you get one of the voices in your head quieted down by telling their story, there’s ten more clamoring for their story to be told.  LOL!


How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
            I have seven books out now.  They are all my favorites!


What do you think makes a good story?
           I think it’s a combination of good characters and good plot.  So many people say it’s one or the other but I think you have to have great, memorable characters and a great plot for them to be in.

Where are you from?
           I was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  After graduating from high school, I joined the Air Force to see the world – saw Wichita Falls,Texas.  After an honorable discharge, I wound up in Des Moines, Iowa and have been here for quite some time.


Tell us your latest news?
           Another of the “stilettos” books comes out in June.  Jimmy Thomas, Mr. Romance Cover Model himself, will be here in Des Moines for the book launch and will be autographing copies of it himself.  He’s also presenting a workshop for my RWA chapter, Two Rivers Romance Authors, and anyone can go to the website and register for the workshop.  It’s going to be fabulous!


When and why did you begin writing?
          I actually began my writing career when I was 21.  Sold my first article to a parent’s magazine.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?
          When I saw my name in print!

How did you come up with the title?
           I usually discover the title somewhere in the story itself.  It’s usually a phrase that jumps out at me.


Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
          In my Jamie Lee Coulter books, the message would be “no matter what life throws at you, you can survive”; for my Maggie Rivers books, it’s “Life is what happens while we are making other plans.”  As for my Leeza McBride ones, it’s “keep your eyes open and never trust a man in a trench coat”; and last, for my Mary Freeman Boardman ones, it’s “Miracles happen all around us.”


How much of the book is realistic?
             My Jamie Lee Coulter book, “Who Took My Husband: Or How I Survived Living with a Drug Addict” is 100% true.  It’s scary, funny and heart-wrenching all thrown into one.

            The “stiletto” books are fun romps on satin sheets!  Those are Maggie Rivers.


Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
            Jamie Lee is my own life.



What book are you reading now?
            Whippoorwill by Sharon Sala.   Don’t know how many times I’ve read it but it’s worth reading again.


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
             For Jamie Lee the challenging part was actually getting through the writing.  Putting your own life on paper is difficult.


What was the hardest part of writing your book?
           Some of the scenes in the book were very hard emotionally.  I relived parts of my life I really would rather have forgotten about.  But in the end, those scenes made the book worthwhile.


Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
          I think from writing the Jamie Lee book, I learned I was one tough cookie in the end.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
           Right now I’m working on a mystery/suspense.  So far there are 12 dead bodies in a dumpster.  I just love dead bodies!  You’ll never believe how they were killed either.


If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
          Not a thing.  It was fun to write.  It’s hot, sexy and sizzling! 


What are your current projects?
           When you write under four different pseudonyms, there are always projects.  I usually have four or five stories going at once.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
      Finish the book! 


Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
        You are appreciated so very much!  You are the reason I write.


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