We're here with Maggie Plummer today, a very funny lady who lives in western Montana. Tell us about yourself Maggie! :-)
Maggie: Along the winding trail, I've wandered around the country and worked a dizzying array of seasonal and regular jobs. I’ve been a journalist, book publicist, book editor, census enumerator, school bus driver, field interviewer, waitress, post office clerk, fish processor, library clerk, retail salesperson, Good Humor girl, fishing boat first mate, race horse hot walker, apple picker, and bus girl. I have written three books, and am now working on another novel (and it’s not historical fiction this time!).
I’m the author of award-winning SPIRITED AWAY – A NOVEL OF THE STOLEN IRISH (2012, CreateSpace Independent Publishing) and a non-fiction book called PASSING IT ON: VOICES FROM THE FLATHEAD INDIAN RESERVATION (2008, Salish Kootenai College Press, Pablo, Montana). My new book, DARING PASSAGE, is my second published novel.
Me: Wow! Sounds like you've had an interesting life! :-) Can you tell us about your latest book and what inspired it?
Maggie: DARING PASSAGE: BOOK TWO OF THE SPIRITED AWAY SAGA is the much-awaited sequel to SPIRITED AWAY. I was inspired by the many enthusiastic readers who loved my first novel and demanded a sequel.
Me: Sounds like a real labor of love! What are you working on now?
Maggie: I am revising a novel that has been gathering dust for a while. It includes a lot of Montana gold rush history, but the story is told within a modern framework. I guess it would be categorized as Contemporary Mainstream Fiction.
Me: So diversifying your portfolio, huh? Awesome! Are there any authors, or books, that have influenced you?
Maggie: I love Harper Lee, Anna Quindlen, Pat Conroy, Wally Lamb, Norman Maclean, Barbara Kingsolver, Toni Morrison, Anne Tyler…I could go on and on. I have been influenced by the books TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, ANIMAL DREAMS, PRINCE OF TIDES, THE GREAT SANTINI, SHIPPING NEWS, and many others.
Me: So the really deep reading moves you then, that's great! :-) What are you reading now?
Maggie: I’m currently reading THE DEATH OF SANTINI by Pat Conroy. He is such an amazing writer!
Me: Fun! ;-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
Maggie: I wrote DARING PASSAGE so that it can stand alone, even though it is a sequel. However, I think readers will enjoy it more if they read SPIRITED AWAY – A NOVEL OF THE STOLEN IRISH first.
What can they expect? In the first novel, they can expect to experience an intimate, compelling story about 1650s Irish slavery in the Caribbean. In the sequel, they will discover the rest of slave Freddy O'Brennan's tale. It's still 1656, and Freddy is on the run. Determined to protect her young children and keep her family together, she is tested more than ever as she navigates a choking gauntlet of greed, corruption, duplicity, and bloody violence. Romantic sparks fly, smolder, and threaten to explode.
DARING PASSAGE is a 70,000-word historical romance novel that captures a rare glimpse of life in the New World colonies of the seventeenth century.
Me: Sounds like you put a lot of research into your work. What is your favorite part of being an author?
Maggie: At this point, my favorite part of being an author is opening readers’ eyes about 1650s Irish slavery. Most people have never heard of it. Not only do they get to enjoy a good story, they learn about an important yet forgotten chapter in the history of human trafficking.
Me: It is definitely important to make sure people don't forget the mistakes of the past, kudos! Do you have a day job as well?
Maggie: No. I am semi-retired.
Me: Lucky you! Then writing is your job for now, what would you say is the hardest and easiest part about being a writer?
Maggie: The hardest parts are handling negative reviews and hanging in there when a manuscript seems terrible.
As I wrote DARING PASSAGE, I had a horrible feeling that no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, this sequel would not measure up to my first novel. However, my ‘first readers’ loved the book. One of them told me that I have gotten better. That made me feel elated, and excited to release the sequel.
As for negative reviews: it’s not easy to let the nastiness roll off one’s back – especially when it gets personal, like some of them do. I am fortunate, though, in having many more positive reviews than negative ones. I’m proud of the fact that I have never commented to any of the negative reviewers. That’s a real triumph for me!
The easiest part about being a writer is spending the royalty money. Ha!
Me: Yeah, it can be really hard when someone is unkind towards something you've worked so hard on, it's good that you've been able to "take the high road" with the negative reviews, and congratulations on all of the positive ones! :-) Just so readers have a better idea of what they are in for, what genre do you place your books in?
Maggie: Historical Fiction. DARING PASSAGE may also fit into the Historical Romance genre.
Me: Gotta love those romance novels!! ;-) Anything else you'd like to tell your readers?
Maggie: I appreciate my readers’ support more than they will ever know. I am very, very grateful to them.
Me: And just so folks can find these wonderful stories, are there any links you'd like me to post? :-)
Maggie: Yes, please!
SPIRITED AWAY - A NOVEL OF THE STOLEN IRISH
DARING PASSAGE: BOOK TWO OF THE SPIRITED AWAY SAGA
Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/1p0gBDy
My web site: http://maggieplummerauthor.weebly.com/
My fan page on Facebook:
Find me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggiep1951