Guest Web Appearance with Maggie Shayne:
LITERAL ADDICTION Paranormal Book Club is very proud to welcome Maggie Shayne to our site today!
Maggie is a bestselling, multi award winning author of more than 40 novels. Her awards include but are not limited to - 2 Romantic Times Bookclub Career Achievement Awards, the National Readers Choice Award, and a coveted RITA (the most prominent award given throughout the genre of romance and romantic fiction authors, named for the Romance Writers of America’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada). In addition to her incredible literary success, Maggie has also written for CBS daytime dramas including Guiding Light and As the World Turns.
Outside of writing the books that we all love to read, Maggie is a Third Degree Wiccan High Priestess, which makes her legal clergy. She studied the Craft for many years, taking more than three years of formal training in the widely known Black Forest Circle and Seminary, led by author Silver RavenWolf, where she learned about divination, astrology, herbalism, theology, natural magick, and much, much more. She went on to become one of the founders of the RavenMyst Circle tradition [denomination] of Wicca.
She continues to learn, however, and has studying Shamanism, Pastoral Counseling, is a third degree Reiki Master and is currently studying Law of Attraction and Zecharia Sitchin’s theories regarding Ancient Sumer.
Maggie currently has five major book series in her library of literary excellence: WINGS IN THE NIGHT, MORDECAI YOUNG, IMMORTAL WITCHES, THE TeXas BRAND, and SECRETS OF SHADOW FALLS.
Her latest releases, “Twilight Prophecy”, Book #18 in the WINGS IN THE NIGHT series (released on 5/1/11) and “Vacation With A Vampire…And other Immortals”, a combination of Maggie’s short novel and a Maureen Child novella (released on 6/21/11) have both received rave reviews. If you haven’t read THE WINGS IN THE NIGHT series yet, or don’t have “Vacation With A Vampire…And other Immortals” on your To Be Read list, you might want to look into that! J
Even with just the little bit that we’ve told you above, we bet you’re dying to hear from Maggie and get a chance to talk to her later, so don’t forget that Maggie will be available for a 2 hour Live interactive Chat on our Contact Us Page Chatroom from 3:00 - 5:00pm EST (2 - 4pm Central/1 - 3pm Mountain/12 - 2pm Pacific).
Chelly Belle Designs has also launched a new line of Fangear for Maggie and her WINGS IN THE NIGHT series, so don’t forget to check that out over on our Fangear page. Each piece is one of a kind, and 100% Maggie approved. If you’re a WINGS IN THE NIGHT fan, there’s definitely a design out there for you!
As usual, we’ll be holding a giveaway following the Event. Maggie has offered up a signed copy of her two latest releases; “Vacation with a Vampire” and “Twilight Prophecy”. Remember, to be eligible for the prizes, you must be a Member of the LITERAL ADDICTION forum on the Author’s Corner page and leave a Comment with your email address.
For now though, let’s head over to the Author’s Corner page and see what Maggie had to say to us when we interviewed her for the Event.
Guest Author Appearance with Maggie Shayne:
LITERAL ADDICTION: Bright blessings Maggie! We’re honored to have you here today and hope that you enjoy your time with LITERAL ADDICTION and Book Monster Reviews.
Maggie: Back at’cha, Michelle. I’m really excited to be here. I’m so enjoying living in a time when I can now do “public appearances” and interact with readers, without ever leaving my home.
LITERAL ADDICTION: We thought we might take the first several questions to get to know you a little bit better!? We hope you don’t mind…
Maggie: That is what I’m here for. Fire away!
Q1): We usually start our interviews by asking if you could tell us 3 things about yourself that we couldn’t find out on the Internet.
1. I’m a Mac. :) I converted long ago at the urging of my youngest daughter, who had her first Mac and loved it, and I haven’t had a virus or worm since. It’s been six years, I think.
2. I burst into song without warning, including rap stuff I have no talent for. Will Smith’s Wild, Wild, West, Salt & Peppa, old school stuff like that. I just make up the words I don’t know.
3. I am completely nuts about dogs. Almost any and all dogs, but really the big ones are my favorite. My own dogs get in bed with us nearly every night, but I have finally ruled them off the rest of the furniture, and hope to work up to beds next. They’re so spoiled!
Q2): What is your favorite thing to do when you are not writing or attending to other author business?
Maggie: Anything that involves spending time with my partner and soulmate, Lance. We’ve been cohabiting for almost two years now and we’re still in that honeymoon phase. We’re hoping it lasts forever. I like to hike and jog, love kayaking and fishing, adore making videos, mostly of my dogs, (we have two English Mastiffs—giants, Dozer and Daisy, and one little English bulldog, Niblet.) I also keep a salt water, coral reef aquarium, and a bearded dragon who keep us busy, and we mustn’t forget Glory (Glorificus, after a “Buffy” villainess) the arrogant feline. I must admit I’m a homebody and would rather be here, at the home I named Serenity, than anywhere else in the world.
Q3): We read that if you weren’t an author, you’d be perfectly happy being a Rock Star. Who is your favorite musical artist?
Maggie: Stevie Nicks. Hands down. For her heart & soul, and the fact that she refused to age in the way most people think we’re supposed to. To her it’s a choice, not a necessity. I identify with that. She’s in her sixties and still on tour. Still doing what she loves the way she loves doing it. Go Stevie!
Q4): If you’re having a bad day and feeling down, do you have anything in particular that you do to make yourself feel better (i.e: eat a certain food, go someplace special, etc)?
Maggie: Exercise of any kind always helps. But so does meditation. I have several meditation CDs I use, because despite all my years of Witchcraft, I still have trouble quieting my mind without something to focus on. One of my favorites is a Toning Meditation found at Heather McCauley’s website. Wait I’ll go find a link.
Q5): They say that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What’s the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen?
Maggie: I’ve seen most of my grandchildren born, actually got to be in the delivery room. What an amazing and beautiful thing that is. My own (5 daughters) were all C-sections, so I never had that experience before, but I think even if I had this would have been different and more beautiful to me. When the first one, Ella emerged from her mommy’s body, I had the most profound sense that I was then, and forever more, officially immortal. I cry thinking about it.
Q6): Are you an avid reader as well as writer? Who are your favorite authors, what’s your favorite book of all time, and what are you currently reading?
Maggie: I am and have always been an avid reader. My mom used to say I always had my “nose in a book.” But these days I read mostly non-fiction. My favorite fiction authors are Anne Stuart, Anne Rice, Steven King, Lorna Tedder, Karen Robards. In nonfiction, Gregg Braden, Jerry & Esther Hicks. Currently reading Giants Were Upon The Earth by Zecharia Sichin.
Q7): On a day when you’re writing, do you have a specific routine that you follow? Could you walk us through it?
Maggie: No routine. I absolutely write when I feel like it. If I’m approaching a deadline and don’t feel like writing, I do try to do things to nudge myself to feel like it, but I only write when I’m pumped up and dying to write. It’s the only way to ensure that only really good stuff comes out. And besides, life’s about having fun, not getting done.
LITERAL ADDICTION: While we’d like to learn even more about you, we would love to know some things about you with regards to writing and your books too, so we’ll switch gears a bit now…
Q8): Is there a specific message (or messages) that you hope your readers get out of your WINGS IN THE NIGHT series?
Maggie: Same message I’m giving in all of my books. Love is the most powerful force in the Universe. It’s the only real force in the Universe, and certainly the only one that matters. It always prevails, no matter the opposition. If you just love, just purely love—you cannot go wrong.
Q9): Since becoming an author have you been able to meet any of your writing role models? If so, who? If not, who do you hope that you will eventually have the chance to meet and talk to?
Maggie: Oh, I’d love to meet Jerry & Esther Hicks! That would be amazing. I actually got to meet James Van Praagh at Book Expo America one year, and that floored me. Most of my romance industry icons are now my friends, and that’s a very special thing to be able to experience in life.
Q10): If you could go back and do it all again, is there anything about “Twilight Prophecy” that you would change?
Maggie: There would no point in thinking on that, since it’s already done. Any book I have written, if it were on my computer screen, and I were reading it through, would be tweaked and tweaked and tweaked some more. It could go on forever. At some point you have to just let it go. But as far as storyline, I can only write them the way my muse gives them to me. They really are almost channeled, so I can only tweak the way I tell them, not the stories themselves. But again, once they’re done, I let them go and look only forward.
Q11): Have you learned anything specific, either about yourself, the career, etc over the years that you’ve been writing, that you don’t think you would have uncovered had it not been for the circumstances?
Maggie: I think I’ve probably worked through a lot of issues through my writing. I’ve killed the villains of my childhood over and over in some very creative and therapeudic ways, without ever lifting a finger against them, and I’m careful to always do it tongue in cheek, with a smile and plenty of humor—dark humor, but still. I never write those scenes with any true hatred or wish for harm in my heart, because those things can cause real harm, and I don’t want that karma to deal with.
What have I learned? So so much. I’ve learned to speak the language of women, the ancient, primal language of femaledom, because they are not only my audience, but my muse, and my guide. The heart of woman-story is a wild woman storyteller, who lives in a cave overlooking her tribe. She has a painted face, and crazy hair, and I visit her often when I take shamanic journeys. She’s a bit scary, very demanding, and takes her task and her legacy seriously. It’s important, the work I do, and she doesn’t let me forget that.
Q12): What were some of the challenges (research, literary, psychological, logistical, etc) in bringing THE WINGS IN THE NIGHT series to life?
Maggie: Well, one big one was that I had no idea it was going to be a series when I wrote the first book. Or even the second. By the third I thought I might get one or two more. I never expected Wings to span eighteen years and twenty books & novellas. If I had known, I would have had a database from book one, filled with pertinent details. It’s extremely challenging to go back and find tiny details like hair and eye color or special skills of characters from books gone by, by the time you get to #20. Often, if I can’t remember something, I just ask my fans. They always know!
Another challenge of course was then Silhouette Shadows, the line in which Wings began with “Twilight Phantasies” in 1993, folded after Wings in the Night, book 3, Twilight Illusions. But as with most things that at first seem to be horrible tragedies, it was actually that event that propelled Wings into Single Title, first as a stand alone Silhouette Novel, Born in Twilght, and then finally moving it up to MIRA where it remains.
Q13): What was it like pairing up with Maureen Child for “Vacation with a Vampire…And other Immortals”?
Maggie: Honestly, we have had almost zero contact. I think we’re on each other’s Facebook pages at this point, but we didn’t collaborate at all. We wrote two separate, unrelated stories for this two-in-one. From what I’ve seen of her, she seems extremely talented and hard working, and I hope to get to meet her soon.
Q14): Do you have a favorite book and/or character of your series? Why do you think they’re your favorites?
Maggie: My favorite character is Rhiannon. She is the form my muse takes to tell me these stories. It’s always Rhiannon’s voice I hear in my head, and she is definitely the matriarch of my vampire “family.” She’s a part of my own inner self, and higher self, I think, and maybe also my idealized self. But she is a powerful, strong character, strongest I’ve ever created, male or female. And I love her. I love her outer shell and her inner softness, which shows through every now and then. She’s very real to me.
Q15): Do you remember the day that your first book was published and you first held the final product with completed cover art in your hand? Can you tell us what that was like for you?
Maggie: Not as much as I remember the phone call when I learned of my first sale. That’s the moment that really stands out for me. I had been grocery shopping, with the three littlest girls in tow. The two older girls stayed home, and were probably ten and twelve. I had been writing and submitting for eight years by then, so they’d grown up with it, and knew what it meant. So I came home, and they met me halfway down the driveway, telling me I had an urgent call from my agent and should call her back right away. As I went inside, leaving the groceries in the car, I tried to figure out what could be urgent. Publishers take a notoriously long time to respond to submissions. Months. My most recent one had gone out only two weeks prior, and everything else had already been rejected. I went into my bedroom so I could have privacy for the call. All five daughters followed, like little ducklings, each one smaller than the last. I made the call. My agent said, “Baby, you did it.” And I slid slowly to the floor and sat there, crying and laughing. And when I hung up were were all jumping up and down and shrieking. My youngest was only five, and even she got it. And then we called everyone we knew. And then we put away the groceries.
As excited as I was, I had no idea how much my life had just changed, or how very big this was for me. I couldn’t have known then just what I blessing I had received. I still may not realize it fully. But it’s huge, and I am grateful every day to be able to make a living doing what I love best. Telling stories.
Q16): What aspects of writing do you enjoy the most and why?
Maggie: I love the excitement of developing a new plot. I love brainstorming and fleshing it out with my critique group. I love, love, LOVE finishing. It’s like the afterglow of great sex. I just go limp and sigh, and lean back in my chair and smile.
And right now, I’m having the most fun ever, because I’m collaborating with my oldest daughter, Jena, an English teacher, on a Young Adult Paranormal. I’ve never enjoyed writing more!
Q17): What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Maggie: I don’t know what the toughest criticism has been, because I try to forget it as soon as I see it, and I try hard not to see it at all. I cannot change what the muse gives me. Constructive criticism of course, is different—that’s what I get from my critique group and my agent and editor, but that’s never tough. Always helpful, and I can take it or leave it at all times.
Highest praise—a fan letter I recieved from a woman who was pregnant, and was told by her doctors that her baby would not survive the pregnancy, and that might very well die if she tried to carry it to term, and that she should terminate immediately. She was devastated, and her older daughter brought her a book to cheer her up. Knowing she was a Maggie Shayne fan, the daughter brought her a one of mine that she hadn’t yet read: Edge of Twilight. Not knowing the book’s subject matter—which is about a doomed pregnancy, and a miracle at the end. I don’t want to give away the plot, but it’s I think my favorite book of the entire series because of this storyline. Anyway, after reading the story, the mother decided it was a message, and she decided not to terminate the pregnancy. And she gave birth to a healthy child, and both mother and baby did just fine and are still thriving today.
I’ve never had a fan letter touch me more.
Another woman went into labor while reading MIRANDA’S VIKING, which was a 1995 (I think) Silhouette Intimate Moments. She took the book with her to the hospital, and finished it while giving birth. She said she just couldn’t stand to put it down. She named her daughter Miranda.
That’s high praise!
I’ve had a lot of wonderful letters and emails like that—cancer patients who tell me my books help them get through treatment, people who’ve lost loved ones and escaped into my world to ease their pain for a little while. But that’s what fiction is, that’s what it does. I’m sure most authors receive the same kind of mail. This is what keeps me humble, keeps me aware that I’m just a cog in a wheel that’s being turned by a greater hand. It’s too magickal to be otherwise.
Q18): This is another of our favorite questions… What have you always wanted to be asked in an interview but never have been, and how would you answer that question?
Maggie: The question would be, if you had to pick from all the books you’ve ever read, just one, and that would be the only book you could ever read in your next lifetime, which book would that be?
And the answer would be: Ask and it is Given, by Jerry & Esther Hicks.
Q19): What about the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres fascinate you the most?
Maggie: The lack of limits. There is just nothing you can’t do, nothing you can imagine that you can’t write about, and that’s very freeing.
Q20): Is there anything special you’d like to say to your readers while we have you here with us today?
Maggie: Yes, there is! First, promotionally, I’d like to let you all know that some very rare classics stories of mine that have long been out of print, are now available in just about every ebook format you can imagine for $2.99 each. Fairytale, Forever Enchanted, and Annie’s Hero, originally published with Avon books, are out now in Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and more. For iBooks, just open iTunes, click on iStore, then search Maggie Shayne. Dozens of iBooks will pop up. For the others, I’ll include links below.
Smashwords (most other formats)
Smashwords (most other formats)
Smashwords (most other formats)
Personally, I want to share the knowledge that has enriched my life more than anything else ever has, and that is the gradual, evolving realization that our focus, our attention, and our attitude create our experience. And that we can influence and change our lives simply by deciding that being happy and feeling good are our top priorities. Seeing isn’t believing. You have to believe first, and then you’ll see that thing you believe in manifest. Good or bad. When you are worrying, you are actually planning and creating those things you are worrying about. So stop it. Let happy joyful things be the ones that keep running through your mind instead, and happy joyful things will be the result.
LITERAL ADDICTION: Maggie, thank you so much for letting us interview you. We know your other fans will love it just as much as we have, and I’m sure everyone is very excited to talk to you in the Chat a little bit later. Until then, Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again. :-)
Maggie: Thanks so much for having me. I look forward to some back and forth with your readers and mine later on in the chat room! See you there!
Maggie is giving away a brand new Kindle or Nook and her entire Vampire series…Over on maggieshayne.com, Maggie’s running this incredible contest about her Wings in the Night series. LITERAL ADDICTION’s Pack Alpha will definitely be entering, but there’s ALWAYS a story that’s better…
If YOU have a story to be told regarding Wings in the Night, then enter!! Here’s some details and the link to the contest.
Contest How To’s: Make a video telling the world why you love Maggie Shayne’s Wings in the Night vampire series, or which of the Wings in the Night books is your favorite and why, or which Wings in the Night charaxcter you love most and why, or anything else you want the world to know about Wings in the Night.
Additional details, rules and restrictions can be found at:
NOTEABLE THINGS FROM THE LIVE CHAT:
Titles of new series will be MARK OF THE
WITCH, 10 2012, DAUGHTER OF THE
SPELLCASTER 12-2012, and BLOOD OF THE
TWILIGHT FULFILLED, coming out Sept 20 in print, Oct. 1 in E.
Maggie asked if we’d host her again for her Fulfilled Blog tour, so we will be getting her back between 9/20 and 10/1!!