Let's start with introducing the book Expendable!
Summary from Goodreads:
Maggie has published several short stories in romance and science fiction, but since 2004 she has focused on publishing novels. Expendable is her first romantic suspense novel and she promises there will be more. Also currently available is Eternity, an SF with romantic elements; and Undertones, a contemporary romance which is the first in a four book series about the women of the Sweetwater Canyon Band. All of her full length novels are made available in ebook and print by her publishers.
Connect with Maggie online at:
Behind the Book blog where she interviews other authors: http://author-secrets.blogspot.com/
I am so happy, that the author of Expendable, Maggie Jaimeson, agreed to give an interview to Me and Reading. So ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Maggie Jaimeson!
As you can see below, I have quite a few questions to you. I will divide it into several sections. First section is about you, second section is about your books, writing them, about characters etc, third part is about your favorites.
MR: Please describe yourself with few sentences. Who are you?
MJ: I’m a wife, a mother, a computer geek who helps higher education use technology better, a reader, an occasional actress, and a writer. In short, I wear many hats and they all help my writing.
MR: What inspired you to want to become writer?
MJ: I am not by nature a person who likes to call attention to herself. I get along well with others but would never be described as the life of the party. Writing gives me a voice—a voice to share my vision, a voice to question the status quo, a voice to create a world where love always wins in the end.
MR: Who did you want to become when you were a kid? What did you dream about?
MJ: My earliest memory of wanting to be someone was Pippi Longstocking. I loved those books and I thought she had a great life of exploration. Later it was Mary Poppins. Then it was Leisl in the Sound of Music. I’ve always been affected by fictional characters and their ability to impact their world quickly. That’s what I wanted.
MR: What brought you to writing? When did the idea of writing your first book formed?
MJ: Again, going back to childhood, I loved movies and books. I was often found writing plays and forcing neighborhood kids to play parts. However, my first desire to write a novel came in my late twenties when I was divorced from my first husband. I had the need to write my story with a happy ending. I did write two novels that year, but never sent them anywhere. It wasn’t until 20 years later that I began writing novels again.
MR: What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?
MJ: I work full time, primarily in academia. So I write at night and on weekends. When I have any time I read. I wouldn’t call reading a hobby though because I see it as a lifeline. I’d say my hobbies might be playing music, occasionally crocheting or sewing. However, I’m lucky to do any of that even two or three times a year these days.
MR: What is the most difficult aspect of being a writer for you?
MJ: Write now the most difficult aspect is consistently making the time to write. However, in the writing process itself, I would say that promotion is the most difficult. It goes back to that “not being the life of the party” person again. I love talking to people one-on-one though and that is why blogs and interviews are wonderful for me.
MR: If you wouldn’t be a writer, what would you be and do?
MJ: I do have a career outside of writing. It is helping colleges and universities implement technologies that help students learn. However, if I could choose anything in the world to be other than a writer it would be an actress. I caught the acting buy early in life and pursued it through high school and into my young adult life. Even now, when I write scenes I often act them out in my head and sometimes even stage it in order to get the action and emotion right.
MR: Who or what is your Muse?
MJ: I don’t really have a muse. The way I come up with ideas is a mashup of memories with current events. That is what inspires me to write. However, I do have lots of support from my husband and good friends. That’s what keeps me motivated in the tough times.
MR: Did you ever experience writer’s block when the writing process just wasn’t moving ahead?
MJ: No, I’ve never had writers block. I’m very fortunate.
Let’s talk about books!
MR: You have many published books. Would you briefly give us an overview how many published books do you have and what are these about?
MJ: At this moment I have three published books and one more ready to come out this month. I write in two primary subgenres: suspense with a futuristic twist and contemporary romance that tends toward women’s fiction.
Eternity is more futuristic and suspense than romance. It takes place in a world where people live for about 800 years because of a virus that has been manufactured as a vaccine. The two primary characters helped to find that virus but they now have opposite views on whether living 800 years is good. Their decision on whether to join forces or not will ultimately impact the entire world.
Expendable is more romantic suspense with a near future twist. It takes place in today’s world and asks the question “What will we do to get something we believe is very important?” Reed is a retired Marine who suffers PTSD. Jenna is a business woman who has lost her estranged sister to murder. And the little boy is caught in a web of biogenetic experiments that puts everyone in danger.
Undertones and Healing Notes are the first two books in a series of four books about an all women bluegrass and Americana band. Each woman is a great musician. Each woman has something to overcome in her life in order to move forward and to find the best match for herself—both in terms of career and love. This series comes out of my passion for music and for exploring what it is about love and sex that makes finding a happily-ever-after so hard.
MR: What went through your mind when the first book you wrote was published?
MJ: Joy. Fear. Concern. Wonder. For the most part it was joy. I’d been writing for six years before getting an offer to publish one of my books. I’d begun to question if there was something about my writing that just didn’t speak to anyone except me. So, it was quite a validation to have an editor call and say “I love your story.” The fear and concern were mostly about what happens next. I never wanted to be a one book author. So, immediately after being joyful I began wondering if any of my other books would ever get published. Now I wonder if I’ll need to settle into only one genre or if I can keep up the pace of more than one.
MR: How do you write? Do you sketch a plot first, create characters first and then starting to write?
MJ: I’m an organic writer. I start with a big idea and then find characters who can articulate that idea in their lives. It takes me about 100 pages to get to know who those characters are and how that big idea is going to play out. It takes me three times longer to write the first 100 pages than it does to write the next 300. For me plot and characters come simultaneously. They are both discovered in this organic process.
MR: What do you think is the most important thing while writing?
MJ: To keep going until you get to the end. It’s really easy to get bogged down in details and not move ahead. It’s also really easy to constantly question if what you are writing is any good. For me, I have to give myself permission to write something that isn’t very good or else I won’t move forward. The good news is, once the novel is drafted I know I can go back many times and make it better with each pass.
MR: Where did you get the idea for your last book Expendable from? How was the book born?
MJ: The initial idea for Jenna’s sister was born from an experience in my own life. I had someone close to me offer to carry her child to term if I would adopt the baby. Otherwise she should have an abortion. This happened in my late twenties right at the time I was going through a divorce and I was not able to take the child. Fortunately, the woman ultimately decided to have the baby and raise him and he’s a wonderful young man today. When I began this book with that idea, at the same time my oldest step-son was doing is second tour of duty in Iraq and I was afraid he’d come home with PTSD. So, that became one of the characteristics of my hero, Reed. Finally, when I began this book, I was working for a college with a medical school and medical research facilities. They were frequently in the news because they had a stem cell line. Thus, my villain was born from current events and fear. This is why I call my writing a mashup.
MR: Which character do you love most in Expendable? Which characters and in which books can you mostly relate to?
MJ: I love Reed the most. I don’t know that I identify with him, as there are many aspects of his character that are not a part of my philosophy in life. However, I love that he is able to deal with his demons and still be kind and generous to those around him. In each of my books there are certainly parts of me in each of the characters. I think in order to write emotion, one has to dip into the well of emotion that exists within us. I know I do that. I also write characters that are braver than I am and have more skills than I do in many ways. Those characters are ones that I may aspire toward in some ways.
MR: I’m aware that your books are pure fiction, but I’d still like to ask: are any of the characters inspired by real persons? Do you base your fiction on some experiences you have had and people you have met?
MJ: As I said in my explanation of how I came to the initial idea for Expendable, it was based on a real even tin my life—but my event turned out much happier. In the case of Eternity, none of the characters are inspired by real people I know. They are more based on an extrapolation of society and what I imagine people would be forced to do if that world existed. For Undertones and Healing Notes there are several inspirations for those characters. First, I was inspired by an all woman Americana band named Misty River. They rarely play together any more, as each has gone on with her life in a different way. But it was the first time I’d heard and fell in love with an all woman band. In the books, there are occasional scenes that were inspired either by something in my own life or of someone close to me. Again, nothing is exactly as it happened to me or another person—but I believe the emotions and the impact is similar.
MR: What was the best summer read for you this summer? Why?
MJ: Oh gosh. I think I read about 30 books this summer. It is hard to choose so I’ll name a few. I did the whole Karen Marie Moning Fever series this summer. I was simultaneously repelled by it and couldn’t put it down. I also really enjoyed Roxanne St. Claire’s new series The Guardian Angelinos. Paty Jager’s Spirit series which takes Native American legends and puts them into a series of stories kept me engaged and I learned new things about the eastern side of Oregon. I’ve also been reading a lot of YA novels—particularly paranormals. There were too many to mention here, but I’ve enjoyed most of them.
MR: I must ask you about new book to be published. What will it be about? Anything you can tell us already?
MJ: As I said previously, I have the second book in my contemporary series out later this month, Healing Notes. As to what’s next, I have several things in the fire. I’m in the beginning stages of the third and fourth books in that series with due dates in 2012 for those releases. I’m in the thinking about stage for determining what will happen to each of Reed’s friends and how many books I want to commit to that series. The best I can say, is to keep checking out the books section of my website. http://maggiejaimeson.com As soon as I know about the next book and it’s likely publication date, I post it there.
Part III – Favorites
Who is your favorite author? I don’t have just one favorite. I like different authors for different reasons. However, I will say that two authors who have influenced me greatly are Madeline L’Engle in my childhood and Suzette Haden Elgin in my early adulthood. Suzette’s Native Tongue series that developed an entire language known to and spoken by only women is particularly excellent.
What is your favorite book or series? Favorite book series is probably Octavia Butler’s series around xenogenesis series.
What is your favorite book blog you follow? I don’t have one in particular. I tend to pop in and out of several as I hear about author tours.
What is your favorite song? Goodness. These are hard. I’m not a “favorites” kind of person as my favorites change regularly. A song I enjoy listening to regularly is an old song (40’s I think) called LOVE. It begins L is for the way you look at me… I think Nat King Cole is the one I’ve heard sing it most.
What is your favorite season? Fall. I love the crispness of evenings, yet the days aren’t cold yet. I love the changing colors of foliage and the promise of all the holidays to come.
What is your favorite food? Fruit of all kinds.
What is your favorite car? A car I will never be able to afford, but think it looks really cool—a Bristol. Of course I worked into a story. It is in Undertones.
What is your favorite color? Green. I consider it the color of nature. I have it on walls in my house. I wear it in blouses and dresses. And I love plants, trees, and leaves.
What is your favorite movie? Again, I have no clue. Probably the Sound of Music.
What is your favorite time of the day? The hours between 4pm and 8pm. I am at my most alert and it is usually the time I get to spend with my husband depending on work and writing schedules.
What is your favorite weather? Sunshine with a few white clouds, temperature about 72-75 degrees Farenheit.
Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to the blog!
Maggie, thank you so much for the interview! I am so glad that you took time to answer.
And now... to the giveaway!
The author has been so kind to let Me and Reading organize a giveaway!!
One person will win an ecopy of Expendable.
Giveaway runs from 8-22 October.
You need to be follower of Me and Reading.
Leave a comment with your email address and follower name and that's it!
Winner will be announced on the 23rd or 24th of October.
Good luck and start commenting to win!
There will be a big giveaway at the final stop, where one lucky person can win Kindle WIFI or NOOK! Awesome, right?! So keep following the tour and you might be the lucky one! Next stop is Oct 9 – The Wormhole blog. Good luck!
That's all for today! Happy reading!