Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interview with romance novelist Maggie McConnell

My special guest today is romance novelist Maggie McConnell. We’re chatting about her new romantic comedy, Spooning Daisy.


During her virtual book tour, Maggie will be offering a Nordstrom "Daisy" vegan leather clutch, a Nordstrom turtle pin, or a Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to three (3) randomly drawn U.S.-only winners. International winners will receive a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card. To be entered for a chance to win a gift, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Bio:
Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

Welcome, Maggie. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a "bit of trouble" at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy's sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.

What inspired you to write this book?  
The original idea (and opening scene) was inspired by my own garage sale, right down to the sheets covering the makeshift plywood tables and the silver-plated chafing dish. As the day progressed, I started thinking “what if…” and the book was born. The primary location of the story, Otter Bite, Alaska is inspired by the very real Kachemak Bay village of Seldovia where I spent summers during my 23 years living in Anchorage. Anyone interested in learning more about this special place can visit Seldovia.com.


Excerpt from Spooning Daisy:
"I had apple strudel. I never have apple strudel. It's not my usual."

"You came here to tell me you had apple strudel?"

"The thing is...I liked it. For a change, I mean. Once. Not every day, of course."

"Max--"

"The truth is..." He stepped toward her. "The truth is...I feel bad about giving you such a hard time at breakfast."

"Ohhhh. This is an apology."

"No, absolutely not." Max retracted the step he'd just taken. "This is absolutely NOT an apology."

Daisy huffed. Normally, she'd take great satisfaction in Max's guilt and take equal pleasure in the banter that would surely follow. However, she was a woman on a mission, and she didn't have the time, not with Otter Bite hanging by a manila envelope. "Fine. Thank you for coming here NOT to apologize and for that apple strudel thing. And--" She momentarily softened. "--the money. But I just don't have the time for whatever this is."

Once again he stepped toward her. "You're making this extremely difficult."

"This? This what? What am I making--"

"This." The word melted into her mouth.

The two hundreds floated from her hand to the floor. Then, her arms wrapped Max's neck, his body pressed hers, and Daisy was lost in a kiss she never expected to own.


What exciting story are you working on next?
Embracing Felicity, also set in Otter Bite. Thirty-five-year-old, part-Alutiiq Felicity Arhnaq lives on Bobrovie Spit and has a curio shop in town named FLuke Eleven-Nine. Enter Ian MacIntyre and his 10-year-old daughter Emily. Ian is an oilman whom we met along with Emily in Spooning Daisy. Now he and Emily are back in Otter Bite for the summer, but what’s Ian up to? Looking for the next drilling site where it otter not be? Not on Felicity’s watch! Throw in the legend of Sedna, a 200-year-old mermaid, and it’s romcom with mystery and environmental undertones.

And for those familiar with Spooning Daisy, we see what’s happening with Max and Daisy since their Happily Ever After.

Anyone wanting to read the first chapter can visit my website. Or, if you sign up for my Once in a Blue Moon newsletter, I’ll be sending out the first three chapters to subscribers.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Interesting. Maybe when I put “writer” as my profession on my tax return and started deducting expenses! My first royalty check made it legitimate.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I live on a (no-kill) ranch and spend 6-8 hours a day taking care of ranch and animals, including wildlife that wanders through and sometimes stays, like the skunks under my back deck. I try to get in at least 6 hours/day writing so I’m up early, 4-ish, and write until 7:30 when I start my ranch day. I fit in another 3 hours of writing in between ranch work, usually in the afternoon before I return to the barn for evening feeding. After that, I have dinner and watch some television, usually PBS (including Grantchester, Call the Midwife, Nature, The Great British Baking Show, A Place to Call Home, Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries, Father Brown, The Coroner, and Murder in Paradise, Last Tango in Halifax, My Mother and Other Strangers, Home Fires, and assorted documentaries that might catch my interest. Currently loving The Big Pacific.) I try to spend a little Facebook time before bed, where I read a bit, then lights out, and I do it all again the next day. I’m an hour out of town so I only go in about once a week and try to get all my grocery shopping and errands done. Every day is pretty much the same as the next.

On my personal Facebook page I have photos and videos of ranch and critters.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t think I have a quirk, but then would it be a quirk to me? I always meditate in the morning before I write—would that be a quirk? In general, I think I write “normally.”

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A horse. Seriously. I’m not sure how old I was before I realized that wasn’t going to happen. Then I switched to veterinarian. But I have horses now so I feel like part of the herd—perhaps I’ll have to rely on reincarnation.  BTW, Queen Elizabeth II (when she was a child) also aspired to be a horse. So I’m in good company.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
With so many books competing for attention, I’m grateful to all who notice Spooning Daisy, and especially to the tour hosts who make Daisy noticeable. Thank you and good luck with the giveaway. BTW, each giveaway item has a connection to the book.

Links:

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

Thank you for having Daisy and Max, and me.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


5 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Lisa Brown said...

Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Maggie McConnell said...

Thank you, Lisa, for the interview and the great presentation of Spooning Daisy. It's much appreciated! Good luck to all who enter the giveaway--each prize is connected to something in the book.

Victoria Alexander said...

This sounds like a book I'll enjoy reading!