Today we welcome Maggie Christensen to Meeting the Authors as we travel to Australia on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and learn how teaching in the sun, a mortar board, ironing, and happily ever after come together to help Maggie create the heroines and heroes of her stories. Grab your iron and let’s go …
Tell us a bit about yourself.
After a career in education, I began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations. I write about mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them – heartwarming tales of second chances.
In my mid-twenties, I was lured from my native Glasgow to Australia by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’ and a poster of a sexy man wearing swimmers, gown and mortar board. Once there, I worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management.
Now retired, I live with my husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. My days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – my idea of heaven!
In which genre do you write?
Mature Women’s Fiction – heartwarming stories of second chances.
How many published books do you have?
Eleven, one of which – A Brahminy Sunrise – is a novella. I write the sort of books I enjoy reading. My heroines are all in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s –women who have life experiences to draw on. They are real people – ones I hope my readers would like to become their friends.
Although all my books can be read as standalone, many of my characters reappear in other books, like old friends. My books are set in places with which I am familiar – Florence on the Oregon Coast, where my mother-in-law lived for many years, Scotland where I grew up, Sydney where I lived when I first came to Australia, and Queensland’s Sunshine coast where I live now.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?
I always wanted to write but became caught up in work – writing course materials, conference papers, reports and submissions. It was only when I was close to retirement that I made time for my true love – writing fiction.
What does your ideal writing space look like?
I share an office with my lovely husband who is also a writer – he writes non-fiction. Our desks face each other and I often ask his help when I’m searching for the right word. When I get stuck on a plot, I can often find answers by doing ironing – a task which I hate – or moving to write on my laptop in another part of the house.
What are you currently reading?
I’m making my way through Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters books. I discovered her through her latest book, The Butterfly Room and love her writing.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
Read – I’m a voracious reader. And I enjoy walking along the beach with my husband or having coffee with him overlooking the ocean or the river. I also volunteer at our local library and select and deliver books to the housebound.
If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the pastor present, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I’d love to meet three of my favourite authors who have inspired my writing – Liz Byrski, Joanna Trollope and Marcia Willett. I would ask them for any advice they have to offer.
What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?
Girl in a Café – I discovered the DVD in our library and saw it featured Bill Nighy who I like. It’s a great movie.
Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you have an example from your own life to share why you believe this?
In my late thirties, I was teaching in a regional college of education which was being amalgamated with another some distance away. I did not want to move and was worried about losing my position so was madly trying to find a position in the city and buy a house there. It was when I did make the move that I met the man who became my husband. – my own Happy Ever After story.
Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?
Perseverance. Once I start something, I don’t give up.
What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?
Any place on the ocean. I love where I live close to several beautiful beaches.
Tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it.
A Single Woman – This is the third in my Scottish collection and while it can be read as a standalone, it is a sequel to Isobel’s Promise
“The thoughtful and touching story of the developing relationship between two rather damaged people.”
Thank you Maggie for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was most lovely learning about the pieces of your life’s puzzle and how they fit together perfectly for you and your writer’s life. – Camilla
A Single Woman Book Blurb:
Isla Cameron, headmistress at an elite girl’s school in Glasgow, is determinedly single, adroitly avoiding all attempts at matchmaking by a close friend.
Widower Alasdair MacLeod is grieving for the wife he lost two years earlier, struggling as the single father of two teenagers, and frustrated by the well-meaning interference of his in-laws.
When a proposed school trip to France brings Isla and Alasdair together, they find a connection in the discovery that each is suffering the loss of a loved one, but neither is interested in forming a relationship.
As their friendship grows, Alasdair struggles with his increasing attraction to the elegant schoolmistress, while Isla harbours concerns about the complications a relationship with him would bring.
Can Alasdair overcome his natural reserve, and can Isla open her heart to love again?
Learn more about Maggie and her books:
Available on all digital platforms: books2read.com/ASingleWoman
UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Rkpw3r
US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FiDTQR
UA Amazon-Kindle: https://amzn.to/2FeMljW
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2Lt8fkL
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And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …