About the Author
Maggie Plummer is a writer who lives in western Montana. Along the lengthy, winding trail to becoming a novelist, she has worked as 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. Maggie is the author of SPIRITED AWAY – A NOVEL OF THE STOLEN IRISH (2012, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) and PASSING IT ON: VOICES FROM THE FLATHEAD INDIAN RESERVATION (2008, Salish Kootenai College Press, Pablo, Montana). DARING PASSAGE: BOOK 2 OF THE SPIRITED AWAY SAGA is her second published novel.
What inspires you to write romance books?
First, I like happy endings. Life is difficult enough without sad endings.
Second, I love to engage my readers and get them intimately involved with my characters. What better way to do that than get the romantic sparks flying and smoldering and…and…and… (LOL)
Tell us about how you write:
I create Word documents for background information, character sketches, and my “outline” (or simple scene list, which I use for an outline).
I begin with character sketches, sometimes developing characters extensively.
Then I list my scenes, in the order I think they should appear.
Then I begin writing the scenes.
I would say I am partly a seat of the pants writer, but not totally.
I think it’s good to have a solid plan for a novel, but I also believe it’s important to let the story and the characters take on a life of their own. It’s amazing when that happens.
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Hmmm. Interesting question. (911! Just kidding.)
I listen to them, yes.
I don’t think I have ever actually talked to them. (“Huh?” LOL!)
Most of the time, I try to visualize them. That is mainly what I do.
What advice would you give other writers?
Begin with great characters who have some complexity…some flaws. Make them human, so that the reader can relate to them. Then create reasons why they cannot get together, even though they have the burning desire to do so. Oh, the tension and drama.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I was almost finished writing my first novel, which is more historical fiction than historical romance (my newly published sequel, DARING PASSAGE, has more historical romance in it…), I was determined to see it published somehow. Whether traditionally published or self-published, that book (SPIRITED AWAY – A NOVEL OF THE STOLEN IRISH) would NOT end up stashed in a drawer, I decided.
Right about then a friend of mine began telling me about Amazon’s impressive platforms for self-publishing.
After several unsuccessful attempts to find an agent and go the traditional route, I decided to just forge ahead and self-publish. I am very glad I did! I’m grateful to Amazon for the opportunities it provides for authors.
As for what new authors should explore, I would say go on Createspace.com and begin reading. Take it step by step and you will get your book published on there. Then, have them send it over to KDP, where it will be published into a Kindle e-book. Voila!
It is a lot of work, doing your own publishing. But the rewards are immense. I take pride in designing my own book covers on CreateSpace, using the free tools they provide. I do it all myself. Again, it’s tons of work and sometimes formatting can drive you crazy, but when you hold that good-looking, professionally-produced book in your hands, it’s a great feeling.
Another note to new authors: I hope you will take the time and expense to hire a professional editor. Please make sure that your book is in perfect shape before you self-publish. I feel that all of us indie authors must produce clean, high quality books in order to win the respect we deserve. (ok, off the soapbox now.)
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Honestly, I have no idea. With the rapidly changing new technology, it’s difficult to predict what will happen.
The good news, I think, is that readers have many choices now. They can enjoy new e-readers, or stay with paper books. They can download digital audiobooks, and switch back and forth from audio to e-book.
As long as readers keep wanting to read, I think book publishing will be in fine shape.
What genres do you write:: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Contemporary Mainstream
What formats are your books in: Both eBook and Print