Saturday, April 28, 2012

Interview with Maggie Shayne

Title: Miranda's Viking
Author: Maggie Shayne
Publisher: Silhouette
Release Date: May 1, 1994
Pages: 250
Buy Here:
Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Smashwords

Kayla: What is your most popular book?

Maggie: Depends on how one defines popularity. I think the one readers still remember most fondly if I even mention the title was MIRANDA'S VIKING. It was a Silhouettte Intimate Moments book, but a very different one. In it, a modern day scientist finds the perfectly preserved, frozen body of a 10th century Viking known as The Plague of the North. But when a break-in at the lab sends the controls out of whack, and the Viking thaws, it turns out he wasn't as dead as he appeared. And what follows is a powerful love story, compelling because of Rolf's confusion and pain, having lost everything he ever knew, everyone he ever loved, and Miranda's wariness and mistrust of a man with a violent reputation. Her former fiance had raped her, left bruises on her, and she's sure she never wants any man to even touch her again. I think what makes this story so special, besides the unusual set up, is this great big giant of a man, and the gentleness with which he treats this wounded, flighty heroine. She's trying to protect him from science, from those who would hurt him, but he's the one who's actually healing her. That touches readers on a deep level. I've just re-released this in my new Maggie Shayne Classics line. It's currently available in all electronic formats, and we're working on a print release.

The book that hit the highest on the New York Times bestseller's list was TWILIGHT HUNGER, at #18. This was the first of my widely loved "Wings in the Night" series to be released as a single title book. There had been several stories before it, Twilight Phantasies (1993) Twilight Memories (1994) and Twilight Illusions (1995) were all released within the Silhouette Shadows line, and Beyond Twilight (1995, novella) were all part of the Silhouette Shadows line, and then Born in Twilight was released later in 95 as "Silhouette Single Title." But TWILIGHT HUNGER was my first book for MIRA, and a much bigger release. In it, a down on her luck wanna be screenwriter moves into an old mansion owned by a friend, and finds, in the attic, the diaries of an apparently crazy man who believed himself to be a vampire. She's sure he's long dead, was completely insane, and cannot resist the compelling stories. So she creates a screenplay from them, and it's a huge hit. But the vampire is alive and well, and none too happy to see his secrets being revealed on the silver screen. And she's working on a sequel? He has to silence her-forever. This book is still available in all formats.

The book that was the most critically acclaimed was ETERNITY, the first book of a series about a race of Immortal Witches that I wrote for Berkley. It was very loosely inspired by the Highlander movies and TV series. I even named the hero Duncan, but intended to change it before release. My editor wouldn't let me. Another unique tale, it starts out as a historical romance set in England during the witch craze, and in the very beginning, our heroine is arrested and hanged for witchcraft. But being immortal, she revives. This story almost killed me. Every time I worked on it, for the first several months, I would get these episodes of out of control tachycardia. By the time I'd get to an ER, it was usually over with. I was later diagnosed with PSVT, or "Primary Supra-ventricular Tachycardia." Which means, in English, "Sometimes my heart starts racing for no reason." This book was one of the few things that would set these episodes off. Other things would, later, but at that time, that was the only time I got them. It was something about the story. I've had other readers tell me similar stories. I'm convinced those early chapters were part of a past life experience that was shared by many. Anyway, Publisher's Weekly raved about this book, calling it "A rich, sensual, bewitching adventure of good vs. evil, with love as the prize." Jayne Anne Krentz "called it a romance with sweeping intensity," and "a dark, enthralling brew of love, danger and perilous fate." Affaire de Coeur said it was one of the best books of the decade. Eternity is out of print, but I'm hoping to get the rights reverted soon, and if I do, it will be available again this summer/fall.

The title that made the most money for me was called "Immortality" and it was a novella. First it was packaged in a J.D. Robb headlined anthology, so it made nice bucks right off the bat. Then later, Berkley released it as a skinny little stand alone paperback and distributed it to supermarkets for $1.99. It sold like hotcakes. I think Immortality can still be found, but perhaps only in E and maybe on Berkley's own site.

What inspired you to write?

I think writers are born writers. I know I was. It was just something I always knew. I was writing chapter books on construction paper with crayon illustrations when I was just learning to spell

Do you have a specific writing ritual?

Maggie: Nope. Just sit down and start.

What is your favorite book?

Maggie: My own? Whichever one I'm working on at the moment. I have a special fondness for ETERNITY, the best story I think I've ever told; THE GINGERBREAD MAN, the most mainstream suspense I ever wrote, and I'm very proud of it. And I think MARK OF THE WITCH coming this fall, is some of the best writing I've ever done. My favorite and most long lasting characters are Rhiannon from TWILIGHT MEMORIES (and continuing through most of the books in the series) and Mordecai Young, the villain from THICKER THAN WATER and its sequels, was the best bad guy I ever wrote.

Other authors? Christina Dodd's A CANDLE IN THE WINDOW was one of my most beloved reads ever, as was Mary Jo Putney's UNCOMMON VOWS. I love Stephen King, Anne Rice, Anne Stuart, Lorna Tedder, Gayle Callen including her Emma Cane books, Christine Wenger, Karen Robards (OMG, ONE SUMMER rocked!) and so many others I can't begin to name them all. Oh, Barbara Samuel/O'Neal, Kathleen Eagle, gosh, so many!

Are there any projects you are currently working on?

Maggie: I am ALWAYS working on projects. In addition to re-reading, updating, creating cover art, and promoting my backlist through my new Maggie Shayne Classics line, I'm working on a brand new series for MIRA; THE PORTAL.

The Portal Series launches September 1 with a FREE download prequel LEGACY OF THE WITCH. The books follow: MARK OF THE WITCH late September/Early October, DAUGHTER OF THE SPELLCASTER late November/Early December, and BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS in late January/Early February.

I'm building a gorgeous website for The Portal series too. The site will launch in June, and will include excerpts, video trailers, an original song backing one of them by my friends Dan Hall who wrote the music and recorded the song, and David O. Norris who wrote the lyrics. The song, WITCHES ON THE WIND will launch as a single when the website launches, and it will be available to purchase.

We're creating a set of 13 collectible trading cards for the books, which will be FREE for a Self-addressed stamped envelope. And we'll be holding a big contest and giving away a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet and much more.

We're also working hard on a FAN ONLY section of my Facebook Page. You can only see this section if you visit and LIKE the page, here:
Once you LIKE the page, you should see the FAN CONTENT tab on the top. It's blue and right between the PHOTO and VIDEO tabs. Click that so you can see all the goodies on the FAN CONTENT page. Right now we have a sneak peek at the hot Kim Killion design for The Portal site, and instructions on how to get my popular advice book, SHAYNE ON YOU in any electronic format you want, for FREE.

We keep adding more to the fan content section, so be sure to check back. Whenever anything new goes up, I will tweet the link again, and post it on the public section of the facebook page.

Kayla: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?

Maggie: My five daughters. I have the most incredible girls. They're all accomplished adults now and amazing human beings. Three are aspiring authors themselves, and the middle girl, Jessica, a military wife, has a thriving business as an author's assistant and ebook formatter, cover designer, etc. I couldn't get along without her.

What does your family think about you being an Author?

Maggie: My girls are very proud of me. As I said, Jessica has created a business helping me and other authors with everything from e-publishing and cover design to publicity to to networking. Jessica's also writing a book. Jena, the first-born is an English teacher and an aspiring author. She and I are collaborating on some paranormal Young Adult projects and she has a couple of her own books she's working on. Lisa, the youngest, is also an aspiring writer with a novel or two in progress, and she's still in college. Katie (daughter #2) is a registered nurse at a busy emergency room, and shares my books with her colleagues. Stacie (#4) is also an RN who works in a magnate hospital's home care program, and shares my books with patients and fellow nurses as well. The writing gene is passed through the female line of my family. My mother had the gift, but mostly only used it to write the most amazing letters that could make anyone do anything she wanted. My grandmother, her mom, had it too, and wrote a long running column for a local newspaper. They're both gone now, but the gift lives on. Even my oldest grandchild, Ella, has inherited the gene. She's 14, and an avid photographer, but she could definitely be an author if she wanted to be.

Kayla: In one sentence describe yourself. Ready, set, GO!

Maggie: I'm a unique, non-traditional, rebellious, rock & roll loving, shamelessly romantic, star-gazing, spell-casting, song-singing, tarot reading, animal loving, overgrown teenager who totally believes the true meaning of life is to live it to the fullest.

Maggie on Facebook: "Click Here" be sure to LIKE to get exclusive fan content and SHAYNE ON YOU for FREE

@maggieshayne on Twitter

New York Times Bestselling author Maggie Shayne has published 53 novels, all for major NY Publishers, in her 18 year career. So far. In 2012 she'll be releasing a brand new trilogy dubbed "The Portal" and its books will include MARK OF THE WITCH in October 2012, DAUGHTER OF THE SPELL CASTER in December 2012, and BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS in February 2013, all for MIRA Books.

Maggie has published westerns, category romances, romantic suspense, paranormal romances, urban fantasy, women's fiction, and just about everything in between, and is currently working on her first thriller. She's a winner of the RITA Award, the romance fiction industry's most prestigious prize, and has won countless others.

Maggie's "Twilight" series of vampire novels, officially known as Wings in the Night, began in 1993 with a TWILIGHT PHANTASIES from Silhouette Shadows. The series only just concluded with TWILIGHT FULFILLED in October 2011. (Printable list and reading order at the author's website and on her Facebook page.)

Besides being an author, Maggie is a Wiccan High Priestess, Reiki healer, Tarot Card Reader, unofficial Life Coach, Law of Attraction expert, advice columnist, and a licensed minister. Her long running newspaper advice column has just now been compiled into book form; SHAYNE ON YOU, the author's first non-fiction book.

Recently, Maggie has begun re-releasing her out of print novels in ebook format. So far these include FAIRYTALE, FOREVER ENCHANTED and ANNIE'S HERO, fantasy-romances she wrote for Avon Books (Harper Collins) in the early 1990's, and a novella WITCH MOON RISING, originally published by Spilled Candy Books.

There will be much more to come.

Of course Maggie's publishers also release E-versions of her works, and it's difficult for the average reader to tell whether an ebook is released by a publisher, or the author herself. Especially books that were previously published by a NY Publishing House. Just look for the "Publisher" listing in the book's information and you'll see what's what. The prices are usually a little bit lower on the books Maggie releases herself.

Maggie lives with her soulmate Lance in a tiny town called Taylor (phone exchange: Truxton, mailing address: Cincinnatus, tax map: Cuyler. Smalltown folks understand!) in New York State's little known but sprawling and gorgeous dairy farm & wine country near the Fingerlakes region. Together they have a pair of Old English Mastiffs (Dozer & Daisy,) a chubby little bulldog (Niblet), an arrogant cat (Glorificus,) a saltwater reef aquarium with two clown fish (Larry & Cill) and two damsels (Vinnie & Blue,) a bearded dragon (Captain Yellow Beard) and a life of utter contentment and joy.

Title: Forgotten Vows
Author: Maggie Shayne
Publisher: Silhouette
Release Date: October 1, 1994
Pages: 256
Buy Here: Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Smashwords
ON SALE FOR 0.99 CENTS, THIS WEEKEND ONLY! GO BUY IT :) (Use Coupon Code SA98M at checkout to get the sale price on Smashwords!)
It was no secret that reporter Ashville Coye was hot on the trail of the Syracuse Slasher. But only Josephine Bradshaw knew that he was destined to become the killer's next victim. And when Ash landed in the hospital with amnesia, she was struck by a brilliant idea..

Ash thought he'd seen everything, until a complete stranger waltzed up to his bedside, claiming to be his wife.

-Feel free to comment guys I love hearing your answers and I'm sure Maggie would love to hear them too! Thanks Maggie for the Interview, I wish you the best!

REEDUCATING ROLF — A Viking warrior was sitting in scientist Miranda O'Shea's living room, learning English and marveling over light bulbs. Yesterday Rolf Magnusson had been frozen solid, his body perfectly preserved in a glacial cave, where she'd discovered him. Today, all six feet seven inches of him was hot to the touch--except, unfortunately,... more » for his heart, which remained as ice-cold as he'd been for nine hundred years....

Miranda couldn't just hand him over to science, but exactly what she was going to do with the man who'd gone down in history as the "Plague of the North" stumped even her...

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