Hitoricals have a special place in my heart - IF I can understand what I’m reading. That honor definitely goes to Maggi Andersen. It’s my pleasure to include her in this issue.
Thank you Maggi for the feature.
1) Do you remember the first book you read and how old you were? Who and/or what inspired you to read?
Like many young readers I was a great fan of Edith Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree. I think I was four or five when I began to read. I stood on the garden wall and entertained an audience of birds with my stories. I remember one story I wrote in fifth class; my female protagonist was escaping from an evil witch. My protagonists have been escaping from tricky situations ever since.
2) Who are some of your favorite authors now, and what genres do you tend to read the most?
Historical romances set in the Regency and Victorian eras are favorites, but I also read contemporary romantic suspense and mysteries. Eloisa James, Jennifer Ashley, Tasha Alexander, Courtney Milan, Anne Perry, Amanda Quick. Some male writers too, I love Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child.
3) Who or what influenced you to start writing?
I always believed I’d be a writer one day, but it was put on the shelf while I raised my children and attended university. I think studying the superb writers throughout history worked as a bit of a deterrent for a while. How could I possibly write something as good? But the urge to write was strong, and my first full length novel, Murder in Devon, was penned for my Master’s Degree.
4) Are there any books/authors that you’ve read, that have influenced you as an author?
Too many to mention really. I gain some insight from most well-written books I read. As a child, I found the concept of Alice Through the Looking Glass intriguing. I wanted to climb through that mirror into another world! I guess I do when I read, and when I create a fictional world. Georgette Heyer’s wonderful Regency world is one I revisit often, reading her books and writing my own stories.
5) Where is your favorite place to write?
At my desk in my study nook off the kitchen. Convenient for coffee and snacks.
6) I’ve read books from two different series of yours now, and even though these are historical romances, the language is easy to understand and the characters are witty and believable. You care about the main characters very quickly, which draws a reader in. What part of writing historical romances is the most challenging for you? Do you have to do a lot of research?
Thank you for those kind words! The most challenging is pulling together a satisfactory plot within the historical setting. Regency fans are pretty knowledgeable about the era. I don’t want to pull a reader out of the story with a glaring mistake. My greatest desire is to entertain. Fortunately, writers have such wonderful resources at their fingertips now. There was nothing like it when I first began writing Regencies. Back then, I visited the library in Richmond, England, to check on facts. I can’t say that was a hardship though! :) I enjoy discovering interesting historical details to weave into the story. How much description to add is also a challenge. We live in a fast paced world and there’s little time to read reams of poetical description, much as I’d like to. The haute ton, in that brief period when George became the Prince Regent, was peopled with larger than life characters, which are great for an author to draw on. Not to mention the elegant fashions, balls and soirees, country mansions and grand townhouses, the interior décor and the magnificent art. But there was a dark side to that world too, of course.
7) I have truly enjoyed the Baxendale Sisters series, I had a hard time putting them down, what else do you have planned for the future?
That’s thrilling to hear! :) The last book, THE SCANDALOUS LADY MERCY, completes the series. I am enjoying writing Mercy’s story. She’s a passionate young debutante who won’t allow the expectations of society to prevent her getting what she wants from life.
Future works? I’ve had requests for more stories about the Brandreth family, especially Chaloner, the Marquess of Brandreth, and Lady Maria from TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPY. I’m looking forward to writing about them. I’ve grown very fond of the family. The Baxendale sisters may make an appearance, I’m not sure yet.
I have a new release in August. THE EARL AND THE HIGHWAYMAN’S DAUGHTER, is a Regency novella. I hope to publish a Victorian Gothic-style romance, THE BARON’S WIFE before Christmas. More of my backlist will be published next year, as well as two contemporary romantic suspense novels.
Uncaged follow-up - Ohhh, I love the Brandreths!
8) What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
I love to hear from fans. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can join my news only newsletter on my website: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com