Welcome to another great Wednesday author interview. This week I am lucky enough to be chatting to South Australian author, Dianne Maguire ...
My name is Dianne Maguire and I write contemporary fiction inspired the strength and resilience of the children I have met over more than twenty years as a social worker in child welfare and protection. My husband and I are parents to an adult son who works as a criminal lawyer. Since he left home a few years ago, we have dealt with empty nest syndrome through humanising our dogs, Millie and Sophie whose status in our household is akin to that of particularly gifted children –which indeed they are –gifted I mean. Although I live in South Australia’s capital city we have a small fibro on the Fleurieu Peninsula –our own slice of paradise –where I do most of my writing.
Tell us about your most recently published book
‘What Matters Most,’ released by HarperCollins on eBook in April 2015, is the book I have wanted to write for six years. It is the story of paediatrician Mia Sandhust and her patient 15 year-old Rachel Hooper, both fighting to survive their own form of betrayal. A story of love, family, misplaced loyalty and how our choices shape our lives, ‘What Matters Most’ is of course, set on the magnificent coastline of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.
Tell us about the first time you were published
In 2008 I wrote a 600 word memoir for a column titled ‘This Life’, in Australia’s national newspaper. It was about how my first love jilted me when I was 17 and how I carried him in my heart like a sacred hero until I met him again 25 years later. Almost a year after I submitted the piece I received an e-mail saying it would be published. I’m sure newspaper sales doubled that weekend because my friends and family all bought copies.
As a writer what has been your proudest achievement so far?
First I have to warn you about the creepy degree of adoration I hold for fellow writer Fiona McIntosh, protégé of Bryce Courtenay and astoundingly good writer and person in her own right. My proudest moment was when I received the offer of a publishing contract from major publishing house HarperCollins for ‘What Matters Most’. Then there was the thrill of first laying eyes on the beautiful cover and finally buying a tablet so I could read my own book. None of this would have happened if Fiona’s McIntosh hadn’t taught me through her Masterclass how to give my story the appeal a major publishing house and of course it’s readers are looking for.
What books or projects are you currently working on
I am writing my second novel, also set on the Fleurieu. Like ‘What Matters Most’, it is contemporary family drama come psych thriller come mystery. (What’s in a genre anyway?) When I am not learning how to be tech savvy to promote my novel, I am writing, or consulting with a female Detective Sergeant as well as a Psychologist for my next book. I’ve lost count of the times reviewers have called ‘What Matters Most’ a page-turner... but wait till you read the next one.
Which do you prefer? eBooks or paper books and why?
I love good stories and good books –I don’t mind what form they take. To be honest though, there was a time when I would never have chosen an eBook over traditional print. Now, I continue to love browsing and buying in bookshops. But it’s also pretty awesome to finish a book any time and to be able to download another in minutes – at a fraction of the cost as well. I believe eBooks are the way of the future but we will continue to enjoy both worlds for a while yet.
Indie Publishing or Traditional Publishing?
Who cares? If it’s your dream to be published –just get published... But be careful about paying for it.
Aside from your own books of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?
There are so many. But I’ll choose the one I’m currently reading which is ‘Orphan Train’ by Christine Baker Kline –a beautifully told story about child abandonment in the early 1900’s with a contemporary parallel story. This is a heart-warming depiction of the power and goodness inherent in human nature. Next on my list is a new Aussie author – also a social worker, Eliza Henry-Jones and her debut novel, ‘In the Quiet’.
To my readers in Adelaide South Australia
Celebrate! We live in one of the best places on this earth –especially our gorgeous amazing wonder-filled Fleurieu Peninsula.
To everyone..... I’m not usually interested in numbers but FB has changed all that... Please make my day and Like, even Share, my Author’s page on www.facebook.com/diannemaguireauthor You may see someone you know or something you like on there.
And my web-site should be ready soon. Take a peek on http://www.diannemaguireauthor.com.au/ at my book trailer (by the talented Gordon Napier) and lots of information about my current writing journey, my books, nature, kids, all things French, the Fleurieu Peninsula... and much more.
‘What Matters Most’ is available now from HarperCollins, iTunes, Google Books, Amazon, and all good eBook stores.