Welcome friends, readers, followers and guests to another great Writers on Wednesday post. This week I am chatting with Australian author Maggie Christensen ...
Tell me a bit about yourself …
I began teaching primary school in Scotland and emigrated to Australia in my mid-twenties lured by ads of a semi-naked man in gown and mortarboard and the slogan ‘Come teach in the Sun’ I’m still looking for that guy!
When I drew close to retirement from a career in education, I started to write the sort of books I enjoy reading – books which feature mature women facing life-changing events with a dollop of romance included and the inevitable HEA.
I’m often asked why a Scot living on the Sunshine Coast set a series of books on the Oregon Coast in the USA.
I’ve already written two novels in my Oregon Coast Series – The Sand Dollar and The Dreamcatcher. It all began over 30 years ago when I was working in Higher Education and took a forced transfer to teach in a country town university in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. I didn’t want to go the country. I wanted to get back to the city – to the bright lights of Sydney. However to Wagga Wagga I went and there, to my surprise I met this hunk of a gentle giant who’d moved there from USA to teach in the same faculty as me. At the ripe old age of 37, I’d almost – but not quite – given up hope of meeting my soulmate. Here he was and still is. We moved to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast three years ago and love the laid-back lifestyle here.
Tell us about your most recently published book?
Broken Threads re-introduces the reader to characters first encountered in my first book, Band of Gold. It takes the reader into the shoes of Jan, sister to Anna from Band of Gold. It’s a little different from my earlier books – my beta readers suggested that readers should be provided with a box of tissues! It’s a story of loss, grief and the struggle to survive against adversity.
Jan Turnbull’s life takes a sharp turn towards chaos the instant her eldest son, Simon takes a tumble in the surf and loses his life. Blame competes with grief and Jan’s husband turns against her. She finds herself ousted from the family home and separated from their remaining son, Andy. As Jan tries to cope with her grief and prepares to build a new life, it soon becomes known that Simon has left behind a bombshell, and her younger son seeks ways of compensating for his loss, leading to further issues for her to deal with. Can Jan hold it all together and save her marriage and her family?
Living on the coast, surfing is a popular sport, and all too often we forget the dangers involved. Broken Threads examines how the tragedy of a young boy losing his life in the surf affects the whole family and their struggle to overcome their grief.
Tell us about the first time you were published?
Although I’ve written various things all my life, it wasn’t till I published my first novel in 2014 that I really felt I was a writer. Now on book four my dream of being a published author has come true. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of seeing my words in print and holding my babies in my hands.
As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?
The pleasure which readers get from my books. It’s so rewarding to have readers tell me how much they enjoy my books, that they’ve been inspired by them and that they give them hope.
What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?
I’m currently writing what will be book three in my Oregon Coast Series about a woman who flees Australia to settle in Florence. As yet it’s untitled, and readers will meet their favourite characters from the first two books in the series. This will most likely be the final Oregon Coast book. I’m also working on a book set in Noosa and featuring a minor character from The Sand Dollar, Rosa.
Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?
Although I read both, I much prefer paper books. They’re so much more fun to cuddle up with. However I always have my Kindle in my handbag and it’s useful for travelling.
Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?
I support and read both. I’ve gone Indie and enjoy the freedom and sense of control it gives me. That said, I feel it’s important for a self-published author to find a good editor and cover designer. I have both and am happy with my team.
Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?
Keep reading. Recommend books to your friends. Write reviews. Support your local bookshops and libraries. And don’t be afraid to contact your favourite authors. We love to hear from you.
Amazon US http://amzn.to/1GaGNE8
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1KfaIG7
Amazon AU http://bit.ly/1kbGZJn