Today, I have the pleasure of inviting Maggie Gilbert to my blog. And on her release day too! Maggie's Young Adult RuRo debut comes out today with Escape Publishing. I can't imagine her excitement and would firstly, like to wish her the best in her career and I hope she sells millions!
Ok, now lets get started. What motivated you to start your writing journey? Did you have a childhood dream of becoming an author?
I did have the childhood dream, for sure. As far back as I can remember I wanted to be an author, long before I had any idea of what was actually involved. What truly started me on the journey was loving to read. It just seemed natural, I think, to start making up stories of my own.
Ah, the born and breed writer. I love it. Now, did you choose your genre, or did it choose you?
The first ever manuscript I actually finished was a Young Adult horsey romance–talk about going full circle! I then wrote an adult contemporary novel, and another YA, and after that I went off on a paranormal/fantasy romance tangent and wrote a couple of those. I entered those in contests and so on, and I had some feedback from a few judges and critiques that my voice would suit YA. I was reading a lot of YA at the time, and discovering I didn’t really love paranormal/fantasy romance (although I do love urban fantasy and some epic fantasy – I’m looking at you George R R Martin) and so I thought I really should take all these hints on board and get back to what I started out writing.
You know, I've heard this happen before. The thing about the YA genre is that most of the writer's writing within it, didn't know they were writing it until someone told them!
So What is it about the YA genre that you love the most? And why do you love writing it?
There is huge variety in YA where you can get paranormal, dystopian, contemporary, post-apocalyptic, literary or fantasy stories and all possible combinations of these. I love an authentic teenage character, and I find some of those quirky outsider types so appealing. It’s an interesting time in someone’s life to write about–everything is so intense and so personal. When you’re 16 or 17 even the most simple ordinary thing can take on cataclysmic proportions.
That's wonderful. :) What are your biggest inspirations?
I find inspiration everywhere and anywhere. Film, news, books, art, photographs, magazines, my dogs, friends, strangers, TV – anything I come across can start me thinking about a character or an idea or theme or string of events.
I feel that I should start wearing a T-shirt; 'Beware: Writer - watch you don't appear in my novels' hehe.
Could you pitch your novel to us in 10 words, Maggie :)?
When horse-mad girl meets gorgeous boy love and dreams collide.
Love it! Now tell us, what do you require when it comes to getting in the mood to write?
Brainstorming and planning a story, and thinking about the characters and what they want and why they want it gets me ready to write. Actually writing gets me in the mood for more writing. And there is always coffee. That’s a must-have. Lots and lots of coffee.
Coffee is definitely a necessity. :P What has been the most rewarding part of your publishing experience?
The enthusiasm from friends and family and colleagues has been amazing. Even people I didn’t think would be particularly interested have just been so thrilled, it’s lovely. And I had no idea it was so much fun! It’s great fun getting to know other writers and readers and getting out there talking about my book, and about writing in general. I feel very lucky to be with Escape Publishing – they’ve all been fabulous to work with.
It's not a lone wolf job is it. :) What has been the rockiest part of your journey?
Finding and then maintaining confidence in the face of self-doubt and rejection. I think most writers probably find that tricky, because you’re beset from without and within and it can be hard to keep going. When you’re writing something you love, and you’re really excited about it and you think maybe, possibly, just perhaps it might actually be, well, a good story, it’s very scary. Because you can hardly wait to show it to other readers but you’re also terrified in case they don’t think it’s good enough – or good at all. But you have to keep sending your work out there, because if you want to be a published author then you need other people to read it. And if it all comes together one of those people will be an editor, who likes it enough (and believes it is marketable enough) to say yes instead of no.
We all dream of that call day. If only the doubts didn't stop there. :)
Now, what's next for Maggie Gilbert?
I’m working on another YA manuscript, a story that ties in to Riding on Air. And I have a couple of New Adult projects in the works, and some adult rural stories in development.
And if you could pass on one warning or message to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Love the story you are working on and give it everything you’ve got, don’t leave anything in reserve. This might be the one an editor says yes to.
And how are you feeling on your release day? Excited? (you can email me this one later when you know how you are feeling haha. You must be so excited.)
Excited and nervous. But mostly happy; I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. A debut book release day only happens once, so I want to enjoy every bit of it. Thanks so much for having me here on the day, Whitney!
Lovely to have you, Maggie. Wishing you the best of luck in your career and a fantastic release day for Riding on Air. :)
Thank you readers for popping by and saying hi to Maggie and I today. If you love YA, RuRo or just plain romance, check out Riding on Air and it's fabulous author at the links below. You can also read the blurb.
Riding On Air
Young Adult Romance
1st April 2013
What can you do when your own hands are the enemy? Hold on tight, for as long as it takes.
Melissa has secrets. Sure it’s pretty obvious she has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, but no one knows how bad it is or how many pills she takes for the pain. She’s determined to make her horse Jinx into a champion and she dreams that her childhood friend William will one day see her, rather than her condition.
So when William asks her out and Jinx is shortlisted for selection in an elite training program, it seems Melissa’s dreams have come true. But when her secrets are exposed, all those dreams come crashing down around her. Can William ever forgive her? And can she learn about letting go in time to truly ride on air when it matters most?