Friday, April 23, 2010

Interview with Margo Maguire

I can't tell you how excited I am to have author Margo Maguire with us today. Well, excited is just not the right word, but I can't seem to find the right word. But Margo always does! See, I have been a fan of Margo Maguire for years. She is an auto buy for me. Her novels never fail to bring me hours of pleasure and always leave me wanting more of her stories. Margo has published 17 novels in 12 languages and even has had her novels turned into magna-animated books in Japan. She is a featured authored at The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills website. And she holds more than one spot on my keeper shelf. Please give a warm welcome to Margo Maguire (and ignore my squeals).

Thank you so much for inviting me today! I'm very excited to share some background on my new book from Avon that will be out next Tuesday.

Margo, it is such a pleasure to have you with us. As you know I just loved The Rogue Prince! (Check out my review here) But for those who haven't heard about your latest work, please tell us a little bit about The Rogue Prince.

The premise of The Rogue Prince is all about revenge. Before the story opens, Thomas Thorne is a 17 year-old horse-country boy who is transported to a penal colony for a crime he did not commit. He was framed by two arrogant aristocratic boys (Shefford and Blackmore), just for their amusement. When Tom returns to London years later as the incredibly wealthy "Prince of Sabedoria," all he wants is to destroy the two boys and their families - just as his own were destroyed. The hitch is that the woman he falls for (Maggie) is the widow of Blackmore and step-sister of Shefford. Destroying them will destroy her.

Just hearing your description of the book makes me want to pull it out and read it again. Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite novels . . . but I've always wished it wasn't quite as dark, and there was more romance. So I would say that the plight of Edmond Dantes was the inspiration for THE ROGUE PRINCE. And I was very happy not to include 300 pages that covered his imprisonment!

Yes, 300 pages of imprisonment would definitely dampen the romance. LOL! Speaking of romance, the intensity of emotion and passion between Maggie and Thomas is astounding. Did you find it difficult writing such intense scenes?

Deep emotion is always hard to write. As a writer, you have to put yourself in the place of the character and feel his (and her) anger, his passion, his distrust or his need. Then you have to put it into words. And not words like "he was so angry." I have to SHOW you how angry he was. His actions will do that, and I think THAT is what makes writing such a challenge.

You certainly are up for the challenge! Will any of the secondary characters from The Rogue Prince have their own book?

Probably not. Maggie's friends are married and don't really lend themselves to a future romance. :-) And Tom's cohorts ride away with the happy couple into the sunset. I don't want to give anything away here . . . but things don't end in your typical English Regency way. Certainly, there is a "happily ever after" but it's a different fate for Tom and Maggie than what you usually see in a regency novel.

Even though the ending is not a traditional regency happily every after, I thought it was the perfect ending for Tom and Maggie. Though I have to say I was hoping for a story on Nate. Guess I will leave that to my own imagination :-)

After writing 17 novels, how do you keep the writing process fresh?

I think it's because every book is new and different to me. There are new characters to explore, new conflicts to deal with. A lot of what makes a novel enjoyable is when the author places the characters in situations that challenge their beliefs and their abilities. It's a challenge to the author, too!

As a huge lover of medieval romances, I have enjoyed your medieval novels for years. Why does this time period seem to call out to you?

You might already know this, but my first career was as a critical care nurse. And when burn-out hit me, I went back to college and earned a degree in history. I specialized in American history, but I absolutely adored my classes on Medieval life -- and I couldn't imagine any fiction that could possibly be stranger than what I learned about the Dark Ages. There was an innocence about that time period, with chivalry and "courtly love" that just begs to be explored with fictional characters. Knights in armor? Damsels who put them in their place?

Exactly why I love reading medievals! Other than one of your own fabulous medievals, do you have a favorite medieval novel that you tend to read over and over again?

I loved THE PRIZE by Julie Garwood. Haven't read it in a long time, but maybe I'll have to search for my copy on one of my "keeper" shelves.

Julie Garwood is one of my favorites, too! Her novel THE WEDDING is the book that got me started on reading romance. Can you tell us what you are working on now?

I'm working on a novel called SEDUCING THE GOVERNESS, which will be out in late February, 2011. The setting is England's Lake District, and the hero is a former army officer who was wounded at Waterloo and is now earl of a rundown estate, and reluctant guardian of his 8 year-old niece. There is a lot of built-in conflict in this scenario, but adding to that, just before the story begins, the heroine learns that she is not the biological daughter of her parents. They have recently died, and there is no one to ask where she came from.

Oooh, that sounds like another winner Margo!! When you are not spinning your next creation, what do you like to do?

Gosh - it seems like there's never enough time for everything I want to accomplish. I love to travel. And read, of course. I do a lot of cooking, and my favorite kind is when I'm trying out a new, elaborate recipe for my family and friends. My husband and I entertain A LOT! Lately, I've been far too distracted by our kitchen renovation -- we had the room enlarged, which is absolutely great, but then choosing cabinets and countertops, tile and flooring . . . very time-consuming!

My, that does sound very time consuming, but I'm sure the end result will be fabulous. So in the midst of all the renovations, are you currently reading a book? If so, please tell us what it is.

I'm reading several books at once (I always do!) The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery), Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel (Lorraine Heath) and Decency and Disorder, The Age of Cant 1789-1837 (Ben Wilson).

Gee, you even multi-task while reading! I have not quite mastered that skill. Will you be attending the RWA Conference in Nashville this year?

Yes! I always look forward to getting together with readers as well as my writing cohorts.

YAY! Be on the look out for squealing me :-)

Now it's time for our quick six segment:

Tom boy or girly girl? Somewhere in between - probably more girly girl as I get older.

Beach or mountains? Mountains, definitely

Chocolate or peanut butter? Oooohh. That's a tough one. Chocolate.

Coffee or tea? Coffee.

Big city or the country? Another tough one. I love both. But I'll have to go with Big City.
Spring or fall? Fall.

Thank you for talking with us today, Margo. I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed this interview. It has been a true fan girl moment for me.

Is there anything you would like to ask our readers?

Yes! The settings of my novels are very important to me. In TAKEN BY THE LAIRD, I had to find the exact castle on the Scottish coast that could be haunted -- it was almost a character in itself. I came across Dunnotter Castle which was the absolute perfect inspiration for Castle Glenloch.

THE ROGUE PRINCE takes place mostly in London, but Tom buys an outrageously ostentatious house in the country where a lot of the action takes place.

So I'm wondering how important the setting of a book is to you. Would you like to see a few more exotic settings? Like Paris? Or Russia? How about a Caribbean island? What do you think?

One lucky commenter will win a copy of THE ROGUE PRINCE.


  1. Julie Garwood's THE PRIZE was my first romance and I haven't stopped since. It was that book that got me started reading Medievals which is how I found Margo's books. What I like best about your books, is you don't stick to standard characters or plot lines. There is always something exceptional about your characters and the story. I know your books will not have the standard road to an HEA and that road will have lots of bumps along the way.

  2. With books, i can travel around the world without moving my body :)

    I love to read books, with exotic and interesting places as the settings. so i can learn many things about the new places, even the book that i read is romance.

    And Margo, I'd really like to read your book, coz you are a new for me author :)

  3. Librarypat, Julie Garwood seems to have gotten quite a few of us reading romance. I know when I first read THE WEDDING I felt like I had discovered a world I never knew existed.

  4. Mariska, you are so right! Reading is a wonderful way to travel the world without leaving the comforts of your own home (and without the hassle of packing or dealing with volcanic ash).

    And lucky you to have all of Margo's novels waiting for you to read!!!

  5. Hi Margo and Buffie! I too (as sooo many other readers) started reading romance when I picked up my first Julie Garwood book The Wedding. And of course, medievals were all I read for a very long time.

    Margo - one of the things I love about your books is how you seamlessly blend action, dialog and setting. Your settings are always rich and vibrant. Settings are very important to me and ultimately set the tone of the book. When I'm reading urban fantasy the settings usually put me in a dark mood, yet Regency's always put me in a much lighter mood no matter the subject matter.

    Margo, congratulations on your new release, I'm really looking forward to reading The Rogue Prince!

  6. I am squealing here in OZ as well Buffie.

    Buffie and Margo what a great interview Ladies and yes you are an auto buy author for me as well Margo I love your stories from start to finish and always look forward to the next one.

    I do love the settings in books I have travelled a bit with my reading and one day I may get to visit the places for real LOL. I do love books set around the world it is a while since I have read one set in The Caribean Pirates come to mind with that setting and Russian ones are good as well Oh well I love them all.

    Congrats on the new release I can't wait to read it

    have Fun

  7. Hey, Marisa! {{hugs}}

    So, THE WEDDING got you started too huh? Wasn't it a fantastic book!

    I do believe that you will really enjoy THE ROGUE PRINCE. As I said before, I believe this is one of Margo's best works.

  8. LOL @ Helen. I can hear you all the way here in Georgia, Helen!!! :-)

  9. Hi, Margo and Buffie. Thank you for a great interview. Congrats on your new release, Margo; it sounds wonderful!

    I began reading historical romance fiction about 12 years ago, but my first book was JQ's Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. Before that it was categories and Christian historical romances. I have read Julie Garwood and like her books.

    I am boring. I don't like exotic places. I want to read about and be taken back in time to Scotland and England. I used to read many medieval romances, then went to Regency England, and have been on a Scottish Highlander kick lately. I can thank TRD for my Highlander-in-a-kilt-fondness since they've recommended great Highlander reads!

    Thanks for being here, Margo.

  10. Congrats on the new book, I'm looking forward to reading it. I think the setting is an important part of the story as it helps influence the feel and flow of the story. I haven't any favorite settings (though I enjoy lots of midieval to regency periods located in England & Scotland).

  11. Margo, I can't wait to read The Rogue Prince! I love the Count of Monte Cristo, yet always longed for more romance in it, too. I also adore Regencies with unusual premises and endings. In terms of setting, I'll go anywhere with an author if I like the characters, and the more unique those characters are, the more fun. Now, don't get me wrong--I truly enjoy a more traditional society rake or beau, but Regency heroes with unusual life stories are completely irresistible to me.

    Buffie, I must say, I love the way you do interviews, with such energy and excitement. Thanks! :)

  12. Hi Deb! There's nothing boring about staying in Scotland or England, especially with a hunky highlander ;-)

  13. Hi Ladies - Thank you for your comments! Librarypat - I appreciate your noticing that my characters are outside of the norm. I *really* enjoy writing non-typical people. Like Anthony in WILD. Thomas in THE ROGUE PRINCE... It adds a different dimension for me, and I hope for the reader, too!

  14. Thanks for stopping by Gamistress66!

  15. Mariska - I hope you DO try THE ROGUE PRINCE. And let me know how you like it. :-)

  16. Thank you, Marisa (blush). I'm so glad you like my work!

  17. Buffie, I must say, I love the way you do interviews, with such energy and excitement.

    Thanks Katharine! It was such a fangirl moment for me to interview Margo. I can't wait to meet her in person in July. Hopefully I won't scare her off with my energy and excitement ;-)

  18. Helen - Great to see you here! Let me know how you like THE ROGUE PRINCE.

  19. Deb - I can completely understand not really liking to GO to exotic places. :-) But there are a few I'm glad I haven't missed -- London and Paris, for example. I love Edinburgh, too -- I've got to set a book in Edinburgh one of these days.

  20. gamistress - you're so right about the setting. The background is so important because it really lends a feel to the story. Hope you enjoy THE ROGUE PRINCE!

  21. Katharine - I'll be interested in knowing how you like the ending of THE ROGUE PRINCE. Let me know if you get a chance!

  22. Thanks, Karyn. As much as the Count of Monte Cristo itrigued me - I thought the premise would interest a lot of readers. I hope so!

  23. Hey Karyn! So you are a multi-tasker too. :-) I'm pretty good at that with all other aspects of my life, but I just can't read more than one book at a time. My brain is just too fried ;-)

  24. Hi Margo!
    Your book sounds amazing. It's also nice to see another person who would prefer the mountains to the beach. ^^

    To me,I find the description of the settings To me more important than the actual settings. When i'm reading a story i like to visualize it in my head and having a description helps me do that. It doesn't have to be a largely detailed description, but just enough information so i can get a feel of things. No knowing where a character is at makes it hard for me to follow a book. It's like the characters are just standing on a stage rehearsing lines. Therefore i don't really care much for the settings as long as i can get a picture of them. ^^

    I don't like it though when the setting is completely unbelievable for the story. For example having a large lake or other geological entity in a real place where you no there is no such thing.


  25. Hi, Margo and welcome to the Dish! I'm looking forward to reading The Rogue Prince--The Count of Monte Cristo is a great book/movie, so I love that angle. :-)

    My first romance was THE PRIDE OF THE PEACOCK by Victoria Holt--I was in the 7th grade and my English teacher, Mrs. Parker recommended it. And I've been reading romance ever since!!

    I think the setting can be almost like another character. Although I love books set in the UK, I appreciate an exotic setting. It's like traveling to a new and exciting destination without having to deal with the pesky regulations of air travel. ;-)

  26. I enjoy a variety of settings, as long as the story is good.

  27. Buffie, energy and excitement are never bad! :)

    Gannon, I adored Victoria Holt! She intro'd me to romance, too, when I was a teen.

    Margo, I'm pretty sure I'll love the ending to The Rogue Prince (your books are always wonderful). But I'll let you know officially anyway. ;)

  28. Jedisekora -
    So, you like the mountains, too?
    Some of the first vacations my husband and I shared were to the Canadian Rockies where we went backpacking. We did this several years in a row -- it was all we could afford! Plus, you can't beat that pristine setting.

  29. Gannon - I think I might have missed THE PRIDE OF THE PEACOCK, although I did listen to several Holt books on tape (years ago). I used to listen to a book whenever I had "mindless" jobs to do - painting a room, wrapping Christmas presents, taking a long drive ... Great way to engage the mind while doing an un-challenging activity, right?

  30. Terrific interview, Buffie and Margo! Between it and Buffie's review, I have now added it to my TBB list!

    As for your question about setting, Margo...I prefer an exotic location in contemporaries rather than historicals. I don't mind it in historicals, but only every once in a while. Just my preference. :)

  31. Terrific interview, Buffie and Margo! Between it and Buffie's review, I have now added it to my TBB list!

    As for your question about setting, Margo...I prefer an exotic location in contemporaries rather than historicals. I don't mind it in historicals, but only every once in a while. Just my preference. :)

  32. Melissa -- I'm more a mountain kind of gal too! Don't get me wrong, I love walking on the beach with someone I love, but then the sand gets everywhere! LOL!

  33. Gannon, I think you will really like this book.

  34. Thanks for stopping by, Chey! This book is really good!!!!

  35. Buffie, energy and excitement are never bad! :)

    Thanks, Katharine :-)

  36. Thanks Andrea! I just know you will enjoy this one!

  37. I love tropical settings. Somewhere nice and warm to escape rainy, cold weather.
    Your book sounds great.

  38. Hi runner10! Right now a tropical setting sounds fabulous :-)

  39. Sorry I'm so late in stopping by. Great interview, Buffie and Margo!

    Margo,I'm so looking forward to reading your new book!