Friday, February 21, 2014

Featured Author Friday featuring Maggi Myers

My Review:

This has to be one of the most remarkable books that I have read. This story is filled with loss, child abuse and love. Make sure when you are ready to read it you have the tissues handy. The story is about a girl named Beth, she has endured years of abuse at such a young age. As she gets older she begins to pick up the pieces. The Final Piece is so brilliantly written! Its is raw and "ugly" at times but yet so beautiful. Please take the time to read this amazing story! I thought I knew what was going to happen but this book pleasantly surprised me.

About this author

Born in West Des Moines, IA and raised in Miami, FL, I have an appreciation for the heartland and really good cuban food.

I want to write stories that make people think. The things you thought you knew about other people and their lives? I want to twist those perceptions and make you question everything.

I am a big fan of the underdog. The one that everyone else has written off? That's where my heart is and where my most inspired writing happens.
Before we start, I would like to say that I am a huge fan of your book The Final Piece! I love a book filled with troubled pasts, inner strength to overcome tragedy, the ability to let someone in and definitely not to forget...a good love story!
Can you describe The Final Piece in 20 words? 

20?? Yowza… Even the greatest tragedies can be overcome with faith, love and hope. Family is more than just blood bonds.

How did you come up with the idea for The Final Piece?

The idea came from someone very important to me, who I lost. I dedicated the book to him (Bobby), and wrote Tommy in his likeness. It means the world to me that Tommy is someone the readers love. 

Without giving away any spoilers, for those who have not read The Final Piece, what was your favorite scene to write?

Without a doubt, the first cherry tree scene. From the moment Beth storms out of the house, to the flashback at the lake, and then back to her & Ryan under the tree. I feel like that’s the first real turning point for Beth, and I loved writing that for her.

Describe a typical day when you are writing. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

First thing I do is cue up some music. I can’t write without tunes! The only “ritual” I have, is to make sure I write something every day. Even if it never makes it onto a page in a book, it’s important to me to become a more disciplined writer. 

Do you have any plans for a book signing event?

I do! I will be in Richmond, VA on December 14, 2013. 

Are you currently working on your next book project? Can you tell us a bit about it?

I just finished my second book, AN ENIGMA PROJECT. It’s a story about Caroline, a woman who has to re-evaluate everything when her daughter is diagnosed with a disability. From marriage to motherhood, none of it follows the plans she’s spent her life drafting. It’s not a tragedy, though. Caroline’s journey is about realizing that the most beautiful things can come from truly terrible situations. 

What came first, the characters or the concept for the story?

Caroline came first, she’s been a voice in my head for a very long time. In January, a good friend of mine (author Charles Sheehan-Miles) challenged me to write a about my greatest fear. It was just supposed to be a writing exercise, but Caroline took it as an opportunity to take center stage and insist that her story be told. That’s when I first drafted the outline for AN ENIGMA PROJECT.

My greatest fear?

Having to raise my special needs children alone. 

If The Final Piece became a movie, who would your dream cast be?

Let me just caveat this casting with a disclaimer >>>
I cast Charlie Hunnam as Ryan over a year ago, long before he was cast as Christian Grey!!! I’m thrilled that he’s going to be the lead in 50 Shades, but he was my Ry first
Beth- Camilla Luddington
Ryan- Charlie Hunnam
Tommy- Eric Bana
Uncle Rob- Aaron Eckhart
Aunt Melissa- Kyra Sedgwick
Gran- Lois Smith
Pops- Robert Duvall
Charlie- Matt Lanter
Liz- Lily Collins

Do you ever read the reviews about your books? If so, do you pay attention to any negative reviews or let them influence your writing?

I do read my reviews! I want to know what people think. I try not to let the bad ones get to me, but if there is a pattern to the criticism, I do take that into account. You can’t make everyone happy, but I do take the consistent complaints to heart. I want to grow as a writer.

Do you have a favorite author?

I have a lot of favorites! Shel Silverstein (WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (THE LITTLE PRINCE). The most current author crush is Gail Forman, author of IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT. I read them a year ago and I still think about those books. 

What are your favorite top 3 books that you would recommend?

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Expuréy
If I Stay by Gail Forman
Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

What book, if any, are you reading now?

Darkhorse by Karina Halle. It’s EXCELLENT!

Do you prefer to read traditional books or e-books?

I love my e-reader, but I miss the smell of new books. Nothing beats that in my book. In fact, I think they actually sell perfume that’s supposed to be new book smell!

Out of the books that you have read, which character couple would you like to invite over for dinner and why?

Olivia and Caleb from The Opportunist, for the shear entertainment value! I love those two, and the whole Love Me With Lies series.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?

Megan Hart. I loved BROKEN. It was a steamy read, that had a dark and heavy sub plot. It had nothing to do with the steamy parts and I love the way it played out. I would love to pick her brain.

What inspired you to start writing?

Life! Haha. Seriously, when I was younger, writing was my way of coping with a crazy life. I journaled and wrote stories from the age of five on. I didn’t decide to write a novel until the Spring of 2012.

Did you always want to be a writer? 

I didn’t know what I wanted to be for a really long time. I was always writing, but never associated myself as a writer. I don’t feel like I really figured out that I was a writer until I was thirty-seven! It’s never too late to discover who you are meant to be.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write every single day, and write what speaks to your heart, not what the trends tell you.

What are you top 5 most important things in your life?

5) writing
4) helping others
3) building my community
2) Epilepsy and Autism Awareness
1) Family and friends

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

I have 2 tattoos: an ampersand on my arm; a phoenix & a magnolia on my back. My ears and my nose are pierced.

Do you have any fears??

Clowns. I hate clowns. They’re so creepy!!

What do you do for fun, besides writing?

I’m a homebody. I love hanging out with my family, going for a ride on my bike, reading, or going hiking.

Do you have any vices? 

I’m a nail biter. Hard core, right?

What was the last thing you googled?

Kyra Sedgwick, for pics of Aunt Melissa. 

If you could describe yourself in 5 words what would they be?

Loyal. Kind. Snarky. Creative. Calamitous. 

What is your biggest pet peeve? 

People who chew loudly. I’m weird, it REALLY bugs me.

Where was the last place someone spotted you and asked for an autograph?

My son’s school! I was so taken aback, I didn’t know the school nurse had even ordered the book. She stopped me in the hallway and asked if I would sign her copy, and I was just speechless.

Thank you so much for the interview! Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?

Thank you for having me! 

Be on the look out for AN ENIGMA PROJECT in February of 2014, and look me up on Facebook and Twitter. I LOVE hearing from readers! 

Where can your fans find you?

@Magnolia_B_my (Twitter)