Thursday, July 19, 2012

Closing the Blog

It has been a great two years of interviewing authors, learning about new books, and getting a little behind-the-scenes view of what goes into writing a great story.  However, I have found that the regular grind of scheduling interviews, reading the books (as much as I loved them all) and doing the interviews has become too time consuming for me.  So, I must bid goodbye to this blog.

I will still be blogging on Maggie's Meanderings, which is a blog that combines both of my author identities, Maggie Jaimeson and Maggie Faire.  I will occasionally interview authors and talk about new releases, but it will not be the primary purpose of my blog.

I will leave this blog up for links so you can always go back and see those great interviews--at least until I figure out how to move the archives to my new blog. 

So, a big THANK YOU to my regular readers and to those who just happened by when an author they liked was interviewed. I appreciate your loyalty and your friendship over the last two years. I hope you will join me and meander among life, books, mysteries, science fiction coming true today, and the place where fantasy and reality collide.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Do You Have to Choose Between Love and Career?

Picture of book, The Return of Benjamin Quincy by Susan Lute

Please welcome Susan Lute to Behind the Book. I have to admit, I LOVE Susan's books and the one we are talking about today really a struck a chord with me--especially with all these transitions I've made in the past four months. 

Whether you are in a relationship or thinking about being in a relationship, I think most of us women have had times in our life when we wondered what we were willing to sacrifice to move ahead in our career.  Or what we were willing to sacrifice to hold on to that special one love. I know I have, at least three or four times.  It is this dynamic that, for me, was what kept me reading Susan's book, The Return of Benjamin Quincy.  That and the love story of course.

Here is the blurb:
All Benjamin Quincy wants is to make a stable home for his ten year old daughter in the town he grew up in and left in bitter disappointment. Young and hot headed, he made a mistake. Eleven years later, he’s a divorced, single dad with a troubled child, and a lot to make up for.
All Benjamin Quincy wants is to make a stable home for his ten year old daughter in the town he grew up in and left in bitter disappointment. Young and hot headed, he made a mistake. Eleven years later, he’s a divorced, single dad with a troubled child, and a lot to make up for.

Sydney Marshall has finally snagged the perfect job at a coveted travel magazine in New York. Does she care that her ex has returned to the tiny town of Rosewood with a precious daughter who’s not hers? Does it matter that every time he comes near, her heat flutters madly like in the old days? No! Her bags are packed; plane tickets are stashed in her carry on bag; the adventure of a lifetime is about to begin.

There’s only one problem. Life and Rosewood have a penchant for interfering in the best laid plans.

What was the spark that led you to come up with this story, and how did that spark blossom through your characters?

The Return Of Benjamin Quincy started out as a women's fiction story about two elderly sisters who'd been estranged over a man (the younger sister *stole* the older sister's fiance). Meredith ended up never marrying, but then has a stroke and her younger sister, a widow now (after a long and happy marriage) comes back to take care of her, much against Meredith's wishes. Since there's no one else to turn to, Meredith has no choice. The *spark* was two sisters, the eldest independent, strong, always taking care of others; the youngest, a little spoiled, always taken care of, alone now, coming home to care for the sister she wronged. I wanted to explore that role reversal, and how it could heal these sister's relationship. In that version, the Doc was always meant to be Meredith's happy-ever-after.

This sounds nothing like Ben Quincy, does it? When I conceived the story, women's fiction was tanking, so my agent at the time suggested I turn it into a small town contemporary romance, ala Robin Carr. And so Sydney, who was already a strong character in the story, became the heroine, and her ex-boyfriend, who'd left town, and made some wrong choices, came back with his daughter. It took off from there :)

I last interviewed you a year ago, when you released Jane’s Long March Home (another book I loved, by the way).  It’s interesting to me that both of these have to do with navigating the past and how that past impacts the present.  Is this a theme you like to explore? 

It is. I strongly believe who we are today is largely informed by where we've been. I don't think you can completely know a person (or character) until you know where they've been. We wear many masks :) Another theme prevalent in my stories is finding family and the community where we can become the best we were meant to be.

Is there a particular scene in this book that you really loved when you finished it? If so, which one and why?

My favorite scene is when Ben is upstairs in the house he wants to buy so he can make a home for his daughter. I love that he's a little nervous, but is determined to be the best dad he can be. Is there anything more sexy than that? I don't think so :)

Do you plan any more books set in Rosewood, Oregon?  If so, will it continue to use some of the same characters?

Yes, many more, I hope. Some of the same characters will make a return appearance. As a reader, I like to know how they're doing. Grant's story is next.

I'm so happy there will be many more books in Rosewood. Are you planning any readings, signings, or other travels where readers can hook up with you virtually or in person?

The Return Of Benjamin Quincy and I have a blog tour starting June 4th. We will go for a week. It's still being finalized. I'll put the details on my website as soon as I have them.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us at Behind the Book.

Thank you so much, Maggie for having me! It's always a pleasure :)

Dear Readers, I exhort you to run out and immediately download this book.  It really is wonderful. You can get it at many places on the net. I have it on my nook.  Here are two of the most popular download sites.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'm Back, Alive, and Well

Wow!  How is it that four months have disappeared into the ether already?  Oh yeah, now I remember. I started a new job in October. I telecommuted for two months until we sold our house in California.  We spent a month, including the Christmas holidays in a hotel in Portland waiting for our renters to move out of our house.

Let me tell you, spending a month with your husband in a one room hotel is a test of how well you do or don't communicate and what gets on your nerves. I'm proud to say not only are we still married, but I think we actually got closer during that month.  It reminded me of all the little things that made me fall in love with him in the first place.

We finally were able to get back into our Portland home in January.  I think most of January, when I wasn't working, I was unpacking and unpacking and unpacking. I finally unpacked the last box this weekend! Then there was all that travel--east coast, south, east coast, Middle East, east coast, and three trips to California to finish an adjunct teaching job I accepted before my new job.  Sheesh, I'm tired just writing all that.

I think I'm now as settled as I can be and that means I'm taking stock of all the things I let slip the last four months.  I have several great author interviews in process and you will start seeing them this week. So, please do check back and learn about some wonderful new books and authors you want to know. It's great to be back in Portland, Oregon and great to be back to my fiction writing life and friends again.

Stay tuned!