Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maggie Bishop

I am so happy to have Maggie Bishop sit in the hot seat today. She is a lovely and talented author. Let's see what Maggie has to say today...

Why do you write mysteries?
I started with romance and turned to murder, partly so I could keep my main characters. Once, when I left for a vacation, I asked a woman for a book to read. She gave me a short, contemporary romance.  That year, I read 400 of them!  My husband had to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention. The “ahaa” moment hit and I said “I can do this – I can write the kinds of book I like to read.”  My first step was to join Romance Writers of America, attend their conference and take craft of writing workshops.  After two Appalachian Adventure romances, a body showed up and my characters had to catch the bad guy.
  Is there a certain theme/trademark you use in your books?
 In my second novel, Emeralds in the Snow, I mentioned real people and gained permission to use their names and photographs. Joe White, the man who grooms the ski slopes at Sugar Mountain (setting for Emeralds) in Banner Elk, NC, is also a farrier. He became a suspect in Murder at Blue Falls since it is set on a dude ranch and the horses needed shoeing. 
What gets your inspirational juices flowing?
After every book I finish, I tell my husband “never again, I’m done with writing books.”  Before long, a character will start bugging me – nothing overt, but scenes will flash in my head.  I ignore them and they ferment.  Once they bubble over, I have to write.  For me, writing is difficult and requires complete focus on the action evolving. It is intense and consuming once I give in and begin writing.
 Do you have any book signings or author appearances coming soon?
The Boone, NC, area has lots of tourists who come from off the mountain to escape the heat. High Country Writers (founded in 1995) rents space at craft fairs so I’ll be in Banner Elk on July23 & 24, Valle Crucis on July 30 & 31, and at Fred’s at the top of Beech Mountain on August 6th.  Of course, I’ll be at Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest October 8 & 9.  The famous John C. Campbell Folk School has invited me to give a week of workshops on mystery writing October 30 to November 5th.
What do you do in your downtime to relax? Sudoku! My cousin introduced me to it last summer and I escape to a number puzzle often.  In good weather, we hit the hiking trails nearby along the Blue Ridge Parkway and on Grandfather Mountain.
 If you could meet one person from the past or present who would it be? Katherine Hepburn -- strong minded, entertaining actress, independent, self-supporting, trend-setter.
Any promotional secrets?  Nail down that “elevator speech” and use it often.
Where is your fave place to visit?  Cruise ships, believe it or not. I don’t care where we go; many times, we don’t get off the ship while in port. No cooking, cleaning, emails, plus the food and entertainment are merely steps away. It’s the only time I can get my husband to slow down and relax.
Are you a fairy tale or a realist sorta person? Realistic with wishes that sometimes come true. I knew early on that my destiny depended on my choices and dedicated work.
Any suggestions for unpublished authors?  Don’t talk about the book you are going to write. Keep that spark of inspiration to yourself, nurture it, write it down. Don’t show it to anyone before the third draft otherwise you may talk it away into the either.
If you had another career, what was it?
I was a manufacturing executive with more than eight hundred employees and enjoyed using my natural organizational skills. Believe me, it was a major change to the solitary writing life.  Wish I were as efficient as I once was.
 If you didn’t write, what would you do instead?
Learn to enjoy cooking.  I cook, but it’s all basic, mostly healthy, but not inspiring.  Also garden, but first I’d have to figure out how to keep the deer away from the flowers and veggies.
 If you could have one wish, what would it be? I knew the formula for selling millions of books.
 In one word only, describe yourself.  “Friendly.”  Before I met my husband, it was “independent.”
Are you an animal person? Yes, isn’t everyone?  If so, which animal?  Cats, even published a book dictated by Hunter (Meow Means Me! Now!).
What is your most embarrassing moment? It’s a classic, asking a woman at a party if she was pregnant and she wasn’t.
 Please tell us about your releases and where we can purchase them. Please give us your urls and your publisher’s url.
The Start: In MURDER AT BLUE FALLS, when her horse finds a body, CSI wannabe Jemma starts to investigate, Detective Tucker comes in and it twists and turns from there. book  kindle
And Then: Since pay is low in the mountains, Jemma has more than one job and is also a carpenter.  In  PERFECT FOR FRAMING, trouble’s a-brewing in the Property Owners Association where greed and a lust for power lead to murder in a clash of personal versus public needs. book  Kindle
Now: The photography group meets at Blue Falls Guest Ranch and soon there is ONE SHOT TOO MANY (September 2011 mystery) which features Detective Tucker with yesterday’s regret haunts, leading to today’s deadly fix. book
If you like whodunit mysteries full of clues and suspense in a vacation paradise, you can find these paperbacks and e-books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other book and e-book retailers. 
In the Appalachian Adventure Romance series, Award winning APPALACHIAN PARADISE takes place on a five-day backpacking trip in the spring amongst the bears, boars and girl scouts. With this book, you can take the hike without physically taking the hike.  EMERALDS IN THE SNOW involves downhill skiing at Sugar Mountain, an emerald mine, and a cold case mystery.
The fun book, Meow Means Me! Now! is a rhyming feline allegory with poetry and photos. This gift book is a departure from novels but sprang from a love of cats . Think Dr. Suess meets Marley & Me.
My blog is Dames of Dialogue
Perfect for Framing
by Maggie Bishop


Petula rose from her lover’s bed, paraded naked to the vanity mirror, and finger combed her hair so it fell over one eye.
            “Your bruises are almost gone,” the man said.
            She smiled at him then studied herself in the mirror. “The lipo doctor did a thorough job. He took six pounds and three inches off my mid-section. I wish these numb spots would go away.”
            “Give it time, Pet. Your face is almost healed.” He propped himself up with her pillow and reached for his cigarettes.
            “I hope I’ll look better than this soon,” Pet said, still studying herself in the mirror. “I thought you gave up those things.”
            “After this one. I’m down to a couple a day. Besides, you said the same thing after your face lift – no more plastic surgery.”
            “A lady has a right to change her mind,” she called as she stepped into the shower.
            By the time she was dressed and had put on makeup, he had his jeans back on. “I’m still mad you let someone buy that lot I wanted to build on,” he said as she emerged from the dressing area in her guest house. He pulled on a crumpled polo shirt.
            “Don’t you worry. I’m in the perfect position to make their lives miserable. Didn’t I make it too tough for the last owners to build? I wasn’t President of the POA a couple of years ago when you wanted to put your modular on that lot. Now I have the other homeowners in my grip. If you can’t build there, no one can.”
            He dropped the butt into the beer can and hugged her, resting his chin on her head. He said, “Revenge can be so sweet. Maybe you can bankrupt the POA with a lawsuit.” He let her go and sat down to tie his sneakers. then asked, “What are you doing with that situation with your husband? Any progress?”
            “Don’t you worry about that either. I’ll end up with the house and a big alimony settlement. Then it’ll be just the two of us.”

Workshops Write Now! with Maggie
Blog Dames of Dialogue
Books on Kindle $2.99
Books on Nook $2.99
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Author of Appalachian Adventure series, mystery and romance
One of "100 Incredible ECU Women"
"Go beyond yourself -- write."  Pearle Louise Munn Bishop

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad yoou dropped by, Maggie. I wish you lots of success.