Interview with Maggi Andersen

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Even though my first book, a contemporary murder mystery titled Murder in Devon, reached semi-finalist in the Penguin/Amazon Breakthrough novel contest, I still found it hard in Australia at the time to get a publisher. I was published with an Indie publishing house in the US, and have been Indie published since. I'm happy to work with a good publisher, while self publishing the stories not suitable for my publisher's list. The creative freedom of self-publishing really appeals. And the fact that I can get the books out to readers really fast. It's a new venture for me, we'll see how it goes.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Certainly, with a few of my previous novels! I'm looking forward to working more closely with Smashwords.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean a great deal. It's why we writers sit tapping away at our computers for hours every day. Or at least this writer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Duke's Mysterious Lady was inspired by a dream. In my dream a woman was found lying unconscious on the road by a duke, near his estate. I find when I'm just on the verge of waking is the perfect time for getting great ideas for a story. Because the woman has lost her memory, Hugh, Duke of Vale names her Viola. He places with his nanny in a cottage on his estate.
It's a romance as the two grow closer, their situation becomes more and more difficult.
It's a mystery - how did Viola come to be on that road dressed in a man servant's clothes? What was she running from? What is her real name? The only clue is the locket she was wearing. Hugh has the Bow Street Runners searching for her family.
Hugh is destined to marry Lady Felicity Beresford from a neighboring estate. The marriage was arranged when they were children, but Hugh wants to marry for love.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To tell my story and have my readers entertained. I had a nice email from a reader this morning. Starts the day on a lovely, bright note!
What are you working on next?
I'm writing a series of Regency novellas about five sisters. I have a 1920s romance in mind for a novel, loosely based on the life of a real person. It will have a kind of Upstairs Downstairs/Downton Abbey flavor. I love writing about the inhabitants of big houses. The Folly at Falconbridge Hall is set close to the turn of the twentieth century.
Who are your favorite authors?
Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt from the past. I have many modern writers I greatly admire: Courtney Milan, Amanda Quick, Eloisa James, Anna Campbell, Julia Quinn, Victoria Vane, C.S. Harris, Anne Perry, Mary Jo Putney, Annemarie Brear, and many contemporary writers too, Nicci French and Robert Galbraith to name but a few.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Feeding the local wild life and going for long misty walks. We are blessed to live in a beautiful little town. Tourists pour in during springtime to visit the gardens and see the display of tulips.The movies when there's something good on. I like old black & white movies, especially Film Noir. Our movie house shows an old movie once a month and a local band playing the old favorites. I saw The Quiet Man with John Wayne on the big screen for the first time. Everyone clapped at the end. It's a nice way to spend an afternoon.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do. I was seven or eight. It was a story about witches and gobblins. I took my characters on a dangerous journey. My teacher said I had a talent for story-telling, if only my writing was legible.I still tend to scrawl while my fingers try to catch up with my brain. Thank heavens for computers!
What is your writing process?
I have an idea for a story before I start, but once I begin to write I'm basically a panster. I like the story to surprise me and never know what my characters might choose to do. It's a mysterious process. Panstering allows me to deviate and introduce all sorts of interesting sub-plots and secondary characters. That can be a good thing, and sometimes not.
I use a small word processor which takes me away from the internet for a while. Talking to friends on Facebook, while enjoyable can be time consuming. :) I then upload what I've written to Scrivener. I edit what I've written the previous day before I continue writing and end up with a fairly clean first draft, although there's still plenty to be done. I usually do at least 3 drafts before I send it off to be edited.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was Enid Blyton. It might have been Noddy, but I remember The Famous Five quite well. Like many others I was mesmerized by her books as a child.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle. It's great, and mine has a heap of books waiting to be read. I still like to read a real book occasionally. Nothing like the rustle of paper. It's easier to look back for something overlooked in the story and re-read the back page blurb, etc.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Reviews are important. Also Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Google plus etc. Some limited paid advertising in magazines such as the International Thriller Writers - for my Regency spy series, and InD'tale Magazine. I make guest appearances on romance writer's blogs and do virtual book tours with a new releases. I have a news only newsletter. (Find it on my website at I do some kind of promo most days.
Describe your desk
I have a snug writing nook off the kitchen. Because I write historical romance, I'm surrounded by historical reference books. I love to collect them. I'm interested in art history, English historical houses, gardens, interiors, fashion and books on the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras. Our lovely cat used to squeeze in with me, but we lost her last year. I plan to get another pet soon.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up by the Pacific Ocean near Sydney Australia. Spent a lot of time at the beach and in the small bookshop and the library. I was brown as a berry every summer - my poor skin! I could swim when I was three. I expect it was the library books which influenced my writing as well as those I found at home. My mother's family came to Australia from England, and my father's from Denmark. They were both keen readers (Mum read historical romance. Dad liked thrillers), the wonderful worlds within those books made me want to create similar stories with my own characters.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Writing! My family don't live close so I don't see them often. I have never tired of writing and intend to continue as long as I can. I believe being a writer means improving your skills during your lifetime. I'm always working at that.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a good idea what cover would suit my story, but I let the experts do it for me. There's some great cover artists out there. Some are quite reasonable too.
Published 2014-07-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Captain Jack Ryder - The Duke's Bastard ~ Regency Sons Series
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 51,680. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency
Captain Jack Ryder – The Duke’s Bastard - Regency Sons, Book 1. The death of Captain Jack Ryder’s father, the Duke of Stamford, leaves Jack restless. Dressed in buckskin breeches, he takes to the road on his horse, Arion. But after one day, events conspire to interrupt his plans. Jack finds himself caught up in a conspiracy and a passionate love affair with a lady he cannot marry
Murder in Devon
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 69,840. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Reporter, Casey Rowan is determined to find out who killed her best friend despite running afoul of the detective in charge of the case.
Hostage to Love
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 80,140. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Verity Garnier is an actress whose father has been thrown in a French dungeon. To free him she must deliver Viscount, Anthony Beaumont to his enemies. She travels to London to seduce Beaumont into following her to France. She doesn’t plan on falling in love.
The Baxendale Sisters
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 218,880. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency
Five Book Box Set. Five sisters find love during their London season. Five short novels and novellas. A guaranteed happily ever after. Four of the books have been nominated for awards. Lady Honor's Debt. Lady Faith Takes a Leap. Lady Hope and the Duke of Darkness. The Seduction of Lady Charity. The Scandalous Lady Mercy.
Unmasking Lady Helen - The Kinsey Family Series Book 1
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 58,550. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
At twenty-four, Lady Helen Kinsey has her future carefully mapped out. A life of gentle quietude in the country. It does not include marriage, a dream she banished after her first Season. But when a handsome earl enters Kinsey House in London on a mission to find out why their footman was poisoned, she finds herself drawn to the earl, Jason, Captain Lord Peyton, himself
Diary of a Painted Lady
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,370. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Victorian England, beautiful artist’s model, Giovanna Russo, is desired by two powerful men. One is enchanted by her and decides to make her his mistress. The other wants her dead. When Gina’s diary is discovered over a century later, it is made into the movie, Painted Lady, which answers the mystery of her step-father, the renowned artist’s death, and brings two actors together
One Scandalous Night
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 24,630. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » General
Can one night with a rake be enough for a lifetime? Miss Bella Lacey desires to accomplish two things before marrying the man her father has chosen for her. First, she intends to inveigle a goodly amount of money for her orphans from a man of means and, second, to have one night of passion to help her endure the dreary years ahead. Could the rake, Derrick, Lord Eaglestone be that man?
The Scandalous Lady Mercy - The Baxendale Sisters Book Five
Series: The Baxendale Sisters. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,490. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
When an incident lands Lady Mercy Baxendale and Grant Viscount Northcliffe in the scandal sheets and has everyone in London talking, they are forced into a marriage of convenience. Although Northcliffe is quite the most handsome man she’s met, he does not fill her criterion for a husband. Not only does he appear to be a man with secrets, he has a very public mistress. Can be read as a standalone.
Stirring Passions
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 32,110. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency
Kate Kilgarth, yearning for passion and excitement far from her country village, refuses to marry her childhood best friend, Lord Laurence. But Kate finds excitement right on her doorstep. Lord Broughton has returned from abroad to restore the partly burnt-out Broughton Hall, reigniting an old mystery.
Caroline and the Captain
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 36,530. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Captain Nicholas Bonham of Wellington’s Peninsular Regiment, returns from fighting the Napoleonic wars after his brother, the Earl of Debenham is killed in a riding accident. Nicholas must now marry a wealthy heiress or lose his estate. George’s former fiancée, Miss Caroline Mirrington, harbors a secret. When her father proposes that she marry Nicholas, she is filled with dread.
The Seduction of Lady Charity - The Baxendale Sisters
Series: The Baxendale Sisters. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,400. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Lady Charity Baxendale has long dreamed of becoming a renowned portrait painter. When Robin, Lord Stanberry, proposes, she must choose between marriage and her career. She refuses him, for he is heir to a dukedom, and Charity fears that not only would she be unsuited to life as a duchess but also that her burgeoning career might end before it begins. Besides, Robin has made no mention of love.
An Improper Earl
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,370. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Regency
At the end of her third Season, Lady Harriett Edgerton has refused her one offer of marriage from a perfectly worthy, if dull, suitor. Harriett doesn’t want proper. She wants passion. When she and her family visit a dying relative at his country mansion in Kent, Pendleton Manor, everything appears normal on the surface, until Harriet is suddenly embroiled in murder, intrigue, and lust.
With Murderous Intent
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 55,040. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
To escape a murderous stalker, Caitlin Fitzgerald flees her home in Ireland and takes a governess job in the top end of Australia, determined to guard her heart against further hurt. In her chosen safe haven, she has poisonous snakes, wild boar and crocodiles to contend with. She learns to deal with those. But there are two men at Tall Trees cattle station who test her resolve.
Lord Bartholomew's Christmas Bride
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,340. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
A stickler for correctness, Lord Bartholomew Winborne, second son of the Marquess of Brandreth, is about to take up his appointment as a vicar in India. Requiring a suitable wife by Christmas, he has made a list of the most desirable qualities she must possess. The annoying Miss Emily Isherwood appears to have none of them. A short story.
Lady Hope and the Duke of Darkness - The Baxendale Sisters Book Three
Series: The Baxendale Sisters. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,080. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
In her first Season, Hope Baxendale attracts the interest of a powerful English duke, the husband all debutantes wish for and some will fight dirty to get. If only the handsome Frenchman Daniel Brienne, Duc du Ténèbres wasn’t distracting her from her course. Daniel shows little interest in marrying again, and surely, it is only the sadness in his deep brown eyes that pulls her to him.
How to Tame a Rake
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 39,350. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Historical » Victorian
Wilhelmina Corbet has dreamed of Blake since she was twelve. But the thought of marrying the handsome earl terrifies her. Due to the codicil in his father’s will, Blake Dangerfield, Earl of Hawkeswood, must marry the woman chosen for him, or lose part of his inheritance. Can they find happiness when a handsome heir to a dukedom, unruly pets, and a young chimney sweep are thrown into the mix?
At the Earl's Convenience
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 35,750. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Miss Selina Wakefield accepts Giles Devereux, Earl of Halcrow’s, offer of marriage, against her better instincts. Giles confesses that he must marry into money to save his crumbling estate, Halcrow Hall, and produce an heir. Because of the earl’s rakish reputation, Selina fears she may be leaving her calm, organized life for one of disorder and heartbreak. But she never expects what lies ahead.
Lady Faith Takes a Leap - The Baxendale Sisters
Series: The Baxendale Sisters. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,940. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency
Dutiful daughter Faith Baxendale just wants to please. But a tiny voice in her head warns her that, with the wrong man, life could prove long and dreary, and while everyone else might be happy for her, she would not be happy herself. And now, the neighbor's son, the rakish, Lord Vaughn Winborne, has come home.
Lady Catherine's Scandalous Christmas
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,000. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Widow Lady Catherine Bellingham thought she was content with her life. Then one Christmas night, Gerard, Earl of Berwick, showed her how wrong she was.
Lady Honor's Debt - The Baxendale Sisters Series
Series: The Baxendale Sisters. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 33,840. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Regency
Freedom. That’s all Lady Honor Baxendale wants—for her sisters and for herself. Honor has a bold plan to become financially independent, using a skill she learned at her father’s knee. She seeks the help of a solicitor, Lord Edward Winborne, and is pleased with her choice…as long as she can resist the solicitor himself.