Interview with Maggie McGuinness

What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm working on my second novel, which is about a group of women who form a ‘support group’ for online dating. It came about because I was helping a friend who was new to the internet dating scene and finding it a bit daunting, so I provided some advice and encouragement. She had spectacular success, I'm pleased to say, and I'm taking a bit of the credit for that! It was really good fun helping her out – really satisfying – and it got me thinking about what it would be like if there were several people involved in that sort of scenario.
When did you first start writing?
I've always dabbled in writing bits and pieces, but I got stuck into it properly in 2007, when I went mad, quit my job and went back to 'school' to study writing and editing. I suspect that decision was a mid-life crisis thing, which I can completely recommend, as it was such great fun and it has changed my life.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It’s when I get totally lost in what I am imagining and putting on the page (or screen). It's as though I'm lifted out of this reality and I am actually present in that world that's in my head. I can completely lose track of time - three or four hours can pass by in a blur. That's when I know I've probably written some really good stuff!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I went to a weekend workshop run by the Writers Centre here in Melbourne, and Euan Mitchell did a session about self-publishing. I'd always thought it would be too hard to do, but Euan explained everything so well and made it seem 'do-able', so I thought I'd have a go. He spoke a lot about Smashwords and what a fabulous website it is, and he was right! I'm a new author here, but I am really impressed by the support and services this site offers indie authors.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a lot of chick lit and commercial women's fiction for relaxation and entertainment. Lately I've been reading the work of Australian writers Liane Moriarty and Liz Byrski, and also Mhairi McFarlane from the UK. Now that I've discovered Smashwords, I've started reading books from a whole lot of indie authors too!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A dog called Missy. :) She's a red heeler cross (an Australian Cattle dog) with lots of energy, and when she knows I'm about to take her for her morning walk she leaps in the air and snaps her teeth with joy, and her whole body waggles with happiness.
What are you working on next?
I have so many projects on the go at the moment, it's making my head spin! I'm finding it really exciting getting started here on Smashwords, and all of a sudden I want to do everything at once. I have two manuscripts that are finished, but I'm still considering print options. They will be published here; it's just a matter of deciding when. I've started two other novels - one is chick lit and the other is more a straight romance - and I need to decide which one takes preference to complete. Before that, though, I have several other short stories I'd like to rework and publish here, then there's also the Facebook page, blog, website and Twitter feed I need to either create or update and expand. As well as that, there's plenty of books here I want to read and review, and also my friend's manuscript I have promised to format so she can publish it here too ... If only I didn't have to work to make a living - it really interrupts my writing time!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Oh, that's a hard question! There are so many books I love, and so mainly different reasons why some have particular appeal. Here are a few that spring to mind:
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - Set in my home town of Melbourne, it's a quirky, original and very funny novel.
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - A cracker of a book that I couldn't put down.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - A really interesting epistolary novel with a lovely, evocative style.
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - This book totally blew me away! I can't find the right words to describe it - saying it is a masterpiece doesn't do it justice.
- Anything by Maeve Binchy (I know that's cheating, but I love all her work so much I couldn't possibly just pick one!)
Published 2016-04-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Planet Single - Part 1
Price: Free! Words: 8,190. Language: English. Published: April 26, 2016 by Word Wise. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Bad kissers, sexy sales reps, charismatic conmen and dashing detectives – welcome to life on Planet Single! Being single again makes Katerina feel like she’s on a different planet. If only she’d had time to gather a few essentials, like a guide book, some fancy lingerie and a much thicker skin. Things have certainly changed. Was looking for love always this complicated?
Rituals of Love
Price: Free! Words: 5,920. Language: Australian English. Published: March 29, 2016 by Word Wise. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Martin likes to be prepared for potential disasters, but the one calamity that catches him unawares is a beautiful, free-spirited artist called Anna, who brings complications into his life he could never have predicted. This charming short story by Maggie McGuinness shows that while life can derail even the most thorough of plans, sometimes it’s the biggest surprise that can bring the most joy.
Meeting Damien
Price: Free! Words: 6,510. Language: Australian English. Published: March 22, 2016 by Word Wise. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
As soon as Clare met Andy, she knew he was the one. Four years later, he is her world and her future - until a relationship crisis turns everything upside down. A treacherous mountain road puts Clare in grave danger, until a mysterious stranger called Damien appears - seemingly from nowhere - to save her. Can Damien save the relationship too?
Choosing Chocolate
Price: Free! Words: 4,160. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2016 by Word Wise. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
(5.00 from 1 review)
Amelia's handsome but bad-tempered boyfriend gives her an ultimatum: him ... or chocolate. Well, what's a girl to do?