Thursday, August 8, 2013

Authorsday: Maggie Bishop

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

While working in the corporate world, I asked a secretary if I could borrow a book to read on vacation. That one contemporary romance paperback changed the course of my life. I devoured four hundred novels in one year. My husband couldn’t understand the addiction. My nose was in a book all the time, even while in the car at stop lights. At home, he would have to call me several times to break my concentration and get my attention.”

One evening while driving home from work at Danskin in York, PA,I decided that I could write a romance. I’d been absorbing the rhythms of the stories, the variety in plot lines, the depth of characters. The decision to write was easy – the execution was the hard part. I joined the Romance Writers of America and had a crash course in the craft of writing by attending their national conferences.

How did you pick the genre you write in?

Appalachian Adventures started with romance, then turned to murder. The original concept was 4 books, 4 male cousins, 4 seasons and 4 different sports. I had to get the romance out of my system. “Appalachian Paradise” is romance and backpacking. “Emeralds in the Snow” is romance, downhill skiing and a cold case mystery. “Murder at Blue Falls,” my third novel (3rd male cousin, 3rd season and 3rd sport – horseback riding) changed everything. My publisher, Ingalls Publishing Group, fell in love with the two main characters and the following books are based on the fictional Blue Falls Guest Ranch in the real Triplett Valley outside the real cozy mountain town of Boone, NC.

Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

Once, I outlined a book and became bored with it because I already knew the ending. Lesson learned – my writing has to entertain me during the process so I’m 90% panster. Most of the time, I don’t know who did it until the last third of the book, which means more revisions.

If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

Since I write cozy mysteries, did you figure out who did it before it is revealed in the story?

Describe your latest book, “One Shot too Many.”

This time Detective Tucker is the main character and we find out more about his past. Yesterday's regret; today's deadly fix.

Impulsive acts during emotional upheavals from the past return to haunt, ending in the death of a photo-journalist near the cozy mountain town of Boone, NC. Detective Tucker must deal with his past while investigating the secrets of suspects determined to keep from facing their own histories. Jemma Chase, trail-ride leader and CSI wannabe, follows clues, even though her interference may cost Tucker his job. “One Shot Too Many” ... suspects a-plenty for Detective Tucker when someone kills the newspaper photographer who took one too many photos. Everyone has something to hide. The nurse – too many injections. The judge -- too many attempts. The retired army man – too many guns. And then there’s the dental hygienist with too many ejac – lovers, the grandmother who loves too much, the sports medicine professor who drinks too much. When Tucker’s own past comes back to haunt, Jemma Chase, his CSI wannabe girlfriend, has to make a choice.

What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?

My strengths are dialogue and action. Readers comment often on the setting.

What is your favorite word?

“Umbrella” because of the way it trips the tongue around the mouth. My favorite 2 word combo is “Ball hootin” which is what a pickup truck does down a slick mountain road.

Why do you use real people as minor characters?

I live in the South where uniqueness is more than tolerated, it’s encouraged. It helps avoid using stereotypes. Plus it’s fun for them and me. You read about them and see them in movies but I live near them, know them, enjoy them. Including myself, so I’m in my books like Alfred Hitchcock is in his movies.

Tell us about your background.

My family are all readers. My dad was Air Force and I grew up with 4 brothers. When Dad would come home and say that he was transferred, Mom would get excited and pack up all us kids and make the move with little trouble. We would explore the culture and land where ever we lived – England, Germany, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Japan. My parents started ski patrol when they were 65 and retired at 87. We are an adventurous bunch. That’s why I had to have adventure in my novels.

Where can we find out more about you? Visit my Website and Blog Dames of Dialogue and Friend me on Facebook and Twitter Amazon listing for all my books

Author Bio
Maggie Bishop hikes, skis, swims, explores and writes in the mountains of North Carolina where she settled in 1993 with her husband and cat. Every time they travel, they seek out other mountains but none are as exciting as the ancient Appalachians. When asked, "What do you do?" her answer is, "Entertain with word pictures."

She was awarded the honor of being one of "One Hundred Incredible East Carolina University Women" for literature and leadership. She's an Air Force brat who put herself through East Carolina University and received a MBA degree, a former manufacturing executive, founder and past president of High Country Writers, and is a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Book Blurb:
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.

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.

Now: The photography group meets at Blue Falls Guest Ranch and soon there is ONE SHOT TOO MANY which features Detective Tucker with yesterday’s regret haunts.

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