Maggie Tideswell is a South African author with a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, even the birds and the bees are doing it. Ghosts just can’t seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can’t be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.
Maggie just can’t do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time. The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them. That might change soon.
Cold Coffee Press Interview Questions:
What makes you proud to be a writer from South Africa? I’m a South African author – and believe me, there are many of us! To the world, South Africa is a unique and exotic place to visit and I like to bring a bit of the beauty of my country and the diversity of the population to the world in my books. I write from a South African perspective in that my stories are set in my home country, which gives me a unique voice readers have commented positively on.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? The love of books. As a young child I was fascinated by the idea that someone sat down and wrote so many words to tell a story. >From early on I was always thinking up stories of my own, but it was only when I was in my 40s (2002) that I thought to actually write then down. I still love the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of the paper, the solidity of it.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Not really. I grew up protestant and at the age of 16 shocked the family when I wanted to become a Nun. I did convert to Catholicism after I left school and later became interested in the Craft and Paganism, which plays a large part in my writing.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I started writing in 2002. I remember the day well. I was working in catering on a weekend and, because there was nothing for me to do, I started typing a scene on work’s computer. I rushed home after my shift and wrote another scene. I gave it the title of An Absolute Bargain, which grew into Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. I suppose from the beginning I had an eye on becoming a published author, but I didn’t know how to go about getting published. It wasn’t until 2011, after writing 7 more full novels that my dream became a reality. I actually published my 2nd novel, Dark Moon, first.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Holding my first published book in my hands. It was a profound moment complete with tears, racing heart and sweaty palms.
How many published books do you have? 9 of which 3 are out of print
Please list the titles of all your books:
Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series
1) Runaway Couple
2) He’s Married
3) You’re Wrong
2 more books to come in this series
Moragh’s Ghost Saga
1) A Convenient Marriage
2 more books to come in this series
Roxanne’s Ghost Saga
1) Goodbye, My Love
2) PS: I Love You – out 23 October
Moragh, Holly’s Ghost I self-published under the title A Convenient Marriage when the contract ended and the rights reverted back to me, so I’m not promoting Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. Dark Moon’s rights also reverted to me when the contract ended and is now a duology titled JJ: book 1- True Colors and book 2 – Unleashed. I am self-publishing then next year March and May. I have the covers ready if you’d like to add them to the website in a Soon to be Released section? Oh, and Silent Night, a fantasy novella set at Christmas time – it doesn’t have a Christmas theme. I withdrew this book because I want to work on it. I want to work it into full-length book.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write paranormal (ghost) romance. I always specify that hauntings play a large part in my stories as opposed to what people normally expect paranormal to mean – vampires, zombies, creatures with tentacles and many rows of teeth. Ghosts create a fear of what cannot be seen – and let’s face it, everyone likes to be scared. Doors creaking open, sounds there are no explanation for, these are the stuff of true goose bumps. I am fascinated by ghosts, why some people rest in peace after death and others not. I’ve made a study of the different types of hauntings. Sometimes there is no way of interacting with a ghost as their appearance is more like a recording of a past event that merely plays over and over again in a specific place. The ghost in A Convenient Marriage is mostly this kind. Poltergeists – noisy ghosts – throws things around, slams doors and can interact with the living – the ghost in Roxanne’s Ghost Saga.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? My advice is two-fold: write every day and Never give up. Writing is a craft that has to be practiced to be perfected. By writing every day, be it a blog post, an article or work on your WIP, you practice your own individual writing style to become good at it. And the second part, if we had to go weak in the knees under criticism, not books will ever be written. Always bear in mind what you write won’t appeal to everyone, but for every story there IS an audience. Therefore, never give up your dream – it is achievable.
Who is your favorite author and why? I enjoy Barbara Erskine’s books, because she writes similar stories to mine – set in the present but going back in time.