Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekend Spotlight with Margaret Mayo


This weekend The Pink Heart Society spotlights author Margaret Mayo.

About Author:
Margaret lives in a quiet country village in the UK and never had any ambition to become a writer. She loved reading but couldn’t imagine anyone having the patience to write all those thousands of words - until an idea for a short story turned into a full scale novel – and her relationship with writing began. Now, over thirty years later, she still encompasses all the pleasure that writing that first novel gave her. She left school at fifteen without any formal qualifications and began working as an office junior, climbing through the ranks to become secretary to the UK Manager of a Danish company. And it was while she was here that she began writing – the first eight of her books were actually written in her spare time at the office. She has a son and daughter and a grandson and step granddaughter, all of whom are very proud of her writing. Margaret herself rarely tells anyone what she does for a living – unless asked, of course, but her husband isn’t shy at boasting about her success.

Where do you get the inspiration for your books from? Along with most authors I get inspiration from newspapers, magazine articles, TV programmes, an overheard conversation. I need only a germ of an idea to start me off before the ‘what if?’ questions begin. It could even be a place that inspires me, and then I have to ask myself what the hero and heroine are doing there and what is the conflict (I use the term loosely) between them.

What makes you mad?

Parents who don’t control their children. Bad manners in public places.
What’s the most romantic thing that has ever happened to you?

My husband singing ‘Hold my hand I’m a stranger in paradise’ on the day that we met. He still sings it occasionally now.

What in a hero makes you drool?

Definitely his eyes. Colour doesn’t matter but I like my heroine to get the feeling that he’s making love to her simply by looking at her. Richard Gere did it well in Pretty Woman.

If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

At this stage in my life I’d like to be a successful artist. (note I say successful and not struggling!) When I was younger I wanted to be a PA who accompanied her boss on trips abroad. Such dreams!

What do you do to relax and wind down?

Curl up on the sofa and watch a good movie. Read. Or just simply sit and look out at my garden. We have a tiny stream running down into a pool and I love watching the movement of the water or the birds taking a bath. Doing nothing is the ultimate luxury because I’m always so very busy.

How do you get out of a writing rut?

Sometimes I write myself out of it. Eventually the story will come alive again and then I can delete all the rubbish that I’ve written. I’ve tried other methods like walking or gardening but they don’t work for me. Occasionally my subconscious will do the work. The answer will be there when I wake in a morning. It’s wonderful when that happens. On other occasions a change of viewpoint will get the story going again.


If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

I’m actually very happy where I am. In my opinion there’s nothing to beat England. I always love coming back to it after a holiday abroad. It’s small and cosy and wraps itself around you. But I’m also very fond of Australia and can imagine myself sharing my time between the two countries.

Who would you most like to give a hug to?

Anyone who does good in this increasingly violent world.

Name a fabulous book you've read.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I’m deeply impressed by his amount of research in the building of a cathedral in 1123. It’s also a saga of love, passion and revenge. Brilliant!

What music do you listen to when writing?

I write best in perfect silence but occasionally, if I’m struggling, I play Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I read an article once on composers inspiring your artistic tendencies. Different composers for different star signs. Vivaldi was my man. And it works!

Tell us a secret nobody knows about you
Sorry, I have no secrets – none that I intend to share anyway.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

As a newly-wed I invited my mother and father-in-law to dinner and decided on roast chicken, even though I’d never cooked one before. When my mother-in-law offered to carve it I gladly conceded. I never knew they packed the giblets in little plastic bags and put them inside the chicken! I was so embarrassed when she found them still inside, and to this day I can still remember her saying, ‘We won’t tell the men!’

What have you had to celebrate in the last year?

Can I fast forward? Early next year I’ll be celebrating my fiftieth wedding anniversary. I almost cannot believe it. The years have flown by so quickly.

What’s beside your computer when you’re writing?

Notepad and pen. Very important for those elusive ideas that waft away into the ether if I don’t write them down. All sorts of research material for my work in progress. And a file of bills and letters all needing attention which I keep putting off because I’m more interested in the book that I’m writing.

If you could kiss anyone in the world who would it be?

I’ve thought hard about this one. Apart from my husband (naturally) it would be either Richard Gere (because the eyes have it!) or – no, I can’t think of anyone else.

What are you working on now?

At the moment I’m working on revisions to a book set in Australia where my hero, Cade, is seeking revenge on Simone, the woman who let him down badly several years ago. Unfortunately he was entirely wrong! Simone’s now suspicious that he’s trying to take her business off her - so troubles all round!
By the time you’re reading this, however, I’m hoping to have started a new one. I’m planning for my heroine to be coerced into becoming a nanny, looking after an Italian billionaire’s six year old daughter. The child has never lived with her father, only with her mother who has now died, and she hates him.

Margaret has written over 70 books for Mills and Boon over 30 years. How fabulous is that?

Her current release, BEDDED AT HIS CONVENIENCE, is out in the US, Australia and New Zealand now!

For more information, visit her website.


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Today's Birthday Present for the Lil Pink Dancing Guy can be found at Fiona Harper's Blog....

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