Saturday, July 14, 2012

Author Interview: Kristie Leigh Maguire

Note: Authors interested in participating in our author interview series, we're once again looking for volunteers. See this page for details.

"Our readers say that they can’t tell who wrote what. That’s what made it so great for us."

In these interviews I’ll often ask if an author always knew they wanted to be a writer. It’s one of those questions that are cliché, but often have good answers. But from your bio I suspect the answer to this would be no. Instead, why don’t you tell us, what prompted you to become a writer?

I’ve always been an avid reader but had never seriously considered becoming a writer although the thought crossed my mind occasionally. However, that changed when I was living in Japan and couldn’t find books to read that were written in English. This may sound strange now but remember it was 1997 before the e-book craze took off with the advent of good e-readers like the Kindle, the Nook, and the Ipad. It may sound stupid but I decided that if I wanted a book to read, I’d have to write one myself. Thus my career as a writer was born. I’m just an avid reader turned writer and author.

You like to say that you “were indie, when indie wasn’t cool.” You were an indie before there was an ebook market or affordable print-on-demand services available. How long have you been indie publishing and what was it like as an indie before the ebook revolution started?

I have been indie publishing since the beginning of my writing career, which began in 1997 when I was living in Japan. After writing my first book, I researched publishing. Talk about putting the cart before the horse but if I had researched publishing before writing my book, I most likely would have never written the book. Since I came to writing later in my life (OK I wasn’t over the hill yet but the hill was looming in the close distance!), I decided I didn’t have time to wait years and years trying to find an agent who would then have to convince the “Publishing Gods” to make me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I discovered alternative publishing through my research and decided that was the route for me to take.

What was it like before the e-book revolution?

Like rolling a boulder uphill with your nose!

Without the advent of a good e-reader, there would have been no e-book revolution. When I first started selling e-books, I sold them in PDF format only with a download from my website. I would also make a floppy disk (remember those?) with my book on it and mail them to people who ordered my book through my website.

However, Indie Publishing was never just about e-books. I started my Indie Author career with paperback books. My first paperback book was published through an alternative publishing house called Great Unpublished. Talk about the days! The name of the book was Desert Triangle. Yes, the very same book that I now have published as Desert Heat. It was a best seller at Great Unpublished. I met a lot of wonderful people at the forums at GU and a lot of not so wonderful people as well. Those not so wonderful people became the reason I pulled my book from GU and went my own way.

I came to e-books through another forum. The name of the forum escapes my memory now but I do remember loving the forum and the great people there. The lady who ran the forum is now dead. Anyway, that forum was my introduction to e-books which I had never heard of before.

I imagine many of the things involved in being an indie author are easier than when you started. Are there things that are harder?

Hmmmm. I honestly can’t think of any unless it would be getting noticed among the crowd of other indie authors who are now on the scene. J

Most of your books are in the romance genre. However, unlike a lot of authors, they are spread across the full spectrum, from sweet romance to hot-and-spicy romance. Why the wide range and does this confuse your readers?

I do believe my writing a sweet romance confused my loyal fans that were used to the name of Kristie Leigh Maguire being synonymous with hot and spicy.

My reason for writing a sweet romance? I wrote it for my elderly mother who had read my erotic romance books and thought that I did all those things I wrote about in my books. I kept telling her that the books were FICTION but she wasn’t buying it. I tried to redeem myself in her eyes by writing Second Chances. She loved Wyoming so I set the book in Wyoming just for her. It was very hard for me to keep it on the ‘sweet side of things’. Second Chances is now my bestselling book.

To give us an idea of the range why don’t you give us a description of Second Chances and Desert Heat.

OK, will do although to get the full effect of the difference in the range, I’m giving the long description for Desert Heat.

Second Chances: Love Lost, Love Found

Jane Porter's world is turned upside down when her 'almost fiancé' Mike Farley goes off the deep end and marries the beautiful and fiery Samantha Jo Smith, a girl he met just a few short weeks earlier at the Wild Horse Saloon in Casper, Wyoming. Jane goes into a deep depression but in her heart-of-hearts she can't deny that she still loves Mike.

Samantha soon realizes that her hasty marriage to Mike was a mistake. She can't forget her dreams of becoming a country and western superstar. Mike can't forget about Jane.

Through it all, Mike's mother Liz and Jane's father Jim come closer together as they struggle with the mess their children have made of their lives and the day-to-day struggle of running their neighboring ranches.

What will Samantha do? What will happen to Mike? Will Jane have a second chance at love? Will Jim and Liz realize it is never too late for love?

Find out in Kristie Leigh Maguire's Second Chances: Love Lost, Love Found. Set in rural Wyoming, Second Chances is a sweet contemporary western romance that will warm your heart. One reader stated, "I read it through in an evening, and felt as if I had spent that evening with 'salt of the earth' folk." Another reader said, "I loved the double, no triple, second chance. It was a very sweet ending."

Desert Heat: What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas
Romance of the Year - Affaire de Coeur Magazine
Affairs of the Heart (Book One)

"Maguire singes readers' eyes with the fire of her love scenes." - Romantic Times Book Club Magazine

"Come take a journey to the Mojave Desert where the weather is hot and passion runs high. Ms. Maguire weaves an erotica filled with more than just fun and games." - Just Erotic Romance

Do you like your romance novels hot, steamy, and ultra-sensual? Do you yearn for something different, something special, something you've only dared live in your wildest fantasies?

Are you ready?
...for a writer who can elicit feelings of exquisite passion with words that slither over your moistened lips and curl themselves around your tongue?
...for an author whose love scenes sizzle with sexy, scintillating, scandalous emotions that will heat your brain to the boiling point and set your body on fire?

Are you ready? meet an author who is capable of taking you to places you've never been before? take a step above the average, and enter Kristie Leigh Maguire's realm of fiery intimacy: the exotic, erotic, delicious, capricious world of your ultimate fantasies?

Are you ready? read Desert Heat: What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas, the first novel in the ultra-sensual Affairs of the Heart series by Kristie Leigh Maguire?

Kristie Leigh Maguire presents the ultimate in ultra-sensual modern day romance. She takes you "beyond the kiss" without crossing that tenuous line between eroticism and vulgarity. Her characters are real everyday, ordinary people, not impossibly created heroes and heroines who could only be real in the pages of your average romance novel.

Don't expect the typical romance story with this novel. There are no shrinking violets or shy maiden virgins who long to be taken against their will in Desert Heat. Marcie is a savvy businesswoman who knows what she wants and is willing to go against the odds to get it.

Marcie and Steve have a long-time and mutually satisfying marriage. However, when career changes force them to move from a metropolitan city in Texas to a small crossroads town in the Mojave Desert in Southern California, a surprise is in store for them that neither Marcie nor Steve could have ever anticipated in a million years. Marcie commits the unthinkable. She falls in love with her handsome new boss, Jim. How will Marcie handle being in love with both Steve and Jim? Will this be the end of Marcie's marriage to Steve, the guy who has been by her through thick and thin?

Read Desert Heat and get swept away to another world. Come visit the desert where it is always hot, hot, hot! Live with Marcie, Steve and Jim as they explore the shades of difference between love, sex and friendship. You may never view love or the desert through the same eyes again!

Continue Marcie's story with Cabin Fever: And the Flames Burned Higher - Affairs of the Heart (Book Two).

To keep your readers guessing, you also have a book that you’ve described as “adult romantic comedy” and I described as satire, No Lady and Her Tramp. First, tell us what No Lady is about.

One Amazon reviewer of No Lady and Her Tramp stated, "If you like a book filled with sex (Linda Lovelace would have a "hard' time keeping up), revenge, espionage (trailer park style), gossip (move over Barbara Eden-Harper Valley), feuding neighbors (yeah, Hatfields and McCoys), I guarantee, you will not be disappointed."

Top Ten - Preditors & Editors Poll

A quirky hysterically hilarious read that is down and dirty!

No Lady and Her Tramp will have you rolling in the aisles as you follow the exploits of the residents of President Park, the trailer park to top all trailer parks. When Beth Ann Dixon buys herself a computer and decides to write a steamy erotic novel, her husband, Billy Ray, can't do much of anything right, not even shoot a gun. Janet Higgins is the resident Peeping Tom - and Troy Finkmyer is the guy we all love to hate. Everybody gets into the act and there are showdowns all over Grapevine - Grapevine, Kentucky that is. Shirley Snodgrass is the local gossip columnist for the Grapevine Gazette and records it all in her column, 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'.

These two authors, Kristie Leigh Maguire and Mark Haeuser, by putting their talents together, have written a very funny book laced with pure, unadulterated steam.

Another way No Lady and Her Tramp is different from your other books is that it was co-written with Mark Haeuser. Tell us about what prompted this project and how the process was different for you.

I LOVED writing with my co-author Mark Haeuser. It was a totally different experience than writing solo. Our creative writing juices mingled so well together. We each sparked the other to write something that we would never have done on our own. This experience has been the highlight of my writing career to date.

Mark and I have never met in the real world. We were virtual writing partners. We did not outline (I never do). I would write a chapter and send it to him. He would read it and then write his chapter and send it back to me. So on and so forth for the whole book. Our only agreement was not to reveal who wrote each chapter. Our readers say that they can’t tell who wrote what. That’s what made it so great for us.

What prompted this project? It came from a forum that I ran for many years, NUW (Not the Usual Way). The only requirement for belonging to the forum was to be an independently published author – thus the name of the forum. One time we were all discussing writing with a co-author versus writing solo. I issued a challenge for someone who wrote in a totally different genre than me to become my co-author on a book. Mark, who wrote action/adventure, wanted to co-author with me on a manuscript. I accepted and No Lady and Her Tramp was the end result. What fun we had writing that book!

What is the last book you read by a fellow indie author and what did you think of it?

I have been reading so much lately and most of what I have been reading is free books that I have downloaded to my Kindle. Most of the time I honestly don’t know if the books are indie published or trad published so it’s hard for me to answer this question.

I recently read a book that has stuck with me long after I finished reading it. It is All Different Kinds of Free by Jessica McCann. I don’t know if she is indie pubbed or trad pubbed. I do know that the book is based on a true story and I highly recommend the book.

You’ve lived all over the world. Tell us some of the places you’ve lived and the things you liked (or if you want, didn’t like) about a few.

My favorite place that I lived was Aruba. I loved the weather, the beaches, and the people. I cried when we had to leave.

I can’t say that Japan was a favorite place to live but it was the one I anticipated the most going to and the one that was the most disappointing to me. I suppose I had such high expectations that the reality naturally would not live up to my dreams of Japan. I wrote a book about living in Japan titled Emails from the Edge which is no longer available in paperback or e-book format. I had a lot of people who loved this book but I also had a lot of people who were highly critical of me for ‘telling it like it is’ (or was) for me living there.

One place that I dreaded going to but turned out to be a lot better than my expectations was Saudi Arabia, especially my first experience of living there. Hubby and I lived in Saudi Arabia on three different occasions. I met many people who became such great friends and made the experience of living in such a totally different culture worthwhile. I was in Saudi Arabia on 9/11 but that’s ‘a whole nuther subject’ in itself.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise most people.

I am a preacher’s daughter. This would totally surprise the fans of my erotic romances. J

For more Kristie:

Visit Kristie's website or blog. Follow her on Twitter or like her Facebook page.

Purchase Kristie's books from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.



Imogen Rose said...

Interesting interview, Al and Kristie. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Kristie Leigh Maguire - Indie Author said...

Thank you for featuring me at Books and Pals, Al! And thank you so much for asking questions that made me dig deep to answer. :)


BooksAndPals said...

Thanks for doing it, Kristie.

Donna Fasano said...

Lovely interview! I'll bet the exotic places you've lived have sparked your writer's imagination.

Karen MuellerbBryson said...

What a wonderful interview! I enjoyed learning more about Kristie and her work!

Kellie said...

Great interview Kristie!

Serena Fairfax said...

What an enlightening interview with an interesting indie writer. Well done Kristie and congrats to BooksandPals for the excellent probe.

Arthur Levine said...

Great interview Kristie

mountainmama said...

I've talked to Kristie on the Amazon forum discussions for over a year now and it's nice to see her interview here! A great lady and an inspiration to a lot of us!

Nancy Morse said...

Great interview Kristie and good job BooksandPals. Come back to the Wheel more often. We miss you there.

Lyn Horner said...

Kristie, I enjoyed learning more about you, especially how you broke into indie publishing. Very inspiring!

Great interview, Al!

Annette Gisby said...

What a great interview, Kristie :)

Take care,

Jeff said...

Another great review for Miss Kristie. I can't reccommend A Lady and Her Tramp enough. One can't help but think of Urban Cowboy when you read this highly entertaining book.