Maggie Clare will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Author Interview: Maggie Clare
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
I really love the strong, character driven aspect of romance and the high intensity action scenes you get with suspense. Romantic suspense is an exciting, emotional blend of the two genres and really fun to write. Also, I’m a sucker for a happy ending, and that’s a must in romance!
As a mainly science fiction writer, romance was a pretty big departure. For that reason, I opted to write under the pen name, Maggie Clare. I bounce back and forth now between writing speculative fiction as Tabitha, and romance as Maggie. It’s fun, even if I feel like I have a split personality sometimes!
Lost and Found is the third book in the Tactical Solutions International series, but I actually wrote parts of it first. I’d just finished the final draft of a science fiction novel, and I wanted to take a break from that story for a little while. After just a few weeks of working on my new idea, I had to return to writing my science fiction series, and Lost and Found sat in my files for about a year. When I eventually began developing the TSI series, I dusted off that partial manuscript, gave Cam a new and better backstory, and turned it into book 3.
2. Writers write what they know and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle, or last child, and how does this shape your view of the world?
I’m the first born, and I definitely fit the stereotype. I like to be in charge, I’m super organized, and I’m very comfortable in any role where I can lead, teach, or boss somebody around – in a nice way, of course! I also have four kids, and it’s fascinating to consider what parts of their personalities are due to their birth order, and to explore the whole nature vs. nurture question. As a writer, I find myself observing people constantly, and my own family provides plenty of useful information!
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
I love writing outside on my porch, and I’ll go outside for as long as weather permits. Right now, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, which we’ve affectionately called our ‘Game of Thrones’ table as it is ten feet long and made of heavy, distressed wood. Although working in the midst of the household activity is distracting, I also really hate to be sequestered somewhere alone. I feel like a wilting flower without life happening around me! Earbuds are my friends, and I can pretty much tune everything else out.
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
This is such a great question! The phrase is a piece of advice writers hear a lot, and it is sometimes misunderstood. When I first heard the term, I was like, “Wait, kill who?” Would I be required to kill off a beloved main character even if they were supposed to live happily ever after? Thankfully, no.
What I’ve come understand from this alarming expression is that we have to be willing to sacrifice good bits of writing in our manuscript if they don’t serve the story. I’ve had to scrap entire well-written scenes because when I started editing, I realized the story was stronger without them. The overall idea is not to become so attached to a piece of your own writing that you aren’t willing to change or discard it for the sake of telling your story better.
Having said that, sometimes I do literally have to kill a darling in my story, but character deaths are not something I take lightly. It’s becoming more mainstream to take out an important lead for dramatic effect – think Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Killing off a character in a believable, meaningful way has tremendous impact, but taking someone out every season becomes predictable.
Achieving the correct balance in writing is tricky. On the one hand, we don’t want to traumatize our readers for shock value alone. On the other hand, if we are writing in genres with danger around every corner, it seems inevitable that someone will have to go. We lose believability if everyone makes it home in one piece.
If we are going to kill a character, that death should have purpose. It can be a motivating factor for other characters’ actions. It can be a necessary and believable outcome of events. It can be used to push the plot forward. Once a character has died, showing the aftermath and effect on the other characters is imperative. We need to see their grief, anger, and maybe, ultimately their acceptance. A death can provide dramatic moments and add authenticity to the story, but killing a character should never be gratuitous.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
Wow, this is a tough one! I admire so many different authors for so many different reasons. While I don’t love reading horror much anymore, I am still in awe of Stephen King. If I had a chance to meet him, I’d probably ask if he has nightmares regularly!
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
There are very few things about me that absolutely no one knows, but there’s probably a few that my readers wouldn’t know. I once did a ‘five things about me’ type interview, focusing on fun, interesting personal facts, so I’ll share the answers with you here!
When a book is too suspenseful, I get stressed out and read the ending first. I always go back and read it through, but this takes the edge off so I can relax and enjoy the story without worrying about the end. I know it’s cheating!
I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I love roller coasters, and last year I jumped out of a plane for my birthday. I also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for my 40th birthday. It was very, very hard. Not Everest hard, but still a huge physical and mental challenge.
Tattoos are awesome and I have a few. I love really artistic ink.
I’m a medical school dropout. Med school with small children was, for me, an impossible task. I always thought I’d return when the kids were older, but it never seemed to be the right time. It wasn’t until I started writing that I was able to let that particular aspiration go.
I taught middle school Latin for over a decade. I know, I’m a dinosaur!
7. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be? When I wrote my first science fiction series, I made the main character a healer. Not only could she see inside the human body and diagnose issues, she could also heal with her mind if there were no other options. As a former paramedic, that’s a superpower I would have loved. As a mom, it would still be very useful!
Lost and Found
by Maggie Clare
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
BLURB: Dr. Lissa Morgan has had a crush on her best friend’s older brother since they were kids, but handsome, brooding Cam Taylor has never given her a second glance. When Cam unexpectedly shows up on Lissa’s doorstep bleeding and bruised, his personal life in shambles, things between them take a steamy turn.
After an incredible weekend with the sweet, sexy doctor, Cam realizes what he’s been missing. But he’s run from intimacy his whole life, sure he doesn’t deserve a woman like Lissa. He’s doing her a favor by walking away – or so he tells himself.
Frustrated and hurt by Cam’s distance, Lissa must nonetheless rely on his private security firm when an annoying admirer becomes a threat. The more time Cam spends with Lissa, the faster his defenses crumble. When the disturbed stalker finally makes his move, Cam will do whatever it takes to save the woman who’s slowly healing his wounded soul.
Lost and Found is the third book in the Tactical Solutions International series but can be read as a stand-alone.
Cam woke with a splitting headache and no idea where he was. For a few seconds, before his foggy brain cleared, he simply stared at the white ceiling overhead. He ran a hand over the soft blanket covering him, and turned his head carefully to the side. A glass of orange juice, a bottle of pills, and a note sat on a coffee table. His cell phone, keys, and wallet were in a neat pile next to the glass.
Snapshots of memory flashed back into his head, coming in reverse order, like a videotape rewinding. Liss suturing his head. Her friend bringing supplies. Cam sitting outside her door, getting drunk while he waited for her to come home.
He reached for the note, licking his dry lips and squinting past the pounding in his head.
Things you may do: 1. Drink this juice and take some Tylenol. 2. Take off your bloody clothes and leave them in the basket. 3. Shower – the sutures won’t dissolve. 4. Move into my room for more sleep. Things you may not do: 1. Leave – doctor’s orders.
He grinned, hearing Lissa’s voice in his head as he read her instructions. His smile faded when he remembered what had driven him to her doorstep in the first place. He couldn’t think about that right now. He considered sneaking out before Liss returned from wherever she’d gone off to, but he discarded the idea pretty quickly. He needed the pills, the shower, and more sleep.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maggie Clare is the pen name of award-winning speculative fiction author Tabitha Lord.
When channeling Maggie, she writes all the naughty things! Her Tactical Solutions International romantic suspense series features hot hunky heroes, smart sexy gals, and nail-biting narratives.
Count on Maggie to pair great story-telling with an erotic edge.
Amazon buy link: