Saturday, 25 November 2017

The Write Stuff with... Maggie Christensen

Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Maggie Christensen to the blog to talk about her writing journey and why she's chosen to write about older women.

I grew up in Scotland and began teaching primary school there, before emigrating to Australia in my mid-twenties. I was lured by ads of a semi-naked man in gown and mortarboard and the slogan ‘Come teach in the Sun’. I’m still looking for that guy! 

My writing journey all began over 30 years ago when I was working in Higher Education and took a forced transfer to teach in a country town university in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. I didn’t want to go the country. I wanted to get back to the city – to the bright lights of Sydney. However, to Wagga Wagga I went and there, to my surprise I met this hunk of a gentle giant who’d moved there from USA to teach in the same faculty as me. At the ripe old age of 37, I’d almost – but not quite – given up hope of meeting my soulmate. Here he was.

Fast forward around ten years, when I was close to retirement and had started to write fiction and my mother-in-law, now widowed and in her eighties, decided to move from California to Florence on the Oregon Coast. This meant we went to visit on a regular basis, and was my first introduction to that beautiful part of the world which reminded me of my native Scotland and which was to prove the perfect setting for the three books in my Oregon coast Series.

When I started writing fiction, I was working as Manager in an Education Unit in a Health Service and with a stateside restructure in the offing, I decided to write the fiction I’d always wanted to write. I began to write The Sand Dollar in which my heroine, Jenny, is facing a redundancy and, on the strength of finding a sand dollar, takes a trip to Oregon to visit her godmother. That became my second book, and the beginning of a series.

I’ve written and published seven novels – the last one, The Good Sister released on November 23rd. I write books which celebrate women who have learned to live and love in later life and the heroes worthy of them – heartwarming stories of second chances.

My books usually begin by placing my heroine in a challenging situation and the rest of the books takes it from there. I start with a heroine and a situation, then a man appears in her life. 

I write about older women because I believe that older women and the events which impact on their lives are often ignored in literature. Life for older women presents similar and different challenges to their younger counterparts. They still look for a Happy Ever After, but theirs may include stepchildren – even teenage stepchildren – and ex partners with their attendant issues. My books also allow me to explore those issues which only emerge with years. Issues such as aging and death of parents, retrenchment, retirement, downsizing, grown children, grandchildren, widowhood and the empty nest syndrome.

I write about real people, women readers might become friends with, and I like to reintroduce characters in future books so that my readers feel they’re meeting old friends again.

The Good Sister is the first book I’ve set in my native Scotland. Writing it took me back to my student years in Glasgow and reminded me of many of the words and phrases I grew up with. I loved writing this book and doing the research, though found the dual timeframe incredibly difficult.

You can buy The Good Sister at https://books2read.com/u/bpWqkX

Connect with Maggie via:

Website: http://maggiechristensenauthor.com
Facebook: Maggie Christensen author
Twitter: @MaggieChriste33
Goodreads: Maggie_Christensen

Two Isobels. A lifetime of regret. A love that spans the years

In 1938, as the world hurtled towards war, twenty-year-old Isobel MacDonald fell madly in love. But fate and her own actions conspired to deny her the happiness she yearned for. Many years later, plagued with regrets and with a shrill voice from the past ringing in her ears, she documents the events that shaped her life.

In 2015, sixty-five-year-old Bel Davison returns from Australia to her native Scotland to visit her terminally ill aunt. Reading Isobel’s memoir, she is beset with memories of her own childhood and overcome with guilt. When she meets her aunt’s solicitor, events seem to spiral out of control and, almost against her will, she finds herself drawn to this enigmatic Scotsman.

What is it that links these two women across the generations? Can the past influence the future?

All book titles in bold are Amazon UK Affiliate links which will earn me a few pence if anyone clicks through and makes a purchase - any money earned will go towards buying books or gifts for giveaways.

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