Give us a little bit about your background and when you first started publishing.
Hello, everyone. I am Maggi Andersen. I have been published for 15 years and have 50 plus novels and novellas and a USA Today bestselling author of Regency romantic suspense, and historical romance.
I’ve written since childhood, but when I married other things took precedence, raising my children, creating homes and gardens, and working as a Legal PA. I studied for two degrees. My first novel, which I wrote for my master’s degree, was a murder mystery set in England. When, after deliberation, Random House refused it, I wrote a Regency novella and was thrilled to have it published! I changed my career path from writing crime to historical romance. I love the diversity the genre offers me, because the stories can be romantic suspense, or mysteries set in that fascinating period of history.
Historical Setting Related:
Have you visited the places you’ve written about or just read about them?
- I have visited quite a few of the places I write about. While staying with a friend, I did some research in Richmond library, visited York, Oxford, Bath, stayed at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton, attended a writing course in Harrogate, and spent a night at the elegant, Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair where I enjoyed their delicious high tea.
What interesting settings have you used (homes, battlefields, events in history, etc)?
- I often set my stories in country mansions. They’re almost a character in themselves, with secret passages and intricate gardens. While I don’t write battle scenes, I’ve incorporated the Napoleonic wars into some of my books. But the spies and intrigue interests me more than the battle arena.
Why did you choose the particular period you write in? What is it about that era that speaks to you?
- I first fell in love with the Regency era while reading my mother’s Georgette Heyer books. I have the complete library. The Regency era offers so much to write about. There’s never been another period in history like it. It was brief, stretching from 1811 to 1820 when Prinny became King George IV at the death of his father. So much fodder for a great story. The elegant ton, the beautiful fashions, the mansions and their exquisitely decorated rooms, the romantic gardens designed by such greats as Capability Brown, the elaborate meals, and the customs and etiquette which ruled every aspect of that world. To go against the strictures of the beau monde could have serious consequences, gossip was rife, and if you’re given the ‘cut direct’, it could finish you socially. However, many appeared to get away with a lot. It was an era of great poetry and the novels of Jane Austen, the Prince Regent’s ribald court, and the effects on the country due to the Napoleonic wars. Not to mention the grim underbelly of London’s poor. The idle rich themselves make a great story, some of whom lost their estates to gambling or drank their fortunes away. My heroes are never idle. They might work for the crown, or get their hands dirty taking care of their estates and their tenant farmers. I find the historic characters of that period fascinating. They were colorful, and at times seem larger than life.
What inspires you to create a certain character (give example)? Have you ever changed the character arc because it didn’t work with the storyline?
- I find great inspiration for my heroes in novels and movies. I’m a fan of old black and whites. Cary Grant was great in Notorious! in Georgette Heyer’s Venetia, Rakish Lord Damerel was a great character, and Rochester in Jane Eyre. I particularly liked the 2006 miniseries with Toby Stephens. Rochester was arrogant, a flawed character, as was Damerel. They behaved badly, but they were wounded souls. This kind of hero appeals to me, one who becomes a better man through love. I don’t tend to alter character arcs, but in NEVER DOUBT A DUKE the initial plot was for Nellie and Charles to be at loggerheads for most of the story. I didn’t like it and changed some aspects of it.
Do you have a certain quirk in your writing process? Do the stars have to be aligned or do you have to have your favorite tea? Where do you do your best writing?
- English Breakfast tea sweetened with honey, seated at my desk, wearing my blue woolly socks. It gets pretty cold here in the mornings, lol. I have a nice study which overlooks the garden. We have inherited three ducks, a possum, a few parrots and a friendly cockatoo along with the house.
From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?
- I loved the pirate, Jack Shadow Stirling. An embittered, ruthless man, he discovers his humanity and nobility through love. But usually, it’s the hero in my latest novel. In this case it’s Charles, Duke of Shewsbury, in NEVER DOUBT A DUKE. After his life is rocked by tragedy he creates a pleasant, orderly life for himself. When forced to marry, he remains confident it will continue. Charles considers himself a calm, rational man, but is shocked by how unruly his emotions become after he marries Nellie. He struggles to understand himself. Nellie is in denial too, both are protecting their hearts. There’s that HEA of course, but this story was sad in parts too, which had me reaching for a tissue at times.
Outside of your own genre, what’s your favorite genre?
- Victorian mysteries. I love Gothics romances and have written a couple.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Maggi a little better. If you haven’t heard Maggi has a new Dragonblade book releasing Thursday June 4th 2020 titled “Never Doubt a Duke” . This is book 1 in her new The Never Series. Reserve your copy today before the price goes up!!