Maggie: Hi Carla and thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here and talk about Love Bleeds.
1) "Love Bleeds", the first book of your new series Only After Dark, is your first published book (congratulations by the way!). Can you please tell us a little more about the book and the series outside of what we've read in the synopsis I reiterated above?
Maggie: Thank you very much and I’d be happy to. Love Bleeds is a sexy paranormal romance set in Europe and features handsome leather clad rock star vampires who unexpectedly fall for a pair of beautiful strong-willed women. It is a sensually written novel, with plenty of emotionally charged scenes as well as some unexpected twists and turns in the plot. As you mentioned, it is the first installment in the Only After Dark series and will be followed up with several more novels; each centered around another character(s) from the cast. Each sexy vamp (and mortal) will have the chance to have their story told and be the featured hero and/or heroine in consecutive installments.
2) Can you give us any detail into some of the things we can expect as the series progresses?
Maggie: As is stands right now, in Book Two the story will center around Nina and Phillip. Most of the characters from Book One will make an appearance in the consecutive installments; some more than others, depending on how the story line progresses. Book Two will be mostly about Nina and Phillip and I will definitely be bringing in a few surprises to stir things up for these two characters. I will delve into their relationship and reveal how Phillip was turned as well as explain why they were meant for each other and their obvious ‘cosmic’ connection.
3) What about the characters? Can you tell us a little bit about some of the upcoming characters in the series?
Maggie: As I said, most of the original cast from Love Bleeds will be involved in Book Two but I will also be bringing in a few more unique and possibly even dangerous personalities in the new characters I am creating. That’s all I’m going to say for now, you’ll just have to read it and find out…lol.
4) Do you have a specific character that is your favorite? Why do you think you love them so much?
Maggie: I adore Joe…I know he’s arrogant but he’s so sexy and strong. He also has a bit of that rock star bad boy in him that I just love. He’s mysterious, dangerous, sensual and very charismatic. I might not go as far as to say he’s my favorite because I do so adore the softer, romantic side of Phillip as well, but Joe’s character just does something for me. I loved writing about him…there are so many facets to his personality that you never know what you’re gonna get.
5) Is there a character in the series that you dread writing about because you know they will be challenging?
Maggie: Not really. I pretty much had fun writing about all of them. All in all, I’d have to say Love Bleeds has a pretty enjoyable and likable cast and I loved describing each and every one of their unique personalities.
6) With Fantasy being such a popular genre these days, what intrigued you most about the settings and characters in that world, and did you know that your characters would be vampires from the start?
Maggie: I love the dark mystique, sensuality, hint of danger and fear of the unknown. Fantasy/paranormal writing has so many options to venture into as far as writing is concerned. There are almost no boundaries as far as where you can go when writing; the characters can be whatever and whoever you want them to be. They can be dark and ominous or tortured and lonely. I personally can’t resist the tall dark and handsome alpha male bad-boy with just a hint of a lonely romantic.
And yes, I knew as soon as I got the idea for my first novel that my main characters would be vampires.
7) Was there anything specific that inspired you to write the series?
Maggie: Nothing really specific aside from my love of vampires, rock music and romance.
8) If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Maggie: Probably Nina. Her and I have some of the same characteristics and personal beliefs so I think we’d get along great. Would love to go out for lunch and maybe a bit of shopping, or just hang out over a few Margaritas and talk about the men in our lives…lol.
9) Do you know the release date or timeframe for the next book yet? Can you tell us when we might expect it and who it will be about?
Maggie: I’m hoping for a late summer of 2011 release date for Book Two in the series. But due to the
overwhelming amount of promotion I’ve been doing lately and my motherly duties, that’s is subject to change. It will be centered around Phillip and Nina. (see questions 2 & 3)
10) Do you remember what was going through your mind or how you felt when you heard "Love Bleeds" had been picked up for publishing, or when you saw the Cover art for the first time and knew it was really happening?
Maggie: Although I received tons of positive response from agents and publishers and Love Bleeds got a lot of attention.. It was not picked up for publishing. I am self-published and extremely proud of that fact. I made it into the final running with a few well-renowned publishers (both print and eBook) but no solid offers so I decided to self-published with Amazon-Kindle e-book and paperback, Barnes & Noble e-book for Nook and Smashwords-for all other forms of media.
But the feeling couldn’t have been any better than if I had physically signed a contract. I was so thrilled and excited when each listing went “live” and as soon as the first sales came in, I was ecstatic!
As far as the cover art goes; I designed the front and back covers myself with a little technical help from my amazing Hubby. I chose the picture myself from hundreds of Shuttershock photos, purchased it, played with the color and resolution, created the print and overall design and Presto…the Love Bleeds cover!
I think the biggest thrill of all for me was when I held the ARC in my hands for the first time!! There are no words to describe how happy and proud I was at that very moment…I will never forget it.
11) When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Maggie: About seven years ago when I started writing romance. At first I was just playing around with some ideas and writing short stories for a friend and she told me they were so good I should think of writing for a living. So I began writing longer stories then posting excerpts on writers forums; the response was so overwhelming and the comments & critique were so unbelievably positive and encouraging that I just took it from there and kept going. I love writing and know for certain that I have found my niche’.
12) What inspired you to write Paranormal Romance novels?
Maggie: My love of vampires in general and sexy, intriguing romance novels. It’s basically all I read and what I enjoy writing about since I have such a passion for the handsome, brooding alpha male vamps!
13) Who are some of your favorite authors and series?
Maggie: Laurell K. Hamilton (Her Anita Blake series), Lara Adrian (her Midnight Breed series), Gena Showalter (her Lords of the Underworld series), Katie McAllister (anything), Kerrelyn Sparks (anything)…just to name a few…it’s a pretty long list!
14) Do you have a specific routine you follow when you write, or things that you must have with you or do to get the creative juices flowing?
Maggie: Nothing special, I get the kids off to school then just lock myself in my bedroom, sit down at my desk with a cup of coffee and my favorite music playing in the background.
15) If or when you get writers block, what are some things you do to help get un-stuck?
Maggie: If and when that happens, I usually take a break and walk away from my computer for a few hours. But if my muse is being stubborn and uncooperative, it may take a full day of getting out of the house and changing my surroundings to get things going again. But I guess I’m pretty lucky because it doesn’t happen that often. Honestly, its finding the time to write lately that’s been a little tough…lol.
16) What are the best and hardest parts of writing for you?
Maggie: The best is writing a scene that’s been spinning around in my head and I’m really excited about adding to the manuscript. The worst is definitely editing!
17) What book are you reading now?
Maggie: Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to read lately but a few weeks ago I started “Nocturne” by Syrie James.
18) Do you have any advice for fellow and aspiring writers?
Maggie: Yes I do… DON’T give up!!! If you truly love what you do then have faith and keep pressing forward. Graciously accept and appreciate each friend you make; listen to those who take the time to offer their opinion and critique; heed the advice of those who have taken the chance and made it!
Don’t shoot for the stars…aim for the clouds and if your journey takes you farther, consider yourself blessed!
19) What's next for Maggie James? What do you have planned in the upcoming months?
Maggie: Writing, writing and more writing…lol. I am hoping not only to finish and release the follow-up to Love Bleeds, but I have been working on the editing and preparing for publication the first installment of another series entitled the “Rockin’ Love” series of contemporary romance. So keep checking my blog for information on that upcoming release as well as Book Two in the “Only After Dark series” with Amazon in both e-book and paperback.
If that series does well, I’m hoping to ‘flip-flop’ the two series back and forth with alternate releases. So I’m going to be a very busy lady this year!
20) Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
Maggie: If I may, I would first like to thank all my family, friends, followers and fans for their loyalty, friendship, love and support! Without them, I know that I would have never made it this far and the journey wouldn’t have been nearly as fun!
To my readers…Thank you from the bottom of my heart for buying, reading and enjoying Love Bleeds; your feedback has been awesome and I hope I can continue to intrigue you with future books.
To my “future” readers…Please check out all the latest reviews and articles on Love Bleeds and consider giving it a try—I truly hope you enjoy it!! Don’t forget it is also available now in paperback on Amazon.com!
Maggie, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions! We wish you the best of luck with "Love Bleeds", and everything the future holds for Only after Dark.
Maggie: It was my pleasure Carla, thanks for having me! And good luck to all those who enter the contest, I’ll be reading all your comments so keep ‘em coming!!
CONTEST: Maggie has put aside a signed copy of Love Bleeds for one lucky book monster. To enter, be a follower of the blog and leave a comment below with your email address. Contest will be open until Tuesday 6/14, winner announced on Weds. 6/15. If you do not leave an email address your comment will not be counted into the contest, as we need a way to contact winners.