Meet the Author: Maureen Thorpe
Happy Tuesday Bookworms and Bibliophiles!
Starting off the month strong, today I have another author interview to share with you.
This time I got to know Maureen Thorpe, historical fiction and mystery author.
Maureen reached out to me after visiting my website, and I just had to know more about her and her love of historical fiction! Alright folks, let’s get right into this interview!
Maureen is the author of “Tangle of Time” and “Sailing to Byzantium”. The third book in the trilogy, “Coventina’s Well”, will be published next spring. Maureen writes historical fiction. She calls her stories ‘history, mystery, and magic’. Each story follows the protagonist, Annie, midwife, witch, and amateur sleuth, into different eras, using time travel as her transport.
Hi Maureen, thanks so much for stopping by. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
Through an unknown magic you are teleported to the world of a book you’ve recently read. Where have you ended up?
Maureen: That is such a perfect question for me as I ended up with my own books! I love history so I have time travelled to Yorkshire (the country of my birth) in the Middle Ages, back to the time of the Vikings, and to Hadrian’s Wall at the time of the Romans in Britain.
Jonny: Yay for literary travels! I would just love to be a fly on the wall in a bunch of different eras, if only to see how people lived and interacted and how that differs from today.
It looks like I got transported to The Undead Mr Tenpenny by Tammie Painter. I’m in MagicLand! I would love to explore the streets that are decorated to honor different eras, and I would love, love, LOVE to become a wizard. Give me the power!
You step into a ring of toadstools, discovering a magical land. What do you discover and what do you do?
Maureen: I discover Middle Earth and go on a search for Bilbo Baggins. I would be thrilled to have tea with him in his wonderful house.
Jonny: Oh, that would be a dream! I read LOTR and The Hobbit in high school and would absolutely love to chill with Bilbo.
Somehow when I stepped into the ring, I got transported to the strange world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I think I’ll enjoy going through all the loops to intriguing magical lands. I could do that for ages and never get bored. Plus, I’d love to protect the gifted youngsters as their guardian. Nobody messes with my favorite characters!
For starters, tell us a little bit about your writing.
Maureen: I think of myself as a storyteller. I love the concept of magic and magic occurs often. I want my stories to take my readers into another world but in the past, not the future. I am from Yorkshire, England and all my stories begin there.
Jonny: Very intriguing. I am an escapist by nature and take every chance I can to escape reality. The more magical and obscure the landscape, the better. There’s a lot of information and knowledge to glean from the past, so I totally get why that appeals to you. All great ideas have some kind of thread to the past.
Oh wow, I’ve always dreamed of travelling abroad outside of the states, but right now doesn’t seem the time unfortunately. One day!
How long have you been writing?
Maureen: I began writing my first book 7 years ago and haven’t stopped yet. Well, I can’t stop. Writing has become an obsession. It’s the darn marketing that gets in the way. I love doing all of the research and there is a lot to do as each story goes back in time to a different era. The research leads me by the nose; it is my inspiration.
Jonny: Wow, congrats! I think I started writing professionally maybe 8 years ago? Haha, don’t quote me on it! I can’t remember one day from the next.
I couldn’t agree with you more on marketing. It stinks, but is a necessary part of things. I recently joined a service called BookFunnel that takes some of the work out of it, so I generally recommend it to others who don’t enjoy marketing like me.
For sure! Researching and plotting out a story is my favorite part of the process. There’s so much potential, and at that stage there is always a plethora of inspiration for me to draw from.
What kind of setting do you write in most times?
Maureen: My husband and I are fortunate. We live in a log cabin on the side of a mountain. My laptop sits on an old desk in our sunroom. I look out onto wilderness, which can be distracting due to elk, birds, turkeys, deer, and an army of chipmunks. The sunroom is open to the other rooms so if my husband is causing a distraction, I put on my earphones and listen to classic guitar.
Jonny: Oh my gosh, I’m so jealous! That sounds so tranquil. It’s a dream of mine to one day own a quaint little cottage or retreat away from civilization. Maybe when I retire I’ll invest in that dream, though I will say the longer this pandemic carries on, I’m more inclined to jump on the opportunity.
Fair point on wildlife. I went on a writer’s retreat where squirrels kept messing around on the roof and it was very distracting! Darn squirrels! *shakes fist*
Extra kudos for using music to clear out any noise. I have zero reservations about blasting some ambient music when things get loud outside.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Maureen: I am retired so finding time to write is not an issue – except for marketing. Our town is small, 3000 population and we have three or four published authors so we try to help each other.
Jonny: *sighs dreamily* I would love to find more time to write. I know it’s there somewhere.
Sometimes you just have to be realistic with things like marketing. The local population is limited so it seems you’d have to jump on the net to do a lot of additional promotion. I love that you have a small network of authors that support each other. We authors gotta stick together!
I don’t really know a lot of local authors in Kansas City where I live, but I’ve created my own writing family/tribe of sorts (all long distance) and highly recommend it for any writer.
Who was your first publisher and what did you learn from them?
Maureen: My publisher is Ektasis Editions in Victoria and my editor, Carol, has been most helpful in teaching me, through the editing process, the craft of writing.
I am now writing my 4th story and I think Mr. William Shakespeare will have something to do with mmm – witches.
Jonny: Ah, editing, the bane of all authors! Just joking, but it really is one of the hardest aspects to writing. I’d say that over half of my time writing a story is editing. There’s so many things to think about and consider. Flow, pacing, dialogue, etc. Still, a well-edited book will definitely sell more copies in the long run.
I love the theme of witches! Definitely keep me posted on your progress there. I’d love to give it a read when it’s complete.
If you could give advice to new writers, what would you say?
Maureen: My advice to new writers: sit down and write, then re-write, repeat and keep repeating. Your first draft is just that, a working copy. At some point, allow fresh eyes to look at your work, not family. Develop a thick skin. Learn the craft. Use a spell checker. Find a professional editor. That’s my seven years of accumulated knowledge. I love Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’.
Jonny: Such great advice! Thanks for sharing that with us. What I usually tell anyone who asks is what you said. Sit down and write every day. I schedule time slots for myself since I have a full-time job, and that’s the only way I really anything done.
I haven’t yet read King’s ‘On Writing’, but it’s on my list!
Well, it looks like our time is up here. Before you go, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Maureen: I have just received some exciting news. My second book, ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ has been reviewed by Caroline Woodward for BC BOOK WORLD and will be featured on the cover of the Spring Edition It is also posted on BC BookLook website.
Jonny: Wow, congratulations! It’s such a thrill to see your work being discussed on another website. Best of luck to you on your continued writing journey, and thanks again for joining us!
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book worms, that wraps up my interview with Maureen. I had a great time chatting it up with her, and I hope you enjoyed the experience too!
If you’d like to learn more about Maureen and her work, she can be reached at the social media links provided below.
Thank you for stopping by, and have a great day!
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