Thursday, August 17, 2017

Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie McConnell will be offering 1) Nordstrom "Daisy" vegan leather clutch, 2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).

Thank you for joining us at It's Raining Books. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I write romantic comedy because I love “love,” and love, and the pursuit of love, is often humorous (remember first dates?). Although I’m divorced (that wasn’t very funny), most of my love life has been more comedy than drama, more laughter than tears, more positive than negative. Thank God. If I had the heartache contained in so many romances, I think I’d become a hermit. So, to some extent, I write what I know, but I also write what I think life and love should be—happy.

What research is required?

I’m a stickler for accuracy (and I love detail) so I if I don’t know even the little things, like the interior of a certain make of car that a character might be driving, I find out. For instance, I don’t want my character flicking the key to start the car if the car has a keyless ignition. Most readers may not notice a detail like that, but one might, and if I get it wrong, that sticks in a reader’s mind. I remember reading a romance set in the 1960’s. The writer had a character at the check-out in a grocery store, and the clerk was SCANNING the food. Well, scanners weren’t in use until the mid-1970’s! Those are the kind of details writers should get right.

Fortunately, when it comes to setting (Alaska), I can write from 23 years of experience, although I do occasionally verify my memory, such as sunrise, sunsets, high and low tides, things like that.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

From chef Daisy Moon, I learned the different varieties of mushrooms: chanterelle, cremini, morel, portobello, enoki, shitake, oyster, button, porcini, and maltake. (I hope this doesn’t count as 10 things.)

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I always include this specific phrase in each of my books. “…like a red neon vacancy sign on a deserted midnight highway.”

And I always include animal characters (thank you, James Herriot). Probably not really a quirk, just a love for animals.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Pantser! I usually have a basic idea of the story I think I want and a beginning first chapter, and go from there. I may know at the end of one chapter what needs to happen in the next chapter, but not necessarily what my characters will do to make that happen. I believe if I can’t predict what’s going to happen—and I’m surprised—my readers will be. I look at plots as I do life. No matter what you plan for tomorrow, you can’t control outside forces that change plans. Judging by the reviews, I think I (happily) surprise the readers.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A wall. But a very nice wall. Wainscoting, with a ferns-and-palms wallpaper on the bottom. Above the wood divider is a framed print that one of my art professors did in 1976. (My undergrad is in art.) Titled “Ode to Pan,” and personalized to me. In fact, the whole wall has various photos (taken by me during a trip to Kenya), and prints (from Alaska) and an old poster that I got in Scotland advertising their sleeper train, “the Night Scotsman.” Thank you for letting me share this.

Anything new coming up from you?

Just finished Embracing Felicity. Yay! This is book 2 in the Otter Bite series. The setting is the same, and we see some of the same supporting characters, but there is a new romance. Environmentalist and shop owner, Felicity Arhnaq is part native (Alutiiq) and her romantic interest is oilman Ian MacIntyre, whom we briefly met in “Spooning Daisy” along with his 10-year-old daughter, Emily. Again, a romantic comedy, right from the start when Ian is attacked by Felicity’s ravens, Orville and Wilbur, and then her eagle steals his shoe. Lots of fun with environmental undertones and a bit of education about St. Augustine for whom an Alaskan volcano was named. (That’s my research showing.)

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes! How do you decide on the books you read (assuming you don’t know the author)? Does the cover catch your interest? Is it the blurb? The reviews? The first few pages? Someone’s recommendation?

Thank you for this interview and for hosting Spooning Daisy!

Read an Excerpt:

Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together.

"Don't look so surprised," she said. "I know I'm not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that's being kind," she responded to Max’s smile. "But I'm an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen."

Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like...concupiscence.

"Do I know what men want, or what?" Now Daisy herself.

Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand. "Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who's difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell...and next time it won't be a cross-dressing felon."

About the Author:
Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.


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  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Great reader question! The first thing that draws me to a book is the cover, not necessarily just the image but the use of color and the fonts too. After that, what determines if I read a book or not, is the blurb. I love to be teased juuuuuust enough with the blurb :D

  3. Thanks very much for the great presentation of Spooning Daisy. And thank you Victoria for answering my question. I'm also attracted to the cover (that's the first thing you see, right?), but I read reviews as well. Good luck to all in the giveaway.

  4. A great interview. The research is appreciated.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?