Maguire, A. J.
A.J. Maguire is a science fiction and fantasy junkie. She loves stories in all shapes and sizes, and believes that the answers to every question in life can be found in the tales we tell. A devoted parent, she enjoys sharing all her geekery with her son and intends to continue consuming and sharing stories long into her old age.
Interview A. J. Maguire
1) How many novels have you written? How many published?
I’ve completed seven novels, but three of them are locked securely in a trunk. They’re just so awful that they will never see the light of day again. Saboteur makes my third published novel. I have a science fiction that I keep re-writing and re-working. Technically it’s finished, but since it’s my first try at the science fiction genre I’m nervous about sending it out anywhere until I’ve got it right.
2) How much of your life does writing take up?
Before school started in August the physical act of writing took up most of my evenings. After putting my son to bed at eight, I would sit and write for three to four hours before crashing myself. The mental part of writing … that goes on all day, every day. Plot building, characterization, all of that is always playing in the back of my mind no matter what else I might be doing.
3) Most writers are also avid, lifelong readers, but not all write in the genre’s they enjoy reading. What are your favorite kinds of book to read? Write?
I love reading Historical Fiction and Romance. Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon are my two favorites. However, I can’t seem to write historical fiction. Apparently my muse requires more freedom than history can provide, so when I’m writing it’s normally Fantasy Romance.
4) Do you outline a novel and stick with it, or allow the story to create itself? Or, maybe, a combination of both?
Well, I’m going to have to say it’s a combination. I can’t start a book with an outline. I have to start with one character, in one situation, and with one motivation. It’s the “trigger” scene, the moment that starts the whole story. By the time I hit the mid-way point, I have to write an outline. This is normally the point where I know how it ends and I need a clear map detailing what parts of the beginning need to be reflected in the final chapters.
5) (Shy about your writing?)
I am the shy sort. I understand the limitations of my own writing. What I mean by that is, I know I need more practice. Writing is a craft and you have to work at it if you want to get better. With that in mind, I’m always trying to focus on the current work in progress, trying to make it better than my last attempt.
6) How has the life you’ve lived affected the plot and character aspects of your writing?
I’m a martial artist and a veteran, so I’m a huge fan of physical conflict. And I love it when a girl kicks some butt. You’ll see in my writing that most, if not all, of the females can handle their own in a fight. On the same token, it’s important that they maintain their femininity. Women are complicated and I try to let that shine through my characters.
7) If you weren’t a writer, what other kinds of artistic outlets would you be pursuing?
… What a difficult question. I’m not very “crafty.” I can’t sew; needles make me want to throw up. I can’t draw anything better than a stick figure. And I can’t carry a tune so you shouldn’t ask me to sing. I suppose I could try a paint-by-numbers sort of thing. Barring that … I might be able to handle a camera. Though I did manage to drop one in the ocean once, so that’s probably not a good idea either.
8) Tell us about Saboteur.
Saboteur is the sequel to Sedition. While the two novels have the same core characters from the first novel, they differ in theme. Sedition is, at its core, a love story. Saboteur, on the other hand, is about family. The two main characters, attempt to forge peace between their race. Things go awry and they find themselves essentially prisoners of a Human Lord. In the middle of all this angst, they have to either find a way to make peace or escape.
9) Will there be more stories to the Sedition/Saboteur series?
Yes. In fact, the third book – Usurper – is currently being written. I haven’t gotten to the mid-way point yet, so even I don’t know how this one ends. However, it’s already half the length of Saboteur, so I’m thinking there is possibly a fourth book as well.
10) Is writing something you intend to keep doing for a long time?
Absolutely. I dare you to try and make me stop! I’ll probably be writing when I’ve got horrid carpal tunnel and have to peck at the keyboard one letter at a time.