Author: Glenna Mageau — writing as Maggie Thom

Genres: Suspense / thrillers

From: Canada

Started writing … at age nine but threw it out when I was about 21. I was too embarrassed that someone might find it and read it.

Published my first book at age: 49

Titles to date: 4 (self-published)

Learn more: about author Maggie Thom … about writing coach Glenna Mageau  Author Glenna Mageau

What do you do to overcome the fear of being published?

I have loved words and writing for most of my life. I really think that joining a writing group and a critique group and taking writing lessons made all the difference. I got good feedback about what I did well and I worked on those areas I needed to work on. As I got better and better, the stories just kept coming. I wrote many novels and stories before I ever made the leap to being published. Before I made the decision to publish, I had several people read my novel and give me honest feedback. Well, what I got was many saying they really liked my writing… so I made the leap. With fear darn near choking me and panic cloaking me in its cape, I hit the publish button. The best part… I survived. And am thrilled that I took that chance.

Describe your path to publication. What roadblocks did you encounter?

When I finally decided that I wanted to be published, I sent a query off to a traditional publisher. They asked for the manuscript. Yay. But then I waited… and waited… and waited… So I emailed them. Yes, they were still interested and would get to it soon. So I waited… and waited… and waited… By this point I had heard about many authors choosing to be self-published. And, I discovered that even if the traditional publisher did decide to publish me I was looking at two years before my book would be out. They weren’t ready to publish me but I was ready to be published. So I pulled my story and the rest they say is… published. 🙂

How much planning do you do before you start a new book?

I don’t. I know, gasp. I kind of do a panster–plotter thing. Really when I get an idea, if it excites me, I tend to sit down and start writing. I see what comes to me. Then I’ll go away from it and play ‘what if’ with it in my mind for a while. And then I’ll sit down and write.

I tend to jump in and start writing and then back away and do some thinking and looking at what’s possible and plausible. Then I write, letting it go where it needs to. Then I back away for a bit and play with it some more to see what really grabs me. Then I write again. Then when I’m finished writing the novel, I go back through it twenty or so times and make sure it all flows and makes sense.

How do you feel about the first book you finished? Is it published or is it still living ‘under the bed?’

Well, I actually have about ten living under my bed. I think it’s actually more than that but ten is enough to talk about. Every book I have written has been with a desire to share the stories of the characters in my mind. I love creating stories. Each one that I have written holds a special place. Each one was like a stepping stone to learning and creating. Each got better and better over time.

My very first book, which would have to be the one I wrote when I was nine, is very precious because I wrote it at a time when I had no one supporting me or telling me I could be a writer.

What’s the nicest thing a fan has ever said to you?

“I can’t sleep. I’m staying up half the night just so I can finish your book. I’ve tried to put it down but it won’t let me.”

Tell us about a review of your book that made you shake your head. How do you deal with negative reviews?

That there wasn’t enough romance in my novel.

Which is why I list my books as suspense/thrillers. Sometimes I mention that there is a hint of romance. I guess the hint got missed in this case.

There are a few reviews that have annoyed me but I look at them and remind myself that it is one person’s opinion and they are entitled to it. I do look to see if there is any constructive criticism that I could learn from. Then I decide, I can keep giving it power – because we often take the negative ones to heart and let them beat us up – or I can look at all the positive reviews I get and let it go. I have learned to let them go. They aren’t worth the energy and they keep me from doing what I love – writing and creating stories.

If anyone tells you, you’re not a really a writer

Tell them to kiss the pen you write with. Seriously, everyone is a writer and could do well at writing but most won’t pursue it. And that’s okay. Depending on who is telling you, you’re not a writer I’d ask them what a writer is to them. And I’d take the information and look at it as interesting but do NOT take it personally. Do NOT let someone else define who and what you are. Writing is a beautiful and positive thing. You are a writer.

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