Friday, October 28, 2011

Guest Interview - Maggie Cox

Hi Maggie Cox! So excited you dropped by today so we can get to know a little more about you!

1. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not writing?

I love to go the cinema. I think going to see a movie is one of the keenest pleasures next to reading a book. I especially love cinematic stories that take the main character/characters on a journey. I recently saw ‘The Way Back’ directed by Peter Weir. It’s based on an incredible true story about a group of disparate men that escape from a Russian gulag during the Stalin regime and who arrive in British-ruled India after walking 4,000 miles from Siberia! It’s a truly epic and heartrending story of survival and optimism against all the odds and what I loved about it was that it had kindness and humanity towards each other as its main theme. Not only that but it has a stellar cast too: Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell. I highly recommend it.

2. What books are sitting in your TBR pile right now? What book are you currently reading?

As is usual for me (I’m an avid reader) I have several books in my TBR pile. One book that I’m about to read for the umpteenth time is Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher. Her storytelling and writing are so wonderful that reading this book makes me feel like I’m visiting a very dear and much loved wise friend. Because of its winter setting and also because it brings a family hit by tragedy together at Christmas - it’s the ideal story to lose myself in as Autumn comes to an end and the chilly and less mellow temperatures of winter arrive.

The other books on my bedside cabinet waiting to be enjoyed are quite an eclectic mix and the titles are as follows: The Law is a Lady by Nora Roberts, Practising the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Saved by a Poem by Kim Rosen (and I really was saved by this inspirational woman’s reading of her own and others poetry when she gave a performance in London at the end of the summer) and Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping, which is about letting
go of anger and blame in order to heal relationships – grist for the mill for a romance author as well as sage advice for anyone who truly wants to have better relationships.

3. Please share something you found most interesting or fun that you did to research for a book.

During the writing of my title Reputation in Tatters I attended a workshop about learning to make healing remedies from plants with a friend who is a therapist and it took place in Monflanquin in the south of France. As I went on expeditions for the necessary plants in the woods close to the stunning stone-built house we were staying in and sat round the pool in the glorious sunshine after our trips, the characters of PR expert Nash Taylor-Grant and actress Freya Carpenter fleshed into vivid life. So much so that I used the gorgeous setting I was staying in as the very evocative location for Nash’s personal hideaway that he whisks Freya off to when she is being hounded by the Paparazzi. I was so inspired that when I wasn’t learning to concoct ancient remedies in the house’s huge kitchen or avidly listening to our tutor – I was busy filling my notebook with conversations and scenes from the story. Writing romance surely doesn’t get much better than this?!

4. Action adventure or romantic comedy? What is your favorite movie lately?

When it comes to choosing between action adventure or romantic comedy, I definitely err on the side of action adventure. I love movies like ‘Hidalgo’ with Viggo Mortensen (doesn’t hurt that he’s in it!), ‘The Mummy’ with Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser (great chemistry between them and funny too), ‘The Painted Veil’ with Naomi Watts and Edward Norton (a lot more serious but heartrending epic love story set in wartime China). Currently my favourite movie is ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. I honestly didn’t expect it to be so wonderful. It’s got quite an unusual premise involving deja vu and unseen forces moving people together or keeping them apart and the chemistry between the two leads is totally believable and sizzling. It’s also got a completely uplifting and happy ending and I left the cinema when the movie ended feeling like I was walking on air.

Personal perspective on my Harlequin Presents title One Desert Night published in the U.S.A on February 7th 2012.

I loved the challenge of writing a ‘Sheikh’ book as I’d never tried writing one before. My inspiration was the atmosphere of magic and legend created by the famous ‘One hundred and One Arabian Nights’ and I wanted to create a similar kind of mythical setting in ‘One Desert Night’. My hero Sheikh Zahir is definitely a modern man but because he has inherited a fabulously rich and ancient kingdom, he also has the kind of ‘old-fashioned’ values regarding his responsibility to home and family that perhaps a less ‘duty bound’ man in the corporate world might not so readily want to embrace. My heroine Gina is also a woman that feels great responsibility to her family – her widowed father in particular – so much so that when she meets and falls in love with Zahir, she is prepared to give him up to help take care of her lonely and grief-stricken parent. When she finds herself incredibly making a return journey t
o Zahir’s kingdom a few years after their magical and passionate night together, she is stunned to discover that he is not just the wealthy urban man she thought he was, but a genuine Sheikh who has inherited a kingdom he is duty-bound to serve and protect.

This is the description of the story on the back of the book:
The coveted Heart of Courage jewel – when passed to each sheikh in the House of Kazeem Khan – is said to guarantee love. But Sheikh Zahir rejects this legend. After the bitterness he’s suffered, he sees emotion and marriage as two very separate things...
It’s down to Gina Collins to sell the jewel through her auction house. Returning to the desert plains of Kabuyadir, she’s horrified to realise the new Sheikh is the man who gave her one earth-shattering night years ago...

Hope you enjoy it!
Love Maggie


marybelle said...

I enjoyed this. Thank you for sharing.

Maureen said...

I do enjoy sheikh books since the heroes are usually larger than life.

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Maggie's book sounds good. I like shiekh books.

Judy said...

That workshop sounds fantastic! How fun that the story unfolded there as well. What perfect combination!

Maria D. said...

Great interview! I've never read one of Ms. Cox's books but I'll definitely add One Desert Night to my wish list...haven't read a book with a sheikh in a while and this one sounds like a lot of fun

Anonymous said...

great post !!!

Anne said...

Love the book cover. Interesting interview. Must get around to renting The Adjustment Bureau.

Lucy Monroe said...

Welcome, Maggie! Thank you so much for doing the interview. :) The Way Back sounds like a very compelling type of movie. And I love the idea of your more fantasy type setting in "One Desert Night." ~ Hugs!

Virginia said...

Great interview! I will have to say Ms. Cox would be a new author to me, have not read your books before but this one sounds really good. Thanks for sharing with us today!

Jane said...

Looking forward to Maggie's release.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

A wonderful and entertaining interview. Thanks so much -- I love the description of the workshop..

catslady said...

Oh your research sounds so interesting. Loved the interview. It's always nice learning different tidbits about authors!

Sandra Lynne said...

Maggie, I'm so glad you stopped by! I love your Harlequin Presents books. I recently read "SECRETARY MISTRESS, CONVENIENT WIFE",and"THE MEDITERRANEAN MILLIONAIRE'S MISTRESS" and I thoroughly enjoyed them! I also enjoyed your Christmas Harlequin "THE SPANISH BILLIONAIRE'S CHRISTMAS BRIDE"!
I found it interesting how you did research for your book "REPUTATION IN TATTERS". I will look out for your upcoming book "ONE DESERT NIGHT"! :)
And thanks for the movie recommendations!