Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blogger of the Year Nominee: Margaret West

Win a Book Bundle from our
talented nominees and
Welcome the second of five special
interviews with our 2011
Book Boost Blogger of the Year Nominees!

Today, we welcome nominated author Margaret West to the blog. We chatted with her recently and asked 21 questions, here's what she had to say...

TBB: How and when did you become a professional author?

MW: I was first published way back in1999, I suppose you could say it was then I was officially professional, but I used to write for various columns before that. I’ve always liked writing. I was always the girl with the biggest project at school (lol) but when I began to work for Eon Productions, who make the James Bond Films, I became fascinated with the scriptwriters and how they put a story together.

I commented that I’d love to write and create people, one of them replied, 'nothings impossible in this world if you put your mind to it.’ So I did put my mind to it and my first novel was written while I was working for that prestigious company.

TBB: What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing a book (the creation/concept, writing, achieving publication, sales/promotion, etc…)?

MW: I struggle with promotions and sales. I always have done. Sometimes I feel the book writing is the easy part and nowadays the author does nearly ALL the promotions and the publishers take quite a back seat.

TBB: Which of your books is your favorite and why?

MW: Abigail Cottage, it’s the first book I ever wrote and it was when I worked at Eon and it’s only JUST been published last year. It’s a dark paranormal and shows how my writing has changed over the years.

TBB: If you had to describe that book using ONLY ONE word what would it be?

MW: Inspiring

TBB: Looking back on your writing career thus far, if you could change one thing, what would it be and why?

MW: I would have maybe got an agent. It’s been hard subbing to so many publishers and getting a ton of rejections. Remember, I was subbing before the internet and computers were around lol

TBB: Is there a message imbedded into your stories you hope readers will get? If so, what is it?

MW: Yes. In my latest books every story has a subtle meaning. I make them inspirational, so each reader will gain something from the stories. It might be a fiction book, but some of my characters actions can be related to in the real world.

TBB: What has been your favorite fan letter or fan comment ever?

MW: Actually, I received it not so long ago. A reader said that Abigail Cottage took over their life (lol). Even when she wasn’t reading it, she was thinking about the character and their situation within the story. It made me feel all the effort I put into making the characters three dimensional had worked.

TBB: What is your top writing career goal?

MW: To get my books back into the stores. They used to be, but the publisher I was with folded and now my books are internet based, as my overseas publishers don’t seem to have the connections with the UK stores. Which makes selling them harder.

TBB: Give me one quote (from yourself/by yourself) about being a writer.

MW: "It’s a lonely life, but a consuming one."

TBB: What do you dislike the most about being a writer?

MW: The fact that sometimes people do not realize how hard I work. How much blood sweat and tears go into every facet of my book. That my works just as important as there’s even though they probably get paid a lot more than me lol I’m not just sitting on my backside tapping away at a computer for fun.

It’s my life, it defines me. My work IS me. Oooh don’t get me started (lol).

TBB: What other author would you most like to meet & have lunch with?

MW: Catherine Cookson, Catherine Marchant, and Katie McMullen, all the same person (lol). She was Britain’s most widely read author whose sales topped 100 million. I grew up reading her books. I know she’s not with us now, but it doesn’t mean she is not available for a chat though (lol) but that’s a whole can of worms I won’t go into.

TBB: Who, in your life, is your biggest source of inspiration and why?

MW: It sounds cliché and I don’t want to sound soppy, but it has to be my husband. He is so positive with my writing. He constantly reminds me what a great achievement my books are and that each one is a legacy from me. When I feel down about a book, or the sales are low, he reminds me that being an author is not an easy path, but it’s a path that many would like to walk on and never do. I’m blessed publishers and readers like my books.

TBB: What is your favorite breakfast food?

MW: Chocolate. If that can be classed as food. I eat shed loads of it as it helps me think.

TBB: What is your worst habit?

MW: Biting my nails. If I am stuck in a chapter, they are the first to go.

TBB: What song lyrics get stuck in your head most often?

MW: I’m a bit of a classical fan, and I always play Andrea Bocelli - "Time to say goodbye". I drive my hubby nuts with it, as he knows when that plays I’m in a plot and people are suffering (lol).

TBB: If someone wrote a biography about you, what should the title be?

MW: She Followed a Dream and Found Reality

TBB: If you were a t-shirt, what slogan would appear on you?

MW: "Feed Me Chocolate"

TBB: Favorite place to visit?

MW: The coast. I feel alive, invigorated when I walk near the ocean. Hence why I live near the coast lol

TBB: Favorite time of year (or fave holiday)?

MW: I don’t have one. How sad is that (lol)? It used to be Christmas, but with the children grown up and gone, it’s a bit too commercialized for me now. It will be different again when the grandchildren come (lol).

TBB: If you were a cartoon character, which one would you be and why?

MW: Dorie in Finding Nemo (lol). Because my mind is always in my work, real life seems far too complicated and I am forever making mistakes and forgetting things. My friends always say I have my head in the etheric clouds most of time. I think I have to agree (lol).

TBB: What is your least favorite interview question to be asked?

MW: Usually it’s marketing advice for authors. That’s not my strong point I’m afraid.

TBB: Thanks for joining us today, Margaret and congrats on your nomination. We enjoyed getting to know you better and appreciate your appearance at the blog in 2011.

If you'd like to learn more about Margaret and her books, visit her on the web here:


And don't forget to pick up a copy of Abigail Cottage, click cover to purchase:

Be sure to check back for our next nominee interview on January 17th with Patricia Pellicane!

Contest Time:

Reminder: The nominees will be counting on your votes to win the Grand Prize and one lucky commenter will receive a gift pack with a book from each nominee (donated by The Book Boost).

So, leave a comment or question for each nominee to increase your odds of winning! Winners announced on Valentine's Day 2012!

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**


Julie Lynn Hayes said...

Margaret, you're a wonderful writer, and your characters do stick with one after the book is closed (even if not literally, but ethereally lol) You're a great person as well as a great writer. Your spiritual and holistic books are amazing too.

Keep on being you, and congrats on the nomination. You deserve it!

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

Forgot to leave my contact info lol


Peggy said...

Mags, wow. You so deserve to be nominated. I LOVE all your books.

Unknown said...

Hi Margaret,

Wow, what an honor and you certainly worked hard and deserve it.

Your characters leap off the pages, so real I feel as if they walked into my house, I would know them immediately.

And from the humor to the spooky, you write them all with flair.

Thanks for all those great reads, I've enjoyed every one of them.

You have earned this nomination.

sissy said...

Hope ya win girlie. LOVE the piccy of you :-)

Lucy said...

Love this interview. Your an inspiration to new and old authors and you never fail to help anyone that you can. I hope you win and I think for once, you should get something back for everythig that you give out xxxxxxxxxxx

Lindsay Townsend said...

Super interview, Margaret! Many congrats on your nomination!

I agree with you re the chocolate.

TED said...

Always your most loyal fan, mags. xxxx ps, I agree with Lucy.

Margaret West said...

Hi everyone.
Thanks for stopping by and for the nice comments. Love you guys xx

Miriam Newman said...

Margaret, I totally love this cover and wish you the best of luck with your book.

country queen said...

Margaret, I have everyone of your books and shorts, and everyone a really brilliant read. You arre such a special person, and all who know you love you. Well done and a pat on the back for the nomination xxx

Anonymous said...

I love Margaret's books... especially Abigail Cottage, because its utterly believable and scary and it plays on your mind. It deserves a wider audience because of those things.

Incidentally,I think Margaret should win because she comes across so well in interviews.

Suzie Tullett said...

What a lovely interview, Margaret. It's great to read so many comments about your characters sticking with them even after they've finished reading. For me, characters are what make a book x

Suzie Tullett said...

ps. Hope you win!

Debby said...

You certainly have earned your nomination. Congrats.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I always find your writing uplifting. Good luck Mags x

Hywela Lyn said...

Great interview Margare, and many congratulaions on the nomination. Good Luck!

Cheryl C said...

Fantastic author, love her books, get totally absorbed everytime I pick one up and always waiting for the next one to appear.

Good luck Mrs West you deserve to be acknowledged and rewarded for the entertainment you bring to our lives!

Monica Marlowe said...

Margaret, you so deserve this nomination and definitely have my vote - good luck!

Vinnii said...

I love your books!!!! I read them everyday :)

Linda Hays-Gibbs said...

Wow, what a great interview. Now if I can just find a way to vote for you. I can't figure out this site. You got my vote.
Linda Hays-Gibbs
My Angel, My Light
As Darkness Falls