Happy Sunday everyone!
I am still clinging to half term here, with one lad at football and the other full of cold in bed. The weather has changed, Halloween is nearly here, and Christmas is on my mind!
Today we chat to the lovely Maxine Morrey, who is feeling the Christmas spirit herself!
Hi Maxi, thanks for coming to chat to us today!
Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?
We’re just doing the editing tweaks on my most recent one, ‘The Christmas Project’ (out in November). It’s about Kate, who is a Professional Organiser and likes her life, like the houses she works on, to be ordered and tidy but then she takes on her best friend’s gorgeous brother as a client and things start to get a bit messy…
Q2.What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?
I’ve got a couple of things I’m thinking about and playing with. Nothing set yet. It’s been a crazy summer with a family emergency and so I’m kind of just catching up with myself at the moment. But I’m looking forward to diving into something once I know where I am again.
Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?
I’ve mostly worked in the admin field – I did motor insurance for five years for a Lloyds of London syndicate, then moved over to PA work, and did that until I was forced to leave the 9-5 world through ill health.
Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?
I’m not really a ‘typical day’ kind of girl. There’s always something to be done but as I have Fibromyalgia/CFS, it can depend on how that is and how much energy I have as to when it gets done. I usually like to write first thing though, as it’s easy to get distracted and suddenly find half the day is gone. Everything else generally fits around that but I’m not really one for schedules. I take each day as it comes and go from there.
Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course!) – do you have something you collect?
Like you, books! I don’t really collect much else. It’s a case of space more than anything! If we visit anywhere I do like to get a pencil as a little memento, so I do have a little collection of those.
Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?
From what I’ve read and seen, some of the people doing such pigeon holing haven’t always even read the books they’re so prejudiced against. I’d say that I write romcoms/chicklit/women’s fiction and that I’m not ashamed of any of those labels. I write what I enjoy reading and I think the time for such book snobbery is passed. As long as people are reading, surely that’s good?
Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?
I do enjoy a good thriller (rather than crime – I’m a little squeamish for those!) so probably something like that.
Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?
Keep writing. Perseverance is key. It’s easy to give up – I’ve done it myself at different times for different reasons but I wish I hadn’t. Have faith in yourself, and just keep going. Also read – a lot! Keep writing and keep reading.
Q9. What are you reading currently?
I’ve just got the latest Harlan Coben novel, Home, so I’m part way through that at the moment.
Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?
Apart from winning the lottery? Just to keep writing, and to get to the point where I’m actually making a proper living from doing what I love.
Thanks for coming to chat to us!
Read on for more info on Maxine and her work…
Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten. Coming in first, she won a handful of book tokens – perfect for a bookworm!
As years went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way. She had written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a book on Brighton for a Local History publisher. However, novels are what she loves writing the most. After self publishing her first novel when a contract fell through, thanks to the recession, she continued to look for opportunities.
In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her romantic comedy, ‘Winter’s Fairytale’.
Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words, can be found tackling her To Be Read pile, sewing, listening to podcasts, and walking
More on the Christmas Project…
Christmas in the city has never been more magical!
Professional organiser Kate Stone has never – NEVER – been tempted to hit a client over the head with a snow shovel, but Michael O’Farrell is the most obnoxious – and heart-stoppingly gorgeous – man she has ever met. If he weren’t her best friend’s brother, she would not have waited on his doorstep in the freezing cold for five minutes, let alone an hour.
Kate knows, however, that her job isn’t just about tidying up, sometimes she needs to be part therapist too, and Michael clearly needs her help to declutter his heart as well as his home.
But with the festive season just around the corner there isn’t much time to get Michael’s house ready for the O’Farrell family celebrations, but everyone knows that at Christmas anything can happen..