Friday, May 30, 2008

Interview with Maggie Toussaint

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Maggie Toussaint. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called SEEING RED. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Hi Kim! Thanks for the welcome, the chocolate, and the chance to tell-all! (You're welcome. KW)

SEEING RED is a contemporary romance with a mild sensual rating from Freya’s Bower. In the story, a woman wants out of a dead-end job and a chance at happiness. Emma Heartly puts her dream into motion by beginning renovations on a crumbling family property with the goal of opening a bed and breakfast. Trouble is, she co-owns the dwelling with her sisters who don’t support her idea. Even worse, she can’t afford the sexy construction hunk who bids the rehab. To her embarrassment, he puts out a fire in her kitchen during his brief visit.

SEEING RED is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

It comes from the opening scene of the book. My heroine, Emma, is beside herself with pent-up emotion. She’s raised her sisters, been the provider for the family, and it never seems to be her turn to get what she wants. When she finally allows herself to explore her dream, her family throws up roadblocks. SEEING RED is about knowing yourself and saying “I have the courage to take action to get what I want out of life.”

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

Renovation projects are no strangers to me. I’ve been personally involved in several property makeovers, and I’m always amazed at how messy they are. I thoroughly enjoyed the “Money Pit” movie where a couple comes to a breaking point during the renovation of their home, and that’s the entertainment level I was striving for.

What character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Though this is clearly Emma’s book, I thoroughly enjoyed writing Quentin’s part. He’s physically strong, hard-working, family-oriented, and seeking true love. He’s been sure he had the right woman four different times, but his controlling nature soured the deal every time. He needs a strong woman, a woman who knows her mind and isn’t afraid to speak it. Trouble is, he is understandably anxious about dating and has decided to do the opposite of his natural instincts with Emma.

If your book was made into a movie, what actor would you like to fill your hero’s shoes?

This took some doing as I’m not current on today’s leading men. But a sampling of women on three different Yahoo loops concur that Gerard Butler (yum KW) is the go-to guy for Quentin’s part. He’s got a strong, physical build, an accessible vulnerability, and a romantic spirit that permeates his work. So, Hollywood, I’m ready for you! Come and make me an offer for the screen rights.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Imagine if you would, me laughing hysterically, trying not to fall out of my chair! I have books in double rows on the bookshelves lining my office, spilling over onto the floor and crammed in every nook and cranny of the closet. Every author I’ve ever read has inspired me. I love a good story and I reread favorite books for the craft and get yanked into the story every time.
I have my share of best-selling authors on my shelves, plus a wide range of others that have appealed to me through time. I’ve got Nora’s books next to my Jayne Ann Krentz collection, my Steve Berry’s mixed with my Julie Garwood’s, my Hope Tarr’s and Tracy Montoya’s alongside my Diana Cosby debut. I’ve got my original Lord of the Rings books, the Dune series, and my dragons of Pern books wedged in beside my Southern authors (Pat Conroy, Anne Rivers Sidons, and more).

The books I read to my kids, I’ve still got them on my shelves. My eclectic reference books. My writing books. My birdwatching books. I have so many favorites. As for the less favored books, those inspired me too – in reverse fashion. Those motivated me to write a better book.

What do we have to look forward next?

I have a romantic mystery, IN FOR A PENNY, coming out June 18, 2008. After that, it’s a matter of which manuscript gets picked up by which publisher (keep your fingers crossed for me). I’ve had a wild ride this year, with 3 releases in the first half of 2008. I’m looking forward to completing the mystery I’m currently writing and then working on another romance.

Thanks, Maggie!

To celebrate her book release, Maggie is offering a free ebook of SEEING RED to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Maggie’s Bio. A scientist by training, a romanticist at heart, Maggie Toussaint loves to solve puzzles. Whether it’s the puzzle of a relationship or a who-dun-it, she tackles them all with equal aplomb and wonder. Maggie writes romantic suspense for The Wild Rose Press, sweet romance for Freya’s Bower, and cozy mystery for Five Star. Besides being a member of Washington Romance Writers, she’s also a member of Romance Writer of America’s Kiss of Death, First Coast Romance Writers, Southeast Mystery Writers of America, Florida Sisters In Crime, and EPIC. She was awarded the WRW Magic Crystal Award for chapter service in 2004. Locally, she writes for The Darien News and is on the Ida Hilton Library Board.

Check out Maggie’s website at


J L said...

Hey, Maggie -- since we just got done with construction at our house, I know what you mean about remodeling!

Anonymous said...

Hi Maggie -- I love your title and hope this one does as well as the others!

Beth Szabo - FCRW

Maggie Toussaint said...

Thanks for stopping by. What a mess it is to live in a house while its being repaired. You have my admiration for just going through that!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Beth,
Its so good to see you hear! Thanks for the compliment on the title of SEEING RED. I very much wanted to portray a woman who was mad at the world and I think the title captures that.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Oops. I really do know how to spell. I just get so excited about comments that I forget to proofread my rapid live-in-the-moment typing.

Obviously I can't "hear" Beth. Hope I didn't offend anyone's grammar sensibilities. Shh! Don't tell the grammar police...

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Maggie,
I did not know you were a scientist by trade. Wow, I learn something new each day. :) Enjoyable interview, and thank you so much for the mention. I'm humbled. You're always on the go and totally leave me in the dust. My sincere best for you and your fabulous stories! *Hugs*

Diana Cosby

Judy Thomas said...

I'm a firm believer in the saying: You can have things done quickly, well, or cheaply... but only two of the three. Well.. we want things done well and cheaply, so it's not going quickly on OUR room at a time. Sigh... and each room is slow going too... lol. Maybe I can hire Quentin? ;-)

Maggie Toussaint said...

Thanks for dropping by. Yes, science is part of my past, and that analytical training certainly sharpened up my plots. I look back over my shoulder from time to time to track my progress through life and I don't have regrets. We are all the sum of our past experiences. I wouldn't be the writer I am today without putting in all those hours in the science lab.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Judy,
I love your take on the whole rennovation process. Every time I've tried to take a short cut, like dump on a thicker layer or varish or glop on the paint, for instance, it always leads me down the wrong path. Taking your time and doing it right is the only way to go.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tarot By Arwen said...

Maggie, great interview. I am mad for the dragons of Pern and have high hopes for Christopher McCaffery's efforts. :)

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Arwen,
Thanks for stopping by.
Who knew we shared a love of dragons of Pern? That's so cool. There were a few years of my life where I lived and breathed dragons. I read and reread those McAffrey stories.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Maggie,

Nice interview! The book sounds terrific and I love the cover art.

Jacqueline Seewald
Five Star/Gale

Ellen said...

Hi Maggie!
Wonderful article! I can very much relate to living in on-going construction---our house was a shell without running water when we moved in. Talk about rough introduction to camping :)I'll never take a flush potty for granted ever again!
Thanks for inviting me to drop by and have a super weekend!

Judi Fennell said...

Hey, Maggie! Love the title and, boy, can I relate with the renovation thing (which would be why we built the last house). Yay to you for all those releases this year! May all your years be that wonderful!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Jacqueline,
Thanks for stopping by. I also happen to think the cover art is stunning, but then I am slightly biased! Its always a pleasure to meet up with Five Star authors out in the world.

Maggie Toussaint said...

HI Ellen,
How fun to have you drop by to say hello. I admire you for living in such primitive conditions. My husband wants to camp across America and I said that was fine as long as we camped in a hotel room every night. Silly of me, but I am a fan of flush toilets and other ammenities as well.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hey Judi,
Thanks for your unflagging support and the encouragment you've shown all along my journey. I appreciate your vision and creativity.
Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Hi Maggie,
Thanks for stopping by today. I can relate to the construction thing, too. We tore off teh back half of our house and added ten feet all while living in it. Never again. We had to sleep in the office for almost three months. As for camping? I'm all for putting a hotel in the forest. I like my ammenities. My son has joined cubscouts so we're forced to do two camping trips a year. My daughter will join girlscouts in teh fall so loks like my camping days won't be over for at least a decade. Sigh. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Maggie! Great interview. I think a lot of women will be able to relate to this heroine...

It comes from the opening scene of the book. My heroine, Emma, is beside herself with pent-up emotion. She’s raised her sisters, been the provider for the family, and it never seems to be her turn to get what she wants. When she finally allows herself to explore her dream, her family throws up roadblocks. SEEING RED is about knowing yourself and saying “I have the courage to take action to get what I want out of life.”

Kudos to you on a wonderful book!

Liana Laverentz
Thin Ice (NJRW Golden Leaf and EPPIE Award Winner)
Jake's Return
Available in e-book, print, and on Kindle
Ashton's Secret (coming in 2008)

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Kim,
Thanks for inviting me to be a guest blogger here at Much Cheaper Than Therapy. You and I are so very much on the same wavelength when it comes to camping. Although you showed true pioneer spirit by living in a house under construction. What a woman!!!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Liana,
It's always a pleasure to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by and for believing in Emma.

Michelle said...

Hi, Mom--I love the title and the cover!!! I'm sure this one will be a great read :o) Can't wait to read it!


Anthology Authors said...

Hi Maggie,

I just returned from BEA to find this wonderful interview. It made me smile. :)

This is a fantastic book, everyone!


Diane Gaston said...

Hi, Maggie!
I'm late to the party but wanted to say that this sounds like another great book from you.

And I can't complain about your final choice in the hero dept. Gerard Butler is THE MAN.

Patty Suchy said...

will pick up the book now that I know you listed Gerard Butler as a vision of your hero. you picked a good one.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for mastering blogging just for me. Besdies writing books, I'm also keenly proud of both of my daughters who have grown up to heroines in their own right.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Marci,
I can't wait to hear how BEA went. Thanks for coming by and lending your support.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Diane,
I must confess that Diane steered me toward Gerard Butler as the perfect hero for this story. I am so grateful, Diane! Without this fab suggestion I would still be floundering around in the dark with Mark Harmon or someone else (hmm, not a bad idea either).
Thanks for stopping in!!!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Patty,
Yeah, that Gerard Butler, he does it for me too. I'm a fan now.
Thanks for stopping in to say hello.

Ceri said...

The story sounds wonderful, Maggie. I'm a big Gerard Butler fan (he's the 'model' of one of my characters. Very yummy). Best of luck with your release

Noda said...

Hi Maggie,

Enjoyed reading about Emjma Heartly in "Seeing Red". Three books released in a few short months!! Congrats. How wonderful.


Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Ceri,
I'm a new convert to the Gerard Butler fan club, but oh what fun I've had with this interview. I feel almost like a teenager talking about a first crush.
Silly me, LOL.
Thanks for stopping in.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Thanks for stopping by. Its great to see a First Coast member in here! Publishing three books so quickly isn't something I'd outright recommend, but I didn't plan the releases to coincide so closely. This is what comes of writing for 3 different houses.
See you soon!

Bonnie said...

Morning Maggie -
What a nice cance to "share" my morning coffee with you! I have to say that titling a book "Seeing Red" when it's about a home makeover is so apt.
I would rather sell, I think...
Good luck wiht this one - may she outsell her older siblings!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Diana Cosby, our winner of Maggie's free read. Thaks for visint everybody. Have a great day.

Maggie Toussaint said...

sorry to be so late checking back in. I see that Kim posted Diana as the winner of the download. Woohoo!

thanks again for having me here. I've thoroughly enjoyed my chocolate and the camaderie!