Welcome to Maggie McConnell w/ #Contemporary #RomCom ‘Spooning Daisy’ @GoddessFish

Today we have author Maggie McConnell visiting. Welcome!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?

* Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

Today Maggie McConnell will be talking about the best piece of writing advice she’s ever received and how it helped her.
* Seven years ago, I followed advice from Jody Handley, a former editor at Warner (now Grand Central Publishing) that transformed my writing. I revised a 110,000 word manuscript into 88,000 words and in 2012, You Had Me at Habari was nominated for a Golden Heart.
* No, it wasn’t published—that’s another story—but I felt like I had found my writing sweet spot, and in 2016 achieved my initial goal of being traditionally published when Spooning Daisy was released.
* Never underestimate the intelligence of your audience. Or as Coco Chanel might say: Less is more.
* I hear the groans, see the eye rolls. Oh, that. Yes, old news, but vitally important to the flow and readability of a story. And I’m surprised when I see writers ignore it. A book is much more interesting to readers if they bring their own interpretations and action to it. When watching a movie, is it better when the character says, “I’m angry”? Or when the character acts angry, and the audience figures it out? Don’t over-explain. (Did I just over-explain?)
* Using my own writing as an example, here’s a passage before I applied Jody’s advice:
* “Lady of the manor,” Jenna mumbled disparagingly while rolling her eyes. “That and a buck will buy me gum.”
* “–If y’ prefer we can retire to the drawing room. I just thought you’d rather be in a room where Maddie’s presence is so strong. It’ll help you sort things through.”
* “There’s really nothing to sort through,” Jenna declared. “I’m going to do exactly as Quinn advised. I have no way to pay the estate taxes so I’m selling the land to Billy Hunt. He’ll relocate the distillery and if people want to work they can, and if they don’t, no skin off my nose.”
* Clara patronizingly patted Jenna’s hand. “That’s poppycock, dear. You’re just upset with Quinn–”
* “I am not upset with Quinn,” Jenna insisted a bit too energetically. Giving her hands something to do she brushed her bangs away from her face.
* “Well, y’should be. He did leave you—”

* Now the same passage, revised:
* Jenna rolled her eyes. “Lady of the manor. That and a buck will buy me gum.”
* “–If y’ prefer we can retire to the drawing room. I just thought you’d rather be in a room where Maddie’s presence is so strong. It’ll help you sort things through.”
* “There’s really nothing to sort through,” Jenna said. “I’m going to do exactly as Quinn advised. I have no way to pay the estate taxes so I’m selling the land to Billy Hunt. He’ll relocate the distillery and if people want to work they can, and if they don’t, no skin off my nose.”
* Clara patted Jenna’s hand. “That’s poppycock, dear. You’re just upset with Quinn–”
* “I am not upset with Quinn!”
* “Well, y’should be. He did leave you—”

* To Jody’s advice, I add a corollary. Envision your story as a movie and write accordingly. A few years back, I took a college screenwriting course and what I learned has elevated my dialogue. In movies, dialogue and action must carry the story—rarely are we privy to thoughts as we are in books. Learning to write effective dialogue is worth the effort.
* For summation, I hand this back to Ms. Chanel: Write shabbily and they remember the writing; write impeccably and they remember the story.*
* *What she really said: Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman. 🙂

Find Maggie McConnell here…
Facebook | Website

A look into…

~ Blurb ~

* Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce to die for. But Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a “bit of trouble” at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy’s sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.

~ Excerpt ~

* “I had apple strudel. I never have apple strudel. It’s not my usual.”
* “You came here to tell me you had apple strudel?”
* “The thing is…I liked it. For a change, I mean. Once. Not every day, of course.”
* “Max–”
* “The truth is…” He stepped toward her. “The truth is…I feel bad about giving you such a hard time at breakfast.”
* “Ohhhh. This is an apology.”
* “No, absolutely not.” Max retracted the step he’d just taken. “This is absolutely NOT an apology.”
* Daisy huffed. Normally, she’d take great satisfaction in Max’s guilt and take equal pleasure in the banter that would surely follow. However, she was a woman on a mission, and she didn’t have the time, not with Otter Bite hanging by a manila envelope. “Fine. Thank you for coming here NOT to apologize and for that apple strudel thing. And–” She momentarily softened. “–the money. But I just don’t have the time for whatever this is.”
* Once again he stepped toward her. “You’re making this extremely difficult.”
* “This? This what? What am I making–“
* “This.” The word melted into her mouth.
* The two hundreds floated from her hand to the floor. Then, her arms wrapped Max’s neck, his body pressed hers, and Daisy was lost in a kiss she never expected to own.

Buy Spooning Daisy here…
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Thank you for joining us here today, Maggie McConnell! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

ANNOUNCEMENT! Maggie McConnell will be offering 1) Nordstrom “Daisy” vegan leather clutch, 2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC)! So be sure to leave a comment AND use this RAFFLECOPTER LINK to enter the drawing. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!

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7 thoughts on “Welcome to Maggie McConnell w/ #Contemporary #RomCom ‘Spooning Daisy’ @GoddessFish

  1. Thank you to Casey (and her corner!) for this lovely presentation of Spooning Daisy AND for the opportunity to write about something other than romance! Thanks for the comments and support and good luck in the giveaway. BTW, all the prizes have a connection to the book. 🙂

    Like

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