Author Spotlight: magsmacdonald

So I got a request for a spotlight on this very talented lady…replied to the lovely MistressCinder…and realized I already had it done! So here it is darlin!

I originally found Mags for her story Nowhere to Now Here (so fucking awesome!!!) and am now reading her newest story voraciously as well. It’s a modern SVM/True Blood rendering of Beauty and the Beast, which is actually quite appropriate if you think about it. I definitely encourage you to go check her out cause she’s totally awesomeballs! (<—I'm fairly certain I stole that word from a fanfic author but for the life of me I can't remember who. I just know I've been using it in daily life for well over a year. I think.)

Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?

I am Margaret, my pen name on fanfiction is magsmacdonald (just changed from megmacd). Friends (and that includes my readers) call me Mags.

So, tell me a little about yourself.
My family life includes a husband (15 years), 2 daughters (11 and 8), a dog (mutt), 2 cats and I must mention the ferrets. For the ferrets I have the following note: I live in a house that happens to have 2 ferrets that my husband and children own. Sorry if you love ferrets but they are not my cup of tea. I work full-time for a large technology corporation as a Project Manager.

What do you do with yourself when you're not writing?
Working, cooking, I’d say cleaning, but you guys would probably start doing hours in the day math and call bullshit…..I do try to get in some scrapbooking time though.

What are some things you never leave home without?
My purse, wallet, iPhone, tissues, credit card and a couple of bucks in actual cash.

What are some of your favorite (non-SVM) books?
There are other books besides SVM and fanfiction?

Favorite (non-True Blood) TV shows and movies?
Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Scandal, and Glee.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
Alexander Skarsgard (why don’t you just have him as a default and ask for the other two)?
Survivorman Les Stroud: I have not seen the show, but my guess is his skills would be a good thing.
Jacques Torres (famous chocolate chef) – if there are cocoa plants on this island, I need SOMEONE to do something with them.

What is 1 place you'd love to visit?
Blue Sky dreaming – Africa; realistic Italy

Do you have any pet peeves?
Feet, dirty socks

Tell me one random thing about yourself.
HA – MANY people (who haven’t read my book) refer to me as Sister Mary Margaret.

Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate
Silver or gold? Silver
Apple or PC? PC, only because I can’t afford an Apple
White wine or red wine? Red, and only if I am enjoying cheese, normally I don’t drink wine (though I cook with it)
Liquor or beer? Liquor
Coffee or tea? Tea
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in (and go to bed late)

Okay, now for the good stuff.
Why and when did you start writing fanfics?

Started in Fall of 2012. Why? I have had books in my head since before fanfiction. Fanfiction just gave me an outlet – and I get to incorporate my love of these characters (OK, mostly one character).

Besides SVM/True Blood, is there another book, TV show or movie that you would write for?
No

What kind of environment do you write in? Do you prefer using a pen and paper, a computer or some sort of mobile device to write?
I start on pen and paper, the move to a PC.

Ever write in your PJs?
I sometime WORK in my PJs, so certainly I write in them.

How bout naked? :o)
Never (see Sister Mary Margaret comment above)

Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
Real life – absolutely. When I write based on something I know – it flows. When I stretch beyond that – it’s my harder – it’s more like work.
For my first story, the B&B property is 5 minutes from my house, it’s a farmhouse and barn and I drive by it often, dreaming of what a cool location it would be for a B&B.

Do you write on a schedule? If you do, how do you keep to that schedule?
I write whenever I can. No schedule.

Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
Completely planned. I start on paper with a notes and a rough timeline (my second book is on that paper now). From the paper I create a spreadsheet: one tab is the timeline, one tab is the character list and relevant information (birthdate, fav color…), third tab is the dates by each chapter. I write with an online calendar up on my PC as well. For Nowhere to Now Here, I had the first 23 chapters done before I ever posted chapter 1. I like to write, re-read, re-read, write, go back and edit THEN post….

How do you deal with potential writers block?
I read something else. I go back and start reading my book – sometimes from the start or just back a few chapters from where I am stuck.

Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
None that I observe. Maybe my husband would have a different answer.

Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren't that great at writing?
I only have one published and one in progress – one human one vampire and I don’t see an easier/harder difference.

What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
Lemons. Refer to the answer about incorporating real life into your stories. My lemons are not always based on experience. Sometimes I have to sit there and imagine – can that even be done, when I think about how bodies can be positioned – I find myself hitting delete and starting over.

Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
For my current story I used song titles for the overall title and chapters. I don’t know that I would do this again. It worked well at first, but after 20 chapters I found myself struggling for some songs and I spent too much time on that task when I could have been writing content.

Which character do you identify with the most?
Identify with – interesting question. I don’t know that I identify with any of the characters from the SVM world – even the ones in my story with new personalities. Maybe Sookie in my book since she is a mother, and owning a B&B is my dream.

Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
I only have two – and I don’t know that I can answer your questions as you’ve asked them. I love the human Eric mostly because I hate that vampire Eric misses about half of each day to his daydeath. I love vampire Eric cause I started him out mean, something I couldn’t really do in my human book (and I mean, some people may review that they hate how I started him out.) But to do that was – freeing.

Do you talk to your family about your writing? How do they feel about it?
It was awkward at first. The story has LEMONS, and my mother-in-law wouldn’t be a good candidate for sharing. After I started posting and folks liked it (using my reviews for that perspective), I grew more comfortable and some of my extended family is aware. My young girls know I am writing stuff, but NOT the details. NOT. AT. ALL.

Which is your favorite SVM book? Favorite True Blood episode?
Dead in the Family. I like the a few parts – the intimate discussion Eric and Sookie have at his house. I also like when Pam and Sookie kick ass….

What is the best compliment you've ever received on your stories?
One reviewed compared my Human story to a Hallmark movie – I admit it – I love sappy movies and that made my day.

How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
With difficulty, chocolate and lots of calming breaths.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The hardest part was deciding to write the first words – then it flowed from there (except for blocks).

Have any recommendations? What are you reading at the moment?
EricIzMine multiverse

And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?
Fanfiction: masgmacdonald; in the facebook Bratpack for EricIzMine.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!

Like I said, I love her stories to death and she's one hell of a writer. Go check her out and leave her some love!!!

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