March and April see the release of books by two new debut Escape authors: Maddie Jane (Fixed Up) and Elizabeth Squire (Closer to Sin). We thought you might like to meet them—and we were lazy enough to let them do all the interviewing work! Today you can read Elizabeth’s interview with Maddie, and next week we’ll run Maddie’s interview with Elizabeth.
Hi there, I’m Elizabeth Squire and I’ve just enjoyed a wonderful few days getting to know fellow Escape artist and debut author Maddie Jane. Being the sticky beak, ah—I mean, investigative journalist, that I am, I couldn’t resist peppering her with questions about her writing life and her sexy new book, Fixed Up. For two gals who grew up on opposite sides of the Ditch, it was great to discover that we both shared a penchant for reading concealed Mills and Boons when we were impressionable young teens! But you must excuse me—while you read all about Maddie and her inspiration for Fixed Up, I’m off to see if Luke needs me to hold his drill…
Maddie, tell me a little about your writing journey; when did you decide you wanted to be a published author?
At the age of eleven I discovered Mills and Boons. The books fitted perfectly into the pockets of my green-checked (ugh) school uniform. I read any chance I could—walking to school, hiding in the bathroom pretending to shower, you name it. A friend had four older sisters who kept me endlessly supplied with romances. I decided then I would write one, one day, but it took another 30-plus years for me to actually start.
What does your typical writing day look like?
I languish in bed, dictating my novels to my sexy, buff secretary, Raoul, before he draws my bath and makes my cinnamon-topped cappuccino… Yeah right. I have a desk in my kitchen, with a smelly, hairy dog under it. I snatch writing time in school hours when I don’t have three children demanding food and trying to read over my shoulder. The cinnamon-topped cappuccino bit’s true, though. Derek, my fave barista, is on speed dial.
Is any part of your book based on real life experiences?
I’m from Christchurch, New Zealand, and this book was written after the Christchurch earthquakes. Although there’s no connection between Harper’s Auckland world and my Christchurch one, being surrounded by people repairing and rebuilding their homes has been a major part of my last five years. Harper’s character is also a reincarnation of all the fantastic female teachers I had at my all-girls’ school in the eighties. The ‘girls can do anything’ bumper stickers were everywhere.
Which was your favourite part of the book to write?
I loved writing the scenes when Harper’s putting Luke in his place. Luke totally missed the ‘girls can do anything’ mantra and doesn’t understand why Harper won’t let him take over. Surely she must’ve noticed his chainsaw’s bigger than hers?
Which of your characters would you like to meet, and why?
After I’d written Fixed Up I really wanted to meet Annie, Harper’s younger sister. I wanted to meet her so much she’s become the heroine of my current work-in-progress.
If Fixed Up was made into a movie, who would you like to see play Luke Colton?
When I started writing Luke, I had a picture of Bradley Cooper in my mind but as I got further into the manuscript Luke became less like Bradley and more his own man. Still with the gorgeous blue eyes, but more down to earth, warmer. Bigger feet.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Read! Too much. Most of it romance. Recently a friend picked up my kindle and asked why I had a Non-Romance Collection as there wasn’t a single book in it. I absolutely intend to read a non-romance book soon…
So, I have two miniature dachshunds who are hell bent on digging their way to middle earth to escape my backyard—what DIY advice would Harper give me to keep the dachshies in and the snakes out?
Harper, being a Kiwi, has no experience of snakes. She’d have to google that one. But she’s great at building heavy-duty fences to keep the dogs in. You realise she’d make you put your old clothes on and help her, don’t you?
What is your greatest DIY achievement?
Does changing a light bulb count? I’m more the ‘get a man in’ type that Harper would disapprove of, which is why I loved writing her character. The ability to perform DIY tasks equates to a super power in my view.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Maddie as much as I did; you can learn more about her at: www.maddiejanebooks.com.
A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Maddie Jane debuts her romantic comedy novel about a woman who knows how to fix things and the man who wants to convince her that DIY is more fun with two…