Formerly a contract scientist for the U.S. Army and currently a freelance reporter, Southern author Maggie Toussaint has ten published books. Maggie lives in coastal Georgia, where secrets, heritage, and ancient oaks cast long shadows. Yoga, beachcombing, and music are a few of her favorite things. You can visit her at http://www.maggietoussaint.com.
Question: What is the title and genre of your novel? Why did you select them?
Answer: My latest release is Dime If I Know, and it’s a cozy mystery from Five Star/Cengage. My amateur sleuth, Cleopatra Jones, is an accountant, so each book has money in the title. Book 1 was In for a Penny. Book 2 was On the Nickel. Since Book 3 in the series is about doubts, I liked the play on words of Dime If I Know.
Question: What inspired this novel? How did it come about?
Answer: To ramp up the stakes in my series, I make sure that the person charged with committing a crime is someone close to Cleo. In the first book, the spotlight was on her best friend. Book 2 put her mother in the cop’s crosshairs.
Throughout the series, Cleo struggles with not being part of a couple and with living in the moment. Now that she’s been dating Rafe for several months, she longs for a more lasting commitment. Shining the limelight on her boyfriend in Dime forces her to look at what she wants and makes her realize how little she knows about the man she’s in love with.
Question: Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your novel?
Answer: Cleo is a divorced mother of active teenage daughters. She also rides herd on her free-spirited mother who lives under her roof. Her loyalty runs bone deep. Most nights she shares her bed with a Saint Bernard she inherited from the victim in the first book, but she’d rather share it with Rafe. Cleo’s the kind of person that likes problems solved and neatly filed away. Trouble is, her life is messy and a little broken. Her ex has seen the light and wants her back, but she’s having none of that. Her affection lies in the direction of the sexy golf pro, Rafe Golden.
Rafe is an enigma to Cleo. He doesn’t want to be tied down, though he is keenly interested in his hot affair with Cleo. In Dime, the reasons for his behaviors come out, and they aren’t pretty. His estrangement from his family drives Cleo crazy. She can’t imagine not being surrounded by family. As an aside, Rafe looks like a young Ernie Els, who is a professional golfer. Be still my heart.
Question: Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?
Answer: In addition to writing mysteries, I also publish romantic suspense novels. Hot Water is my latest romantic suspense, and it’s the story of Laurie Ann the cop and Wyatt North the arson investigator. Together they chase a serial arsonist around
South Georgia, hoping to stop him before
he kills again. On Amazon, Hot Water
is highly rated at 4.7 stars out of 5, with a total of 37 reviews.
Question: What are you working on now?
Answer: I’m editing the sequel to Hot Water right now: Rough Waters. It’s another romantic suspense set in the small coastal town of
featuring a florist and a shipwreck hunter searching for stolen gold
Question: What made you start writing?
Answer: I’ve had a lifelong affair with stories and the written word. My earliest memories are of sitting around and listening to family members share stories, and, oh, the places I could go in books! After college, career, marriage, and children, I decided to try my hand at writing a book. It was much harder than I thought it would be! Many years later, I was lucky enough to land two book contracts within a three-month span.
Question: What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?
Answer: Don’t hold back. Write at “wide open” all the time. Write about people and places and issues you care about. Do your best every time you sit down to write. Learn the craft of writing and the business of writing. Develop thick skin. Rejection is an occupational hazard for writers at all levels of this business.
Question: Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?
Answer: Dime If I Know is available in hardcover right now from most online bookstores. Sometime in early 2014, it should release in digital format. Hardcover at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/qcx8cth and at Barnes and Noble http://tinyurl.com/neutdbg
Thanks, Maggie, for a great interview! Readers, leave comments for Maggie and she will respond.