Today I interview author Maggi Summerhill on Writer Wednesday! Welcome Maggi 🙂
Maggi is Danish, but lives in Wales with her husband and two boys. She has a Masters in creative writing and script writing and has contributed to a number of online and printed publications, including anthologies published by Parthian Books and Fine Line publications.
All her works reflects her life long interest in the workings of the mind and consciousness in particular.
Please tell us more about yourself, anything you like- interests, background…
I love expanding my horizons any way possible and digesting what I learn through writing, sketching and painting.
Please tell us more about the book or books you would like to feature today.
The Girl from Limerick is my début novel, I have written numerous other works but never a whole book, and I had a fabulous time writing it. It’s about a middle aged guy (Ken) who has everything he could wish for and becomes utterly bored. To relieve his boredom he invents a very unusual hobby using his special skill (hypnosis). For a while he keeps himself adequately amused with this; he is careful, creative and meticulous and remains undetected for years. That is, until he meets the girl from Limerick (Ireland) Shevaun.
Shevaun is an equal match to Ken in determination and intelligence, but her toughness is that of a true Limerick girl, and where he is creative, she is ingenious.
At one time she was under Ken’s spell, but her mission now is to stop him. Trouble is she will need the assistance of his wife Jess who seems to have everything to lose from his downfall.
What gave you the idea to write in this genre?
From a very young age I have been interested in the workings of the mind and especially the subconscious, The Girl from Limerick is a mix of the knowledge I have accumulated over time and life experience spiced with ‘what ifs.’ and a generous dash of imagination. The genre was never a question before I was ready to publish.
Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect with?
While I obviously have a firm reason for writing what I write, I don’t believe in telling the reader what to read. In fact I enjoy hearing the different interpretations of my work.
Note from Lily: I feel exactly the same. I LOVE hearing different interpretations of mine!
What research did you do, and how? Or does it all come from your own imagination?
While the story and the characters are fictitious everything else is accurate. The conversational/covert hypnosis technique, the symptoms of dissociative trauma and the legal stance on crimes committed while under hypnosis for example as is the fact that Cafe Rouge in Cardiff cooks a perfect steak every time. In this case I already knew the hypnosis technique, but it is often carried out using rhythmic hand shakes and I needed to know if it could be done using a mesmerising item instead. I also knew in advance about crimes committed during hypnosis but wanted specifically to find a case where sex was involved and so on. Everything I needed I found on the internet making sure to qualify the sources.
Do you ever base your characters on people you know?
So many people ask this :)) I never base my characters on one single person I know, I may steal a mannerism here and an attitude there, my characters have their own personalities.
Do you make a plan for your novels, or do you just start writing and see where it goes?
I use a system I learnt in script writing; it’s called a step outline. Basically you write an outline of each scene and chapter. Once I’ve got that I start writing in a sort of mind-mapping way, with the scene as a centre point and then working out from there. It means I can let the story grow naturally, without losing the plot.
Note from Lily: I do something like this too. Its very useful.
What books or other projects do you have coming up in future?
Glass Houses is coming up before Christmas. I am really excited about it. It’s a standalone work, but Ken is lurking in there.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
I wouldn’t know what to do without you, thank you for reading my work. If you enjoy it I would be very grateful for your review.
“Over the five years he had been active he had often fantasized about meeting his girls again, trying to imagine how he would feel, the excitement of knowing something about them they didn’t even know themselves or rather they couldn’t remember. Like someone tentatively testing if the ice could carry his weight, he would see how close he could get to them without them recognizing him. It would be an exciting, scary exercise only marred by his logical brain telling him that if they didn’t remember, they wouldn’t be able to recognize him anyway.”
“‘Don’t worry. My name is Shivone.’ She has put her hair behind her ears, and now places her hands in her jacket pockets. “
The Girl from Limerick is Maggi’s first full length fiction novel and is a journey into the more sinister side of human nature.
‘Dark, slick, sexy and creepy in equal amounts’
Available exclusively to Amazon until August where it will be available in all other digital formats.