Nicole Maggi

Nicole Maggi

Nicole Maggi a writer, actress, yogi…mother, wife, sister, daughter…Aquarius, explorer, artist. She spins straw into gold. Her debut novel, WINTER FALLS, will be out in 2014 from Medallion Press. We met her at the ALA Conference in Las Vegas and asked her a few questions.

MACI & ZOE:
Where did you get your idea for your book?

NICOLE MAGGI:
From the great rabbit hole that is Wikipedia. One day I was on the page for European Witch Hunts (I don’t even remember why!) and I saw a link for something called the Benandanti. I clicked on it and as I started reading I got that feeling in my gut that told me I had to write about this.

MACI & ZOE:
What’s your favorite bookstore?

NICOLE MAGGI:
Bart’s Books in Ojai, California. It’s this amazing indoor/outdoor bookstore built out of a converted Craftsman house. It’s the kind of place you can just get lost in. Just don’t go there when it’s raining!

MACI & ZOE:
Do you read books on an electronic device or a real book?

NICOLE MAGGI:
Both. I’m running out of space on my bookshelves so I had to make a rule: unless I’m going to a launch party or know the author personally, I buy the e-book. I actually like the e-book format, but nothing can replace the feel of a real book in your hands.

MACI & ZOE:
What is your favorite genre?

NICOLE MAGGI:
Paranormal and fantasy YA. I like contemporary YA too, but I like my stories a little weird so I love it when there’s something supernatural thrown in. When I was growing up, I read a ton of Tamora Pierce, Jane Yolen and Lois Lowry.

MACI & ZOE:
How did you get started writing?

NICOLE MAGGI:
I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I started out writing poems about unicorns and rainbows. When I was ten I had a poem win Honorable Mention in a national poetry contest and it was published in a big book along with all the other poems that won. That was pretty cool!

MACI & ZOE:
What books are you reading right now?

NICOLE MAGGI:
I’ve been reading a lot of Advance Reader Copies of books that are coming out later this year: FALLING INTO PLACE by Amy Zhang and ZODIAC by Romina Russell are two that are on my nightstand right now. 2014 is an amazing year for books!

MACI & ZOE:
How many books do you read a year?

NICOLE MAGGI:
Probably about 30 or so. I read pretty fast. I would read more, but I have a child. Haha!

MACI & ZOE:
Do you read during meals, if so a book, newspaper, or other?

NICOLE MAGGI:
One of my favorite ways to treat myself if I’ve met a deadline or had a hard week is to take myself out for a nice lunch and read a book. Other than that, I usually don’t read during meals because I have a four-year-old climbing all over me!

MACI & ZOE:
What bookmark do you use or what do you use for a bookmark?

NICOLE MAGGI:
I have a couple – one that I bought in Maui and one that I bought in Prague. I also have a bunch of paper bookmarks that I’ve been given by other authors for their books, so I’ll use those in a pinch. That’s one reason I like my e-reader – it always holds my place!

MACI & ZOE:
What’s your favorite dessert?

NICOLE MAGGI:
My mother used to make this unbelievable Chocolate Mousse Cake. It was rather famous in our community and she was very protective of the recipe. After she died, my sister and I found the recipe in one of her cookbooks (which were old photo albums filled with handwritten recipes and recipes torn out of magazines and newspapers). I’ve made it several times. It’s very labor-intensive but soooo worth it. It’s basically just pure unadulterated chocolate lined with lady fingers. YUM.

MACI & ZOE:
How long does it take you to write a book?

NICOLE MAGGI:
It depends. The first draft of WINTER FALLS only took me about four months to write, but it was really rough and went through extensive edits for at least a year after that. With HEARTLINES (my second book, out February 3rd, 2015), I plotted a lot of it out beforehand. I wrote that in about five months but it only went through one major edit before it went out on submission.

MACI & ZOE:
What was your first book you wrote? Was it any good?

NICOLE MAGGI:
Officially, the first book I wrote was a historical novel called BEYOND THE MISSISSIPPI that was basically a female Huck Finn. I love that book. It was good enough to get me my agent, but it didn’t sell. I would love to someday return to it, revise it, and put it out there again. Unofficially, the first novel I wrote was a fantasy romance that I wrote when I was a teenager because I was bored in German class. (I was such an idiot to choose German over French or Spanish to take in high school. I had a very dull teacher and I can say about three things in German now.) That book is so bad that if you really wanted to blackmail me, you could break into the shed in my backyard to get it and threaten to put it up on the internet. I would pay a lot of money to keep that hidden!

MACI & ZOE:
What are you working on now?

NICOLE MAGGI:
The third book in the TWIN WILLOWS TRILOGY! It’s called THE BLUE WOODS and I hope it’s a fitting conclusion to Alessia’s story.

MACI & ZOE:
Do you miss your characters when you finish writing a book?

NICOLE MAGGI:
Yes. I think about them for a long time afterward. It’s good to have another book to dive into so that I can get obsessed with new characters. 🙂

MACI & ZOE:
Do you have a special procedure that you do when you write?

NICOLE MAGGI:
When I’m writing at home, I light some candles, have some yummy drink (either a latte or iced tea) next to me, and put on my music. I have different playlists for my different characters. When I write at a coffeeshop (Republic of Pie in North Hollywood is my favorite) I’ll order something delicious (although I had to stop eating the pie at Republic of Pie because I was getting too fat), put in my headphones and write for hours.


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