Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bo'sun Chats with Newest Star Maggie Robinson

Here ye! Here ye! We have a very special guest on the ship today. She’s been with us from the beginning. For Hellie and I, even before that. It was always obvious we’d see her on the bookshelves one day so it’s extra special to have her here to celebrate her debut release, MISTRESS BY MISTAKE.

It's Maggie Robinson!!!

 I had Chance whip us up a pitcher of our best Glittery Hoohas, and Maggs and I sat down to chat. This is what we got before we fell out of our hammocks drunk…

First off, we must start at the beginning – The Call.

The Call actually came for Margaret Rowe’s Tempting Eden. My agent told me something was finally afoot after seven long months on submission. I was in the high school library where I worked and I couldn’t scream. I got the call for the Courtesan Court Trilogy two months later driving home from getting a pedicure.

Where did the idea for the Courtesan Court Trilogy come from and more specifically, where did you get the idea for MISTRESS BY MISTAKE?

I actually wrote Mistress by Midnight (December 28, 2010) first, and had my heroine Laurette wonder what the hell everyone else was doing on Jane Street, London’s infamous “Courtesan Court” while they waited for their men to show up. I realized I could write more books and tell her. I wanted all the books to be Mistress by SomethingbeginningwithanM, so the title actually came first. Mistake starts with M. Then I wondered how one could find oneself in that position. In many positions. ;) Turns out there are TWO other books with the same title, and here I thought I was so original.

You are original. And I’m curious about these other positions. Ahem. Can you tell us about the rest of the Trilogy?

Mistress by Midnight is Cathy and Heathcliff without the crazy (and with a secret baby. *Hangs head in shame*). Mistress by Marriage is an opposites-attract-and-drive-each-other-mad-with –lust story. There will be two novellas also set on Jane Street in future Brava anthologies.

Five visits to Jane Street? What intelligent publishers. Speaking of the pubbers, how are you transitioning from writing to your own deadlines to those of your publisher?

I’ve never imposed deadlines on myself, really. But I’m a boring good girl, and turn everything in early.

*whispers to Chance* We’re gonna need more liquor in here.

 I know you are a proclaimed pantser. How much of the story do you really know before you start? Other than knowing the story will end happily, do you know or at least have a specific goal in mind of how the book will end?

I know nothing—it’s quite horrific how blank my brain can be—but my fingers seem to find the right keys eventually.

*slams bar across the door before the crew can attack*

 Did you ever imagine you’d be writing under two different names? How has it been to juggle so many projects and deal with different editors?

I spent a few years trying to establish myself as Maggie Robinson, so I wasn’t wild about the dual identity at first. But Margaret is edgier and I can let her be as bad as she wants to be. My websites are nearly identical and I’ve tried to twin promo when I can. As author Beverley Kendall said when she read Tempting Eden, “it’s still Maggie’s writing.” Just darker. I hope you’ll have me back as the dirtier writer next month when Tempting Eden debuts. I’ll bring a mop.

Of course we’ll have you back. Silly wench. And the Hotties are here to do the mopping, no worries there. You’ve mentioned using visuals as inspiration for your settings and characters. Which do you start with first? Do you find your setting and story first, or do the characters take center stage out of the gate?

The squirrels come first, then characters. I use visuals to help me sharpen my focus (a hopeless task). YouTube has been great for an armchair traveler.

What do you most want readers to take away from your books?

People can make mistakes, but don’t have to let the mistakes make them. You can overcome a lot with love and determination.

Spoken like a true romance writer. *sigh* Now to the important stuff, if you could name a drink for our Revenge Bar Menu, what would it be?

The Courtesan’s Cutlass—served in cut glass, of course.

We can’t let you get away without asking for your best advice to those still aspiring and to the Newbie about to embark on this same crazy journey.

Wake up every morning at 4 AM and write. Just kidding. But write as much and as often as you can. Don’t ever give up. It took me seven years for my dream to come true.

Thanks so much for having me on board! A virtual round of rum and a real signed copy of Mistress by Mistake for one commenter!

You heard her gang, one lucky commenter gets a free signed copy, so fire away!


Tiffany Clare said...

Awesome interview! And if you haven't read MBM you need to get it pronto. There is just something about Maggie's writing that makes you want MORE! (Margaret, too.) I heart Tempting Eden, and wish I wrote it :)

Gotta love those busy squirrels! And would I get shot for agreeing with the 4am? LOL Yes? Okay, I won't say it then *whistles*

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Ahoy Pirates and Tiff! Isn't the sunrise over the sea beautiful today? So glad to be here. So glad to be anywhere. :) Really, I am still astonished that I'm a guest on blogs I've commented on. I've always felt like an honorary pirate, even though the eyepatch keeps slipping. I'll be back later after I do my unpirate-y things.

JK Coi said...

I never thought I'd see the day when our sweet vixen Maggie strapped on a sword and a patch over her eye---Looks good on you!! :)

I love the call story for these books and I LOVE Mistress by Mistake. I'm so excited now for Tempting Eden!

Marnee said...

Hooray! Maggie's come to visit!! :)

I love the premise for these books. I love the idea of all the courtesan's living on the same street. Where did you get the idea of Jane Street?

And I love that the titles came first. LOL! Wherever the inspiration strikes, huh?

Congrats on your success, Maggie! This is just the beginning!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Thanks JK and Marnee! And Kris, you know I'm not really sweet, inner evil is always lurking.

Marnee, the whole Jane Street thing was a fluke. But now that I've created it, I'll be sorry to leave it behind. There ARE 12 houses on it, though, so I suppose I could milk it some more, LOL. But I've got a different idea for a proposal now, so we'll see how that goes.

Marnee said...

I think it's a fantastic idea. Very original and fun. :)

Bosun said...

Good morning all and thanks again to Maggie for this fun interview. It was fun to chat in an official capacity. ;)

I'll have Chance whip up a batch of that Courtesan's Cutlass as soon as she joins us above decks. Until then, rum all around.

*catches tiny pirate hat before it slides off*

I finally got my copy of this book a couple days ago (blasted Amazon was LATE mailing my PRE-ORDER) and I am saving it for the weekend. I churned out enough pages last night that I won't have to slave away all weekend. Instead, I will be taking a stroll along Jane Street.


Elyssa Papa said...

Totally with what everyone has already said. Maggie's fabulous! I love her books and her writing. Buy her books now!!!

Renee said...

Maggie, congratulations on your new release and your upcoming one. I absolutely love your covers. I can't wait to read Mistress by Mistake.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Ely, I picture you with a whip right now. You know that's Tiff's job. :)

Thanks so much, Renee. I love my covers too! I only recently discovered they were painted by the same artist, Alan Ayers, so no wonder I couldn't decide which I loved best.Kind of like picking your favorite kid, LOL. I love them equally.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Terri, I hope it's worth the wait! And good for you for surpassing your goals. I'm just inching along lately, but I'm going to see right now if I can write a little this morning, even though it's well past 4 AM. ;)

Hellie said...

Huzzah, Maggie, of course you're an honorary pirate! And I'll try not to hold it against you that it only took you seven years of writing; 7 (long) months of submission; and you never know what you're writing next because your mind is horrifically blank. *LOL* You're a hardworking, gifted gem and we're so glad that Mistress by Mistake is finally available for all of us to read!! (And that Tempting Eden is just around the corner.)

I think the date in the blog is wrong though. It says you wrote MBM in December 2010, which hasn't occurred yet that I'm aware of. Do you mean 2008 or 2009?

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Oh, and I can't decide what the ingredients are for the Courtesan's Cutlas. Champagne is a must...maybe some cherries and berries?

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Hellie, Hellie, you've been dipping into the pitcher of Courtesan's Cutlasses early. Mistress by MIDNIGHT comes out this December (it's technically a January know, when you have no money leftover from Christmas to buy books or beer). I wrote it first but my agent submitted Mistake as the first of the series. Marriage will come out in the spring, I think---no exact date yet.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Which will teach me to name all the books MistressbySomething beginningwithanM.

Hellie said...

I'm so confused. *LOL* It's still early for me here.

hal said...

Maggie, I think it's SO awesome that you have so many books coming out so quickly! I ordered Mistress by Mistake from Amazon, and it showed up last night. I haven't had a chance to crack it open, but the cover is gorgeous!

Hellie - I had to look a couple times at the Mistress by Midnight date too. It's a Friday morning, which really, can be used an an excuse for anything!

2nd Chance said...


Everyone's the bartender now...

But ya gots such fabulous news ta share I'll let ya get away wit' it. And it do look like a fabulous addition ta the bar menu. Cherries, berries and champagne. The CBC fer short...Courtesan's Cutlass.

And CONGRATS! I'll get on that new book soon as I talk me computer and sony reader inta puttin' down weapons and settle in wit' each other again.

Jane Street...I take it this street is basically a street a' kept women? Hee, hee. Can't wait ta tell me Jane...

With so many books in the series, ya ever get names or places mixed up?

Janga said...

I have read Mistress by Mistake, and I loved it. I'll plagiarize from my Good Reads review: "My favorite romance novels combine interesting characters that I care about, engaged in a world I can believe in and presented in lucid, graceful prose. Maggie Robinson's Mistress by Mistake makes my list of favorites on all these counts. It sparkles, it sizzles, and it delights."

Hurray for all of Maggie's accomplishments and all MBM's accolades. Author and book deserve the best reception. Maggie, I think my favorite praise for the book was the Dear Author reviewer's comment that she googled Jane Street because she believed it was real. What a compliment!

Bosun said...

This is what I miss for not reading reviews. (I really don't like to read them. *crinkles up nose*)

That is a great response. You made her believe! Okay, I considered the idea it was real too, and I haven't even read the book yet. LOL!

In the future, Janga is doing all of my cover quotes. Even those are gorgeous prose.

That reminds me, Janga, Kiddo wrote something or school again that blew me away. I can't wait to show you. She's already ten times the write I'll ever be.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Chance, I'll gladly cede the bartending to you as long as you keep 'em coming. :)

Janga, thank you again for your lovely words. I was tickled by Jane's comments too.

Terri, today on Amazon someone who received the book for free said now that it cost actual money, it wasn't worth the price, LOL. That will teach me to keep away from reviews. :)

Hal, I know. 4 books out this year. Really unbelievable. Still pinching self. Turning black an blue. *g*

Sin said...

Maggie!! This is so exciting!

I'm so glad to hear that you're a pantser and it can be done. It gives me hope that somewhere in my brain I can get focused enough to get my story down on paper. Is it surreal to see your books on the shelves after waiting for seven years to make it happen?

Janga, what an excellent review! I'm trying to Mistress by Mistake. It will have to be an Amazon order, me thinks. Podunk Columbia doesn't know good fiction, obviously.

Karen H in NC said...

Hello again Maggie,

Enjoyed your interview today. And that Courtesan's Cutlass sounds really good except for a little added kick, I think I'd throw a little rum in there too!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Sin, trade paperbacks are always hard to find.It's pretty inexpensive right on the Kensington site. And I won't be offended if you order it used from Amazon, LOL.

And yes, I'm excited!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Karen, I think you may have something there with the rum. One of my favorite drinks is diet Dr. Pepper, rum and lime. Weird, I know. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Irisheyes said...

Congrats again, Maggie!!!

I read the other review on Amazon that had a warning - this isn't your grandmother's romance. LOL I felt like adding... although it was written by a (very proud) grandma! I can't wait to continue learning about the Jane Street ladies - the other stories sound like lots of fun.

Dr. Pepper, rum and lime, huh!? My family is slowly curing me of a bad habit with Dr. Pepper. I don't drink pop and when we are out at fast food restaurants won't pay $4 for a bottle of water. So, halfway through my meal I always grab someone else's drink and take a little sip. I always seem to forget their love of Dr. Pepper (or Cherry Coke which IMO tastes the same). Not one of my favorite drinks, I'm afraid! Maybe the rum and lime make it more tolerable. LOL

Irisheyes said...

Forgot to add that I also read MBM and really liked Charlotte and Bay! I have to confess more Bay than Charlotte. I just thought he was very cute and I loved their dialogue.

Keep it coming, Maggie!!!

KimC said...

Hey there Pirates and Maggie!! MBM is awesomeness! Somebody pass the rum ;)

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Thanks so much, irish! I giggled over that "not your grandmother's romance novel." I even put it up on my News page where I have snippets of reviews.

But Sadie, Ryder and Juliette cannot read Mimi's books for YEARS, if ever, LOL.

Bosun said...

Everyone is coming out to see Maggie today. Sorry I've been scarce. Things are a little crazy here in the Pirate business office. ;)

Irish - I've always hated the taste of Dr. Pepper, though I like any other soda. Not that I can drink them, but I like them. And I always get water in restaurants but it's always free. You pay $4 for a glass of water up there?!

I refuse to pay more than $2 for a glass of tea or soda, so poor kiddo is forced to drink water too. She hates when I make her do that.

Di R said...


Congrats on your release! I'm hoping to pick it up this weekend. But I've already talked a friend into it and she loved it.

Will you be at the RWA conference? Maybe I can get my copy autographed?


Donna said...

Maggie, congrats on your book's release! I was wondering what made the publisher choose trade paperback for your book. (I like them -- they always seem RICHER somehow!) It doesn't seem like it's done that often, and I wondered if the other releases will be trade as well.

Congrats again!

Irisheyes said...

You pay $4 for a glass of water up there?!

Maybe I'm stretching it a bit... but I know "bottled" water is at least a couple bucks and it irks me. When I think about it I ask for plain tap water in a cup and they're good about it.

I'm known for my expensive water habits (inside joke)... the DH and I went out to a fancy downtown steak restaurant with 2 other couples last year for a friend's birthday celebration. We were the first couple to arrive and be seated. The DH went to the restroom and I was left all alone at the table. The restaurant was so swish that we had 2 waiters!!! Anyway, waitress #1 came and asked if we'd like water and I said sure. She then asked spring or sparkling. Being the naive, gullible, all trusting, not too bright woman I can be at times said spring. When the bill came, my friend looking it over screamed "who ordered the 4 bottles of water at $7 a crack!" I felt like a total moron. I explained the situation to everyone as they all looked at me nodding their heads and trying to defend my complete stupidity as the waitress not making my choices perfectly clear! So, I'm kind of gun shy about ordering "just" water!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

My husband always shakes his head and can't believe people pay money for water. Just one more investment opportunity we've missed. :)

Donna, Brava does trade paperbacks first, and then usually does a mass-market release of the title sometime down the road. Usually trades are 'hotter,' or at least out of the usual romance mode in some way.

Thanks, Di! Kiss your friend for me. :) I had planned on going to RWA, but my husband has a serious health issue at the moment. He still wants me to go, but I haven't quite decided, although I've registered. I had my heart set on Nashville, and hope all those affected by the horrible flooding can get the help they need.

Kim, lifting a glass to you. We can always use Coke instead of Dr. P!

Julie said...

I hope you’ll have me back as the dirtier writer next month when Tempting Eden debuts. I’ll bring a mop.
How can you Not be a fan of someone who can write a “clean” joke that actually makes you laugh?
I’ve been a fan of Maggie’s writing for years. I first encountered Ms Robinson’s work on blogs. Intrigued by her posts and her charming wit I headed off to her personal web site so that I could check out her backlist! There I discovered that Maggie Robinson was unpublished. But I knew that it was only a matter of time before she would be.
Maggie, its been three years since I first visited your site. Finally! I get to read your book!
Congratulations Maggie!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Aw, Julie, that's probably the nicest thing anyone's said to me today. Thanks so much! Hope you like me in my clean and smudged versions. :)

Lisa said...


I received an email a couple of days ago from a friend who informs me when free books come available on Kindle. When I discovered Mistress By Mistake was one of the titles, I couldn't download it fast enough. I feel guilty for indulging in it's freeness:) As I posted on you FB wall, I couldn't lay this book down. I read until the wee hours of the morning. I love the originality of Jane street. What a unique and catching idea for a series. I loved the descriptions of all the courtesans. I could picture them sipping tea while discussing their protectors. Charlie and Bay were perfect. Flawed, and real just the way I like to perceive characters. Thank you for a fresh and delightful story. I look so forward to the rest of the Jane Street series, and Tempting Eden!

Barbara Elness said...

That's great news that there will be more Mistress books - I can't believe I still haven't had a chance to pick up my copy yet. If I could just win it, that would take care of it, now wouldn't it? Seriously, I'm really looking forward to getting started on your series with Mistress by Mistake, which sounds like an absolutely fabulous book.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Thanks, Lisa! Freeness is not evil, LOL. Hopefully people will try me out and like me enough to buy the rest of the series. And thanks for the FB post--as a debut author, I didn't know what to expect. But people have been so kind and enthusiastic--when they love my characters as much as I do, I get all warm and fuzzy.

Barbara, yup, 2 more full-length Mistress books and 2 novellas set on Jane Street. I'm working on the last novella now, tentatively titled To Match a Thief.It will go in Improper Gentleman, due out sometime next year. Not Quite a Courtesan will be in the November 30 release Lords of Passion with Virginia Henley and Kate Pearce.It's so much fun to write shorter, although still not easy. ;)

2nd Chance said...

OK, I saved some real premium white rum I can toss inta the drink. Fer that added kick off flavor...

Great ta see so many visitor's today! All fer ya, Mags!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Chance, I see somehow I missed your way-earlier comment. The comment stream has been off for me, lagging somehow. Weird. The answer is I often sit and start to type and cannot remember the right names ALL THE TIME. Some might say it's senility. I'm sticking to the fact the squirrels are temporarily out of nuts.

2nd Chance said...

Werks fer me!

Bosun said...

Such a fun day and I barely got to hang out. Thanks again, Maggie, for playing along and making us part of your whirlwind debut tour. Can't wait to get Margaret on the boat. We'll have to let Jack handle that one. ;)

Finished Miranda Neville's book tonight which means I can now dive into MBM. Whoohoo for me!

Bosun said...

Irish - At Nationals in San Fran we were eating at the restaurant on top of the hotel and I wanted a water. The menu gave me four international choices and they were all around $11. I couldn't believe I was going to pay that for a glass, but if I did it, I was going all out and having the water from Scotland.

Turns out, I bought an entire bottle! It looked like a clear wine bottle. I rationalized the price by declaring James McAvoy could have bathed in the spring from which they pulled that water. Still have the bottle on my shelf. You don't throw out a bottle that was filled with James McAvoy bath water.

2nd Chance said...

Hee, hee. Well, that is a nice bit of rationalizing!

Hellion said...

*LOL* I love the James MacAvoy water. *LOL* Hilarious! I would have bought it too. Would have been worth it.

Irisheyes said...

That's hilarious, Ter. I bit disturbing, but hilarious! LOL

Irisheyes said...

I meant... "A" bit disturbing. Funny how just one letter can change the meaning of something.

2nd Chance said...

Yeah, what you been snacking on, Irish?