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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Meet Author Margaret Mayo

Hi, my name is Margaret Mayo and I write romance. 

People are often surprised to hear that Margaret Mayo is my real name and not a pseudonym. I like alliterative names, I think they’re far easier to remember. I won’t tell you my maiden name but it definitely doesn’t have the same ring. English was my best subject when I was at school – I even remember correcting the headmaster once for spelling the word safety wrong when he was giving a demonstrated talk on road safety. And that was something for me because I was a very shy child – and actually still am. I’d rather pour my thoughts out on paper than talk to someone face to face.

Writing for me is a fulfilling job. I’m far happier doing this than when I used to go out to work, but – because I began writing while I was still in employment – I look back on my first few years of being a romance writer with fond memories. Why? Because I did most of it where I worked in the offices of a small UK branch of a Danish company. I was PA to the Managing Director and sometimes I was alone in the office with very little to do. Writing, therefore, became my companion. I wrote romance because it was something I’d always read, and it actually still is my preferred genre.

When I’m not writing I love reading – mostly romance, although I do enjoy the odd thriller. I always have two books on the go – one in the smallest room in the house, and one beside my bed. You’d think I’d have problems remembering each story but I don’t.  Right from when I first learned to read I’ve always had my head buried in a book so I suppose it’s no surprise I became a writer. One of my favourite books is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, first published in 1989. In fact just mentioning it makes me want to read it again. It’s an epic story of love, passion and revenge. Another one is Little Women by Louisa M Alcott. This was given to me as a Sunday School prize and is much treasured.

My other absorbing activity is painting – both watercolours and acrylics. I belong to an art group near my home and we meet for half a day once a week. It’s creative work of a different kind and I look forward to the time I spend with other like-minded people. It makes a welcome change from sitting alone in my office (even though I always have a gorgeous hero to keep me company). I paint mainly flowers or landscapes and we hold local exhibitions.

Writers are usually plotters or pansters. I fall into the latter category. I know what my heroine and hero do for a living and I know what the situation is going to be when they first meet, and maybe I know a couple of things that will happen along the way, but as far as the rest of the story is concerned I let my brain do the job for me. In this way, I find it as interesting to write as it is to read. I quite often find myself saying, “I didn’t know this was going to happen.” I like absolute quiet when I’m writing and woe betide my husband if he interrupts me when I’m in full flow – unless, of course, he brings me in a much needed mug of coffee! The study is my room – and is usually the untidiest room in the house. Bookshelves are overflowing, my desk is littered with papers – notes to myself, research, stuff that needs attention. In truth, I’d rather be writing than think about paying bills. 

I’ve just finished my latest book (all it needs is a title) and am currently gathering together ideas for a new one. One throwaway sentence on Facebook produced some interesting suggestions. As I said earlier I never plot, I much prefer writing into the mist. In that way I’m as surprised as the reader when something I hadn’t thought about happens. Naturally there are times when I have writer’s block, but fortunately these are few and far between.

The most important thing I’ve learned during the course of my writing career is dedication. Writing is not something you can pick up and put down like a book, it takes concentration, dedication and determination. When I’m working on a book I write five days a week as if I was still going out to work. In fact, I always say to my husband, “I’m going to work now.”

And do you know what, I can’t imagine myself ever retiring.  

Please check out these recent publications:

Rachel is shocked when Liam Mallory, former lover, is a prospective investor in the bistro she co-owns. Having once worked for Liam, she helped to almost ruin him. Tricked into it, she had not realised the severity of what she was doing. Then Liam cast her out of his life. When they meet again, Liam has neither forgotten nor forgiven and kidnaps Rachel. What punishment does he have in mind?

Ebook: $2.99   Print: $9.49

When Abby flies to Paris for a trade fair she is met at the airport by a man calling himself Temple Townsend, a friend of her brother. When he stops her from delivering a parcel for her brother on the grounds of her own personal safety, and whisks her away, she is furious and refuses to believe she is in any danger. Until she's traced to Nantes. Suddenly she's grateful for Temple's protection.

Ebook: $2.99   Print: $9.95


  1. I enjoyed reading your blog, followed your link from facebook. Does Mrs. Mayo have her own website?

    1. We mistakenly left Ms. Mayo's links off the article. Here are the websites and social media links I have for her:
      Website: http://www.margaret-mayo.com/
      Blog: http://www.margaret-mayo.com/blog/
      Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/margaret.mayo.794
      Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/61189.Margaret_Mayo

  2. Margaret, I share your love of Little Women. As a young girl, I read it over and over. And I can relate to being a pantster, as well.
    Thanks for sharing these tidbits about yourself today. Linda Swift

  3. Nice to read about you, Margaret. Being a guy, I don't read romance novels, but it was interesting to hear your take on the writing process. You write very much in the same fashion I do, by just letting the story come about. Astonishing how it all comes together, isn't it?

  4. Enjoyed your post and learning more about you. I'm a panster, but somehow the story does find its way to the last chapter. :) Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. Nice to meet you "in person", Margaret. I think more authors fall into the punster category than not. I do know a couple of authors who make outlines for their story, and that just makes me shudder. You've had a long wonderful career, which makes me feel like a beginner.
    Probably all girls read Little Women, but I don't think it grabbed me as it does so many others. Maybe I should read that again, now, as a "mature" woman.
    It's nice to have you among our RJV group, our little family of authors.

  6. HI Margaret. I'm another pantster. It's amazing how the characters start to take over in chapter two then direct the story until the end. I can relate to you correcting the headmaster's spelling. Spelling was my best subject. I was disappointed when I got less than 100 on spelling tests.

    One day during lunch break the teacher sat at his desk grading Spelling papers. I looked over his shoulder and noticed he was using another student's paper (Rebecca's) to grade the others by. Well, Rebecca had spelled the word "depot," WRONG. So, I told him. I mean, otherwise, everyone who spelled "depot" right would be marked off. This had repercussions. A girl who had a marked dislike for me must have walked through about the time I corrected the teacher. She immediately told Rebecca, who got in my face to say, "I really appreciate you telling the teacher I spelled the word wrong."

    I was crushed. Rebecca didn't know he was using her paper to grade everyone else's. Like you, I was horribly shy. And Rebecca was my idol. She made perfect grades in everything. She couldn't stand to make less than a perfect score on anything.

    I never told her the whole story. I waited until I got home, then cried my eyes out. To this day it still bothers me that I hurt Rebecca, and whether I did the right thing.

  7. I enjoyed reading about your writing process, Margaret. It seems most of the comments here are from "pansters" and that would include me. Somehow I just can't sit down and write an outline, although I do enjoy a random "brainstorming" session, and tend to do it when I get stuck. Your description of your study where you write made me smile.

  8. Margaret, I've had the pleasure of meeting you in 'real life' a couple of times after meeting you online, and I think we are alike in many ways, not least in us both being pantsers. However, you are far more self-disciplined than I am, since you still work 'office hours'!
    I look forward to seeing what story you come up with, following your chance remark on FB last week :-)

  9. Louisa May Alcott was also one of my favorite authors.
    I do like the sound of your real name. Of course, now I'm intrigued by your maiden name. But that's just me being nosy.
    I would never have imagined you as a panster. See. I'm learning many interesting things about you. Do you usually wait until you've finished a book to create a title? Have you ever thought of a title before you even began writing?
    I enjoyed reading your blog. 80 books! That's a lot of imagination and work. I wish you continued success in all that you do.


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