Author gives her own spin on romance genre
By Kaylin R. Adkins-Staten
For those of you who love a good love story, look no further than Australian author Maggie Way’s books.
Hailing from from Sydney, Australia, Maggie Way is a public-service government worker by day and a romance author by night. In her spare time, she travels the world to craft inspiration for her novels — while living on wine, cheese and chocolate.
“Throughout my late teens and early twenties, I would always write on and off during holidays and whenever I had a spare moment, but I never considered writing as an actual living,” Maggie said. “It was always just for fun. Whenever I read a romance book or watched a movie, I would always think what I would have added or wanted to happen during certain parts of the story. So naturally, all the ideas I’ve amassed over the years finally made their way onto the page, and I crafted my own versions of ‘the romance I would want to read.’”
Over time, Maggie has honed her devotion and passion for writing romance stories.
“I hate the notion that romance is dead,” she said. “With the advent of social media and apps like Tinder, romance has certainly become a lot more transactional, and there’s a lot less focus on building true intimacy. Love is so beautiful to me, and in a lot of ways, my books are my offering to the world to declare loud and clear: romance is certainly not dead! It’s special and not to be taken for granted.”
Maggie writes about love stories with themes of realism, with strong and fearless female leads and confident, handsome alpha males with hearts of gold. She said sexual tension is a recurring theme in her stories, as well as a good cliffhanger — or several. Even though she writes romance, she doesn’t want to be pegged for writing typical romance stories with typical endings.
“Unequivocally, my favorite part is writing about the tension between the hero and heroine,” Maggie said. “Romances that really excite me are ones that are forbidden, highly frowned upon or downright volatile ones. For that reason, the crux of my stories will focus on them dealing with their unresolved feelings for each other, fighting their feelings for each other and the energy between them when they are near each other. Tension, be it sexual or emotional, is such a powerful thing and serves to give my stories real depth.”
While romance is Maggie’s favorite genre and has been a staple of her life since age 13, she began self-publishing her own works two years ago, when her grandfather was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. That prompted her to focus more on her romance novellas and other works, sharing her works with her native Australia and across the globe.
“He was always such an inspiration to me and always told me to chase my dreams and to live life to the max,” Maggie said. “When he passed away, that was a big fat awakening that ‘if not now, it will be never.’”
Her seven self-published novellas, all part of the Entangle Me series within her own Lucky Red Press company, have garnered fans from all over the world for their down-to-earth, realistic portrayals of romance in the 21st Century in several countries. The series has stories based in Sydney, Amalfi Coast, Bangkok, Paris, Tokyo, Las Vegas and London. Maggie wrote the novellas over the course of one year.
“They have all been fun and challenging to write as each installment had its own unique flavor and situation,” Maggie said. “If I had to choose specifically, Book #2, Amalfi Coast, was the most fun, as it really was an excuse for me to relive going back to Amalfi Coast. I had the best time when I went there in 2015, and as I was writing the story, I was immediately drawn back to the beautiful scenery, food and warm people I met there.
“The most challenging was Book #5, Tokyo, as the book delved into a lot of heavier issues for both the main characters Lacey and Tristan. Without getting into too much detail, it was definitely a more emotional write-up and I had a hard time getting through it without getting teary myself as I inflict a lot of pain there.”
Maggie’s Entangle Me series has captivated the hearts and minds of her 15,000 eNewsletter subscribers. Her Facebook fan page, private Facebook group, Twitter account and Goodreads profile have active fan engagement on a daily basis.
Fans have said the following about the Entangle Me series:
- “This is my first time reading a Maggie Way story and I’m already hooked… I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading more books from this series and others by Maggie.” — Amazon reader.
- This is a new-to-me author, so there is always a bit of worry. Will I like the style of writing? Will it keep me interested? Yes and yes! Will be grabbing the rest when I can!” — Cupcakes and Books Blog.
- “I’ve binge read all the books in about two days, and that’s got to say something about how much I have loved these books.” — Stephanie.
For Maggie, hearing her fans’ well wishes and warm regards for her books is a surreal experience.
“All I can say is thank you. I can’t describe how much my readers’ loyalty and support means to me. I hope to reward it with more enjoyable love stories. I’ve had so many people tell me that my books are the best escape for them, and to hear that it gives them that little bit of joy is really humbling,” Maggie said.
Her latest release, Wedding Dreams, will be released on April 18. Pre-orders are now available at MaggieWayAuthor.com and on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Wedding Dreams has 20 wedding-based romance tales to entrance readers. Maggie and 19 other award-winning, USA TODAY and international best selling authors worked together on this 3,000-page series, which features cozy romances, thrilling international and holiday adventures and sweet heart-melting stories.
Maggie is also currently coordinating the 20-author box set, managing a $10,000 budget to aim for the USA Bestsellers List in upon Wedding Dreams’ release mid-April.
“This is the biggest project I’ve partaken to date in my publishing career, and to think I’m managing these talented authors? Crazy!” Maggie said.
An upcoming work is the Heart of Thorne trilogy. Maggie has also published a standalone story, Strictly Unprofessional.
In addition to finding inspiration in Nicholas Sparks’ books and with her Maltese, Maggie also has her own support system in the form of her boyfriend, who reads her works from start to finish and provides valuable input.
“He is amazing. Andrew is my biggest cheerleader,” Maggie said. “Not surprisingly, romances aren’t his thing, but he has been incredibly supportive nonetheless. Whenever I’m writing or in the middle of plotting something, I’ll always go to him for a first opinion. Even though he isn’t the go-to expert on what he considers ‘swoon-worthy’ moments, he’s incredibly helpful on giving me insight into the male psyche. He’s definitely told me off a handful of times to tone down some of the stuff I have made the hero say and make it more ‘masculine’ and what a man would actually say! So it’s great to have a male influence to make my writing seem more authentic.”
For those interested in writing their own romance (or other) stories and entering the publishing world, Maggie has the following advice: “Only write a story you truly believe in. Don’t write something because you think it will sell well or a lot of people will like it. Write a story that you will obsess over, can’t get enough of, tweak like mad to get there because that passion will pour out of the page and straight to the reader. The rest will follow, I promise!”
To learn more about Maggie Way, watch her Question & Answer session on YouTube here.
Also learn more about Maggie Way and follow her on social media:
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Name: Maggie Way
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Published Works: 7
Publishing Company: Lucky Red Press
Favorite Author: Nicholas Sparks
Influences: Her grandfather, her boyfriend and the romance genre