Writer Interviews: Maggi Summerhill.

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MaggiMaggi is Danish and 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. The Girl from Limerick is her first full length fiction novel and is a journey into the more sinister side of human nature.

Tell me about yourself.

I’m originally from Denmark, but fell in love with and married a Welshman. We have two fabulous teenage boys and live on the side of a beautiful Welsh mountain. I have learnt to drink tea with milk, but am still struggling to remember to serve bread and butter with chips – given another twenty years I’m sure I’ll get there.

What kind of writing do you do?

I write blogs, fiction, flash fiction, screen and radio plays, articles anything really. I have always been curious about the workings of the mind; especially the struggle between truth and perception, logic and emotion and all my work, past and present reflects that fascination. A lot of it is quite dark, all of it is fast paced and honest in a typical Scandinavian way. Even my blog for the charity Hearing Link, which is a humorous account of family life and being a deaf mum, have those same traits.

How did you get started writing? What or who inspired you to start?

I don’t know, I think as soon as I learned to read; the discovery of being able to create whole new worlds and people in your head with words was awesome and I have never lost that awe, but it was only when I became deaf I started to write full time.

What has been the biggest obstacle for you?

Life! Life is both distraction and an inspiration to writing, and guilt; there is nothing more guilt inducing than doing something you enjoy doing on your own.

Do you write full time or do you have a day job?

My job is writing, but I also handle the administration side of my husband’s business.

If you write full time, how do you manage the financial side?

With difficulty!

How do you network?

Social media mostly and I will talk to anybody I meet.

What inspires you? How do you find inspiration or ideas?

I will read an article, see a quote, talk to a friend, watch a film or simply do the washing up and stories and ideas will just start flowing – I never have a problem with finding something to write about, it’s where to start and what direction to take it in I find challenging.

Has your deaf identity helped your writing?

I write about hearing loss both for the Limping Chicken and Hearing Link about deaf issues and my experience as a deaf mother and wife, so yes, there is a direct inspiration there.

What does a typical writing day look like to you? Do you have habits or a routine?

I try to write on my project for two hours every morning, at the moment I’m working on a standalone sequel to The Girl from Limerick called Glass Houses. Then I check and answer e-mails and work on any short project I might have, like blogs or articles for another two hours. Then I take the dog for a walk, eat lunch and work for a couple of hours on publicising my book and talk to people on Facebook and Twitter. By then it’s time to pick the boys up from school and do some housework which I hate – the housework, I love the boys! I try to steal some time on my project in the evening, but I don’t always manage.

Do you have a special memory connected to writing?

Finding my unique voice. I have a Masters degree in creative writing and script writing, I even graduated with Merit. But it was long after that I had that special moment where I could say: ‘this is me talking.’

If you could interview anyone, who would it be?

Alice Seabold, I read her biography Lucky and cried from start to finish, she is also the author of Lovely Bones, but Lucky is so honest and raw, it tears your heart out. I want to know how she could do it, how she went about writing this book, how she decided to do it and what she wanted to achieve and if she got what she wanted. Richard Branson, Professor Richard Wiseman, he has a cracking humour, a keen eye and a strong mind and Dr Susan Blackmore for the same reasons, Jo Brand and a lot of dead people like Nikola Tesla, Oscar Wilde, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Not having enough time.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Being in charge of your dreams.

What advice would you give to an emerging deaf writer or young writer?

Who am I to give advice? I’m still learning. I am learning however that other writers are the most encouraging and helpful people and a little writing every day is better than nothing at all.

Do you have any favourite authors or books?

No, I have stories and writers I like, but I haven’t fallen completely in love yet.

What is next for you? What are you looking forward to in the future?

I’d like to finish Glass Houses in time for Christmas.

How can we contact you? 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/InspirationalLives

Twitter: @maggisummerhill

Goodreads

Linkedin

WordPress

The Girl from Limerick is exclusive to Amazon at the moment but will be available on all other platforms from August. There are also mutterings about putting it in to print some time next year, but don’t wait!

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