Hi everyone, and thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Scarlett.
I’ve been spinning stories in my head for most of my life but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve attempted to set any of them down for others to read.
Time travel, magic, fantasy, and ancient history are the things that fire my imagination. Give me a book or a TV show with all of those elements and I’ll be in seventh heaven.
This passion led to the realisation of a dream a few years ago when I was invited by a lovely friend to be a VIP guest on the Bridge Studio sets of Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis in Vancouver, Canada. How many times had I watched those shows and wished I could be a fly on the wall as they filmed it? I’m here to tell you dreams do come true!
We spent a blissful day watching the cast and crew create their magic. I took away lots of fodder for stories that day!
The experience fired my imagination to write my own stories with an Egyptian twist. I wrote the first draft of my ‘The God’s Apprentice’ series in three months, mostly during my lunch hours and in the evenings.
I eventually completed 3 books that took me in directions I never dreamed of when I carefully sketched ideas for this story.
It grew from a relatively simple story of a young boy who becomes mixed up in a feud between 3 ancient Egyptian gods, to one that traversed different realms and times and brought together a cast of fascinating characters from a shape-shifting Sphinx, talking animal spirit guides, to the man who should have been the last king of France if Napoleon hadn’t executed him – or did he?
Of course, having no formal writing training, I thought that first draft was marvellous. It was a great personal achievement and any of you who set out to write a book and manage to finish it should be justly proud of yourselves.
My self-congratulation suffered a reality check when I joined a local critique group – the Novelists Circle, run by bubbly Adelaide author, Sandy Vaile. It took a lot of courage on my part to go back after the group’s (as it seemed to me at the time) brutal dissection of my first chapter, but I persevered and learned a lot from those far wiser heads. I would highly recommend that all aspiring authors join such a group.
One of the first things I learnt as a fledgling author was that as writers we are too close to our work and other, impartial opinions, are vital.
From the critique group I went on to do Fiona McIntosh’s Masterclass for Commercial Fiction where I learned the finer points of crafting a story, and after several rewrites, submissions and rejections, I’m happy to say my story has found a home with Whistling Book Press in Colorado, USA http://www.whistlingbookpress.com/.
So far I’ve set up an author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieBestAuthor/ a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/AuthorMbest a website, which is a bit of a work in progress as I’ve been waiting for my publishing contract to go through: www.maggiebest.com and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maggie_best_author/ where I’ve posted some of my pencil sketches – another hobby of mine.
Twitter and Instagram seem to be where most interest is to be found if you’re looking for visibility as an author. I’ve just about got the hang of Twitter but Instagram is a whole new world and yet another challenge. There’s never a dull moment when you decide to become an author.
About Maggie Best
Name: Maggie Best (aka Margret Best)
Lives: Adelaide, South Australia with hubby of 36 years, son #3, 2 dogs and 3 chooks.
Work: Retired now – I prefer that description to “retrenched” which happened at the end of 2014 when the company I worked for was bought and then broken up by a bigger corporate fish. All the time I’d been writing I’d been wishing I had more time to devote to it: The universe heard me and wham! Suddenly I had all the time in the world. Lesson: be careful what you wish for.
Study: Psychology and linguistics at ANU but I didn’t finish my degree as the kids decided to come along and I became a full-time mum for a few years.
I’ve travelled extensively through Britain, Europe and Asia and love using those experiences in my writing.
Member of: The SA Writers Centre, Romance Writers of Australia.
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
Subscribe to my blog to receive email updates of my latest posts.