‘Carol’s Close Up’ with newly published author Maggie Jones!

Carol Bridgestock

I am very pleased and proud  to post a ‘Close Up’ today with Maggie Jones.

Maggie was a great  Deputy to me at the ‘Wight Fair Writers Circle’ for nearly five years and so it was with great pleasure that I passed on the role of Chair to her at the end of last year. Maggie is a prolific writer and I am very happy and excited to say she  has just become a published author of short stories!

 Maggie Jones

First of all Maggie, well done you! Short stories are hard to get published and I know you’re as pleased as punch to have two stories now published and one story accepted on alfiedog.com. People can find you on the site through your name can’t they?

Yes, that’s right and they are only 39p so it won’t break the bank.

So come on Maggie tell us all how on earth do you manage to juggle working, writing being a wife and a mother?

I’m a magician :-)  No seriously I somehow find the time during the evenings and at weekends to do my writing.  And my husband, Graeme is great helping out with the housework, and cooking.  My daughters are at an age now where they don’t need too much from me, apart from  an odd  ’taxi’ at four in the morning!

What inspired you to write?

A few things have happened to me in my lifetime, and I found solace in writing about them.  I started off with writing poetry and then progressed to writing short stories and a few novels.

Who do you admire in the literary world?

I know this is where I am supposed to say the literary giants like Keats, Dickens and the Bronte Sisters, but I just love chick flick, and adore reading Sophie Kinsella, Jane Moore, anyone slushy like that.  I’m also a fan of Jackie Collins, her and Jilly Cooper, were my favourite authors when I was at school. I also like Crime & Intrigue, and my favourite writers of that genre are R C Bridgestock!

:-) That’s great news for us! Who do you consider your mentor?

I suppose my mentors would have to be my English teachers.  When I left school, I didn’t achieve much in the way of qualifications, apart from in English.  My teachers encouraged me to read and write.

Where do you work? Do you have a regular pattern or routine?

I work at Ryde Academy as a Science Technician.  I’m lucky in that I only work three days a week, so on my days off, and at the weekends I tend to be sat on the sofa with my little purple laptop doing as much writing as I can.

What are you working on now?

I have recently finished a novel, ‘The London Boys’ and I am trying to find a publisher/literary agent for it.  Also I have been working on a lot of short stories that I have written over the years, whilst thinking of  new ideas for some  short stories to send to my publisher at Alfie Dog, an e-book publisher, www.alfiedog.com

Share something with me that nobody else knows about you?

I got married  in a registry office, and I just brought an ordinary dress, nothing special.  But the one thing I would love to do, even now, is go into a bridal shop and try on something white and floaty.  Even at my age.

Who do you like sharing a cup of coffee and a natter with?

I like catching up with colleagues from a school  I worked at on the island before it closed.  A lot of them retired, but one of them went to France and set up a camping businesses.  She was on ITV last year on a programme called ‘Little England’. We all got on so well, just like one big happy family, and I miss working with them now. 

 How do you relax?

I like going for  long walks or reading a good book.  I also like sitting on the sofa with my laptop, and watching the telly whilst typing away.  I especially like watching old black and white movies, much to my children’s horror.  They remind me of happy times when I watched them with my Nan. 

What would you do if you won the lottery, what would you spend it on?

I would spend it on my wonderful family, making sure that my girls had a house each.  Also that Graeme got that motorbike that he yearns for, and I would also see my sisters were looked after.  And friends, who are like family to me too, I would make sure that they were alright for the future.

Are you a savoury or sweets girl?

I am definitely a savoury girl.  Any crisps, cheese biscuits, cheese straws, cheddars, etc you get the picture!

What do you have in your handbag right now?

This question took me an hour and half to answer, as by the time I had emptied my bag and looked at all my rubbish, I meant all my wonderful things, that’s how much time had passed.  I have a purse, keys, (car, house, work,) hairbrush, driving licence, makeup, receipts, tissues, two pairs of reading glasses, one pair of sunglasses, cheque book, credit cards, mobile phone, sore throat sweets, inhalers, hand cream and my diary.

What’s your earliest memory?

When I was aged four, upstairs in bed one evening, my dad came home from my Nan’s shop with some ice cream.  He shouted at me and my sisters to get up and come downstairs and have some.

What has been your favourite year and why?

I have quite a few favourite years, but I think the best year for me was 1987 when I married Graeme.  I can’t believe we have been married for over 25 years!  The time has simply flown by, he is my best friend.

What’s your favourite smell?

My favourite smell is Lilly of the valley.  It reminds me of my Nan who used to wear the perfume.  And Mrs Foord, who lived over the road from us, grew them, and always picked a bunch for me for my birthday, as they only come out at that time of year, being a spring flower.

What was the last thing you laughed/cried at?

I cry at sad films…  My daughter and I went to see ‘Les Mis’ last week, and at the end of it she asked if I liked it.  I loved it, but was so choked up, could only nod at her.  As a family we are always laughing and joking with one another and taking the mickey out of each other, but in a fun way.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given or best advice you’d give?

The best advice I would give about writing is believe in yourself and what you are writing.  Go with your gut instinct. 

And another bit advice I would give is in winter, if you are going to wear a vest, wear big girl’s knickers and then you can tuck your vest into them.  This will keep your back nice and toastie! 

What’s your favourite book/Film as a child/adult?

My favourite book(s) are Jackie Collins, The Lucky books.  I absolutely loved reading them when I was at school.  I have so many favourite films, but as a child I used to love musicals and going to the pictures with my Nan to watch them.  I think my favourite film as a child was ‘Hello Dolly.’  One of my favourite films I love now and only watched a little while ago is ‘It’s a wonderful life,’ with James Stewart.

Where can people contact you Maggie?

I am on facebook and linkedIn as Maggie Jones

Thanks Maggie for speaking to me today. Good luck with your writing for you work so hard you  fully deserve your success.

C x




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