Meet Maggie Shaw

This month we thought we’d get to know Eregendal’s proud owner Maggie Shaw a little bit better…


Tell me a bit about yourself…

I’m originally from Morden in Surrey, but the place where I feel most at home is in West Cumberland, where my Father’s family farmed for generations. I’m now based in Crewe, Cheshire. Crewe makes a great base for visiting other parts of the country by train or car. It also has quite a kind climate for the UK. When I first moved here from Edinburgh in 2001, it felt like I had moved to another country!


How did you get into writing?

It just happened. I wrote my first story soon after I learned to write. The hero was a horse that pulled a milk float. One day the horse broke its traces and fled to the mountains where it joined a herd of wild horses who lived in a cave. I have continued to write throughout my life.


What is your favourite part about being an author?

It enables me to explore places, situations, characters and emotions without leaving my room. I often imagine my wildest fantasies, only for them to become tamed by circumstances. For instance, in Diviner’s Nemesis I – Avenger I explored the fantasy of a poor fortune teller marrying a rich archaeologist: the story did not end up a tale of ‘happy ever after’. Writing can also be a great vehicle for processing anger against unjust systems like politics and economics.


What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing. Use every opportunity to write. Even a daily journal keeps you in the practice of writing. Think about why you want to write. Do you have an important message to tell? Do you want to be a commercial success? Do you want to write great literature which generations to come will continue to read? These may not be mutually exclusive, but often are. So keep believing in yourself.


If you could turn any one of your novels into a film, which would it be and why?

It’s always my latest! Because I am a visual thinker, each of my books is very visual in nature. To let you in to a little secret, I think the next book coming to publication very soon would make a fantastic film. It’s action-packed, funny, and full of great characters.


Apart from reading and planning your next novel, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I am also a church musician and lead singing sessions for people with lung problems. When circumstances permit, I love walking in the hills and beside the sea, and visiting places with a lot of history. I also have a large postcard collection of topographical postcards from the UK and the rest of the world, amounting to at least 80,000 cards. They have proved a great writing resource over the years.

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