Thursday, December 2, 2010

Interview of British Author Margaret West about her book, 'Abigail Cottage'

Scribal Love Welcomes Margaret West!

Margaret West  is an author of Paranormal Romance. Her newest work Abigail Cottage is available from

So where do you hail?  Where are you from?

I’m British and from the UK.  I moved from London to the countryside of Kent about 6 years ago.  I have never regretted it.  The slower pace of living suit me perfectly.

What inspired you to write this book?

Twenty years ago I worked for the James Bond Movie makers.  I saw the script writers acting out there muse around a table, writing it all down until it all came together as a film. It fascinated me that these men had such a vivid imagination.  Whilst I knew I didn’t want to write for the screen, I did start to think that maybe I could use my imagination to write a short story.  That story turned into a 2000 page book!!!

Do you have a specific writing style?

Not really. I try to make my novels all very different. Some being just romance and others being along the more paranormal romance lines.

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title? 

My book is called Abigail Cottage. I have no idea where the title sprung from.   It came after the story.  It sort of made itself really. It’s a dark paranormal and not really along the lines that I write nowadays.  I resurrected it because it was the manuscript that really inspired me to write all my other books.  I thought it deserved to be read after hanging around for so long! It’s not 2000 pages anymore.  Over the years its been shortened considerably. But it’s still a lot bigger than my other novels.

What is Abigail Cottage about?

Abbey Newlands inherits a cottage in Rossheath Ireland.  She believes it’s a wonderful gift. But it soon turns out to be terrible nightmare when she becomes sucked into a dark world that threatens everything she values.  Driven from her home in London though lies and deceit, Abbey is forced to leave the man she loves and flee to the cottage.  But her sanctuary holds a dark secret. A distant ancestor of hers still resides there.  Corrupted by the dark life he led as mortal, Justin Montgomery is now a demon who has created a curse that has spanned over two hundred years.  Shrouded by magic he presents himself as a mortal man and Abbeys savior.  But as his black magic encompasses her, she is sucked into a darkness that threatens not only her life but that of her unborn child's. 

Only two people can save her.  Rosa, a gypsy whose family have known about Justin's curse for years and Shaun, her soul mate and the father of her child.  When good decides to battle with evil no one knows if Abbey’s soul, and that of her unborn child, can be saved from an evil that corrupts times itself.

What books have influenced your life most?

I can’t say any have influenced my life, but plenty of them have inspired me.  Catherine Cookson for one.  How she brought her characters to life is awe inspiring.  I loved all her books.  Nora Roberts is another author who captivates me in her books.  Which is something I hope I achieve with my novels.

Did you find the idea of having your work published for others to read intimidating?  If yes, why?  If no, why not? 

I never really thought about it to be honest.  So I’ll have to say no.  I love all my books.  They come from my heart and imagination.  If someone actually reads them I feel humbled that they took the time to bother.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

It would have to be Catherine Cookson.  I know I write paranormals mostly, but romance and life is also a priority in my novels.

What books are you reading now?

I'm reviewing The sorcerers Dream by Dreamshield.  A new author.  So that’s the book I am reading now.  I don’t get a lot of time to read just for pleasure nowadays.

What are your current projects?

I’m editing my next book Crystal magic.  Then I have two more to edit.  Abigail Cottage comes out in December and then Spirit Intervention in February 2011.   So I will be busy promoting those.  I also have a non fiction to go back to and edit.  It’s a self help book that explains in layman terms about a heart attack.  My husband had two and I found the doctor’s jargon and medication baffling.  I’ve explained step by step, from my point of view, how to cope and where to find extra help. So that book is particularly special to me.

Do you find that international audiences are different from your home or native country's audience? 

No.  I think if someone likes my books they like it regardless of where they are.  My readers are a friendly bunch from all over the world.  I always take the time to chat with them.

Do you see writing as a career?

One day.  Like everyone else I suppose.  I don’t think I’ll ever be rich, but I’d like to be able to pay my way by writing.

 If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Mmm, that’s a hard one.  Over the years it’s been hacked away so much, I now think it’s where it should be.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Editing.  I HATE it.  It’s the bane of my life and sometimes it can result with me binning a hole book.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

To be open minded I suppose.  When I first wrote a book over twenty years ago, there were no specific guidelines.  I had no idea about POV, passive voice and so on.  I wrote whatever came to mind.  I thought it was great and no one had the right to tell me otherwise.  Over the years I have learned to accept criticism as a lesson on how to improve rather than take it a personal fault.  To grow as a writer you need to embrace opinions, I do that now and I am grateful for other people taking the time to give me their input on my work.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The only thing I will say is just because you’ve written a book and it’s published, that doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax.  That was the easy part.  Now the hard work really begins. Promote Promote Promote!!!

Thank you Margaret for dropping by!  You can find Margaret on the web at:


  1. Oh darn it. The weather is foul in the uk and I had limited internet yesterday, so I have failed miserably to let everyone know I'm here. Thanks for having me and I hope some friends creep by to say hi

  2. Hi margaret
    The snow is bad here too. I've popped in to say I can't wait to read Abigail Cottage. Its been too long getting here. Well done.

  3. Great interview. Promoting is the bane of my life, I'll take editing any day. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow, two blogs in one day. You are busy. Going to pre order Abigail Cotttage now. Well done.

  5. Thank you for the insight, Margaret, your new book sounds very interesting. It must have been hard to take 2000 pages and cut it down to something manageable.

    My question is about the paranormal that you like to write about. Do you have any personal experiences in that area, and has any of your writing been influenced by it?

  6. Hi Margaret,

    Sounds like another winner for you. It's on my TBB list. I can't wait.


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