Author pops the cork on mature heroines
WRITING about mature women and the myriad situations they face is not a genre embraced by mainstream publishers.
But Sunshine Coast local Maggie Christensen is on a mission to change that.
Now on her sixth self-published book featuring women of a certain age in life-changing situations, she is slowly making inroads and building a fan base that proves there is a market for this type of fiction.
"I did try mainstream publishers but none were looking for books about mature women," Maggie said.
"Publishers wanted straight romance novels (featuring young women) but my heroines have to deal with issues that concern mature women, such as adult children, second marriages, stepchildren, aging parents, death of a spouse and the possibility of old age."
With millions of the world's baby boomers now in their late 60s, early 70s, these are issues that confront women and the men and families and friends in their lives.
"My readers report that they find it refreshing to read novels which give them hope that being over 50 doesn't mean there is no longer any romance and sizzle left to be had," Maggie said.
Maggie's latest book, Champagne for Breakfast, features a woman beginning a life-changing journey and celebrating her 50th birthday.
The novel is set entirely in Noosa. The idea for the book came to Maggie during an early morning walk along the Noosa River.
"I was walking along Gympie Tce one Sunday morning when I noticed a woman sitting alone with a bottle of wine," she said. "The writer in me began to wonder, why and what if?"
Maggie returned home from her walk and began to create a story for one of the minor characters featured in one of her previous books, The Sand Dollar.
"It opens with Rosa Taylor celebrating her 50th birthday drinking champagne alone by the Noosa River," Maggie said.
"Rosa needs to make a few changes to her life, some long overdue and others completely unexpected."
The premise follows the same scenario as in all the other five of Maggie's books: a mature woman facing a challenging situation that forces her to change her life.
"Noosa as a backdrop becomes a character in the book," Maggie said.
"I used a lot of Noosa's restaurants as backdrops, and the Noosa River. I have my male character coming sailing into the Noosa River on a catamaran. I thought 'why not?' there are always catamarans coming into the Noosa River."
Self-publishing has been a learning curve for Maggie and she now feels she knows all the advantages and pitfalls.
"I have learnt so much," she said. "What I like about it is being in control. I like the women on my covers to look like the characters inside the book."
Champagne for Breakfast is available in local bookstores, on Amazon and at libraries.