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I recently invited Margaret to tell us a bit about herself and her latest novel, Magic Sometimes Happens. Over a cup of tea and some of her favourite brand of chocolates, Margaret began by writing a short synopsis and then answered some questions.

Magic sometimes happens – so could a trip to the USA also be a passport to love?

London-based PR and promotions consultant Rosie Denham has just spent a year in Paris where she’s tried but failed to fall in love. She’s also made a big mistake and can’t forgive herself.

American IT professor Patrick Riley’s wife has left him for a Mr Wonderful with a cute British accent and a house with a real yard. So Patrick’s not exactly thrilled to meet another Brit who’s visiting Minnesota, even if she’s seriously attractive.

Patrick and Rosie couldn’t be more different. She’s had a privileged English upbringing. He was raised in poverty in Missouri. Pat has two kids, a job that means the world to him and a wife who might decide she wants her husband back.

So when Pat and Rosie fall in love, the prospects don’t seem bright for them.

But magic sometimes happens – right?

Margy

Margaret James

Oapschat: Where were you in your writing career five years ago?

Margaret: I was teaching creative writing for the London School of Journalism, writing regular columns and doing author profiles for Writing Magazine and putting together a guide for creative writing students with fellow creative writing tutor Cathie Hartigan.

Oapschat: Where did you get the idea for your latest novel Magic Sometimes Happens?

Margaret: My elder daughter lives in Minnesota and one year I had a fabulous autumn holiday there, which got me thinking: what if a much younger version of me had arrived there trying to get over a terrible family tragedy? What would she do? What would she find? Who would she meet?

Oapschat: Where do you hope to be in five years time?

Margaret: Years ago I wrote a paranormal novel called Elegy for a Queen which was way ahead of its time genre-wise and which got some lovely rave rejections from mainstream publishers before it was finally published by Solidus, a small imprint in the UK. It’s currently getting a new lease of life on Amazon Kindle. Paranormal is hugely popular nowadays, so I hope to have written and had published another paranormal story.

Oapschat: Which was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?

Margaret: Oh, that’s easy – it’s One Day by David Nicholls, a romantic novel about two people who meet on their last day at university and agree to see each other on the same day every year until – well, I won’t give the story away! The hero and heroine of this novel, Dexter and Emma, became so real for me that as I read their story I could see them, I could hear them, and if they’d walked into the room where I was sitting reading I wouldn’t have been at all surprised.

Oapschat: Was there any particular author or book that made you want to be a writer?

Margaret: When I was a teenager I was profoundly moved by Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and I thought how wonderful it must be to take your reader to a completely different world. I wanted to see if I could do it, too.

Oapschat: What’s the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Margaret: Choose your rut carefully, because you’ll be in it for a long time. My first novel was a romance, and this turned out to be a good rut for me.

Oapschat: Thank you for your time Margaret. I hope you have a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Margaret has a blog here. Read about her visit to Minnesota on the website.

You can win either a signed paperback or an audio version on CD of Magic Sometimes Happens. Details will be on the website soon. My thanks to Margaret for donating these two great prizes.

Meet The Author...
Oapschat
Who Am I?

Hi, my name is Janice and I am the founder of www.OAPSchat.co.uk.This stands for Optimistic and ProActive Seniors Chat. OAPSchat was born in April 2013 as a Facebook page. To date there are over 1415 FB likes. It was in November 2013 that I decided I had enough material and confidence to launch the website.

Since that day, I have been writing articles on all kinds of topics. ranging from hobbies, holidays, food and drink, memories, families, finance and much much more. I now have over one hundred and twenty two wonderful contributors to date and articles on all different subjects are posted on a daily basis. Over 1320 articles can be read now! Members can comment via disqus, FB and Twitter.

Raffles are held monthly, sometimes more often. A newsletter goes out once a month with my plans for the coming weeks. I am an Independent Happy List Winner 2014 for founding the website.

Loneliness is a big scourge on our society worldwide and the website helps combat this awful isolation by coming together and sharing our thoughts and ideas. OAPSchat is well and truly born now and I hope it will continue to thrive. With your support, I'm confident it will!

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