Welcome to Mystery Writer Maggie King

Hello everyone!  I’m using my normal posting date to introduce the second of our two new The Writers in Residence bloggers.  Maggie King will tell her story in her own words.  Happy reading!

My Writing Journey: Condensed Version, by Maggie King

Like many young girls I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew and the Dana Girls. I’ll never forget the day my mother brought home The Hidden Staircase after a trip to the P.M. Bookshop in Plainfield, New Jersey.

In sixth grade I started writing my own girl detective mystery and would read the latest chapter to my friends while walking home from school. They enjoyed my creative efforts (they would have told me otherwise; I have no doubt). I wish I still had those stories, for posterity.

(WOW! We wish you’d saved those early mysteries too! A middle grade treasure!)

Alas, I drifted away from writing, and it took a few decades to get back to it. I joined my first mystery book group in Santa Clarita, California in 1993. Aside from Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, I’d read few works by other mystery authors, and I was ready to discover them. Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, Jill Churchill, Robert Crais are just of the few who became my favorites.

The women in the book group were lovely—almost too lovely. I hadn’t yet started my writing career, but I knew I was on my way when the what-if scenarios came to me unbidden—

What if these women weren’t really so nice?

What if this was all for show and they harbored secrets, agendas, hatreds?

But it wasn’t until 1996 when I moved to Virginia and took a creative writing course at the University of Virginia that I started writing in earnest. I didn’t forget those nice women—or were they?—from the Santa Clarita book group. I gave them backstories and they became the story prototypes for Murder at the Book Group, my debut mystery featuring Hazel Rose.

Two more mysteries in the Hazel Rose Book Group series followed, along with seven short stories. So far, all are set in Virginia.

Like many mystery writers, I have a strong need to see justice done and set the world right. Mysteries are the perfect vehicle for that. I serve conventional justice in my novels, but my short stories tend to be morally ambiguous, and the justice may be of the vigilante variety. I’m a law-abiding citizen, but sometimes I wonder if justice is better served outside the boundaries of the law. That’s why I write. It keeps me out of prison and my victim(s) safe. And I can create interesting characters I’d never want to know off the page.

It’s unlikely that I’ll ever solve a mystery—and I have no desire to—but my sleuths can do anything. Just like Nancy Drew.

When I’m not writing, I take courses (including writing) at Lifelong Learning, work out at the gym, walk, cook, indulge my overly indulged cats, and come up with ways to save money.

(Please share some of those ways to save money in the comments, Maggie!)

Photo: Maggie with Morris

See Maggie’s newest book, Laughing Can Kill You, at Bookshop.org

For this book as well as all her others, see her Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Maggie-King/e/B00HR6MPOO

Thanks Maggie!  We can’t wait to read your first posting, February 15, 2023! Meanwhile, readers can check out Maggie’s BIO under the “ABOUT” button at the top of the page.


Author: Jackie Houchin

First, I am a believer in Jesus Christ, so my views and opinions are filtered through what God's Word says and I believe. I'm a wife, a mom, a grandma and now a great grandma. I write articles and reviews, and I dabble in short fiction. I enjoy living near the ocean, doing gardening (for beauty and food) and traveling - in other countries, if possible. My heart is for Christian missions, and I'm compiling a collections of Missionary Kids' stories to publish. (I also like kittens and cats and reading mysteries.)

12 thoughts on “Welcome to Mystery Writer Maggie King”

  1. T hank you, Maggie, for sharing your journey to writing success. You are to be commended for pursuing the dream to publication, and I am sure in the process you have managed to be thrifty! My own money-saving tip is to turn down the central heating and add an extra bathrobe when it is chilly, or walk every aisle at the supermarket instead of paying gym fees!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome to the group, Maggie, though as you’ve been a regular commenter to this blog I feel as if you’ve been with us for a long time. Like many of us, life put your youthful interest in writing on pause, then came back to it years later. Look forward to reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for giving us a look inside your writing life. We all come from different backgrounds, but we do like a good mystery. And stories do come from real life even if we change up the plot and re-fashion the characters to fit the scenario. And welcome to our motley group.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your warm welcomes. I’ve enjoyed this blog for years and am thrilled to be “one of the gang.” Yes, we all have different paths and processes which we use to good effect in our writing.

    Money-saving tips: I use less laundry detergent by amending it with vinegar and baking soda. Like Jill, I keep the thermostat down. For years I’ve coasted when approaching red lights (here’s a short piece on this:://cojo.us/how-to-save-money-on-gas-by-coasting/). More tips on another day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Maggie. Welcome to the group! I really enjoyed hearing about your writing journey and reasons you love mysteries, and I look forward to hearing more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Morris already. Hope he finds his way into a bit of some of your posts. I’ve ordered MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP and am eager to begin it (well, after all the Christmas reading is done – haha). So glad to have you with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jackie. Morris and his sister Olive are great. They appear on my #caturday posts on Instagram. Thanks for putting MABG on your stack. Warning: it’s a tad racy! I just made the cozy category by a nose.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome Maggie! Sorry I’m late to your post, but electronic things kept breaking!(sigh and smile) Have no money saving tips (sigh again) And love “That’s why I write. It keeps me out of prison and my victim(s) safe. And I can create interesting characters I’d never want to know off the page.” Which has sent me down a trail of pondering which started with Carolyn Graham…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maggie, I’m so glad you’ve joined our ‘motley group’ as Gayle called us! I know you’ve been commenting along with us for a long time. Thanks for sharing your background – it’s always interesting to learn your journey.
    And sorry this is so late – but I’m in London, visiting family- so very behind with my emails,


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