Maggie discusses Beacon Beach before author talk in Avalon, N.J.
Embracing the latest chapter of her life, Maggie FitzRoy is writing the types of compelling love stories she's always longed to write.
Maggie is a former journalist and magazine and newspaper editor with a bachelor's degree in history from Ursinus College and a master's degree in education from the University of Virginia. A lifelong, avid reader of fiction and nonfiction, she loves creating historical romances that sweep the reader into the past—where love is an adventure.
Mercy’s Way was her debut novel. Beacon Beach came next, taking romance to one of her favorite seaside towns, Cape May, New Jersey. She is now working on her novel, a historical romantic suspense set in 1923 Miami Beach, Florida.
She has also written two nonfiction books featuring Northeast Florida history.
Maggie lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. When she's not writing, she enjoys travel, swimming, choral singing and reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction genres.
More about Maggie’s books and writing style
My favorite stories in books, movies or TV shows, have always involved romance. When I started writing fiction, and needed to choose a genre, romance was a natural choice. Historical romance comes naturally, too, since I’ve always loved history and it was my college major. I’ve written two nonfiction history books and I’m working on my third novel.
I set my stories in American history. For my first novel, I wanted to write a road trip story. So what was the ultimate road trip in American history? To me, it was the Oregon Trail. I set Mercy’s Way in 1845 because that’s when pioneers started making the cross-continental trek. My second novel's plot needed a Gilded Age seaside resort. Setting that book, Beacon Beach, in Cape May, N. J. in 1886 fit perfectly. A New Jersey native, the Jersey shore is dear to me and Cape May still looks much as it did when my fictional hero and heroine were there.
I write about what intrigues me. I love road trips, and the Oregon Trail made for a romantic and adventurous journey. I adore travel, and the history of travel, so I created my own seaside resort in real Victorian-era Cape May. Sometimes I'm even inspired by music. (See my blog, It all Started with a Song.)
I’m now working on my third book, which is set in the 1920s—another exciting time. It was inspired by an image I had of a tropical boat chase. The rest will be revealed when it’s published!
With research and planning, Beacon Beach took about a year. Mercy’s Way took longer because it was my first novel. My third historical romance is moving right along. Eventually, I hope to publish two books a year.
My goal is to write a scene a day. That usually translates to writing four hours in the morning, averaging about 1,200 words. I spend my first hour editing what I wrote the day before.
In the world of romance novels, “sweet” means no sex scenes (at least not much beyond a kiss). I think the best romance books have lots of tension, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat because they want the hero and heroine to get together in the worst way. Those are the kinds of stories I like to read and to write. Also, I want to write books that I’m proud to put my name on. By definition, all romances have happy endings. Ultimately, I leave the bedroom scene to the reader’s imagination.