Monday, July 27, 2015

Please welcome Maggie Toussaint (writing as Rigel Carson) author of G-1 (Guardian of the Earth, Book 1)

For this interview, I met Maggie on the northern tip of our square earth, where the view of apocalyptic devastation is at its best. We had a nice squirrel infused tea and talked about zombies, reading, and writing!

1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Maggie says: I loved the concept of John Scalzi’s book, Red Shirts, a spoof on the Star Trek regime. When things went wrong in the story, a character found a way to visit the writer and have him rewrite the ending. I’d love to have a writer rework the ending of the zombie apocalypse. Can’t you just see a zombie apocalypse story ending with “and they all lived happily ever after?” ((serious snort))
I’d go with Kindle Scout winner Neal Wooten and his pack of Pit Bulls from Pit Bulls vs Aliens. Nothing like safety in numbers.
I’d also take along my good friend Polly Iyer. Another Kindle Scout winner with Indiscretion, Polly isn’t afraid of tough topics. She could write her way out of anything while I was working on food fight scenes.
Meredith says: I think we're a pretty cool group to hang out with. When the zombie apocalypse hits, I'm going to go looking for my fellow Scout authors.
Maggie says: Yeah, the Kindle Scout crowd certainly believes that an imagination would be a terrible thing to waste.

2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Maggie says: I’d reach for JK Rowling first. She’s one of my favs. I figure even the river would be scared of Stephen King, so he’d be safe a bit longer.
Meredith says: Hahahaha! I just laughed out loud.
Maggie says: Hey, the man’s got a rep, what can I say? How nice it would be to have such recognizable name branding!

3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Maggie says: I’m just finishing up 3 Women Walk into a Bar by fellow Georgian Linda Sands. Her depth of characterization is impressive. Linda is another Kindle Scout winner, and I’m delighted by the choices Kindle Scout is making acquisition wise. I currently have 4 more books to be read on my Kindle, a book on backorder, and a stack of paperbacks waiting for “one day.”
Meredith says: I read '3 Women' and it was awesome!

4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Maggie says: My absolute favorite author of all time Jayne Ann Krentz writes under 3 identities. I’ve reread all of her books multiple times, allegedly for craft, though I get sucked into the story every danged time. (How does she do that? Is she my kryptonite?) My favorite opening of hers is from Soft Focus. Check it out on Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.
Meredith says: Nice! I'll have to check out Jayne.

5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Maggie says: What year is it now? Seriously, they all run together. Let me check my reviews… Okay. Got it. Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick. An intrepid woman explorer saves a scientist/spy’s life only to discover she’s got a target on her back.
Meredith says: Ooooh, sound interesting. As a fellow science geek, I love sciency reads.
Maggie says: I saw on your bio or somewhere that biochemistry was your thing. I ended up doing a lot of biochem in my science career, but it was sure hard in college. That and microbiology nearly did me in. My final for micro: define metabolism (and she didn’t mean the definition).

6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Maggie says: I’ve been really busy in 2015, but from my meager list, I chose The Atlantis Gene by AG Riddle. In this book an evolution scientist and a secret agent pair up to discover the Atlantis Gene. (Did I mention I was a scientist in a former life? I’m such a sucker for stories featuring scientists, which is why I finally wrote a series with a scientist as a lead character…)
Meredith says: I'm the same way! Also, I have The Atlantis Gene in my stack of TBR books. I have been following - and completely envious of - AG Riddle's writing career, his start from indie to the big screen is inspiring.
Maggie says: Inspiring is right. These things happen, that’s the miracle for indie writers and newbies today. It’s a new world out there, that’s for sure.

7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Maggie says: Every person with superpowers seems to have the goal of saving the world. I’d love to have the superpower to make people get along and behave. That’d save the world faster than anything.
Meredith says: I like that. Just behave, people!
Maggie says: Cool! We’re on the same wavelength.

8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Maggie says: A little Magic Eraser will get all those spots out… Oh all right. I’ll get serious. I have an office, but lately I’ve discovered the pluses of the recliner in the living room. Comfy and a tad warmer.
Meredith says: I don't judge. I like being warm when I'm writing. I get angry when I'm cold.
Maggie says: Hmm. Maybe when I’m writing a tense scene I should see if being cold makes the writing stronger. Thanks for the tip.

9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book G-1, Guardian of Earth series book 1.
Maggie says: Partway through G-1, Zeke is incarcerated but he manages to MacGyver himself out of jeopardy. I love how he refused to give in when all the chips were stacked against him. He fought against an incredible multi-pronged attack to keep him isolated and out of circulation – and he beat the odds. This is a point in the book where Zeke really starts taking charge of his future, where he turns his curiosity and intellect to more real world problems. This is where his destiny and the world’s becomes startlingly apparent.
Meredith says: Sounds awesome. G-1 is on my to-read list, btw.
Maggie says: I am tickled pink that it’s on your horizon. Writing science stuff was easy for me, but writing it at a basic level was a challenge. So far, the reviews have been positive that a) the science is right and b) the geekiness factor doesn’t overwhelm the story vehicle. That was my aim, in any event.

10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Maggie says: I invest a little of myself in every character, but I would be dead wrong if I told you I was my lead character, Dr. Zeke Landry. He’s like off the charts smart. I’m more like Jessie, the older sister of pop star Queen Bea. Jessie is trained as a scientist, but she’s got a lot of walking around sense too. Turns out I admire that in a person.
Meredith says: We science people are just alike.
Maggie says: I have a bit of klutziness and at one time a guy I knew nicknamed me as Grace because of it. I wonder what my medical examiner will say about my poor toes. I bet I’ve stubbed them a kazillion times. I blame the klutziness on the focusing factor. When I’m focused on something, I don’t think of anything else. I become totally absorbed. That’s great for my focal point, not always so great for dinner, etc.

11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Maggie says: Now you are going to find out how repressed I am. No music while writing. No noise at all. I’ve got to be able to hear all the voices in my head, you see.
But I play instrumental music on Pandora for editing. I really like this cello version of Royals but I’m blanking on the group’s name.
We have traveling music for the car. Yes, I’m one of those crazy women you see singing their way up and down the interstate. Playlist includes Jimmy Buffet’s greatest hits, Blind Boys of Alabama, classic oldies from the 60s/70s, and of course, Stairway to Heaven.
Meredith says: I love that so many of my fellow scouters listen to cello compilations. I used to play the cello! I was never very good at it though. So, I haven't heard the cello version of Royals so I googled it and if we're talking about the same compilation, I LOVE it!! 
And there's nothing wrong with singing in the car. I blast my stereo and belt it out on my way home from work each morning.
Maggie says: Yes! That’s the one (or an unplugged version of it). It’s so catchy. BTW, one of my kids briefly played the cello, until she found out she had to lug it back and forth to school, then she switched to flute. I love the deep resonant sound. It fills me with joy to hear those notes.

12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Maggie says: Develop thick skin. This is a business where everyone likes to take a shot at you.
Meredith says: A yes, thick skin is a must. Or stainless steel suit of armor would work.
Maggie says: Wouldn’t it be nice if those protective coatings would make us more immune to bad reviews or rejection letters? But I have a thought about that. Those lows make the highs all the sweeter.

Connect with Maggie/Rigel!

(Maggie's into science, she's cool in my book)


BIO: From her youthful days of tree climbing and dreams of flying to her career days of pocket-protector geekiness as a toxicologist, Southern author Maggie Toussaint remains riveted by a good story. As a book aficionado, she put into practice what she’d learned and began penning novels. She’s multi-published in mystery, romantic suspense, and science fiction. Dime If I Know, a Cleopatra Jones mystery, won the 2014 Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery, while her romances claimed top honors in Romantic Suspense from the National Readers’ Choice Award and the EPIC eBook Award. More at and  


  1. Thanks for having me, Meredith. I'm hoping that the zombie apocalypse is postponed, at least until I rally my friends and saviors around me!

    Maggie Toussaint writing science fiction as Rigel Carson

  2. Terrific questions and terrific answers, Meredith and Maggie. Don't know if I'd be much help fighting the zombies, but I like a challenge. Keep writing wonderful books, Maggie. You have a style that's uniquely yours, and readers love it.

    1. Polly, I would definitely want you at my back to fight zombies. You are clever and quick to adjust to new situations. I appreciate your comments about my writing. Thanks, pal!

  3. I think that might be the best superhero power answer I've ever read! (And G-1 is a worthy read - looking forward to the next!)

    1. LK,
      Thanks for stopping in. How cool is it that we both share similar thoughts about superpowers? Very cool, methinks.
      Maggie aka Rigel Carson

  4. Nice interview. I like how your TBR pile is for "one day." I call it "someday" in my house. And I loved microbiology in college. Fascinating to learn about all those germs. Part of my nursing school curriculum. I enjoyed G-1 and am looking forward to the sequel.

  5. Maybe us science folks should collaborate on a book in the near future. I'll put you down for the germ part, LOL! I read a lot of books, but there never seems to be enough time to read all the books I'm interested in.

    Thank you for visiting the blog and commenting, Nancy! You're a peach!

  6. Replies
    1. thanks, William! I hope you will take a look at the Kindle Scout titles. All of the books are super fun.