Reading Group Center

Alex Kava on the Making of Maggie O'Dell

In each novel, what interests me most in continuing to create Maggie O’Dell is not how Maggie works on a case, but rather how the case works on Maggie. Different facets of her character unravel in each novel. I constantly push and prod and shove her to the edge, wanting to see what she’s capable of. Yes, I want to see what she’s made of, how she’ll react, what affect it’ll have on her values, her core beliefs, who she is, and who she believes she is. Perhaps that sounds odd. Maybe even a bit harsh. Why would an author do such a thing? I have a confession to make—I created Maggie O’Dell quite accidentally.

I never intended to write a series when I penned my first novel, A Perfect Evil. Maggie O’Dell was one of two protagonists and one of several points of view. Readers wanted more. My publisher pressed me for the sequel. I didn’t have a sequel. I didn’t have a single paragraph. In fact, I had already started writing a second novel. The proposal had been accepted by my publisher. I was two thirds of the way finished. But I put it aside and I wrote another Maggie O’Dell. That was supposed to be the end. Readers still wanted more. How can you say no to readers? Suddenly, I was writing a series and learning how to do it by the seat of my pants…

Click here to read the rest of Alex Kava’s post at The Weekly Lizard..

Click to read an excerpt from Damaged, a Maggie O’Dell novel, download our reading group guide, and schedule a phone chat with the author.