McMahon, Maureen M. 1952-

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McMAHON, Maureen M. 1952-

PERSONAL: Born March 31, 1952, in Niles, MI; married Peter McMahon, March 5, 1983; children: James Foster, Kathleene Anne. Education: Western Michigan University, B.S. (creative writing; with honors). Hobbies and other interests: Music, art, fishing.

ADDRESSES: Home—P.O. Box 442, Ocean Grove, Victoria 3226, Australia. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Educator and author. Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, clerical supervisor; Philips Elementary School, Battle Creek, MI, teacher; Michigan Mutual Insurance Company, Niles, supervisor; Australian Runner (magazine), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, staff writer; freelance writer. Writers Digest (magazine), online instructor; creative writing instructor at Ocean Grove Neighborhood Centre. Electronically Published Professionals, founder and director.

MEMBER: Australia/New Zealand Authors (co-director), Fellowship of Australian Writers, Australian Society of Authors.

AWARDS, HONORS: Noteworthy Alumni designation, Western Michigan University, 2001.


Shadows in the Mist, Avid Press, 2000.

A Nightingale in the Sycamore (short fiction; e-book), DiskUs Publishing, 2001.

Return of the Gulls, Hard Shell Word Factory (Amherst Junction, WI), 2002.

The Sea, the South, the Storm, in press.

Contributor to Crumbs in the Keyboard, Echelon Press (Crowley, TX), 2002.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Apollo Moon, expected completion 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Maureen M. McMahon told CA: "One of the biggest lessons I learned was that writing is not just about being published. The amount of marketing and promotion that are necessary to make your work sell is overwhelming. I once believed that, if I could only get my books published, I could then sit back and simply write what I wanted and lap up accolades and wealth. I was totally wrong. The competition is unbelievably fierce. There are millions of excellent writers out there fighting for top-shelf recognition and millions more who end up in the slush piles as one-hit wonders.

"Another big mistake I made early on was thinking that by simply finishing a novel it would be marketable. Any writer knows that finishing that first manuscript is a huge thrill. But a manuscript, no matter how long it is, or how long it took you to write it, won't necessarily make a good novel. Meticulous editing and market research are mandatory if you don't want your work gathering dust in an old shoebox.

"When I was about eighteen years old, I sent a novel to my favorite author, Mary Stewart. That, too, was a naive mistake. She was very kind and explained that she couldn't read or comment on the manuscript, as she simply did not want to be put in the position of possibly hurting another writer's feelings. I cringe now when I realize how I never considered that my request might put her in an untenable position. However, this particular experience turned out to be fortuitous in that Lady Stewart and I have since corresponded on several occasions. She has given me great support and assistance over the years, and owe her a great debt of gratitude.

"As to my future, I intend to write what my readers are asking for: more mysteries and gothic romances. I am looking forward to researching new and exciting locales and settings. I would also like to write something totally different, something that defies all genres, and that will leave readers feeling as though they have just had the experience of a lifetime. I also hope to continue to teach creative writing so that I can stay on my toes and not become locked into a writing rut. I intend to learn as much from my students as they learn from me.

"My suggestion to other writers is to study the market more and make sure that your work targets a definite readership. Even if you can't write to a niche market, you can certainly adapt what you write to fit more easily into certain areas. I also suggest spending lots of time editing your work once it's completed. As to words of wisdom: Never underestimate your own talents. If you truly learn to believe in yourself, you will never fail."



Moonspinner's Writer's Page, (November 13, 2003), "Maureen McMahon."

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McMahon, Maureen M. 1952-

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