I simply wanted to step out of my ordinary life and find the Divine Appointment God had planned for me. I’d read about Mary Kinglsey, and it occurred to me that if I truly wanted to share an historical biography with my students, hers was it. So (with much trepidation) I booked the cheapest tour I could find to visit the Dark Continent of Africa. Who knew I’d meet a psychic named Vidalia (after the onion?) — not that I should have been surprised (after all, Bremen Tours specialized in “Voodoo relics of the Dark Continent,” or so it was emblazoned on their carry-alls, one of which I owned).
Who is Lilly Maytree?
What does a normal workday look like for you, Lilly?
I like to begin working sometime around ten in the morning. I have a beautiful little study with a comfortable chair, and I am surrounded by bookcases on nearly every wall. All of my favorite books are there. A lot of this first part of the day is business, or research related. I love research, I find it to be an exciting treasure-trove of unusual ideas. I update web pages and write articles… anything that’s dictated by my calendar.
At sometime around five, I take a dinner break. I love to cook, so it’s a social and unwinding time for me. Then I enjoy the evening with my husband, and we might take a walk, read, or watch a movie. But somewhere around ten, I return to my study to work on my current project. This is my real writing time, when all is quiet and there are no interruptions. I’m usually busy until about two, and afterward do a little visiting with my friends on the other side of the world who are in different time zones.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A plotter, for sure. I absolutely love developing plots. I even like outlines, but don’t tell anybody. That isn’t to say things never take an unexpected turn, because they often do. But I tend to work in layers, making multiple passes over the manuscript to flesh out characters and sharpen the setting. Even so, there are times when I’ll have to wait and let things percolate about something that eluded me. When that happens, I leave a “placeholder” in that spot until it comes to me. I have learned to be patient about that, because it always does.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not writing? Least favorite?
Adventuring is what I like best. My husband and I travel at least three months out of the year (oh, but I take my work with me, even when we’re on boats), so there is always something interesting to explore. We tend to gravitate toward wilderness places, rather than cities, and that’s very refreshing.
My least favorite thing is getting stuck somewhere, or into a bit of a scrape because we got too far off the beaten path. But that’s all part of the adventure. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade those experiences for a million dollars, because I always learn something. Of course, I wouldn’t give a nickel to go through them, again, either.
If you had a Friday night all to yourself, what would you do?
Listen to good music and work out my “plot knots.” I find music and solitude to be very good for that.
Links to where readers can find my books are over at http://www.LillyMaytree.com/books.html. You can also connect up with my blog from there, as well as take a peek into my study, which I fill up with interesting curiosities and bits and pieces of unusual research I have done during the writing of my latest book. There’s a recipe for African Peanut Stew over there right now, too, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Along with a slideshow of some pictures I used as visual inspiration for GOLD TRAP.
Thank you for having me over for a visit, today, Dora, I so enjoy meeting new friends. Because I find it to be a rather amazing thing that even though “There are so many kinds of voices in the world… none of them is without significance.” (that’s a Lilly paraphrase for Romans 14:10)
Thank you, Lilly, for visiting today. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you! Congrats on the release of Gold Trap.