Monday, November 29, 2010

Guest Blogger: Maggie Sefton

Please join me in welcoming author Maggie Sefton as the special guest blogger here at Thoughts in Progress today.

Many may know Maggie as one of the authors that blogs at The Cozy Chicks. However, she’s here today to talk about her latest release, DOUBLE KNIT MURDERS, which is actually the first two novels in the Kelly Flynn Mystery Series - KNIT ONE, KILL TWO and NEEDLED TO DEATH.

Maggie has stopped by to answer some questions about herself and her Kelly Flynn Mystery Series.

MASON: Maggie, you grew up in Arlington VA, outside of Washington DC. When did you relocate to Colorado and what brought you there?

MAGGIE: Our family came to Colorado in 1988 when my former husband was offered the position of Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Previously, we had spent 15 years at Purdue University in West Lafayetter, IN, when my husband was a professor of EE there.

We originally left the Northern VA area in 1973 with two little girls, Christine & Melissa, and went on to have two more, Serena & Maria. All of my family has scattered, but I choose to live in Colorado because I absolutely love it here. It's
beautiful and the weather is so wonderful. Even the cold doesn't feel as cold.  :)

MASON: Your protagonist, Kelly Flynn, also made the move from DC to  Colorado. Do you and Kelly share many similar experiences?

MAGGIE: The only similarities Kelly and I share is that I, too, was a CPA. But I worked for smaller firms in the Midwest and here in Colorado. Kelly is in Corporate Accounting. Big Time Accounting. A far different animal. Challenging and very demanding. We both have a good sense of humor.  But Kelly is DEFINITELY not me. She's braver, stronger, a superior athlete, and waaaaaaaay more confrontational than I am, especially when it comes to villains.

MASON: Kelly’s friends at Lambspun are compared to the cast of  “Friends” by reviewers, was the show an inspiration?

MAGGIE: No, definitely not. I've always enjoyed the show "Friends" and the cast is laugh-out-loud funny. But they have distinct personalities, just like my cast of characters in the Kelly Flynn Mysteries. I'm sure the creators of "Friends" had their characters appear just like mine do.

They just show up. The characters for all of my books (including all those big historical novels I wrote years ago) simply "walk on stage" out of nowhere suddenly. They don't resemble anyone I know. In fact, in nearly 30 years of writing novels, I've never used a real person yet.

I tried once, but the fictional character would have none of it and proceeded to "morph" right in front of my eyes. Characters are real as far as I'm concerned (yes, we novelists are certifiable).    I have no idea where characters come from. I'm just glad they show up in my head.

MASON: Your latest in the series is the eighth, SKEIN OF THE CRIME, how has Kelly’s life changed since book one?

MAGGIE: Oh, my----Kelly's life has changed a lot. At the beginning of the series, she was focused on taking care of her aunt's business and returning to her corporate life in DC. But---she was also drawn to the warmth and comraderie of the people she's met at the knitting shop and in Fort Collins. The "theme" of the entire series is Creating Family.

We all create families around us that are entirely different from the relatives we grew up with. Our close friends and associates become "family." And Kelly does it too. She's lost her entire family. So the readers get to see Kelly "create family" right before our eyes, starting with the first book, KNIT ONE, KILL TWO. And Kelly's not the only one who does. Readers get to see the entire cast create family throughout the series.  

Of course, like in real families---good things happen and not so good things happen in life. They happen in the Kelly Flynn series, too. I do try to be realistic that way. Even when it comes to coping with the real-life stresses that come in relationships between people, like Kelly and Steve. But---these stories aren't over. There's a lot more happening. Stay tuned.  :)

Maggie, thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing your story (and Kelly’s) with us. Can’t wait to see what happens next for Kelly and her ‘family.’

To find out more about Maggie and all of her writing, check out her website at and remember you can also find her blogging at The Cozy Chicks

Even though Maggie stop by to talk about DOUBLE KNIT MURDERS, I have to include this delightful book video trailer for SKEIN OF THE CRIME. Enjoy

(BTW, anytime a video is slow in playing and stops off and on, just let it play to the end and then replay it again. It’s just have trouble loading and the second time it should play through without any problems).


  1. "We all create families around us that are entirely different from the relatives we grew up with. Our close friends and associates become "family."

    Oh so very true, Maggie! I have quite a clan I was born into and we're close, but I have *added* to my family with wonderful friends!

    What a nice interview, Mason!

  2. Good interview and I love the statement that we create families.

  3. Nice interview, Mason and Maggie!

    I'm glad that Maggie isn't as confrontational with villains as Kelly is. :)

  4. I would've stayed in Colorado as well!
    And my main character isn't like me at all.

  5. Mason - Thanks for hosting Maggie.

    Maggie - Thanks for sharing your some of your story (and Kelly's). You are so right that people do create "families," in real life, so why shouldn't characters? Sometimes the protagonist's friends are as interesting in the novel as the protagonist is.

  6. I like the idea of taking a subject, knitting here, and really drawing the story into its parallels. It's a great way of bringing a popular pasttime, or passion, to books. Thanks for the interview, Maggie and Mason!

  7. Maggie, thanks so much for guest blogging today. I love your thoughts on creating a family. Friends really do become a second family.

    Hi all, thanks for stopping by. Hope you're having a great Monday.

  8. I love how her characters just appear. Mine do that, too. And I wish I could knit. My aunt tried to teach me. I failed.

  9. great interview, Mason! I bet it would be fun to follow a character through her "life" like that... I'm sure you DO get to know them as family! :o) <3

  10. I always enjoy watching a character or group of characters evolve through a series of books. So much more fun that just a single book.

    Tried to knit once. I made my husband a nice scarf that took me months to finish and ended up twice as wide at one end than the other. (oops)

  11. Interesting post--I enjoyed reading the interview, and her thoughts about her character and on family.

  12. Thanks for hosting Maggie, Mason. And Maggie, it's great to see you here. Looking forward to reading Double Knit Murders -- love your knitting mysteries, and to me they're extra special given the setting. ;)
    Hearth Cricket

  13. What a fun trailer. I also like the clever titles of your books. I’m looking forward to reading them. Do you recommend reading the series in order?

  14. Kelly certainly sounds like a different sort of heroine. Good interview with interesting insights on character creation.

    I like the music in the trailer--what is it?

    Tossing It Out

  15. Sia & Dru---Quite often our "created" families become as close to us or closer than our relatives. I think we're lucky to have both in our lives.

  16. Thanks, Elizabeth & Margot. It was my pleasure.

  17. Alex---You're right about Colorado, girl.

    Margot---Kelly's friends are definitely unique.

    Joanne--That's a savvy observation.

  18. Thanks, Mason. I really appreciate the opportunity.

    Carol---If you decide to give it another try, find a friendly welcoming shop where you can sit and make mistakes and they'll help you correct them. That's what I did at Lambspun.

    LTM & Linda---I think family sagas or big stories come naturally to me because I spent over 10 years writing big historical novels where there were lots of characters and you followed them through all sorts of events and action.

  19. Golden Eagle---I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Thanks, Cricket. I appreciate that.

    Jane---You'll actually get to know the characters better if you read them in order. And you'll be better prepared for all the "events" that come to pass in the characters' lives.

    Lee---Glad you're intrigued by the series. Give Kelly a try. You'll know if you like her. As for the video trailer music, I found it at an online music site where you can purchase all sorts of music in differing lengths. Right now, I'm blanking on the website name. I know I have the name written somewhere. You can always email me at REmind me & I'll dig it up. :)

  20. Love the interview, trailer and especially her titles. Thanks for stopping by, Maggie!



I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.