Website from the National  Underwater and Marine Agency and Clive Cussler


1. You say that you only began to write because you had nothing to do. Kids in bed, nothing on TV, … Was it easy to find the necessary inspiration?

Yes, the words sort of poured out of me… I lived that book 24/7 … saw scenes in my mind while I was driving my kids to school. I probably shouldn’t have been on the road since, in my mind, I was on a horse back in the Old West <G>

2. After completing you first Native American novel, how difficult/easy was it to have it published?

Well, I didn’t sell the first one I wrote first. I think it was my third book I finally sold. In a way, it was easy, since I never expected to sell anything. It was just sort of a game. I’d send out a query or the manuscript, get rejected, and send it to the next publisher on the list. Finally, after six years and 31 rejections, I sold Reckless Heart to Leisure Books.

3. Do you employ an agent, and if so, what are the advantage of this?

I didn’t have an agent when I started writing, but I’ve had one for the last 9 years or so. Agents are good for negotiating, for being a buffer between the writer and the publisher. Also, nowadays, some publishers will only accept agented manuscripts.

4. How was your first novel treated by the public and by the critics?

It pretty much came and went without a lot of notice…

5. Can you handle criticism?

Yes, but I don’t like it much <G>

6. Why do you write as both Madeline Baker and Amanda Ashley? Was it not easier to stick to one name?

It was my editor’s idea. I was well known for my historicals when I decided to write vampire books. My editor decided it would be wise to use a pseudonym so as not to confuse my readers.

7. Where does you fascination for the Native American come from?

I loved western when I was young, and then I went to Disneyland and there was a native village there with Indian dancers. I was smitten with one of the dancers, Eddie Little Sky. His picture is on my web page. Anyway, I’ve just always loved Indians.

8. And you must be fond of vampires too… Do you believe in them?

Ah, vampires… Frank Langella as Dracula…. Yes, I love romantic vampires… not so crazy about the slice and dice ones. No, I don’t believe they exist.

9. Can you tell us something about your hobbies?

I’m a collector – Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Elvis. I love movies and the theatre, reading, writing of course, and playing with my web page.

10. Who is your own favorite writer? Or your favorite book?

Favorite writer…that’s a hard one. I have several that are auto buys for me- Anne Stuart, Kathleen Eagle, Maggie Shayne, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher. I think my favorite book is “Phantom” by Susan Kay.

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© 2005 Nickie Fleming/Jansan