November 30, 2012

"Pandora": The newest review on Amazon

"Maggie creates such a completely paranoid world that you need to run to get the next story to help solve this satiating puzzle, just so you won't lie awake an night wondering where it is going next. Futuristic books somtimes get too clinical, but with Pandora, Maggie keeps her characters grounded in reality and emotion as they struggle with the unfathomable. Sorry, I have to go and see what happens next."

November 29, 2012

5 reasons I like writing "Pandora"

I am really enjoying writing The Pandora Chronicles. Here are my top 5 reasons, in Dave Letterman-style order.

Number 5: I'm having great fun incorporating the science I read about every day where I work (at a major medical center) and twisting it into a futuristic vision.

Number 4: Designing the landscape of Arcadia and the suburbs makes me feel like an architect.

Number 3: Writing the action scenes is like watching an action movie over and over again in my head, and I can make the characters do anything I want -- at just the right moments to heighten the tension.

Number 2: It's exciting for me to know the ending and then decide exactly how I want to get there.

And the number 1 reason I enjoy writing The Pandora Chronicles: Writing the character of Hope is allowing me to explore some deep emotions, like grief and determination.

Are you having fun reading The Pandora Chronicles? We learned something BIG in story 4, Blood Line Zero. Story 5 -- not yet named -- takes it to the next level. Can't wait to share it with all of you.

November 28, 2012

"Pandora" free 12/7 &12/8: revving up!

Pandora free on Amazon Kindle 12/7 and 12/8
I've started the engines on this free promotion of Pandora, coming up Dec. 7 and 8. Who doesn't like free books, right?

I've submitted the information to about a zillion websites and will be tweeting and FB-ing both of those days, too.

Tell your friends. Mark your calendars.

What's really wonderful is seeing how many venues exist to publicize independent authors' eBooks. It tells me that a lot of people still love to read, even if it's not the "old-fashioned" way (remember paper and binding?). Plus, our ability to publish what we write without waiting for a publisher has opened up whole new worlds for all of us.

I remember a few years ago, a college literature professor told me she could never imagine reading an electronic version of a book. I've thought about contacting her and asking her if she's bought a Kindle yet. She was on the cutting edge of technology, herself -- really into website design and e-learning -- so I'd be surprised if she didn't have a cool eReader of some sort.

Anyway, I'm also revving the engines on story 5 of The Pandora Chronicles. Can't wait to finish writing that one, so I know exactly what happens, myself. :-)

November 27, 2012

Snowing in NYC

It's a dreary day here in NYC, with a mix of snow and rain. Not too cold, but definitely ... depressing.

But you know what? That's good for me, because if you've read story 3, Freefall, and story 4, Blood Line Zero, you'll know that they take place in the wintertime -- cold, snowy, moody.

While some people may not like this NYC weather, it's going to help me continue writing story 5.

What will Hope learn from her mother in story 5? Will she even get a chance to ask her anything at all?

November 26, 2012

It's a revolution

It's a "go": my Amazon Author Page is now live, right here:

My author page lists everything I publish, all in one place. Easy-peasy.

I'm excited to be part of the self-publishing revolution. By reading my books and others by self-published authors, you're part of the revolution, too.

(Cue The Beatles song here!)

Thank you, as always, for your support. And happy reading.

November 25, 2012

Let me entertain you

As I sit here typing on the computer, my cat Sophia is lying next to me, as always. Right now I'm taking a look at some writing I initially did for story 4 that will, instead, appear in story 5. (I always save my drafts -- all of them!)

As a fiction writer, my goal is simple.

I want to entertain you. 

I want you to read my stories and disappear into a world I've created just for you.

I want to give you characters you can root for and enjoy getting to know.

I want to pump up the adrenaline by taking you on a thrill ride.

I want to have it all play out like a mini movie in your mind.

And if I can generate some thoughts about deeper issues along the way, that's great, too.

Let me entertain you.

If you haven't climbed aboard The Pandora Chronicles yet, on Dec. 7 and 8 I'll be offering the first story, Pandora, free on Amazon Kindle.

Mark your calendars. And you can bet I'll remind you of those dates. A few times. :-)

November 24, 2012

"Life of Pi": I am the tiger

What a wonderful movie experience this was: miraculous, beautiful, thought-provoking, involving.

"Life of Pi" is so visually stunning, I want to dream about it every night for the rest of my life. I'm totally serious.

While I do go to the movies regularly, I don't often recommend them. I do recommend "Life of Pi," preferably seen in a theater and with 3D (and I normally can't stand 3D, by the way).

If you haven't read the novel, as I hadn't, I won't give anything away here. All I will say is that the movie must be approached from the part of yourself that hasn't fallen victim to cynicism. With everything that's going on in the world, it's easy for us to forget how amazing life can really be. Even when things are bleak, we can find a light somewhere, somehow.

There was a point when I was watching the movie where I truly felt a connection to what was happening onscreen. The young man is facing a life-or-death situation, over which he has virtually no control. Everything is stacked against him.

I've been in that situation, myself. Like the young man, I lost everything -- everything except the essence of my "self," the part of me that can withstand such a loss and continue to battle for whatever remains of my life.

I still fight this battle every day, and it's in my fiction writing that I've found a renewed sense of who I am and what I might contribute to this world. It may be a small contribution, but it's one that I can make.

Seeing this life-or-death struggle played out in such a visually magnificent way was very moving to me.  Because I feel that tiger spirit within myself.

No, that's not quite right.

I don't just feel the tiger spirit. I am the tiger.

November 23, 2012

Pandora free 12/7 and 12/8

Pandora, by Maggie Waters:
I decided to spend the day after Thanksgiving working on my free promotion coming up Dec. 7 and 8, when I'll be offering Pandora for free. Woo hoo! Tell your friends. :-)

So ... if you've been waffling on whether to start reading a new short story series, Dec 7 and 8 you can start with no risk whatsoever -- except that you might get hooked, and then you'll have to read them all. Ha ha.

Oh, and on that topic, writing starts in earnest tomorrow on story no. 5. I know the series will go for at least 7 episodes, total, possibly 8. It depends on how much I want to draw out the action and keep you all in suspense.

Happy Day after Thanksgiving. (Are you shopping 'til you drop?)

November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone who celebrates the holiday has a wonderful, stress-free time with family and friends.

November 20, 2012

Have you read "Pandora" yet?

Pandora, by Maggie Waters:
Here's what one of my readers has to say (and no, I do not know this person!):

The Pandora Chronicles are off to a great start with this first book, Pandora, which is the perfect introduction to what I think will be an amazing series. The story is incredibly intriguing and I couldn't put it down. The futuristic world that Maggie has created is interesting, extremely believable, and terrifying. The main characters are engaging, thoughtful and very adventurous. Hope and Jake quickly captured my heart and I'm looking forward to finding out what's in store for them.

I highly recommend this new series to anyone who enjoys reading about what life could be like in the future. Pandora is a quick read, yet it left me pondering about the future of our own world and what the possibility of this future could be for us, as well as anxious to know what happens to Hope and Jake. I can't wait for the next one!

Next episodes being plotted

With the publication of story 4, Blood Line Zero, I've begun plotting the next episodes -- there will be at least three, possibly four more.

It's exciting for me to reach this point in the series. In Blood Line Zero, I revealed a major plot point on which the rest of the series will turn. It's like being in a maze, only I know how to get to the end (and the audience doesn't, hee hee).

Since I work a 9-to-5 job, I need to learn how to write faster (according to a couple of my fans!). So I bought a book about how to do just that.

I'm starting story 5 over the Thanksgiving weekend coming up. If I follow the formula for writing faster, I'll make quick work of it and have it ready to roll very soon.

So if you haven't started reading The Pandora Chronicles yet, join us -- and have some fun!

November 17, 2012

Published Today on Kindle: "Blood Line Zero"

Story no. 4, "Blood Line Zero," in The Pandora Chronicles is ready for action!

Hope and Jake, our fearless heroine and hero, are still after the cause -- and cure -- for the annual plague that kills thousands of people. In "Blood Line Zero," these brave young adults move forward in their quest, but progress comes at great cost.

Who will live? Who will die? Find out in "Blood Line Zero."

Buy it today on Amazon Kindle.

November 15, 2012

Story 4: Ready, set ...

If you want to be the first to know when it's a "go," sign up for my email list. :-) No spam, ever. Just notifications of new releases.

"Blood Line Simple" takes The Pandora Chronicles in a bold direction. Are you ready for it?

My next post here will be the official announcement, any moment now. So stay tuned!

"Blood Line Zero": the most challenging so far

Of all the stories I've written so far in this series, story 4 -- "Blood Line Zero" -- has been the most challenging.


A few reasons:

Blood Line ZeroFirst, this series, as a whole, is challenging to write because it's told entirely from Hope's point of view. That means that unless she sees, hears, tastes, smells or touches something, it can't be in the story. We read her thoughts, and hers alone.

Another interesting aspect is that each story is told in the present tense. It's all happening right in this very moment. If anything is written in the past tense, it must be in the context of Hope remembering something.

So why has "Blood Line Zero" been challenging, in particular?

I wanted to reveal a major plot point in the thriller/mystery aspect of the series. Figuring out how to do that, in a way that was consistent with Hope's character, took quite a bit of effort.

I won't give away the ending of this story, of course, but I rewrote it five times -- and I stand by the decision I made. It will push the plot, and Hope, to new lengths in story 5.

The Pandora Chronicles will have at least a total of 7 episodes. So with story 4, "Blood Line Zero," we're about at the halfway point or just past it.

There's no turning back now: not for Hope, nor for me, not for you.

It will be published soon. The editor is giving my rewrites one more once-over before I hit "publish." Want to know the second it's on Amazon Kindle? Provide your email in the sign-up form on this web page. I promise, no spam -- just announcements of new stories by me. :-)

November 13, 2012

First few lines of story 4: Revised!

The story came back from the editor, and I did some reworking ... so here you go! Look for "Blood Line Zero" to be published later this week, fingers crossed. This was a tough one to write, because something major happens to our favorite character of Hope.


“Hope, listen. Do you hear them?”

I do. 

And I can see them.

The Wailers are here. 

Through the fog and light snowfall, Jake and I walk across our suburb’s main square. It’s so dark at this early hour that the blue streetlights are still illuminated, casting a watery glow over everything -- including the Wailers.

Void of emotion, the Wailers’ faces appear inhuman. It’s like they’re in a hypnotic trance, their eyes wide open and unblinking. They’re always women, never men.

With their black coats and long hair swirling in the snow and wind -- they’ve vowed not to cut it until the end of the plagues --  the Wailers draw plenty of attention. Although the police always stand by, the government has instructed them not to interfere with the Wailers unless things get unruly. So far, they’ve never endangered anyone but themselves.

November 11, 2012

"Blood Line Zero" is with the editor!

Oh yeah, baby! Story 4 of The Pandora Chronicles, called "Blood Line Zero," is now with the editor for a review before it's published ....

which also means the cover will be posted soon ...

and then I will get the whole shebang up on Amazon for you ...

and I'll start writing story 5!

Right now, I know there will be at least 7 stories, total, in The Pandora Chronicles. Possibly 8.

So you have a few more episodes to go with Hope and Jake. :-)

November 8, 2012

And the title is ... (drum roll, please)

The title of short story 4 in The Pandora Chronicles is ...


Stay tuned for a sneak preview of the cover, coming soon.

November 6, 2012

Another sneak peek at story 4 (still untitled!)

That day at DataTrackers set off a wave of new security measures. The government has sent fleets of flightcycles into the suburbs for random patrols -- unheard of before now. The talk of it being a terrorist attack hasn’t subsided, either, and the media have fueled that fire. Whenever the TV or Internet, Inc. start the news broadcast, it always begins with some new theory on who Flex and Eden worked for: the government, a private spy agency, a terrorist group, with the latter being the most talked about. Speculation has even raged about which terrorist group they belonged to.


As much as I wish I could forget that day at DataTrackers, winter won’t let me. This season has gripped Arcadia and the suburbs with more ferocity than ever, with temperatures hovering around 15 degrees, and lower at night. The sun rarely shines, with most days bringing nothing but snow, clouds and darkness.

November 5, 2012

First few lines of Story 4 ...

“Oh. My. God. The Wailers are here. Why do they have to be here today, of all days? They give me the creeps.”

Jake’s words hit me as hard as the winter wind that is still haunting us. This season has been cruel, with record cold temperatures and more snow than we’ve seen in a decade. Through the fog and light snowfall, Jake and I walk across our suburb’s main square. It’s so dark at this early hour that the blue streetlights are still illuminated, casting a watery glow over everything.

I’m sure everyone is proud of their suburb, but I really love Cerulean. Even in this season, our city square is beautiful. Gardens that during the spring and summer are filled with flowers now rely on the bare trees for beauty, but there are so many of them that it looks like a winter wonderland. Each branch glistens in the cool light of morning. The cleaning crews do a good job of clearing the snow off the walkways, which lead to small, secluded nooks decorated with benches and art -- places where people can find a few moments of peace and privacy.

Although our neighborhoods and units might be somewhat drab and gray, our sparkling city center brings all of us together. Even the Wailers are welcome here.

November 4, 2012

New video trailer for "Pandora" series

I decided I couldn't have a trailer for story 2, "The Breaking," without having one for story 1, "Pandora." It just felt wrong, you know?

So while I'm polishing story 4 -- as yet to be named -- I thought I'd put together a little trailer for "Pandora." Enjoy ...

November 2, 2012

Story 4: Almost done!

I had some time on my hands this week because of the hurricane, which allowed me to make some great progress on story 4.

I think I'll let the hoopla of the hurricane and then the election die down before I publish it, which will give my editor more time to review, as well. I want it to be perfect for all of Hope and Jake's fans!

Speaking of fans, if you've enjoyed reading the Pandora Chronicles stories so far, please tell your friends and also write a review on Amazon. I'd sure appreciate it. Stories 2 and 3 need some love on Amazon. :-)

I'm also doing a free promotion in early November, which I'll publicize widely. If you have any friends who are on the fence about starting a new book series, maybe a freebie will entice them. Sign up on this website to hear about it first.

Thanks, as always, for the great support. Hope, Jake and I appreciate it.