An award-winning author, Margie Miklas is a travel blogger, photographer, retired critical-care nurse and social media manager. Her passion for travel embraces a particular love of Italy. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and trying out new recipes. She makes her home in Florida and is a member of the Florida Writers Association.
Margie’s first book, a travel memoir, won a 2014 Royal Palm Literary Award by the Florida Writers Association. “Memoirs of a Solo Traveler – My Love Affair with Italy” details Margie’s three month solo travel adventure in Italy. Read Amazon reviews here: http://goo.gl/mzCOm2
Her second book, “My Love Affair with Sicily” recounts her experiences in her ancestors’ homeland as she returns again and again to the place where she feels so at home. Read Amazon reviews here: http://goo.gl/HNzlt5
Her third book, “Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast” is a coffee table/photo book capturing the spirit of Campania in southern Italy. Read reviews here: http://goo.gl/lXKqzN
Her award-winning novel, “Critical Cover-Up,” is a psychological thriller set in a critical care unit in Florida. The storyline addresses issues of hospital politics, corruption and cover-up alongside a murder investigation. Read reviews here: https://goo.gl/SCD7gs
In her fourth book on Italy, released October 9, 2018, “My Amalfi Coast Love Affair,” Margie shares her personal experiences and love for her favorite part of Italy through storytelling. It continues to be a bestselling book.
Released Oct. 28, 2019, “A Cure for Deceit,” her newest novel, is a sequel to “Critical Cover-Up,” and another gripping medical thriller. What happens when a top surgeon begins to crack under the strain of his personal life and patients start to die? A sudden spike in patient deaths drives an impassioned intensive care nurse to launch a clandestine investigation, targeting a powerful cardiac surgeon whose corrupt connections could destroy her career.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
- MM: While I always enjoyed writing, including writing limericks as a child, working on the high school newspaper as a headline editor, and writing a comical newsletter at work, I did not know I wanted to be a serious writer until I started a travel blog in 2010.
- How long does it take to write your book(s)?
MM: It varies. The shortest time, from start to finish, including publishing, was about six months, but most of the time it’s a year, including editing and revising.
- What is your work schedule like when writing a book?
MM: I find I need to discipline myself, so I create a self-imposed time schedule, in order to write a specific number of words a week, based on when I’d like to complete the writing phase of the book. I set time aside every day, if I can, when I unplug, and write. Some days I don’t have time, and then I make up for it on other days. I like to spend about three to four hours a day, at least five days a week when I am writing a book. Some of that time includes researching a historical place I may be writing about.
- Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?
MM: My nonfiction books are based on my travel experiences, since everything I write in those books must be truthful. I write those in first person, present tense, so my readers feel as if they are traveling alongside me. My two novels are medical thrillers, based in hospitals. I am a retired critical care nurse, and the storylines and characters are based on my experiences over my nursing career.
- When did you write your first book?
MM: I wrote Memoirs of a Solo Traveler – My Love Affair with Italy after I returned from a three-month, solo experience in Italy in 2011. I had written a blog during my experience, and after I returned home, I realized I had much more to say. I was humbled and honored to receive a Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association for that book the following year.
- What do you do when you’re not writing?
MM: When I’m not writing, I spend time with my family, going to the beach, reading, and trying out new recipes. I’m quite active on social media, and as a result, I admit I spend too much time on the computer and my cell phone.
- What does your family think of your writing?
MM: That is an intriguing question. While my family encourages my writing and tells me they are proud of what I’ve accomplished, my 93-year-old mother is the only family member who has read every one of my books. I’ve spoken to many other writers, who share similar stories.
- What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?
MM: I think the most surprising thing I learned was how the amount of time it takes to write a book worthy of publication. After the writing is complete, the editing and revising phase takes almost as much time as the writing phase. By the time I publish a book, it has gone through a minimum of five drafts, and many times, even more than that.
- How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
MM: I have written six books now, and my last two are my favorite. My Amalfi Coast Love Affair, because it is the most personal of my travel books, is my favorite of the nonfiction books. My newest release, A Cure for Deceit, is my other favorite book. I think it’s because I feel my writing has benefited from the previous books. All of them are special in one way or another, though. I do take exceptional pride in my hardback book, Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, since it features all original photography, and since I self-published, I had to learn Adobe InDesign to lay out the photos on each page before sending it off to be printed. It just proves that if you want to do something badly enough, you will learn it and make it happen.
- Any tips/suggestions on getting started?
MM: The best advice I had when I began writing was from a friend who was a professional journalist. He told me to write as though I’m telling a story to someone sitting next to me in my living room, like I’m having a conversation. I think that writing style, for me at least, works well. I’d tell a new writer to just start writing in a notebook, anything you’re thinking about.
- What do you think makes a good story?
MM: Anything that keeps the reader engaged and connected to the character(s)… Anything that makes the reader turn the page.
- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
MM: It’s weird…I knew when I was 6, I wanted to be a nurse.
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Visit her blog, Margie in Italy at https://margieinitaly.com/