Monday, May 7, 2018

New Release Spotlight: Fact-Based Historical Fiction from Vicki Tapia - Maggie, A Journey of Love, Loss, and Survival

This new release comes from my very good friend and AlzAuthors co-founder Vicki Tapia.

Maggie: A Journey of Love, Loss and Survival
Historical Fiction

Set in a time when women had few rights, this compelling narrative chronicles one woman’s tenacious journey from abuse to independence. This is a #MeToo story that has waited over a century to be told.

Mt. Clemens, Michigan 1887. Seventeen and headstrong, with marriage on her mind, Maggie is sure she has found her one true love. But when she collides head-on with betrayal, overwhelming loss, and ill-treatment, her life unravels.

Maggie rises above adversity through rare determination and grit, becoming an independent woman ahead of her time. Yet before she can truly find peace, one heartbreaking, life-altering decision remains.

Inspired by her great-grandmother’s life, the author explores intergenerational relationships between parents and children, husbands and wives, and sisters. She weaves a timeless story of survival and courage set against the backdrop of late 19th century Michigan and the prairies of eastern Montana at the turn of the twentieth century.


Lavina, Montana, October, 1941. I wake with a start, my nightgown damp with sweat. Dark memories from another life clamor for attention. For nearly fifty years the nightmare has played out, in an endless reverberation across my restless mind.

Sam dashes up the lane in his sulky, askew in the seat. He snaps the whip, altogether missing the horse’s flank. I move to the side of our bedroom window, concealed by the lace curtain.

Fear inches up my spine and creeps down my arms like hundreds of tiny pinpricks. Foreboding clenches at my insides.

Taking a deep breath, I steel myself for his arrival. Spying the letter opener on my dressing table, I place it in the waistband of my skirt, but then reconsider. Slight of stature, I am no match for his brawn. If he manages to grab the instrument from me, there is no telling what might happen. Nausea sweeps over me.

Interview with Vicki Tapia

What is the time span in your novel, weeks, months, years?

Maggie takes place over fifty-four years, between 1887 and 1941. The story opens in 1941 but soon returns to 1887 when Maggie is seventeen. She grew into womanhood during a time when women had few rights in the eyes of the law. Women didn’t even gain the right to vote until 1920.

Where did you get the idea for your book?

The idea for “Maggie” came to me over twenty years ago. In 1997, as the self-appointed family historian, I wrote a family history. I recorded and transcribed a series of interviews with my parents into a narrative, added whatever else I could remember from stories heard growing up and also incorporated information gleaned from documents uncovered through genealogical research.

During this process, without a doubt, the story of my great-grandmother emerged as the most intriguing. A tiny seed of inspiration sprouted within me and although it lay mostly fallow in my frontal lobes for years, I never let go of the idea to expand her story into a book length novel. With the completion of my first book, Somebody Stole My Iron, in 2014, that time finally arrived.

What do you love most about writing?

Several things:

• Getting to know my characters and seeing where they lead me during the writing process

• Time-traveling and immersing myself into their world

• Using my imagination in a creative way

Were you born a writer or did it evolve? When, why, and how did you start writing?

Apparently, I was born with a need to document events that happened in my life, which I deemed important, although it soon went beyond that initial compulsion…I began to journal in an attempt to make some sense of life in general and my life, in particular. I originally began investigating the writing process when I received a diary for my birthday, around the time I was 12 or 13. Diaries were most unsatisfactory, however, as there was never enough space to hold my thoughts. By the time I was 16, I’d abandoned diaries for ledgers, whose blank pages were open white space waiting to capture my thoughts, many times filled with teenage angst, along with my often-probing questions about the meaning of it all. Over the years, during times of stress, it wasn’t uncommon for me to fill an entire journal. When life flows more smoothly, far fewer entries will be found.

In 2004, after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and my father with Parkinson’s-related dementia, I became the nearest family caregiver. As we traveled down what I call the “rabbit hole of dementia,” writing continued to provide an outlet and a way to cope with the emotional ups and downs of our lives. I felt very alone as I struggled to find practical and helpful information to help me as a caregiver, so as time went on, my diary eventually morphed into my first full-length work, Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia. I wrote the book I wished I could have found to help guide me along the caregiver path.

What is the best advice you’ve ever heard?

Be persistent.

About the Author

After teaching somewhere around 10,000 mother/baby pairs the art of breastfeeding, Vicki found her energies redirected to the other end of life, after both parents were diagnosed with dementia. A diary written to help her cope with caregiving morphed into her first published book, Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia. Vicki has spoken in various venues about Dementia Awareness and her memoir was a finalist in the 2015 High Plains Book Awards.

Her second book, Maggie: A Journey of Love, Loss and Survival, was written in tribute to her great-grandmother and the intrepid life she led. “Maggie teaches us that despite great loss, love in its purest form triumphs...this is a timeless story for women of all ages.”

In addition to her writing, Vicki is also actively involved in the administration of AlzAuthors, the blog for authors writing about the dementias. When not busy writing or administrating AlzAuthors, you are apt to find this native Montanan out walking her dog or off on an adventure with her husband on their tandem bicycle.

Connect with Vicki Tapia

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