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An Interview with C J Maust


I’m shallow. Things roll off my back easily and I try not to take things too seriously. Laughing is more fun than crying and worrying. I’m old-ish so I’ve got lots of experiences to choose from. I’ve got kids, grandkids and great grandkids and if they don’t slow down I’ll have great great grandkids soon. They have no interest in anything I write so I can be as smutty as I choose. I love to make my lady friends gasp when they read my stories but I don’t cross the line.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I was an only child of older parents so their style was stringent. The only way I could have my say was to put it on paper and then hide it. Talking back or having an opinion was not an option.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

Playing an online word gam,e I began communicating with a fellow from Australia. Those conversations don’t usually last long with men because they always say creepy things like “Do you live alone?” This guy was different, interesting, intriguing, scary, psychotic, and a perfect character to love or hate. He was a self-proclaimed paid assassin, giving me lots to write about as long as he didn’t come looking for me. Many of his confessions were terrifying but perfect fodder for a twisted, where-the-hell-is-this-going mystery/romance.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

Not knowing if any or all of his stories were true, the man who inspired my protagonist was charming in a sick sort of way. He seemed so endearing yet frightening—there had to be a word that fit. My daughter suggested Beguiling because it’s an enchanting word but also deceptive. Anne is the protagonist but my readers still can’t decide how they feel about her.

Describe your dream book cover.

It would be $100 bills that the reader could peel off like post-it notes.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I was a lone commercial fisherman in the Everglades, interior designer, and restauranteur, but my most proud profession is being a mom.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

I’m always reading something forgettable. I don’t read for knowledge or research. I’m a very simple gal who likes to step into other writer’s heads for a while.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

It’s never too late to dip your toes into the water to see if you can walk on it. Many of the men who read this book said they thought it was “Chick Lit” until they got into it then they were captivated.

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