Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have Soul Mate author Maggie Mundy talking about her transformative journey across two continents and her debut novel, Hidden Mortality.
Being asked to write this made me realise how different I am compared to the person who started out so long ago. I now live in Australia which is literally a world away from where my first act started.
I grew up in Bristol, England. They say write what you know and it so happens to be the setting for my book Hidden Mortality. My parents were devout Irish Catholics and we would visit family in Ireland every year. Waterfall House in the book is also my grandparent’s house and you can still go there on a farm stay. I always yearned to travel and wanted to join the navy, but my parents talked me out of it. Then I wanted to be a policewoman. I know, I must have a thing about uniforms. I eventually ended up a nurse. It was what my mother wanted and it has served me well over the years.
I married at twenty-one to a man who I knew wanted to emigrate so I think the yen to travel had not left me. I think I also believed I needed to move away from my family to really be me. My parents worked hard to give us what they could but it was not an easy home to grow up in. We moved to Australia and had two girls who are now in their twenties and the most wonderful daughters a person could have.
What triggered the need for change?
What triggered the need for change for me was that my parents both died within two years. I think when something like that happens you start to reassess. All the things you have put to the back of your mind while you get on with life come to the front. I remember being at work in the operating room and thinking is this it. In thirty years’ time will it just have been more of this. I was in my forties so mid-life crisis, I know. When people die you often mourn not only their loss but also the loss of what might have been. I decided at didn’t want to grow old thinking I could have done more.
Where are you now?
After I picked myself up and brushed myself off I decided to go on a journey. For me that was to go to university. I had done my nurse training in a hospital so I had never experienced this type of study before. I did a degree and majored in English, Drama and Creative Writing. I took eight years to do it while working and getting my kids through high school. I loved every minute of it.
I had never considered writing but when asked to write a one-person, one-act play something clicked. It is still hiding on my computer. I found once I started writing I could not stop. The characters in my head kept telling me I had to write them down. I still work as a nurse but I found my true love in my writing.
I have also changed other things in my life. I am no longer a Christian but follow the Buddhist philosophy and have become vegetarian. I am also passionate about our planet and what we are doing to it as humans. I believe in equality, and try not to judge people on their race, gender, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. This is all a million years away from the little girl who went to the convent school. I like her though.
Do you have advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act?
I think if it is meant to happen it will. Life is all about choices. If the time for change comes knocking on the door, you have a decision to make. Do you stay where you are or embrace what you could become? It can be scary I know. Once you start on the second act there is no going back. You will discover fantastic things about yourself you didn’t even know.
Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?
Life is not a rehearsal, so live it.
In Bath in 1850 a witch is murdered in a ritual granting longevity to four men. What they are not aware of is that she has bestowed the same power to another called Seth to avenge her death.
Cara is a descendant of the witch and fills her days with food with her Irish themed catering business. Her nights are another matter; they are full of erotic dreams of a mysterious lover, or nightmares with mutilated bodies. So this wasn’t the best time for her Nana to tell her she is coming into her power.
Of the original four immortals, Vincent is the only one left and to stop his own long life fading he needs another witch to kill. Seth was meant to protect the witch’s descendants from a distance, but with Cara he can’t stay away. He has to make a choice to love Cara, or avenge the original death and possible die himself. Cara has the fight of her life on when one man comes to kill her, and another to love her.
Where to find Maggie…
Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey, Maggie. Hidden Mortality sounds intriguing. I’m putting it on my TBR list.