Author Terry Maggert is reaching his stride in the self-publishing world. By early 2020 Maggert, who will be doing a reading Friday at M & M Books in Cedar Rapids, will be well on his way to having more than 40 novels published under his own name and his pseudonym, Daniel Pierce. With strong roots in the science fiction and fantasy realms, Maggert has touched on many of the subgenres under that big umbrella and is always looking for more opportunities to put out quality books for readers to enjoy.
Maggert lives in Tennessee with his wife, son, and a number of rescue animals, including about 19 cats and an opossum. Maggert’s roots can be traced back to northeast Iowa. His father’s family lived in Pony Hollow, which was near Elkader.
Maggert fondly refers to Iowa his ancestral home and visits the state on a regular basis.
“I was born in 1968 and I started traveling to Iowa in 1969 — although I didn’t drive that year,” he said, joking. Maggert loves coming home to Iowa and especially enjoys having the opportunity to partake in a Monte Cristo from Bennigan’s in Clear Lake.
“It’s strange. Iowa’s been as much of a home to me as anything else. I love Iowa. I have such a rush when I cross the border because it feels like I’m returning home. I wish I could bottle it.”
Iowa makes many appearances in Maggert’s novels.
“I love Easter eggs,” Maggert explained. Easter eggs are hidden messages in media and named as such because they are hidden, like eggs on Easter, for the reader or viewer to discover. “I love inserting Easter eggs from my own personal history. There is always something about Iowa in every book that I write. I wrote a dragon book called ‘Banshee’ (2015). It’s post-apocalyptic novel, and there’s a dragon in it called el-Kader and the guy who rides him is my dad.”
The city of Elkader, the hometown of Maggert’s father, is named after Abd el-Kader, an Algerian hero who led the resistance to French colonialism in the mid-1800s.
For Maggert, writing is a way of preserving memories and keeping those memories alive. His father died in 2017, but his father lives on in “Banshee.”
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“When my friends read ‘Banshee,’ they say, ‘That’s your dad!’ They know immediately, and they can hear him speaking.” It’s details like this that bring joy to Terry’s writing life. “That’s one of the reasons I love being a writer because I get to relive my own life in these little details. I feel in some ways it is helping me to maintain my own memories.”
In the last 18 months, Maggert’s publishing output has reached an all-time high. With the decision to publish under a pseudonym, Daniel Pierce, he is reaching a whole new, little tapped audience. The decision to write under a pseudonym is one that is rarely taken lightly, but Maggert saw an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up.
“I am in this writing group call Band of Dystopian and one of the other members reached out to me. She noticed that I write a lot like this other author that was looking for a co-author. And that was it, it was like a 10-second conversation.”
Big things are on the horizon for Maggert. He released a post-apocalyptic vampire western in mid-February called “Bloodlands.” Set in western Kansas, the novel explores what happens when humanity goes to war with vampires and the only people left are truckers and people with guns. His novel, “Comet Rider,” inspired by the 1986 movie “Lifeforce” starring Sir Patrick Stewart, released shortly after that. He’s working on a mummy story plus additional novels under the name Daniel Pierce. Maggert knows that some readers may be concerned with quality when an author start cranking out novels in such a high capacity.
“Believe me when I say to you, if I thought the quality was not there I would not do it. I have a relationship with my readers and they trust me.”
Maggert will appear from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at M & M Books, 212 Edgewood Rd. NW, Cedar Rapids. Readers will be able to mix, mingle and talk about books from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Maggert will read a short piece featuring a killer eel and a scene from his upcoming Halfway Witching book series, “Halfway Hatched,” at 5:30 p.m. He then will sign books until 6:30 p.m.
• What: Terry Maggert will read from his upcoming new book in the Halfway Witchy series, “Halfway Hatched
• When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday
• Where: M & M Bookstore, 212 Edgewood Rd. NW, Cedar Rapids
• Author website: terrymaggert.com