Meet Margaret Sutherland

MARGARET’S TOP TIP: Set a regular time to work and show up. Don’t discuss new ideas, plots or brilliant insights with anyone. They tend to dissipate when talked about. Don’t try and be your most admired writer. Read, read, read and sort out the wheat from the chaff. And share with your fellow writers. You will make some good friends and share the good times and the bad.

Margaret SutherlandMargaret Sutherland has followed a number of careers: nursing, writing, marriage and motherhood and music teaching. These experiences have provided invaluable material for her seven novels and three short story collections.

Her early books were well received in Britain, America and New Zealand. Great reviews and competition successes earned her a NZ Scholarship in Letters, two Australia Council writing grants, and first prize in a recent national short story competition. Radio NZ and Radio Denmark have broadcast Margaret’s stories. More recently, she has self-published, on-selling to Ulverscroft large-print.

Margaret’s goal in writing is to uncover the small truths at crisis points of everyday life. She writes affectionately about ordinary people who share our hopes, joys, loves and sorrows. Her settings include the languor of the tropics (Fiji, New Guinea), New Zealand (her birthplace) and Australia, a country she loves for its warmth, landscapes and generosity of dimension.

Writing about love’s many facets has always featured in her work. Recently she began writing romance. She enjoys happy endings for her lovers, while including children, the elderly and dogs in the stories. Margaret’s next book, to be published by Sweetcravingspublishing in America,  will be out for Valentine’s Day and is appropriately titled Valentine Masquerade.

Look for Margaret’s books on Amazon USA, Kindle, or


Why do you write? I think the urge to write is an inborn thing. It has certainly followed me throughout my life, even when I’ve had years when nothing has been written. I don’t see this as a disadvantage. We must get out and live life in order to write about it.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? If I wasn’t a writer, I would be doing what I’m already doing! That is, teaching music, enjoying life with my husband and pets, managing a home, garden, and maintaining a correspondence with friends and family, as I am a NZer.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? My first publication came relatively easily. It was when I tried to re-enter the market after moving to Australia that I found standards had changed and my  background made no difference. There was a lot of competition, and it has only become harder as time passes. I found self-publishing, fortunately, as it is only this year that I have connected with a publisher for a new line in the romance genre.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Finishing a book and seeing it between covers and up for sale is the most rewarding moment.

—the worst? Making no money, low sales, too much competition, spending time on promotion when I would rather be writing.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? If I was starting out again, I might be more consistent, I might be more outgoing and self-promotional. I might stick with a genre rather than always experimenting with styles and techniques. I might not take those long breaks to do something completely different. How can I say? I might do exactly what I did!

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? It doesn’t matter what I might have been told. I probably wouldn’t have listened.

{Visit the Author Bookshelf page for a snapshot of Margaret’s latest publication and a link to her website.}

5 thoughts on “Meet Margaret Sutherland

  1. How refreshingly candid! Oh yes – this is the Margaret I know. Shoots from the hip … but her guns are full of roses.


  2. Thanks Margaret and Teena for this really interesting author insight. I can relate to so much of it! I chuckled when I read your answer to the last question, Margaret. I think most of us are like that.


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