about Mags

My name is S. O’Duinn Magee, and I’m a writer.

It’s true, S. O’Duinn Magee is really my name and it’s a great name for a book jacket or a business card – very formal, very professional.  It’s not exactly friendly though, actually kind of hard for folks to remember unless they know how I got my name because of my dad and my grandfather and a quirk of fate, so most everyone just calls me Mags.

All my life, I knew I’d be a writer some day.  I’ve loved stories ever since my grandmother started reading me fairy tales like “The Little Match Girl” and “The Ice Queen,” and I’ve always loved books: the feel of them, the smell of them, the way they look when they’re lined up on my bookshelves and overflowing onto tables and chairs.

Somehow, though, I was never ready to say I’m a writer.  Before I could make that commitment I needed to read more and learn more so I’d have Something Important To Say.  In other words, I needed to have adventures like discovering Shangri-La and floating down the Mississippi on a raft.  And I needed to have dalliances with romantic heroes like Rhett Butler and Heathcliff.  And I needed to get a real job with a secure income and benefits and build up my IRA so I’d have a safety net and wouldn’t have to starve in a garret . . .

Okay, so maybe I was just scared.

When my world suddenly fell apart, I realized that I’d been given A Sign and that I’d better pay attention.  That’s when I quit my job at Atlanta Tech as an English professor, moved back to Daytona Beach where I grew up, and figured I’d start right in, writing the novel I’ve been planning for years.  The one that will win a Pulitzer Prize and set me up for life.

I’m totally serious about writing my dream novel but I have a very bad habit of letting myself get distracted by other projects.

Like collaborating with my composer-friend Christopher so we could write an opera.  Neither of us knew how to write one but we figured so what?  You can’t win if you don’t play, right?  That was a few years ago – five years ago, to be precise.  At the moment we’re working on yet more revisions to our twenty-second draft of our first full-length opera but we suspect that we’re close to being finished.  Sort of.

Or like writing up the adventures of my friend Talisman Janeway who’s a professor and lives in DeLand.  Talisman’s a local celebrity who’s reputed to be psychic because she helps the police solve difficult cases.  Once I started tagging along with her I couldn’t stop picturing myself as Dr. Watson to Talisman’s Sherlock, writing up her crime-solving exploits.  So there I was again, getting distracted with another project.

Or like writing books about the whackadoodle family and hangers-on of my young friend Sterling, all of whom live in Ponce Inlet in an old beachfront mansion that the locals think is haunted.  I was reluctant to take the job at first, but when Sterling told me their story is like grafting Star Trek onto Seinfeld I was hooked.  Could any writer say no to an offer like that?  I didn’t think so either.

Or like writing my memoir, because isn’t everyone?

So I currently have all these writing projects going on which are seriously delaying my segue into Pulitzer-Prize-Stardom, but oh well.  In the meantime I keep myself financially afloat by turning out a series of gift-type cookery books that have literary aspirations and cleverly allusive titles like The Taming of the Stew and The Importance of Being Hungry.

As to personal things about me:

  • I live alone except for my cat Schrödinger.
  • My apartment does not have a kitchen.
  • I love strong black coffee, single malt Scotch, and moon pies (not necessarily in that order).
  • My best friend is in a wheelchair.
  • I generally wear black because it’s easy (blacks always match and they don’t show ketchup stains).
  • My favorite fiction-writers are Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Margaret Atwood (not necessarily in that order).
  • I am passionate about opera.
  • My favorite poets are Ogden Nash, William Butler Yeats, and Margaret Atwood (not necessarily in that order).
  • I talk to my cat.

THANKS for stopping by, and I hope you’re curious about other pages on the site.

My name is S. O’Duinn Magee, and I’m A Writer.  And I’ll love it if you call me Mags.