Today we sit down for a chat with Dr. Maya Maguire from medical mystery author Millicent Eidson’s MayaVerse series.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
Before my author made me her marionette, I was the poster child for academic introversion. A shy hermit crab, I studiously avoided any form of social interaction. College at sixteen? Check. Dating? Not until I had three diplomas.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I have the tenacity of a bulldog on a bone. No setback can knock me down permanently. And when I get to know someone, I relax into humorous banter and the warmth of commitment.
What do you like least about yourself?
I'm a certified member of the "What If" club. I spend more time imagining worst-case scenarios than a conspiracy theorist on a caffeine bender. I majored in Catastrophizing 101, and I graduated with honors.
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you? Crawling around in the dirt with Portuguese pigs. Forget swanky adventures; I get down and dirty with farm animals. It was like my author thought, "Why not add a touch of Eau de Pigsty to the protagonist's journey?"
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
Oh, we have our tussles. My author wants me to be this kick-ass dynamo, but I'm like, "Let me navigate life at my own GPS-guided pace, okay?" It's a constant tug-of-war between Dr. Millie’s plot twists and my roller coaster ride through character development.
What is your greatest fear?
I’m phobic about failing as a veterinarian in public health. I wasn't ready to be the James Herriot of clinical animal care. Instead, all creatures great and small are my global responsibility, and the fear of microbial mayhem keeps me up at night.
What makes you happy?
Family, friends, and close colleagues are my rock stars. And nature is my Zen garden. Who knew investigating diseases could be so uplifting? I get to solve microbial mysteries, one exotic locale after another.
If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
I’d rewrite my personal losses, but those are the price we pay for deep relationships. At work, I had this toxic colleague and instead of reporting him, I tried to suck it up. In hindsight, I should've let the higher-ups deal with him. Lesson learned: not all doctors are heroes.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
Same guy, Dr. Toxic Arrogance himself. His lack of boundaries was like a mosquito in a quiet room—annoying, persistent, and impossible to ignore. A confidence-crusher deluxe.
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
Dr. Faye Simpson, the older public health vet in New York City, is a ball of fire. She takes no prisoners, and I love her experimental spirit. But a lifetime focused mostly on work? I'd need more than a coffee IV to survive that. Pass on the all-work, little-love gig.
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
My puppet master, Dr. Millie (Millicent Eidson), is also a veterinary epidemiologist and travel addict. She adopted a kiddo from China around the same time as my parents adopted me. Check her out at https://drmayamaguire.com/about and you can see a picture of my real-life “sister.”
What's next for you?
In the magical MayaVerse, microbes emerge alphabetically, so stay tuned for “Dengue” which drops me into Hawaii battling deadly mosquitoes. Dr. Millie promises me a “Happy for Now” ending in every book, which is a relief given all the suspense and thrilling adventures she puts me through.
A Microbial Mystery, Book 3
Veterinarian Maya Maguire approaches the end of her training as one of CDC’s elite shock troops for investigating disease epidemics. Despite unfinished business with a toxic colleague, her work and personal life fall into place. Until COVID, and its impact on loved ones. After investigating the first human case in Arizona, her focus shifts to coronavirus in animals. As a Chinese American adoptee, her origin story comes full circle like an ouroboros—a dragon eating its tail.