Meet Maggie from Ontario by Heidi Nicole Bird
Just for a change, today I am interviewing not the author, but one of the characters from her book Ontario Heidi Nicole Bird! The character’s name is Maggie!
Hi, Maggie, and welcome!
Thank you very much!
Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself to start off with?
Well, the first thing you should know is that I like to make people smile. There’s nothing better than seeing happiness in someone else’s eyes. I am the owner of Maggie’s Diner and it is the love of my life. My life is dedicated to that place, you might say.
Are you the original owner of the diner?
Nope. My grandmother Maggie was the one who started it all, opening the place in 1953. She was much like me, just wanting to bring some joy to the people in this tiny town, and darned if she didn’t!
How old were you when you started working at the diner?
Well, I guess you could say I’ve been working there my whole life. From the time I was just a tiny little gal my mother would have me there day in and day out, since she often helped out. She was never in to it as much as my grandmother or I was, so when I was still young it became clear that someday the place would be mine.
Now, besides some renovations to keep appliances and such up to date, the diner is pretty much the same as when it was opened, correct?
That’s exactly right. There’s just something about the 50s that speaks to people, and this diner just breathes that into people. The 50s style and music were what created this place, along with my grandmother’s laughter, so I’ve done all I could to keep it the same.
Do find that people return regularly?
Oh yes, the people here love the diner. In fact, we have a few regular customers who come at the same time every week without fail, and they’ve been doing it since I was young.
I bet that means you have some great relationships with your customers.
Oh yes! I do all I can to make people feel comfortable and happy and to help them feel included in the diner itself. After all, without them the diner wouldn’t still be operating. It has been interesting to see how we have all grown up together.
Yes, that sounds like it would be fascinating. Are your employees as gung-ho about the diner’s vibe as you?
Ha ha, yes and no, you might say. I think that deep down they all love it, though a few of them are more willing to show it than others. If there’s anyone who absolutely loves the place like I do, it’s Austin. Ontario too, though she doesn’t want to admit it.
Austin, now there’s a name I’ve heard from a few people. I guess there’s something he does that keeps your customers entertained?
Oh yes! Austin is our dancer. It didn’t take him long to get lost in the diner’s atmosphere. He’s a trained dancer and he just can’t help but get moving when he is working. He tends to do more dancing than anything else, but I don’t care one bit. In fact, I encourage it.
It really sounds like you’ve got a great place going here. Is there food as great as the rest of the diner?
Well, it just so happens that I’ve got a free breakfast with your name on it, so why don’t you find out for yourself?
That sounds like an excellent plan! I guess that is the end of our interview. Thanks again for your time!
Thank you very much!
Heidi Nicole Bird, would you please share a little about the story of Ontario?
“Don’t worry, Ontario, I’ll never leave you. You will always have me here to protect you and your brother.”
Those words from a childhood memory would haunt Ontario Stratton for the rest of her life. Losing her father had been difficult enough, but her life would change even more drastically at the beginning of her senior year of high school. Only weeks into the school year Mrs. Stratton abandons her two children for a more carefree way of living. Suddenly thrown into a very different life, Ontario clings to her brother Eddy, her new legal guardian, and to no one else. Could she trust anyone anymore? Even her best friend isn’t there for her. . .
In order to feel like less of a burden on her brother, Ontario gets a job at the local fifties-style diner. It is there that she meets her new “family,” including the oh-so-intriguing Austin, the only one who can help her truly heal. In time, Ontario discovers that Austin has his own demons, and that he needs her just as much as she needs him. Some things in Ontario’s life begin to come together again, but others continue to fall apart. Though her world seems to be breaking, she is introduced to a kind of happiness she has never known before, and her new found friends show her that maybe, just maybe, she can learn to love again.
Now would you tell us a bit about yourself?
Heidi Nicole Bird has been writing for as long as she can remember and it is her favorite thing in the world. Heidi is a regular NaNoWriMo participant and is mostly a young adult fantasy writer, but also likes to write juvenile fiction and other genres. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Brigham Young University and she looks forward to exploring the genre of historical fiction. Heidi lives in Utah with her family and three dogs, and loves working from home as a full time writer.
Also by Heidi Nicole Bird, Through the Paper Wall
Links to Ontario: