Much loved, Medical Romance author Margaret McDonagh, known by her friends as Mags, sadly died on Sunday March 11th 2012, aged 51.
Harlequin published her first book, The Italian Doctor’s Bride, in 2006 and she wrote 14 books in total for Medical Romance. Mags excelled at creating warm characters who populated her fictional Scottish town of Strathlochan. She also contributed to the popular Medical continuities Brides of Penhally Bay and St. Piran’s Hospital. Her stories were always emotional and uplifting and often tackled boundary breaking themes. Her many loyal fans, readers and editors alike, would say that reading a Margaret McDonagh book was like stepping into a real community and visiting with friends both old and new. Her final book, Brought Together by Baby, has just been published in the UK.
I had the great pleasure and privilege of being Mags’s editor and she was so much more than an author to me, she was a kind, warm and generous friend.
Her first book captured my attention with a dishy Italian hero and when said hero rescued an abandoned ginger and white kitten, Wallace, my heart was fully captured. I knew I’d found a talented author who our readers would love, and so started our relationship. Mags’s books were always so full of emotion that they never failed to make me cry, so I often scheduled a work at home day to read her manuscripts. That way I could be in the privacy of my home, cuddled with my very own ginger and white cat when the tears started to fall. I’d then call Mags to let her know that she had reduced me to a blubbering wreck – but in the very best way possible, of course!
Mags was a very private person and although she long suffered ill health, she was always cheery, generous and warm of spirit, sharing long conversations on the phone and images of the gorgeous heroes she used for inspiration – all in the name of work! She had a love of animals, and she kindly adopted an elephant for me and my husband as a wedding gift knowing I shared her love of animals. She had a true passion for writing, which shines through in the stories she created. Mags often said that her cast of characters were all clamouring to have their stories told and Mags being Mags was determined to give them all the happy ever afters they deserved.
Mags will be greatly missed by her friends at Harlequin, her fellow authors and her readers.
Senior Editor (Mills & Boon Modern/Harlequin Presents)
[Note from Kate Hardy: thank you very much to Jo for her heartfelt and moving tribute to Mags. We'd love to share your memories of Mags and her books, so please do leave us a comment. Thanks.]