Welcome to Catherine McLean, another Broad Universe member, who’s our guest for this week Blog Ring of Power interview. She writes “Women’s Starscape Fiction” because she likes a story where characters are real people facing real dilemmas, and where their journey (their adventure-quest, with or without a romance) is among the stars and solar systems, and where there’s always a satisfying ending.
Writing as C. E. McLean, Catherine has sold short stories in science fiction, paranormal, and contemporary to hard-copy and online anthologies and magazines. She had two novels published in 2012–Karma and Mayhem and Jewels of the Sky.
Don’t miss the rest of her five-part interview at:
Part 1 – Wednesday, January 30 @ Terri Bruce’s (www.terribruce.net)
Part 3 – Friday, February 1 @ Emily LaBonte’s site (http://emlabonte.blogspot.com/)
Part 4 – Monday, February 4 @ Sandra Ulbrich Almazan’s site (http://ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com/)
Part 5 - Tuesday, February 5 @ Dean C. Rich’s site (http://deanswritingtime.blogspot.com/)
PART 2: THE WRITING PROCESS
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc. Writing process? Well, for me, a story starts with an idea that triggers my imagination and when there’s interesting characters, an interesting setting, and an interesting problem, I usually get an initial story dump. In other words, I’m a foundation writer—not a pantser nor a plotter. In that story dump is everything I need to know about the characters and their dilemma. However, to figure out the entire story, I use a “project bible.” Once that’s done, I draft the story from beginning to end, taking anywhere from 14 to 28 days to complete a draft of 80,000 to 140,000 words. In other words, I’m a very good typist (having been an executive secretary), and I’m used to keeping my butt in a chair all day long and the fingers tapping keys. And, yes, I’m basically a “binge” writer, one who writes a story when it’s time to write it. However, I did my first novel as a pantser. By the third novel done that way, I was extremely frustrated by all the rewriting and editing, which took more than three years to get a final product. So, I looked into other methods of working out a story before committing anything to a manuscript. It took years to design my project bible, but it works for everything I write, be it a Developed Short Story or a novel.
How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life? I use a calendar (posted on the wall next to my computer station) so I can see what days I have free to write. That way, my subconscious, “The Kid” (my muse), has the incentive to provide the necessary story or scene for whatever I’m working on for that day. And, yes, when it’s time to binge on writing a draft, I look for two or more weeks when I don’t have obligations of any kind, or at least, there are minimal drains on my time.
When do you write? I’m a morning person. Up with the sun, so to speak. I write or work on stories, a scene or a chapter, or even two or three chapters, quitting when that day’s task is completed, which can be noon or 10 p.m. or midnight (with breaks, of course, for the potty and food. LOL).
What has been the most surprising reaction to something you’ve written? The first paranormal short story I ever wrote (as C. E. McLean), I sold to the first publication I submitted to. That was astonishing, but what resulted was even more astonishing. You see, readers wrote letters to the editor saying how much they enjoyed the lighthearted tale. That editor then published three of those readers’ letters in his next edition, and he asked me for another story, which he bought.
Other than your family, what has been your greatest source of support? Pennwriters. This is my statewide writers organization, which represents all facets of writing from the award-winning and multi-published to the novice, and which includes every genre, fiction and nonfiction, as well as poetry, journalism, memoir, etc. Yes, it’s an eclectic group, but the networking is amazing and the generosity of members to share their knowledge with me has been a godsend.
What formats are your books available? KARMA AND MAYHEM: Only as an eBook; JEWELS OF THE SKY: As an eBook and a paperback
Where can readers find you?
- WEBSITE FOR READERS: www.CatheirneEmclean.com
- WEBSITE FOR WRITERS: www.WritersCheatSheets.com
- KARMA AND MAYHEM: https://www.soulmatepublishing.com/karma-and-mayhem
- (And available at other eBook outlets)
- KARMA AND MAYHEM BLOG: http://www.karmaandmayhem.blogspot.com
- JEWELS OF THE SKY: www.Amazon.com (Available as eBook and paperback)
- JEWELS OF THE SKY BLOG: http://jewelsofthesky.wordpress.com/
- Goodread author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6575148.Catherine_E_McLean
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/CatherineMcLea7
- Linked-In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/catherine-e-mclean/7/70b/372
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/catherinemclean
She doesn’t believe in miracles or forgiveness, or that J’Hi-inti (god) would ever rescind the death curse on her people for what happened to the Mayans. Only J’Hi-inti hears one compelling plea for reconciliation and decides to let chaos rule–and test Darq. After all, she’s a wild card like her nefarious ancestor. What will she do when she faces the ruthless alien fleet commander who spearheads the blitzkrieg that is to finally destroy her homeworld, and who she once witnessed murder her cadet comrades?
Blinded by hate and survivor guilt, all that stands between survival and extinction, heaven or hell, for Darq and her people is mercy–or a miracle.