Welcome to Port Jericho! Today we are interviewing Shirley McLain, author of Princess Adele’s Dragon, available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/25lUOYM
Getting to Know You
*Shirley, where are you from?
I was born in California but Oklahoma is home. A lot of my family ended up in California during the depression. Since my parents were Okie’s, when their job ended they returned my sister and I back to their home.
*Tell us a little about yourself: education, family life, etc.
I have a wonderful husband who spoils me rotten and I love it. We have two grown children, six grandchildren and two great grandsons. I also have a spoiled fur family that lives with me which consists of five dogs and one cat. There’s Booker who is an eight-year-old Yorkie, Andy is a seven-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Addie, is a six month old Chorkie. (Chihuahua/yorkie, April is a year old Husky/German Shepard, Chops is a Rottweiler/collie mix and finally there is Smoke. She is my sweetheart two-year-old short haired grey and peach colored cat. Now you know of my entire family.
*What hobbies do you have, other than writing?
I enjoy reading, knitting or crochet, old movies. I watch very little regular tv these days.
*What are your favorite TV shows/films?
As I mentioned above I don’t watch a lot of the current tv. The one show I never miss is Dancing with the Stars. I always hate to see it end. As far as my favorite movies, I can’t just pick one but The Thorn Birds is one of the all-time greats for me. There are many I enjoy, Harry Potter and The Outlander.
*Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?
I would like to meet Jesus and be taught directly by him instead of having man’s spin on things.
*If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
I would be called Worldfixer. I would make everything that is wrong is this world right, so everyone would have enough food, houses, to live in and live in peace.
*Are you a pirate or a ninja?
I am very much a ninja. I sneak in with no one aware quietly take care of what I need to and then disappear.
*Who is your favorite author? What is it that really strikes you about their work?
J.K. Rowling’s writing is absolutely wonderful. Her words bring you inside Harry Potters world and you have no doubt you are there. She puts in all the detail you need but doesn’t overrun you with fluff.
*Do you recall the first book you ever read?
No, I don’t. I read at least two books a week. Because of being from a dysfunctional home I used reading as my refuge.
*What are your favorite books? Why?
That would be the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling and the Outlander series by Diane Gabledon. Both of these writers draw you into the world they are writing about and keep you there. They bring out the appropriate emotions with their words. You can see what is happening in your mind’s eye.
*What book(s) are you reading now?
Right now I am reading a Christian book by Kevin Basconi, “Power for the Age to come.”
*What new authors have captured your attention, or captivated your heart?
Because I am such an eclectic reader, I read many new authors. I haven’t picked a favorite
*What’s your favorite word? Why?
Love, because it can take care of everything if it’s practiced.
*Are there any words you absolutely loathe? Why?
The F bomb. I was raised to believe that is the filthiest word in the English language and I cringe when I hear it. I once watched my uncle knock my Dad out of a kitchen chair for saying the word in front of me. I raised my children to have respect and not to use that word in my presence. I feel it is not needed in writing and we have been saturated with it.
The Write Life
*Do you have a mentor who has shepherded or encouraged your creativity?
I have many mentors and I can’t choose just one. The online writing group I belong to (Fanstory) has helped me tremendously with my writing.
*Who has been your strongest support for your writing?
My wonderful husband. He helps me any way he can.
*When, and how, did you discover your love of writing?
I have always loved to write. I was the one who wrote all the book reports and term papers for school. When I started writing full time in 2010, I knew I was doing what I was supposed to do.
*When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer as I wrote my first book and that just shows how little I knew back then. It’s not as easy as just putting words on paper. You continue to learn as you practice the skill of writing. The longer I do this the more I come to realize how little I knew and I continue to learn. You can never know it all, just like you can’t please everyone who reads your work.
*Tell us a bit about your writing style?
If I have one, I don’t know what it is. I think I am a simple writer, which means I don’t dig down deep into a character’s soul. I tell a story and I think they are good stories, but I’m not the judge. The readers are.
*What inspired you to write your first book?
I thought about writing a book for many years. I grew up listening to my mother tell me stories about her Grandfather. I knew one day I would share that story, which I did in, Dobyns Chronicles. So I would have to say that it was my mother who inspired me. My mother and her brother were still living at that time and both gave me such encouragement with my writing.
*What challenges do you face in your writing?
Time and money. There is never enough of either.
*What is your ideal writing time?
Late in the evening or at night. Since I worked nights so many years I suspect that is why it seems to be the time my brain works the best.
*Do you have a special place to write? Tell us a bit about it.
I have an office that I can shut myself away from all the activity around the home and just write.
*What writing tools do you prefer?
Just my computer with plenty of ink and my resource books.
*Do you have any writing superstitions, or good luck charms?
No, not at all.
*What advice can you offer to other writers?
If you have the urge to write, do not be afraid to put your words down on paper. Don’t worry about the mistakes because they can be corrected after you finish what you write. The more you write the more you grow. Let your Muse loose.
*What writing craft books are your most treasured resources?
I keep a real dictionary handy, a book on using Word 10 and a Writers guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein, The positive Trait Thesaurus and the Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi.
*How did you come up with the title- Princess Adele’s Dragon?
My Muse give it to me.
*What, if any, message would you like your readers to take away from Princess Adele’s Dragon?
Stay strong and love can last.
*Who designed the cover for Princess Adele’s Dragon?
I had it designed on Fivver. At this point in time I can’t remember the girls name. I thought she did a wonderful job.
*What are your current works in progress?
I’m not working on anything at the moment. I’m spending most of my time on the advertising for my books.
*Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for reading my work. I think a writer shares a little bit of him or herself each time someone reads their work. It wonderful to be able to share with you. Have a blessed day.