Thursday, December 10, 2009
Interview with author Beverly Stowe McClure
Today, my guest is author Beverly Stowe McClure. I've asked Beverly to tell us a bit about her latest children's novel, Just Breeze
1. Beverly, Breeze is an unusual name for a character. How do you create your
Breeze just came to me. I don’t know exactly from where, but it was fun and fit the girl in my story. Other character names have come from different places. Rebel came from a college girl that played drums in a small band that performed for our elementary students. Sometimes I struggle with names and try different ones until a name clicks.
2. How did you decide on the "secret" identity of Cam?
That took awhile. At first I thought he’d be an alien, but I didn’t want Just Breeze to be a fantasy. Breeze and Amy gave me the idea of who he might be when they were guessing what Cam’s story was. One suggestion was in the witness protection program. Ah-ha, I though. Secret agents sounded like fun.
3. Why did you choose to use the first person voice?
Breeze chose it. She wanted to tell her story through her eyes. So we did.
4. Breeze's siblings are twins. What exposure, if any, have you had to
this dynamic in a family?
Very little. Twins sounded like fun though, to add to Breeze’s feeling of being an outsider.
5. You have sense of what it's like to be a middle grade student. What
is your exposure to this age group?
Besides raising three boys through their middle grade and high school years, I also have three granddaughters who suffered the angst of those teen years. I taught fifth-grade students for ten years too, and they face some of the same uncertainties about themselves the Jr. high kids face.
6. Football plays a minor role in the story, why did you choose this
theme as a focus for marketing, e.g. key chain, note pads, etc.?
In the part of the country where I live, the autumn season means Friday night football, from elementary through high school and college. The timing of the release of the book was perfect for the football theme. Cam and Tony play football in the story, so the tattoos and football stuff made sense. Hopefully some boy readers will be attracted by the football theme, even though the main character is a girl. Cam and Tony are important supporting characters.
7. You have four other novels published for teens. Why do you like
writing for this age group?
I think I’ve never grown past that age myself. And I can write stories about teens who are what I wish I’d been or done. Besides, I prefer reading young adult books.
8. How do you choose your plots and themes? For example, recently I
reviewed one of your other books, Caves, Cannons and Crinolines, and it
is set in the civil war. This story is present day.
Many times, the story chooses me from a place I’ve been or from something I’ve read. The forthcoming Caves, Cannons and Crinolines that you reviewed (thank you) came about after a visit to Vicksburg, MS, and I learned the history of that city during the Civil War. I knew I had to tell the story of the women and children who lived during the siege. My paranormal, Listen to the Ghost, was the result of a trip to Charleston, SC, where we took a twilight walking ghost tour of the historic district. According to legend, many of the old houses have resident ghosts. The idea for Secrets I Have Kept came to me from a magazine article I read about ocean plants being used for medical purposes. Rebel in Blue Jeans is contemporary and loosely based on my horses and ranch life. And Just Breeze just happened.
9. What message do you want readers to take away from Just Breeze?
Hopefully, that everyone is different and we should accept the beauty that is within us as individuals.
10. Now that you've published several books, do you feel that you've
become successful? Why?
As far as having my books published, yes. I would, however, like to see more people reading them. An unread book is a sad, sad book. My characters are waiting to tell their stories.
11. Your previous books were with Twilight Times Publishing. Why did
you choose to submit this manuscript to 4RV Publishing?
4 RV Publishing’s books are lovely. So are the books from Twilight Times. Different publishers prefer certain types of books, and Just Breeze seemed more in line with the books 4 RV produces.
12. Do you have any tips to share with authors wanting to break into
Never give up. Be patient. Learn all you can about the business. Write the best story you can write. Edit it again and again, as many times as necessary. Have someone read the manuscript then edit it again.
13. Where can people learn more about you and your writing?
Thanks, Beverly for taking the time to answer these questions. It's always interesting to see how writers create their stories and characters.