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
character names?

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
children's writing?

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.


  1. Hi, Penny. Thank you for hosting me today and for the great interview. Sorry I'm so late responding, but my schedule shows this post for next week. I'm confused. You asked some thought provoking questions, and I enjoyed them. Have a great evening.


  2. Bev, I'm so sorry your husband is not well. It's not easy dealing with an invalid and trying to take care of your writing business. I do hope he improves rapidly.

    You're the first person to mention problems with the twitter box. On my comment page, the twitter box is cut in half, and I have full use of the comment box. I can certainly remove it!

    Thanks for coming back and responding to comments. Sorry there was confusion about the posting date. This is what Cheryl and I agreed on, but there must have been a mis-communication somewhere.

  3. LOL. That's okay. I guess she forgot to tell me cause you're on my schedule for dec. 14. Right now the Twitter box is above the comment box, so it's not blocking my view. It must have been because my comments on the the other post were lower down. I don't know.

    Anyway, I enjoy talking with you, Penny. Good luck to you with your wip.


  4. Glad the twitter thing is out of the way now. Odd... I remember Cheryl had given me a couple of dates, but then by the time I got back to her one of them had been taken by someone else. At least you found us today!

  5. And somehow I must have gotten confused because I thought this wasn't appearing until over the weekend, which is why I wasn't posting about it much until Monday because we don't work weekends. Sorry ladies. I will get the word out now that it's here.

    I've read a couple of Bev's books and I can tell you that I was really impressed with Just Breeze. I like the quality that 4RV puts out and this is such a page-turner.

    I think that the mystery surrounding Cam, and that fact that the boys play football makes this a good story for boys as well as girls.

    Keep up the great work ladies. I look forward to keeping tabs on your books.


  6. Good interview, Penny. Always so much fun to hear how Beverly thinks. Can't wait to get my hands on this book and her upcoming CC&C.

  7. Sorry I'm just getting here to say hello and to give my support for an excellent book.


  8. Thanks, Kai. I also did a review in September on Caves, Cannons and Crinolines in case you missed it.

  9. Great interview Penny & Bev! Beverly, you gave some great advice that I'm taking to heart.
    Deb :-)

  10. Beverly,

    I love the way you let your characters and muse write your stories with you. I find that even my non-fiction books take a life of their own once I get started. Great to connect with you here.


  11. Hi, Kai. So nice to see you here. Pretty soon I'll have no secrets from the world. :)

    Caves, Cannons and Crinolines has been delayed. (Obviously). I'm hoping we'll see Lizzie and family in the spring of 2010. No word for sure yet. Ah the joys of the publishing world. It probably turned out better this way because I have more time to spend promoting Breeze, rather than two books at the same time.


  12. Bev, thanks for the update on CC&C. I'm sure your loyal fans will be disappointed, but you're right it's easier to promote one book at a time.

    Yvonne, thanks for stopping by and good luck with your own VBT.

  13. Cheryl, sorry for the confusion. I did recheck my email from you as to the posting date. We must have experienced a "lack of communication," but not to worry, it's all worked out.

    Thank you all for stopping by and supporting Bev in this latest endeavor.

  14. nice share you have here, keep up the good work !

  15. Jasmin, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the interview.