Thursday, March 1, 2012

Returning Guest Author Beverly Stowe McClure

It's my pleasure to invite back the very talented author, Beverly Stowe McClure.  She's here to talk about her upcoming release Life on Hold.







AUTHOR:  Beverly Stowe McClure
BOOK TITLE:  Life on Hold
PUBLISHER:  4 RV Publishing LLC

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

I write contemporary, historical, and paranormal. Contemporary novels are one of my favorite genres to write because I like to help children and teens see that they’re not alone in situations that they face. History is one of my favorite subjects, especially the Civil War era, the time period of Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines. It was a sad time for our country and affected the people who lived during those times. And I love tales about ghosts, so have to include them in some of my novels.

Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.

Life on Hold is a contemporary YA novel about a sixteen-year-old girl who accidentally discovers she’s adopted. The man she knows as her father is actually her stepfather. She feels betrayed and wonders if she can ever trust her parents again.

The jacket blurb: A paper found; a secret revealed; a girl’s life changed forever. Myra Gibson's life is a lie. For sixteen years her parents have kept their secret, but the adoption paper she discovers while cleaning the guesthouse tells the truth. As the past and present collide, Myra finally stands up for herself and begins a journey she may regret.

How long have you been writing?

Since around 1992.

Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?

Most of the time, a sentence or two will come to me and I jot those down. They might end up being the first sentence in my story or maybe just give me the idea. I don’t use an outline, though I will write possible scenes not knowing where they’ll fit in or if they will even end up part of the story. So I usually just start writing with a vague idea of the story line and see where the characters take me.
What comes first: the plot or the characters?

For me, it’s been both. My historical fiction came about on a visit to Vicksburg, MS, where I heard stories about the siege and how the citizens lived in caves. We toured the battleground that has monuments to the soldiers, both Northern and Southern, that fought and died there. We went through some of the old houses still standing today where many of the people lived during the CW. I knew I had to tell their stories.

In my tween novel, Just Breeze, the character came to me first. This thirteen-year-old girl kept complaining about her hair and the way she looked. Yep, she had a story to tell.

So each story is different; sometimes it’s the plot; other times the character.

Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?

I did a little research for Life on Hold, like looking up adoption papers in Texas to see what information was on them. I also read a lot of stories about adopted children, ones that had been told they were adopted at an early age and others that found out later in life.

What are some of the challenges in your writing process?

One challenge is to just make myself do it. Stay away from email and blogs and Amazon. Another is write the story without trying to make it perfect the first time through. The teacher in me cringes when I spot spelling errors, bad sentences, and other grammar mistakes. I have to work hard to keep going and not spend all my time trying to fix one scene. There’s always the next time and the next and the next to get it right.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to take pictures of the clouds, wild flowers, animals, and family. Genealogy is also fun, and I play the piano. Of course, I read.

What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up fo release?

Currently I have out Tumbleweed Christmas, an early reader; Frankie’s Perfect Home, picture book; Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, Award Winning YA Historical Novel; Just Breeze, MG/Tween contemporary; and other novels for YA: Rebel in Blue Jeans, Secrets I Have Kept, Listen to the Ghost.

Life on Hold is scheduled for release March 1 and A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat will be out January, 2013.  

What is your marketing plan?

Virtual book tours, reviews, entering contests, blogging about the book, press releases, and I’m sure I’m leaving something out, are my major marketing plans. Oh, notifying libraries and schools and also book stores for signings.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re wasting your time or you can’t do it. Show them. Do it.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/#!/beverlysmcclure
Gather: http://memawriter.gather.com
LibraryThing: www.librarything.com/home/beverlyjean
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11462.Beverly_Stowe_McClure
LiveJournal: http://beverlyjean.livejournal.com
Shelfari: www.shelfari.com/beverlyjean
            My Space: www.myspace.com/beverlywriter




EXCERPT:

 LIFE ON HOLD

On June eleventh, ten days after my sixteenth birthday,
my life as I knew it came to an end.

Oh, I still walked and talked and breathed. My hair was
still brown; my eyes were gray. I lived in the same house on
Cambridge Drive, Harmony, Texas, where I’d always lived. My
life, though, was a lie. Myra Gibson was really someone else.
I made the startling discovery this morning when I was
helping my mother in the guesthouse in our backyard, picking
out stuff to donate to The Mission. Fanning her neck with
her hand, Mom said, “Today’s going to be a scorcher.” Then
she retreated to the house for iced tea. While she was gone,
I opened a storage box labeled Myra’s Masterpieces to see if
it was a keeper or a giveaway. I laughed at the stick figures
I’d drawn my kindergarten year. I’d given them huge, eggshaped
heads with dots for eyes. Branch-like fingers and toes
sprouted from toothpick legs and arms. Me? An artist? Only
my mother thought so.

She also had saved spelling papers, stories, and math
sheets from every year I’d been in school. I wasn’t surprised.
I took after my mother. I kept all the cards I received for
birthdays or holidays. Programs, tickets from school plays,
along with pressed corsages from ball games filled the pages
of my scrapbook. Our house wasn’t cluttered, however. Every
object had its place. Rachel’s room was the exception. My
sister was a fourteen-year-old slob. When Mom fussed at her,
I usually stepped in and helped Rachel clean, to keep peace in
the family.

Since Myra’s Masterpieces was a keeper, I piled everything
back into the box and put it on the closet shelf. I snagged a
larger box. When I pulled it forward, the box tipped over,
causing the lid to fall off. The contents spilled out, showering
me with frilly baby dresses, hair ribbons, teensy shoes, as well
as pink blankets: Rachel’s and my baby mementoes. Nothing
for The Mission here. So, I folded the items to return to the
box. As I was putting them away, I stepped on an envelope
lying on the floor. “Where did that come from?” I mumbled.
“It must have been with the baby things.”


Thank you for hosting me today, Penny.

10 comments:

  1. Beverly's books through 4RV have been excellent, plus she's a joy to work with.

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  2. Good morning, Penny. Thanks so much for hosting me today. I always enjoy visiting your lovely site. If anyone has questions, I'll be back later.

    Aw, Vivian, you're so sweet. I enjoy working with 4 RV Publishing and your great editors who make my stories better.

    Have a nice day, everyone.

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  3. Bev, as always, it's a pleasure to host you. This book sounds like another winner for you. I've enjoyed your books which I've read and have a few more of them on my TBR list.

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  4. Aw, thanks, Penny. I'm looking forward to your forthcoming books. Ghost stories are some of my favorites.

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  5. Beverly, great jacket blurb and excerpt. And, I love your writing advice for newbies!
    Penny, great interview!

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  6. Thanks, Karen. Appreciate your nice comments.

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  7. I love working on Beverly's book covers. Her writing is so full of emotion and relevance. JUST BREEZE came me such a clear image of her in my mind, it forced me out of bed and to my drawing table the moment I put it down.

    LIFE ON HOLD was a bit more complex. Took me a few weeks to figure out just what was the most impacting scene that didn't give anything away. Then suddenly, I knew.

    So Beverly, when am I going to get to do some of those period covers you mentioned? Hmmmmm?

    Aidana WillowRaven

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    Replies
    1. Your covers are just perfect for my books, Aidana. You always get them exactly right. :)

      Maybe soon.

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  8. Beverly, your opening lines is one of my all-time favourites. So glad to see you're piling on the books. You're an inspiration!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joylene. I'm happy you like it. You're so kind to say so.

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