AUTHOR: Beverly Stowe McClure
BOOK TITLE: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat
GENRE: Tween Paranormal
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing
BUY LINK: MuseItUp: http://bit.ly/13kSy3h
Please tell us about yourself.
I’m a retired teacher turned author, and I write for children and teens. A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat is my ninth book. Two of my short stories have been published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and several articles are in leading children’s magazines. I’m a big Texas Rangers baseball fan - Go Rangers. Two cats have adopted me, and we live in the country where deer, armadillos, and coyotes roam. God has blessed me with a bunch of grandkids that I love. Oh, and their parents are pretty nice too. I miss my husband, who passed from this life to the next in May, but have pleasant memories of our fifty-six years together.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
Now, since I’m retired, I write full time. Mornings are my best times. Usually I start around 9 A. M. and write until 11:00 or 12:00, depending on how the work is going. In the afternoon, I do research, Internet stuff, like blogs, and answer emails, or whatever comes up.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in the late 1990s. At first I wrote nonfiction for children’s magazines, mostly based on activities my students did in the classroom: artwork, science experiments, and other ideas that popped into my head. I subscribed to a couple of magazines and thought it would be fun to write for them. It was. An art project we did on fingerprints turned into an article for Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine. Of course, being an animal lover, I had to write about animals. Those articles were published in Ladybug and Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, Secrets I Have Kept, published in 2000 as an ebook, in 2006 as paperback, was inspired by science articles I read about how much of our medicine, aspirin for one example, comes from plants, and the experiments that were being done with plants from the oceans. I was intrigued. So I did a lot of research on drugs and then wrote my mystery.
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I enjoy taking long walks and photographing the clouds, the trees, whatever I see on my walk. Reading, of course, is one of my favorite activities, along with playing the piano, scrap booking, and genealogy.
What are your thoughts about promotion?
It’s a necessary evil. Yeah, I’d rather be writing, but a writer has to get the word out, or no one will know about that book.
Who is your publisher, and how did you connect with them?
The publisher of A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat is MuseItUp Publishing. I first heard about Lee Schizas, publisher, from Lida Quillen, publisher of Twilight Times Books. She told her authors about the yearly Muse Conference that Lea has. I contacted Lea and have done several workshops for the conference. When she started her publishing house, I sent her my story and she accepted it.
What are your current projects?
Currently I’m working on a YA contemporary novel, tentatively titled “Survivors’ Club,” about four teens who form a club to survive their families and school. Also, I have a historical novel set in the American Revolutionary War Era, tentatively titled “Over the Mountain” in rough draft form. A possible sequel to Just Breeze, my Tween novel, is on my computer waiting for edits.
What do you plan for the future?
Write, write, write, as long as I can see and type.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
Any other news you’d like to share?Yes, I’m excited about my Tween contemporary novel, Star of the Team, that should be out soon. My Tween historical novel, A Family for Leona, also has been accepted for publication. Both stories from Vivian Zabel at 4RV Publishing.
What is your experience working or being around the paranormal?
I’ve read lots of stories about the paranormal and took a twilight ghost tour of the historic district in Charleston SC, where the guide told us about the ghosts that inhabit many of the old houses there. I also attended a local meeting of one of the ghost groups from TV that believe in ghosts. They showed some awesome pictures, and we heard spooky sounds that were (supposedly) ghosts.
What gave you the idea for this particular book?
The idea for A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat, my second paranormal book, came to me on a visit to Charleston, SC, (love that city) when we watched the sun rise one morning over the Morris Island Lighthouse. Of course, it had to have a ghost. And the stories I heard of the pirates buried at White Point Gardens and the blockade runners that snuck into shore during the night led to my tale.
Is this a work of fiction or non-fiction? Why did you choose to write it this way?
The story is fiction, but some of the characters, like Major Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard, really existed. I researched their lives so readers get a bit of history of the area, even though the events are from my imagination. The pirates did have a feud which is true, and the rumors of Blackbeard’s skull being used as a drinking cup fascinated me. I had to include that detail in the story.
Is this story written for adults or children? Why did you target this audience?
It’s written for Middle Grade/Tween readers. I love writing for children and teens. Have never wanted to write for adults, at least so far.
Does your main character believe in ghosts? Why or why not?
Erik does not believe in ghosts at first. He’s a practical 13-year-old who loves baseball, his mom and dad. When he meets the ghosts, he has no choice but to believe. The twins, Star and Storm, believe from the beginning. They’re more adventuresome than Erik is and since Star has the ability to “read minds” nothing much surprises her.
Are your ghosts friendly, angry, hurtful, helpful, known or unknown to your
main character? Why did you choose this type of ghost?
Jame, the blockade runner, being a teen himself, is friendly to the kids. He just wants their help. Bonnet and Blackbeard are sort of a mixture. How scary can a seasick ghost be? They do carry a cutlass, and there are a couple of scenes where they get into a fight. Since this is a story for children, I kept the violence down and tried to add humor when possible. I chose ghosts who had a need in their lives so they wouldn’t be too scary to the readers.
What kind of research did you do for this type of book?
I read lots of books about ghosts, attended the conference, took the Charleston too, and used my imagination.
Which characters were the hardest to develop: living or dead? Why?
The ghosts were the hardest for me because I wanted the history of them to be correct, as well as the limits that ghosts have. I had to decide why the kids and certain other people could see the ghosts, and why others could not see them. And how did they feel? Could a live person touch one? Could a ghost harm a living being? I wanted the ghosts to be realistic and do things that would be impossible. I think I reached that goal.
What is your favorite:
Hobby? Photography, Genealogy, Playing the Piano
Quote? “If if doesn’t get done today, there’s always tomorrow. And if there is no tomorrow, then it won’t matter.” I don’t know who said this originally, but my mother was always saying it.