Featured Friday! Kathleen McClure
Kathleen McClure, known as Kathy everywhere except on her book covers, is the Texas based author of The Fortune Chronicles, The Zodiac Files, and several other non-series books.
She eschews the “traditional” indie author practices of engaging heavily on social media. You won’t find her retweeting her books on Twitter, or making heavily filtered photos of their covers to get them trending on Instagram, although she does have a Facebook page (for now.)
She describes herself as ” the indie writer who Does Everything Wrong as an indie writer”, and if that doesn’t make you interested in reading her interview, what could?
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
My favorite part of the lifestyle of an author is also my least favorite part of the lifestyle of an author, which is the flexibility. The fact I can work around other obligations tends to make those other obligations pushy, and I have had to learn how to push back and reserve the hours needed for work.
What made you start writing?
Reading. That’s not meant to be a trite comment, but without those first windows into possibility, from a very young age, I wouldn’t have known how much I wanted to open my own windows and show others what else is possible.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
I admire so many authors (So. Many.) but also many “writers’ rooms” in the television world (see: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow; Killjoys; Dark Matter; Firefly; Lucifer), and all of them inspire in different ways.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Know yourself, but that’s the root of a two-part answer (see what I did there?).
The first part is to, quite literally, know your self—that is, how your unique brain works. Coming to terms with your own neurological processes will go a long way to building a creative routine that can be sustained over a life of work.
The second bit is to know your why. Chances are many will have heard this before, but it remains true that the why is what will keep a writer going back to that routine of creation, day in, day out, even through the Dark Times (and there will always be Dark Times).
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I enjoy books of several genres, but they all have characters I want to spend time with. I’m also on a non-fiction kick at present, getting to know about (more) neural processes, the dangers of connectivity, Hygge, and multiverse theory.
And color (as in pigments).
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
I’m an introvert, so the smartest thing would be to have Mia from The Fortune Chronicles around because she’d force me to get out of the house. That kid is a force of nature.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
One of the many (so many) books I would consider a must-read is The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal, PhD. You’ll understand once you’ve read it.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
So far this hasn’t been an issue. Once I get to cutting time, it’s a relief to clear the path for the story. The process is also made easier because I save all the cuts in a separate “Editing Room Floor” document, in case I can ever use the bits elsewhere. I’m confident at some point I’ll have to kill my darlings, but to date, we’ve all parted amicably.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
I just want to live in a world where Wakanda is real.
If you could pick an author to write your biography, who would it be?
Not terribly thrilled with the idea of being biographed, but if it had to be, I’d be grateful to have Stephen Fry, because I believe he would be kind.
Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?
No, but a little yes. That is, I won’t write to market but, as I work through the story, I also work to remain mindful of what a reader needs to want to turn the next page, and the next.
What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.
I have read them in the past, and there were a few good critiques I’ve applied to future books.
There were also the ego strokes, along with a vocal minority that lead me to believe I must, in a former life, have killed their dogs.
Over time, I’ve found reviews are a lot like any other social media —a distraction from the work. Now I try (and mostly succeed) to avoid the reviews and trust my beta readers, editor and proofer to tell it like it is, and the reviews to give a fair impression to potential buyers.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
What’s exciting you about your next project?
I have three in the queue right now in various stages of development, but there’s a lot of anticipation and glee in building the world of a new series, Syn City Blues, that I hope to launch this year.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
How can I be better?
Thanks Kathy for taking the time to talk to us.
Despite the social media aversion we mentioned in the intro, you can find out more about Kathy and her works on her website below.