Sunday, September 14, 2014
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Shirley McLain
1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
I worked as an RN for over 32 years and then retired in 2010. Shortly after retirement I woke up one morning with the thought in my head that I was going to write a book. I got up and ate my breakfast and then sat down in front of the computer and started writing and didn’t stop until I’d finished the book. It was nothing that I had thought about for a long period of time, it just happened.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger?
What books do you enjoy reading today? I liked reading stories by Mark Twain and John Steinbeck when I was younger. My two favorite authors today are JK Rowlings and Diane Gabeldon. I fell in love with the Harry Potter series and The Outlander series. I’m in the midst of reading the latest book by Diane Gabeldon right now.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Dobyns Chronicles?
My mother was ultimately my inspiration. My sister and I grew up hearing my mother talk about her Grandparents, Charley and Mila Dobyns. They were wonderful stories to hear. I decided to write this book as a tribute to my mother and her family.
4. What do you think, aside from technology, is the biggest difference between living now and living in the very early 1900's?
I think the difference is value and speed. It was a simpler time and life was slower than now. I feel they appreciated what they had more because of the tremendous amount of hard labor they had to put into just surviving. We take so much for granted in our time period and we have become very independent. Families in the early 1900’s had to depend on each other in order to have the necessities to survive.
5. Would you like to be a rancher or farmer if you'd lived back then?
No, they had to work too hard and did without too much. I would rather be a dress and hat maker. Even though I’ve always enjoyed cooking and canning.
6. Will we see another novel similar to this one in the future?
It’s possible, I’ve been thinking about doing a story about David’s life. I’ve just started doing some investigation into his adult background.
7. Can you tell readers about your other works?
Sure, my first book was The Tower. It’s a young adult mystery based in Tulsa, OK and takes you around the world. It has murder, theft, betrayal and kidnapping to name a few of the things this book covers. It is about a young woman who is kidnapped and her twin brother works to find her while running his business.
Then I have Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes which is a collection of ebook short stories of different genre. Those stories cover the gamut from fantasy to love and horror. I enjoy writing short stories, especially the challenge of flash fiction because you have to have all components in a limited number of words and it still make sense.
Then I wrote another ebook of Christian Poetry called Verses For My King. I wrote different types of poetry with illustrations. It was my way of expressing my love for the Lord.
8. Were you in Charley's position at sixteen, what would you have done?
I don’t know that I could have did what he did, but hopefully I would. It’s possible I would have taken the easy way out but then that could’ve cost me my siblings. That one is really tough to answer.
9. What do you mostly want readers to take from Dobyns Chronicles?
I want them to take away the sense of love and family that Charley and his siblings had. They worked together to make their life acceptable and that sense of love and family was always in the back of their mind.
10. Would you like to see this or any of your other work in theaters or on TV? If so, what actors would you like to see play your characters?
I think this story would make a great TV movie for the Hallmark channel. I think it is a story combination of Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons.
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
I write for the pleasure of it in my life and that’s what I will continue to do. I may never make it as big as John Steinbeck, or Diane Gabeldon, but I am satisfied with what and how I’m doing.
12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
Reading, sewing, watching old movies, playing with my animals, visiting my family. The list goes on and on.
13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?
I have started on book two for the Jensen Mystery’s. I haven’t gotten far because I’m spending so much time with promotion of Dobyns Chronicles.
14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
The ones I mentioned above. I want to soak up their vast knowledge about writing “a good story.”
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
1. I love scuba diving. It’s such a beautiful world to see and very peaceful.
2. I would operate a rescue animal shelter and never get rid of an animal. Right now I have 4 dogs and 3 cats and it’s like having a house full of three year olds. A lot of work but bringing lots of joy.
3. I am a Great Grandmother. My oldest Grandson has 8 year old twin boys.
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