If you're looking for a quick read and like a little dark fiction, check out Madeleine McLaughlin's short story, The Mountain City Broznes. She is my guest today and a fellow MuseItUp author. Welcome, Madeleine!
Tell us a bit about your background and how you became a writer.
I wrote a lot of poems when I was a child and I made books of them. My father kept those books long after I'd forgotten them but that was my first writing. I did creative writing all through school, sometimes because I made up 'facts' for reports!
In grade twelve I wrote a science fiction story about a computer who gets 'sick' and the teacher said it was the best short story she'd seen from a student. I was pumped and tried to get it published professionally, but they didn't take it.
After that, I didn't write much until I was in my thirties although I always kept journal notes. I took a correspondence course, which is where I began The Mountain City Bronzes and after that kept writing with an eye to publishing 'some day'.
My personal bio starts in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where I was born, but I grew up in White Rock, BC. I loved going to the beach and loved animals. I wanted to have a monkey, but also did a lot of watching TV. I am a college graduate in Travel and Tourism.
What is one of your favorite books?
A few years ago, I would have said Wuthering Heights (it's where I got my quirky punctuation) but since then I've read This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson. This book blows me away! It's my new favorite.
What inspired you to write the book?
I used to be a sculptor and I thought I would like one as a character--it's that easy.
How would you describe your writing process?
When I first began I was diligent in doing it every day. I still try to but I have to admit that personal troubles, death, cancer etc. have impacted me. It's not pretty but it is what it is. When I do write it's like a loop, I write the start then continue as I get the start critiqued. After I think about the crits and what to do I improve the whole of the first part and then keep the suggestions for the second part and the third part and so on--like a loop always going to the start and making sure the middle agrees.
How have you marketed your book?
I put up the link from MuseItUp Publishing website so they could go right there and buy. I’m also on Twitter and Linkedin. I printed bookmarks and gave them out at the Muse Retreat in Montreal last November. I've left some in my local library and I sent some to my step-mom to give out in BC. I printed up some posters and put them up on poster collars. And since I've an interest in genealogy, I am on a social media website called KILTR. They have groups called Bookworms and Literature where I put links up and then of course my blog and anyone who wants to do an interview, I'm interested.
What advice would you give to other writers?
Simple. Never give up your dreams. If you find you can't apply yourself right now, keep the dream until you can and when you can, keep honing your skills. Find out who you are (your voice, outlook) and be true to it.
Please provide an excerpt from your book.
The jail was a great refuge in June, but even in the winter, I found it pleasant to play in. There was so much fun imagining the structure when it was full, back in the gold rush. I could almost hear the walls and floors resounding to the voices of the thousands of lawless men that lived back then. In the large, empty vastness of our jail, I loved pretending I needed to find escape routes.
One day after tromping through the halls for an hour, I found a locked door.
Why is it shut tight? What is behind that door?
Where can readers find your book?
I love the excerpt! This book has received some great reviews, too. Thanks for being here today, Madeleine!