Monday, October 22, 2012

Beverly Stowe McClure - Life on Hold - Author Interview & Giveaway

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
The title just came to me. When Myra learns the truth about her father, she more or less puts her life on hold to find him.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’ll let Myra’s father tell you in his words: “Myra, planting a seed does not make a man a father. Holding a sick child while she throws up, taking her to the lake on a hot summer day, calling out spelling words for her test, watching her blow out birthday candles, and comforting her when her heart is broken are what make a father.”

A family is made up of those who care for one another, whether by blood kin or adoption or some other means.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
I think the entire story is realistic. The idea for the novel came to me from an article in the local newspaper about a high school couple that had a baby they gave up for adoption and how they eventually found their son again. I could imagine how many young people had lived through the same or similar experiences. So I let Myra tell her story.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Nothing major comes to mind that I want to change. But then I haven’t read the published book. If I read the finished product, I’ll find scenes I wish I’d written differently, or else I’ll wonder if a character needs to be more likable or if we should hate him/her more. I guess I’m my own worst critic, so it’s better to know the book is the best that it can be. No changes necessary.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Deciding how Myra’s father would react when they met was hard. Would he be happy to see her and want a father-daughter relationship with her? Or would he act as though she did not exist? Would she be disappointed in him? Or would he fulfill the image she had invented of him of a loving father, happy to see his daughter? He showed me the answer when I was writing his scene.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
While writing Life on Hold, the characters often had ideas of their own and wandered off the path I had planned for them. I’ve learned from the past that it’s smart to listen to your characters. They often are right. If not, we backtrack and see where the road takes us. When a character does something totally unexpected, I listen. It’s his or her story, after all. I’m just writing it down. This novel also showed me the importance of family in a teen’s life.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
For many years I had no interest in writing or in reading. After I became a teacher, I had no choice but to read the books my students were required to read. Some we read together in class. Others, my 5th graders read individually for pleasure as well as book reports. To know whether they had actually read the book or not, I had to read them. And I made an amazing discovery. Unlike the books I read when I attended school, and the ones required in college, I enjoyed the books for children and teens. Guess I’ve never really grown up.

I also subscribed to a couple of magazines for the classroom. The kids loved the short stories and the activities. One day, that little light bulb went off above my head. Why couldn’t I write articles like the ones in the magazines? So I tried. Since I taught science and we did a lot of experiments in class, I started there. My first published article was about having fire drills in the home, the way we did at school. I wrote an article on how to make your own mini tornado. Art projects we did in class were accepted by leading children’s magazines. Being a published author was fun. Then I took a chance and wrote a novel. I’m still writing today. 

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author is usually the author of the book I’m reading at the moment. Yeah, I’m wishy-washy. If I had to name one, I’d say Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind. I read the book in high school, before I enjoyed reading, but liked the book even then. I’ve read it many times now. Once I met Scarlett O’Hara I was hooked. I loved Scarlett. I hated Scarlett. She is a complicated heroine with more flaws than good points, which makes her memorable. The other characters in the book had distinct personalities too. Ms. Mitchell’s characters are what stand out for me. The time period they lived in also is one of my favorite eras.

9. Tell us your latest news.
In early 2013, my mg/tween book A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat will be released in eBook by MuseItUp Publishing. Kate, Little Angel Sometimes, (title subject to change), a chapter book is due out May/June of 2013 from 4 RV Publishing, the publisher of Life on Hold. Recently my ya historical novel, Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, from Twilight Times Books, won a gold medal in the Children’s Literary Classics competition, ya fiction category, as well as an Honor Award Winner in the Eric Hoffer Books Award and was also an Honor Winner in Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards contest, as well as a Finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Stay true to yourselves. Write your story. Don’t try to follow trends. No matter your age, if you want to write, write. (I’m a grandma.) And have fun.

About the Book

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.

Price/Format: regularly $17.99, paperback, $13.99 (4RV Publishing's Christmas special)
Pages: 200
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: 4RV Publishing, LLC
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Buy Links: Amazon, 4RV Publishing

About the Author

When Beverly was a child she hated to read. Even though her eighth-grade teacher sent her poem “Stars” to a high school anthology and it was published in Young America Sings she hated to write. In spite of her rocky relationship with books, she managed to graduate from high school then attended Midwestern State University, where she read more books than she could count. After four years, she graduated cum laude with, you guessed it, a teaching degree. And somewhere along the way, perhaps reading to her sons or reading great Newbery winners with her students, she discovered what she’d been missing: reading was fun. Now she reads most every day. She also writes stories and articles for children and teens.

Beverly lives in the country with her husband, two cats, and a variety of wild critters that stop by for a handout or just to peek in the door. Besides writing, she plays the piano, searches for her ancestors, and teaches a women’s Sunday school class. She also has the most beautiful grandchildren in the world.

Links to connect with Beverly:
Web site

About the Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Hi, Nicole. Thanks for hosting me today and for such great questions. Happy to be here. If anyone has quesions just ask. Have a nice day.

  2. Beverly, you are very welcome. It's an honor having you stop by and visit.

  3. Great interview, ladies :D

    I am a huge fan of Beverly's writing. I am excited every time I have the honor of creating a cover for her.

    Aidana WillowRaven

    1. Thanks, Aidana. You always capture the characters just right. I love your covers.

  4. Beverly, great interview. I really enjoyed "Life on Hold" and look forward to reading your next book when it's released.

    1. Thank you, Wanda. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have Remedy ordered. Looking forward to meeting your latest characters.

  5. I'm a huge fan of Beverly's writing and Life on Hold (and Caves) are among my favorites.

    Great interview, Beverly and Nicole!

    1. Thanks, Kai. You helped make Life on Hold the book it is today.

  6. So glad to see the outpouring of support for Beverly!

    Thanks to Aidana, Wanda and Kai for taking the time to stop by and visit with us :)

  7. Lovely interview, ladies. Congratulations on those well-deserved awards, Bev. CCC is probably my favorite out of your books. I feel so lucky to see some of these stories before they are published. :)

    I wish you continued success and many blessings.

    1. Thanks for always supporting me in my work, Cherly. Hopefully the one we're working on now will one day be in print. :)

  8. Cheryl, thanks for the beautiful comment and for being a Beverly super fan :)

  9. Lauren, winner from the Rafflecopter, has been notified. Thanks for participating.

    A big thank you to all my friends who stopped by and left a comment. You guys are the best. :)