Today we sit down for our author interview series with Mae Clair. We’re going to learn about her and about her book, A Cold Tomorrow.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
For the most part it energizes me. When I’m on a roll and the creativity is flowing, it’s a natural high. There have been occasions, however, when I’m working against a tight deadline, that the hours involved can be exhausting. Fortunately, I experience far more of the former than the latter.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym?
The name I write under is the only I have ever used. I know a lot of authors use different pseudonyms for different genres, but I haven’t encountered the need. Most of my writing crosses genres as it is. If I chose to write something entirely different (i.e, fantasy), I think, even then, I would probably stick with my name. It’s true that your name is your brand, but I’d like to think there is room for multi-genre authors in the publishing world.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?
Eeesh! Personally, I haven’t encountered any authors with a big ego, but I would definitely label it a detriment. As a reader (and I read a lot in addition to writing), it would turn me off and likely keep me from buying said author’s work. Fortunately, I think most authors are supportive of their peers, and grateful to their fans. I don’t think it hurts to be confident in your ability, but the line between confidence and arrogance shouldn’t be crossed.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I took two, three day trips to Point Pleasant, West Virginia to do onsite research for my Point Pleasant series of novels. Visiting the locale where the books are set, drawing on the history of the area, and being able to experience the “flavor” of Point Pleasant firsthand added authenticity I never would have captured otherwise. Definitely money well spent!
What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?
I think we all dream of the bestseller lists, but I’m realistic enough to realize that may never happen. As long as I’m earning income and being read I’ll count that as success. And yes, by that measure, I have achieved it. Hopefully, by the time I retire it will be a nice supplemental amount, but even if that isn’t the case, I don’t see myself ever stopping. I’ve been writing since I was six years old, and love it too much not to continue.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?
A lot of this depends on the story I’m writing. Some require more research than others. My normal channels include online research and book research. In the case of my Point Pleasant series, which included historical fact and urban legend, I also devoured documentaries and (as mentioned above) took two trips to the actual location where events took place. Research is important to a novel, and I generally invest that time up front while developing plot ideas.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
I love naming characters! It’s probably my favorite part of creating any new novel. I keep a list of first names for male and female characters, plus a list of last names on my cell phone. Any time I hear a name I like, it gets added to the appropriate list. That’s the first place I check when I need a character name. After that, I’ll haunt online baby naming sites.
As for regretting a particular name—been there, done that! A secondary character in my recent release A Cold Tomorrow, ended up becoming a primary character in my next release, A Desolate Hour. The problem with that? His name is Shawn. Since I already had a Sarah and a Suzanne as prominent characters that created a lot of “S’s” in the mix. I normally try to avoid common letters, but when I created him I never expected his role to grow like it did!
What is the hardest type of scene to write?
Action scenes. I don’t mind writing them, but they require far more care than any other type of scene in my opinion. I normally have to comb through them over and over again to make sure they’re tightly written, carry impact, and move. The last thing you want is an action scene that comes off flat.
If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
1. My father.
He gave me my love of words but passed away when I was thirteen. I’d love to sit down with him and discuss writing. I’d love to tell him how all the talks we used to have inspired me.
2. Charles Dickens
Known to be arrogant, but such an amazing talent! I’d ask about his inspiration for
A Christmas Carol, which still holds such a powerful message even today. I’d also be curious about the publishing world in his era.
3. Robert F. Kennedy
I find him one of the most fascinating men in history. I’m not sure where I’d start with questions (there are so many!)…maybe I’d just want to ponder the possibilities of how history would be different if June 6, 1968 had never happened.
4. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Since they’re an author team, I hope I get to count them as one. They are fabulous writers, among the best publishing today. I’d simply love to sit and chat craft with them.
What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?
I’ve tried so many different things and each has resulted in varying degrees of success. Facebook ads have been good to me, and Twitter has also resulted in sales. My publisher does a lot with Book Bub, which I love, and I’m also a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC). I can’t say enough about the support (including book sales and reviews) I receive through them.
What book would like to tell us about?
The book I would like to promote is A Cold Tomorrow
A story of mystery, suspense, the Mothman, and alien visitors
Where secrets make their home…
Stopping to help a motorist in trouble, Katie Lynch stumbles upon a mystery as elusive as the Mothman legend that haunts her hometown of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Could the coded message she finds herald an extraterrestrial visitor? According to locals, it wouldn’t be the first time. And what sense should she make of her young son’s sudden spate of bizarre drawings—and his claim of a late-night visitation? Determined to uncover the truth, Katie only breaks the surface when a new threat erupts. Suddenly her long-gone ex-boyfriend is back and it’s as if he’s under someone else’s control. Not only is he half-crazed, he’s intent on murder….
As a sergeant in the sheriff’s office of the famously uncanny Point Pleasant, Officer Ryan Flynn has learned to tolerate reports of puzzling paranormal events. But single mom Katie Lynch appears to be in very real danger—and somehow Ryan’s own brother, Caden, is caught up in the madness, too. What the skeptical lawman discovers astounds him—and sends him into action. For stopping whatever evil forces are at play may just keep Katie and Caden alive….
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