Interview with J. Holly McCain

 What inspires you to write?

I’m inspired to write to touch the lives of my readers. The books I read as a child were creative and captured me into incredible worlds. I pray I can too, inspire my readers to enjoy reading.

 Which book inspired you to begin writing?

My Mom and I walked to our local public library every week. We brought home a week worth of reading. Mom introduced me to a book titled ‘Little Women.’ The novel took the reader on a voyage through the lives of four sisters- Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. My favorite character was Josephine March, or Jo for short. Jo liked both reading and writing. I too loved to read and write. I knew after reading this book, I also wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?

The younger me was supported by a beautiful woman I called Mom. She told my siblings and I that we could do anything if we put our heart into it. Later, my daughter, Elizabeth and my dear friend, Shirley have both encouraged and supported me in my writing.

How do you see writing? As a hobby or passion?

My dream of becoming an author when I was a child has now grown into a passion. A passion to write creative novels and poetry books to not only capture my reader, but to help children learn the love of reading.

Do you enjoy book signing?

I admit, I’m a shy person. I love book signings because the inner me comes out and I get to meet interesting people. I make the event fun for all by my table. The future reader can eat or play while I tell my story. One example, my puppy poetry books ‘Brown Eyes’ and ‘Puppy Love.’ My audience was able to munch on paw print from a candy machine on my table as I talked.

Do you reply back to your fans and admirers personally?

I love keeping in contact with my readers/fans. I ask that they contact me through either email: jhollymccain@yahoo.com or my website: http://hollyshadowtripod.com . I will answer each and every message I receive from my readers.

Which of your books took you the most time to write?

       My latest, ‘Deer Me’ took me the longest to write. There were many obstacles during my writing. I first thought it was finished a few years ago, but again God put more obstacles, two Pastors from my church. One Pastor didn’t understand the book being written from first person. The second Pastor lost my manuscript. I thank each obstacle. I now know God was letting me know my work wasn’t showing Him well. ‘Deer Me’ is now an amazing book. It was created by Gods gift to me. The gift of words.

What do you do in your free time?

In my free time I love to spend time with my family, two and four-legged, and friends. I enjoy going to the zoo, taking hikes, and just enjoying Gods beautiful world. I do this daily by walking with my best friend, Shirley and our two pups, Sadie and Sassie. My grandchildren and I like tea parties, Christian concerts and bike rides in the sun.

Did the thought to give up writing ever occur to you?

     The thought of giving up writing was heavy on my heart a few years ago. I felt my work wasn’t good enough if two Pastors wouldn’t give me their critique. I went as far as writing a letter to readers apologizing and thanking them for years of support. Of course I never published my letter.

How did it feel when your first book got published?

I’m both thankful and grateful each time I have published my work. My first book, ‘Star,’ showed the ‘I don’t believe I can person,’ she could not only believe in herself, but others believe in me too! I thank God for the words for each book.

Are you friends with other writers?

I’m friends with many writers. I also belong to a writer group. We meet every month at our local library. We are there for each other, and do a few book signings/events each year.

How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?

I celebrated publishing my first book, ‘Star,’ by taking my largest supporter, my best friend, Shirley out to eat. Shirley not only supports my writing, but edits each draft.

Have you ever written a story you wish you hadn’t?

I wrote my first book, ‘Star,’ an inspirational poetry book, to help others who also were going through loss of their own. I have regretted writing my first book because it tells the reader the story of abusive of my Mom, siblings, and me.

Which of your novels best describes you as a person?

I believe the character, Jules Currier in my latest book, ‘Deer Me,’ describes me. I’m a petite person who loves both writing and photography. I’m also afraid of both height and thunderstorms.

How big of a part does music play in creating your “zone’?

Music has always been a part of my creative work zone. First, Soft Rock, and now Christian Music play throughout my day. I dance to the music when I clean. I relax to the spirit of the music when I both write and read others writing. I’m actually enjoying music as I write this.

In case one or any of your books honor the big screen, which book would you like it to be?

I would be honored and grateful if ‘Deer Me’ reached the big screen. I believe the story would capture the attention of both children and adults alike. Yes, the ‘childlike’ story would bring much joy into many theaters and homes.

Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?

My 12th grade college English teacher thought I may become a writer someday. I always thought it was only a dream. I loved writing, was accepted into our high school newspaper staff two years earlier than most, but still didn’t think my teacher was right.

How many children/grandchildren do you have? Do you see any young writers in any of them?

I have one daughter and three grandchildren. My daughter, Beth likes to write, but she has also put her family first before her dreams. My oldest granddaughter, Kylee, is writing her first manuscript. I know she too will self-publish soon like her Grams.

Do any of your family members make occasional cameos in your books?

I’m like many writers. I write about people and things I know. All my books have not only my family and friends in them, but also a few readers. Maybe you may be in a future book.

Do you encourage your children/grandchildren to read?

I not only encouraged my daughter and grandchildren to read, but I encourage everyone to read. Reading is not only an adventure itself, but you can travel places by just opening a book. So, open a book today and ENJOY! Happy traveling my readers!

Do you like visiting schools?

I love visiting school and not only making children laugh, but encouraging them to go for their dreams. A few readers have told me they have discovered their love for books and or writing after my school visit. You may not reach your dream today, tomorrow or years from now, but with God, “ALL DREAMS ARE POSSIBLE!”