What is Your name and background?
My name is PA McBride. I am 62 years young and this is my first novel. I have traveled all my life, first as an Air Force brat and continued traveling when I became an adult.
Why did you choose the Genre you are writing in?
I have been working in offices all my life. I have done everything from secretary, to project manager to owning my own business. I am now working full time in a Corporate office.
Do you find it difficult writing and working full time?
Absolutely. However, balance is the key. When I am at work, I try to leave my writing at home. When I am home, I have to balance my writing between taking care of the family and taking care of myself. It can sometimes be a challenge. My husband is understanding, mostly. There are times I would like to be writing, but I feel that giving some of my free time to him is also important.
How did you begin to write?
I have always read all genres of books. When I was very young, I wrote short stories. As I grew older, I found that I enjoyed writing in school projects. After I left school, I put my love of writing into manuals and instructional books for work. When I turned 60, I decided to give writing a chance (better late than never). I had the idea of Lindy. I wasn’t sure of the process to write, so I decided to look at it like a manual. I made a synopsis and cast of characters. As I was writing, I followed the outline, adjusting when I felt the need and kept a running log of all the characters. I felt that this would help me as I continued to write this book and also future books in the series.
How important is research when writing a book?
I don’t know about other authors, but I found that research was a key element in my book. I wanted the area that I chose to write about to be a real place. I also wanted the information about the Wiccan to be as accurate as I could. I continue to do research as I write the second book in the series. I also often refer back to my first book and the synopsis for my second book to keep the continuity. Details are very important to me. When I write, I want to be sure the story is always moving forward. Things that happened in the past need to be interjected at the appropriate times so that the story line moves forward. Often in life, you move forward and something from the past comes back and needs to be dealt with. I wanted my writing to reflect that. Even though I have a fantasy element in the book, I still want there to be continuity.
Have you ever experienced writers block?
I have gone through periods when I don’t write. Not sure if writers block caused that or life just got in the way. When I am able to sit down and devote time to writing again, I usually go back and read the last couple of chapters to get a sense of where I stopped in the story line. Remember, I have the synopsis to refer back to for the forward motion of the story. I reread chapters to pinpoint where I am in the synopsis. If I don’t compartmentalize my writing from other areas of my life, the writing would seep into work and living and I wouldn’t be able to function at 100% in the other areas. My writing is important to me, but so is my family and work. So I have to keep them separate.
What is your process for getting you book published?
When I started writing my first book, I didn’t have a clue on how or even if I was going to pursue publishing. As I was coming to he end of the book, I really felt like the story was good and the characters were well rounded. I started looking at ways to get published. The old fashioned route with an agent and publishing house seemed very daunting to me. During my research, I found that Amazon had a publishing division. When I started to take a look at it, I found that they way they have it set up, would be the best for me. I had no up front funds to pay for publishing, so I self-published my book in Amazon Publishing. The web site was very easy. I self-edited my book, created the cover artwork from their site, and uploaded to their platform. They put the manuscript in book form and set it up for selling on their site. It is available in both paperback and as a Kindle book. The one stipulation they have is that I do not publish with anyone else. That is why I use platforms like Serious Reading to get the word out about my book.
How much of your personality is in your main character?
Lindy Jackson is a better version of me on a personal level. Her life and how she came to be is more suited to what I wanted to be, not exactly what I have become. I think that is why I interject some of my likes and dislikes into her. I like where I am in life, but everyone has a dream life and I envision my dream life in Lindy Jackson.
What character traits does Lindy possess that you feel you possess?
Lindy is a strong business woman. During my life, I have always been in business. I also became the State President of the BPW (Business and Professional Women’s Association) for Delaware. I was extremely active in bowling, both as a sport and on the administrative side. I would attend state and national conventions and served on both the local and state boards. I was also the chair of a multi-state coalition for bowling membership. We had seminars and membership drives with representatives from Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
You were very busy?
Yes, so busy that I lost site of other aspects of my life. My marriage was rocky. I found that I had to back off or risk losing something that was very important to me. The opportunity presented itself to move to Las Vegas. We had family out here. It meant leaving behind all the extra-curricular activities. When we moved, I purposefully did not join BPW. I was no longer able to bowl due to a physical ailment, so I did not join that organization. This provided more free time to reconnect with family. I am proud to say that my husband and I just celebrated our 42nd Wedding Anniversary. I think that the move freed me up to be able to nurture my ideas for writing.
What final advice would you like to give to aspiring authors?
Well, since I am still an aspiring author, I would say that they should develop their skills so that they are comfortable with them. Don’t try to be “just like” any author you have read about and don’t try to copy their style. Your style should be yours. Keep working at it and remember to not sacrifice your life to writing. Find a balance. Thank you.