Monday, 15 August 2011
Author Spotlight Week - Q&A with Linda McMaken
STEPH: I'd like to welcome author Linda McMaken to the blog this week. Linda's latest release is "Baer Truth." What's Baer Truth about?
LINDA: Baer Truth is a romantic comedy about a vegetarian punk rock singer who is unceremoniously dumped in the middle of beef country in the dead of winter, the small town that rescues her and the cowboy that falls for her.
STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for it?
LINDA: I was inspired by my travels to Wyoming. I visit every chance I get. It feels like home, and I miss it terribly when I leave. So, naturally I wanted to set my story there, plus they have some awesome cowboys in Wyoming! If any reader ever gets the chance to attend Cheyenne Frontier Days – GO. It is the premier rodeo in the U.S.A. (I have this fantasy (I am a fiction writer) that I'll be invited to Wyoming, perhaps Yellowstone Lodge to do a booksigning) See, I'm always looking for a chance to go back.
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
LINDA: Before, during or after revisions and edits? LOL It took about 6-months for the first draft, then a few months worth of edits and revisions. By the way, I'd like to shout out a loud thank you to my editor, Mandy Moore – she's awesome.
STEPH: How important is setting to the novel?
LINDA: Very important. The mountains, the ranch, the small town are integral to the plot. The snow is a secondary character. To both the hero and heroine, home is important, family is important. Hidden Rock Ranch is part of the hero's DNA, and it ends up infecting Abby.
STEPH: Did you have to do much research for the novel?
LINDA: Some. I have a hubby that knows horses, I live in an area full of rodeos and farms, so much of the information in the book is firsthand. Of course, farming and ranching are very different, and the Midwest and Wyoming are worlds apart, but some things remain the same in both places. I did get some great information on the finer points of bull riding from the Professional Bull Riders Association.
STEPH: Hollywood just told you they want to make a movie of your novel. Cast the leads!
LINDA: Wow! Is that every author's fantasy? Well, first I'd negotiate to write the screenplay, and as for the cast, -- I think they should hold auditions for hot, hunky cowboys in Wyoming and let me pick the lead. For Abby, I think Katherine Heigl would be fun. She's very cute, has great comedic timing, and I think she'd look adorable with purple and orange hair!
STEPH: What do you want people to take away from the novel?
LINDA: Fun! Just a genuine, lighthearted, fun read about how important home really is and no matter how different two people are love can conquer all. And that colleges should offer a course in Tractor Driving 101.
STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?
LINDA: Both, depending on the day, actually depending on the hour of the day you ask. The voices in my head go in all directions, and I tend to follow where they lead. With each book there are certain plot points that I wanted included, but how I get to them, well it's never a straight road. Now that The Baers is going to be a series, I might have to alter that procedure. Since the books will need to bring pieces of each book together – wow, I just realized how much work this is going to be! I'd better stock up on coffee.
STEPH: What's your writing space like?
LINDA: My writer's cave is a spare bedroom. There is a wooden sign on one wall that reads, "Nobody gets in to see the wizard, not nobody, not no how." I have a candle burning if I'm working at night and there's a window with a view over a lush, green Midwest cornfield. Unless it's October then it's a field of brown, withered, dried up cornstalks waiting to be combined, or January, then it's a field of spiky cornstalks sticking up like evil little scarecrow arms through the snow. It gives you that weird "Children of the Corn" feel on occasion; I'm guessing Stephen King's office overlooks a cornfield, too! LOL
STEPH: Tell us a little about the state you live in?
LINDA: The Buckeye State, home to the National United States Air Force Museum, the largest museum dedicated to aviation – we have Air Force One (sorry, Harrison Ford not included) and the Wright B Flyer parked here. Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we are the birthplace of the Wright Brothers, six U.S. Presidents, Doris Day, Dean Martin, and Steven Spielberg. And we have Buckeyes - delicious rounds of peanut butter, dipped in chocolate to almost the top, leaving just a smidge of the peanut butter showing (hence the name Buckeyes).