Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Welcome, Tricia McGill

1: Thank you so much for being here, Tricia McGill
First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

Thanks for having me, Roseanne. I began writing so long ago I have forgotten just when. I can recall loving composing the essays they set for me at primary school, and my older sisters telling me how good my scribbles were. I only began to write seriously once I retired early from the fashion industry. Only then could I concentrate on creating full length stories.

2: Seems to be the standard answer. So What or Who inspired you to write?

I guess no one in particular inspired me at the start. I was given a box full of contemporary paper back romances by a friend and until that time had mostly read mainstream fiction. But thought, like many before me, I can do this. Then I was off and running. I love a happy endings so the romance genre suited me.

3: One of my favorite genres. Tell us what do you like the most and least about writing?

Unlike some writers, I love the editing and re-writing part. Perhaps this is because once the first draft is done there is something satisfying about reading over your work and improving and slashing. At times I wonder; did I write that? And there are times I can’t remember actually coming up with an idea that found its way into my story. I’m afraid I am of the generation that is not wholly social media savvy. I really do not enjoy the promotion side of writing but realize it has to be done. When my first book was published, epublishing was in its infancy and promotion was simpler.

4: I know what you mean about revising and wondering if you really wrote that. I’ve wondered the same things at times. Ah, yes, the dreaded promotion. Not my favorite part either. What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

I am a volunteer for a community group. Our program assists disabled people with their computers and internet and all the tech stuff that goes with this. I visit some clients in their homes but most of my time when not writing these days is taken up with the administration side of things. I walk my two small dogs daily and putter about in the garden with any other small windows of spare time.

5:Your volunteer work sounds fulfilling. Tell us which authors do you like to read?

I love Time-Travel and Historical Romance, so mainly stick to these genres these days. My favorite authors include Margaret Tanner (a fellow Australian) Juliet Waldron, and Ginger Simpson, to name just a few. Miles away from romance but one of my all-time favorite authors is Terry Pratchett. His sense of the ridiculous and fabulously inventive mind hooked me from the first of his books I read. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year, so I will just be re-reading his work from now on. 

6: Great authors. I’ve never read Terry Pratchett. I’ll have to look up his work. So a question off the beaten path, what’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

There’s not a lot to know about me really. I’ve led a charmed life; loved and been loved, and that’s what most of us want most out of life isn’t it? I’m no great literary writer but just like telling stories, and hope my readers will go on enjoying my stories.

7: Great answer. Yes, that’s what most of us want out of life. Okay, tell us about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

My latest book out is Leah in Love (and Trouble) Book 3 in my Beneath Southern Skies series, contemporary romances set in Australia. I had the most fun writing this one. It’s told from Leah’s point of view and I hope readers will enjoy her sense of fun. Leah is a landscape designer and goes to work on the garden of private Investigator Sean Russel (with one L). The attraction on her part is instantaneous, but it takes Sean a little longer to fall for her. She becomes mixed up in his cases which lead to mayhem and catastrophe, but her incurable sense of humor enables her to get through all that is thrown her way. In its previous life as Shrinking Violet this book was a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of The Year 2006.
Information on all my Books can be found on my web site: www.triciamcgill.com

8:I love fun books. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

I think it’s all been said before. To become a writer you need dedication, determination and a burning desire to see a book with your name on its cover out there in the world. It’s just plain hard work and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

9:Boy you’re not kidding about it being hard work and what it takes. So, a question I’ve been asked a lot, do you base your characters on real-life people?

No, can’t say that I do. I often have an image in my mind when I am writing, and the hero often looks like Matthew McConaughey when he was younger. I love seeing the cover designer’s finished product after translating my ideas. As for characteristics, I believe most of my heroes have a touch of my father in them. He was strong in spirit (surviving the 1914/18 war), handsome, generous and kind. 

10: Great person to base your heroes on. Where do you get your ideas?

A lot of my ideas come to me in that period between sleep and waking around 4.30 am. I have always been a dreamer and some ideas have arrived in dreams.

11: Great way to get ideas. Okay, another question off the beaten path, what’s one thing no one knows about you?

I’m an open book. I’m sitting here trying to think of one thing I haven’t told anyone before. Nope, can’t think of anything, anything that would be of interest to people reading this.

12. Sounds like me. LOL  Who’s your favorite author and what’s your favorite book?

I have many favorites and my tastes have changed over the years, but I have a treasured copy of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It amazed me that someone who led a sheltered life and was educated at home by her father could write such a dramatic story. Sadly she didn’t live to see her Wuthering Heights gain success. She destroyed all her unpublished poems and writings before she died and you have to wonder why and what would have become of them if she hadn’t.

Excerpt from Leah in Love (and Trouble)

There was a door in the room I hadn’t noticed. Aggro opened it and peered round the
edge, while Baldy stood nearby. Now I knew why they called him that, his pate was as bald as a baby’s bottom, but not as nice by any means.
I was shoved into another dim room. At first I thought it was empty. But I knew it wasn’t when someone rushed at Aggro, who went down with a groan and a muttered oath. Craig and Baldy caught Russel before he got past the doorway, probably because I’d been in the way of Russel’s run. He stared at me with stunned disbelief as we were both shoved back through the door, which was slammed after us.
“What the bloody hell are you doing here?”
Well, what a welcome? Not nice to see you, glad you came along to help, but an accusatory question fired at me.
“I went back to your house and Craig and Baldy were there searching it. What are they after? They seem very pissed off with you.”
“They were at my house again?” He slumped on the floor, his back against the wall. The one window in this room appeared to have slats of wood fastened across it on the outside. Light seeped in through gaps. As my eyes grew accustomed to the dimness I could make out his features.
“Yes, I went back there after taking your sister home. Lord, now there’s going to be trouble.” I scratched at my head. The cap I always wore while working was gone, and the band usually pulling my hair back into a ponytail was also gone. My hair flopped about my shoulders, and I pushed it back irritably.
“You mean more trouble than we already find ourselves in?” He sounded amused. Which struck me as odd considering the position we were in.
“Oh yes, a whole lot more.” I sat beside him, my hands drooping between my bent knees. “They left a note for Sadie. She’s supposed to be getting a million dollars together by six.”
“A million?” He wasn’t laughing now. Real concern colored his voice.
“And I was going to deliver it. I told her to cut up some newspapers to put underneath a few notes.”
He stared at me and I shifted uncomfortably. “You’ve been watching too many cop shows on TV.”
“Well, they said not to tell the cops or you would die. And if she went to the bank to draw out that sort of cash they would surely get suspicious and call the police, wouldn’t you say?”
Is that all he had to say? Seemed so, for he sat staring at nothing in particular. “Your sister won’t have a clue what to do without me.”
“That’s a fact.” He ran both hands through his hair. “We have to get out of here.”
Talk about stating the obvious. “Of course we do, but you don’t seem to have had much luck so far. Why didn’t you try anything while you just had the idiot called Aggro watching over you?”
“I didn’t know he was alone, did I?” I’d pricked his male pride for he sounded quite put out.
“So, what were they looking for at your house?”
He sighed heavily. This close I could see that his lip was split again. Those beautiful lips of his sure were taking a battering. I might suggest kissing him better, but decided against it. Now wasn’t the time for frivolity.


Ann Herrick said...

Very interesting interview! And so true about writing being hard work.

Victoria Chatham said...

I love it when people ask what you do and you say you are an author, and the come back is frequently 'I could write a book'. That being an author comes with its own work ethic often goes over peoples' heads. Loved that you used elements of your father's character in your heroes. What a special way to honor him.

Roseanne Dowell said...

Great answers, Tricia. Thanks for allowing me to interview you.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Tricia,
Lovely interview. You forgot to mention that one of your novels won the prestigious Ruby Award, from RWA (Australia). And that was in the time when e-pubbed/small press authors were not considered "proper authors"
I don't think any other author has ever accomplished that feat. It is always the big name authors from Harlequin etc. who win.



Tricia McGill said...

Thank you so much for letting me on your blog, Roseanne, and thanks to you lovely ladies for your comments. You are so right, Margaret, when I entered that book for the RBY so many laughed at my audacity for doing so as I was just an "e published" author. For a time we weren't allowed to enter such comps. Thank goodness opinions have changed.

Jamie Hill said...

Interesting to learn more about you, Tricia! Fascinating about your father. Totally agree with the writing advice as well.

Sydell Voeller said...

I enjoyed your interview, Tricia. It's always fun to get to know a fellow author better.

Juliet Waldron said...

Margaret adds another jewel to your crown with that Aussie Ruby award! I enjoyed the interview with Tricia, and learning more about a writer who knows how to write an engaging story with a heart warming finale. :)