Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Guest Blogger: Chad McClendon
Please tell us about your latest book.
Chad: My newest book is called Lipstick Trace, it’s a Young Adult Novel focused around 2 young men who both struggle with fitting in and finding their place in their world. It’s light hearted, and very funny at times. It has influences from my own high school experiences, and musical inspiration from Abba, Eisley, Icon For Hire, Iron Maiden, Billy Idol, David Bowie, and so many others.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Chad: My next novel that will likely be finished, I say it that way because I’m editing two, will be Natalsa of the Brim. It is a fantastical story about witches, magic, and righting wrongs. It has undertones of segregation and how to combat those who are prejudiced. It shows the flaws of parents, and how despite their best intentions they inadvertently condemn their children.
How do we find out about you and your books?
Chad: I have my website at www.cmcfiction.net, I also have a growing Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cmcfiction
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Chad: I like to think that I am in every character I write, whether that be a playful bear who likes too much honey, or a demon who satisfies his own needs. I channel emotions into my writing, so when I’m writing a villain, I’m not a nice person to be around consequently.
When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
Chad: To me, writing has never been a choice. It’s just something I’ve done since I learned how to read. And submitting my first manuscript was an eventuality, I just had to have a manuscript to put out there. The first attempt came from a dystopian crime novel called “The Falling Away”, however 40k words in I lost interest when I discovered the young man named William Denslie, who stars in my first novel Lipstick Trace.
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Chad: I finished the first draft of “Natalsa of the Brim” within 30 days, at 50,000 words. “Ghost Calls” I finished in 2 weeks, it was my fastest novel to date. Lipstick Trace, now that one took about 4 years. Way too long, I know, but I took the most time with it to ensure its quality.
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Chad: I write whenever I get the chance, sometimes it’s in the bathroom in my head, other times I can actually write at the computer. Always carry a pen though, surfaces on which to write are plentiful, but the ink is life.
What is your writing routine once you start a book?
Chad: Write it down as quickly as possible before the passion is gone and it’s just taking up space in your head.
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Chad: If I have to recharge, and completely get over something that’s bothering me, I go to Red River Gorge or any other camping site in Kentucky. Being woken by the sunlight, and coaxed into sleep by the song of cicadas is unbeatable.
What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?
Chad: Music, its always been music that inspires me, and that keeps me going. Punk, Country, Rock, Classical, Rap, but especially live performances. They go so far in prompting me with new stories ideas. We used to have this little comedy club in Newport, KY called the Funny Bone. They did skits, and in between sets would play live music. It was where several of my story ideas came to life.
What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
Chad: One of my favorite author combos, Margaret Weiss & Tracy Hickman, stated that these were ‘boot scenes’. You would see them kiss, and the next you would write them putting their boots on at the side of the bed. Unless you’re writing erotica, it loses the magic and realism if you try to write that sensual moment.
What kind of research do you do?
Chad: Only the most interesting type, the reading variety. For my current Work In Progress, Natalsa, for example; I have about 20 full length books on Demonology in my research folder. I feel like that if anyone ever viewed the restricted sections of my computer that they would worry that I’m attempting to invoke a terrible darkness. Disclaimer: I might be.
Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
Chad: I started schooling at Silver Grove Elementary, where I was quite a hellion. After my eventual expulsion in 6th grade, I went to Private Schools. Saint Philip is a little private school in Melbourne, Kentucky. I was taught at such a personal level that I actually felt like I was learning things. My high school was Bishop Brossart in Alexandria Kentucky, where I tested out in my Sophomore year. I concluded my education at Northern Kentucky University, in the Northern Kentucky Region don’tcha know? I studied English & Chinese.
Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
Chad: Like so many of my generation, J.K. Rowling wrote my favorite Book Series, Harry Potter. But Stephen King will always be my favorite writer. As he said, you can have a great story, but it’s not well written. But sometimes, you can find a good book that has great writing, and then you have found a treasure.
Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
Chad: Dragonlance, I loved it since I was 16. I found my first Dragonlance in a small thrift store (again in Newport Ky). The Dark Tower series is my constant go to if I need something to read. I like the classics also, Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451, the Bible.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Chad: Well, on the New York Times Bestseller list, of course.
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
Chad: I will always buy a copy of my own book, but as far as reading it; that joy has been exhausted. There is so much time spent revising it that you know every single part of the story. Maybe in a few years, I’ll appreciate my writing again.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Chad: Holding your completed manuscript high above a table, letting it drop, and hearing the thump that it makes. Try it.
If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
Chad: Clearly, I would be dying. That’s about what it would take to stop me. Though, I may come back as a Ghost Writer.
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Chad: Don’t stop. Collect your rejection letters. Learn the rules, break them.