Welcome Shawn McGuire, author of the Whispering Pines mysteries.
Do you listen to music when you write?
I do listen to music. Plugging the earbuds into my ears is almost like a starter’s pistol. It’s my signal to go, write. The music coming through those buds, however, depends on what I’m writing, because each series I write requires a different kind of music. My Gemi Kittredge novella series is set in Hawaii, so I listened to slack key guitar music for those. My Whispering Pines series is set in a small, quirky village that’s populated with equally quirky residents. I find folk music, the Appalachian style, is best while writing those books. The one thing that is the same is, no lyrics. I can’t listen to people singing while I’ve got characters talking in my head!
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
I love this question. It would be a chocolate-nut-fruit cluster. The chocolate would need to be very dark, to represent the secrets going on in the village. The nuts, probably almonds, would represent the “nutty” characters. I think the fruit would be dried cranberries (sweet and tart) to represent the sweet/tart characters that live there and the sweet romance going on between the main character, Jayne, and Tripp, the man helping her with her bed-and-breakfast.
What is your favorite/least favorite thing about the writing process?
No question, the first draft. I HATE first drafts. To get through them, I write them really fast. For example, I just finished the first draft of the fourth book in my Whispering Pines series, tentative titled Hidden Secrets. I wrote that draft in fourteen days, averaging 5,000 words per day. By the last chapter, I was writing only dialogue just so I could be done with it. Now is when my real fun starts. I LOVE the revision process. I get to really dig in and add details and setting descriptions and really bring the story to life.
What do you think makes a good story?
I was just having this conversation with someone. To me, a good story is obviously well-written with a good pace and characters that we want to root for. As a writer, it’s a story I can’t wait to get back to writing. As a reader, it’s one that I don’t want to stop reading, but also one that leaves enough wiggle room for me to have my own experience with it. I know that readers don’t experience my stories in the exact way that I do when I write them, and I’m fine with that. I love when someone contacts me with a takeaway that I never even thought of. If they want to believe, for example, that there’s magic going on in Whispering Pines and I didn’t intend for there to be, wonderful. (By the way, I’m not going to tell you what my intent was!!)
Where do you see yourself in five years – this is the time to dream big!
In five years, I see my Whispering Pines series completed and readers still loving to read them, and I’ll be hard at work on at least one more series. I see my husband and I traveling the country in a fifth-wheel trailer. I love the thought of hauling our home somewhere and plunking down to stay for a while. I love to experience new people and places. To be able to “live” in a new community for a while, to really experience it, rather than just pass through while on vacation, sound like a wonderful adventure to me. At the same time, I need a home base as well so there will be a house on a lake … somewhere …
About Original Secrets
The Northwoods village of Whispering Pines used to be a safe haven for outsiders, but after three deaths in two months, it’s become a hotbed of murder.
Exhausted from being the only law enforcement official on duty, while also trying to open a bed-and-breakfast, Jayne O’Shea welcomes the escape she finds in her grandmother’s journals. Each entry gives her a deeper understanding of why her grandparents moved to the secluded spot so long ago. But as questions are answered, deeply hidden secrets are unearthed.
If Jayne can put all the pieces of this puzzle together, she’ll not only learn the truth behind her grandmother’s death, she’ll catch a killer whose been wandering the village for forty years.
Suspense and fantasy author Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid. She couldn’t wait for the next installment to come out so wrote her own. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to tell a tale is as strong now as it was then. She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota, called the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!) home for many years, and now lives in Colorado. Shawn is a homebody and loves to read, craft, cook and bake, and spend time in the spectacular Rocky Mountains. You can learn more about Shawn’s work on her website http://www.Shawn-McGuire.com.
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/shawnmcguire1/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Shawn_McGuire
Newsletter – http://www.subscribepage.com/v5j7t1