Friday, March 8, 2013 | By: Angela Brown

A Day in the Spotlight: C. Lee McKenzie

Fridays are always great! Nothing says, "Have a #bepositive day!" like having the weekend eyeball-to-eyeball with you, cheese-eating grin spread ear to ear :-)

So to add to the joy, I have C. Lee McKenzie in the spotlight. Check out her smile:
Her smile had to tickle one out of you, too. Being positive can be a good kind of viral.

Now, let's get to know her better :-)

Please share how you got started with writing?

I've always scribbled: notes, journals, poems, stories. I'm not sure how I started my first novel--a really terrible, rambling, cathartic beast--but then I read an article in the newspaper about "cutting," and that brought me up short. I knew I'd have to write about it, but I really thought I'd write an article. Instead, it wound up being Sliding on the Edge.

Got to love it! Start with one intention and end up with something far more than expected :-)

What is the title of your latest work(s) soon-to-come.

I have three manuscripts right now. One is a middle grade adventure fantasy that I've titled Josh Moody Meets The Aliens Of Murrg. (I should add that I'm not the best at titles.) The other two are YA's. Sudden Secrets and The Double Negative Kid. I'm still deciding how I'll handle publishing these books. I do a lot of procrastinating at this stage of a book. It's sort of my rest period.
 Ah, Sir Procrastination...I know that fella all to well lol!!

If you could sit down and share a glass of your favorite beverage with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

I'd love to sit down to talk to Kenny Fargo. And, if I'm drinking with Kenny, I'll probably have to sip whisky. That's all he'll pour. He's one character I know has a lot left to reveal. Here's how he sounds when he talks to Kay, the grandmother in Sliding on the Edge. He's telling her what he thinks about Shawna, the newly arrived and very troubled granddaughter:

"That's gonna be a tough filly to break in." Kenny leaned against the kitchen door.
"How long have you been eavesdropping?" Kay asked as she turned up the heat under the potatoes.
He pushed away from the door and went to the sink. "She can do the work. That ain't the problem. It's the charming attitude that's gonna be fun to handle."
"If you've got any ideas on what to do, don't sit on you backside and keep it to yourself, okay?"
"I see she's brought your crabby side out," he said, drying his hands and pushing his boots off.

Kenny sounds like he'd make for interesting conversation...of course, after a little bit of whiskey, it won't really matter lol!

Would you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser?

I've called myself a semi-pantser, but I'm more pantser than plotter, that's for sure. I write a summary sentence when I have an idea for a book. I put that sentence into the header of my document and refer back to it or change it as needed while I write. Sometimes the sentence is almost the same when I've finished. Sometimes it's very different, but it does serve to guide me.

Were there any darling characters/scenes that didnt make the final cut? If so, what?

In The Princess of Las Pulgas I had to re-write one scene a dozen times until I liked it. It's a pivotal scene when Carlie will either come to accept the new people in her life, or continue to be miserable and angry about what's happened to her.  It's very different in the book than it was in all of those drafts. I haven't dumped any characters yet. They're very determined to stay once they're in a story.

Hard and fast with the rules of writing or more like guidelines?

I love to know all the rules because once I've got them in my head, they're easy to break--effectively.

What advice would you tell an aspiring author?

What I'd say to anyone who really wants to do something. Just do it. Enjoy it. Be prepared for a wild ride.

Hot button round:
Favorite snack? I'm kind of partial to peanuts, but pizza is right up at the top of my favorites.
Least favorite food? Anything sweet that's not a dessert.
Favorite color? Green? No, blue. Maybe red. Of course, purple is so yummy. Sorry. Could ask easier questions, please? LOL! I thought that was the easy question :-)
E-book or paperback/hardcover? I'm kind of whimpy on this answer because I love both. E-book when I travel. Paperback/hardcover when I'm in a comfy chair.
Shop-a-holic or work-a-holic or a different kind of a-holic? I'm definitely a work-a-holic. It's in my genes. Once I want to do something, I pretty much am on task until I wear out and collapse

YAY to C. Lee! So glad to have you stop by. And for extra entertainment, click here for a book trailer for Alligators Overhead.

Make sure to stop her blog and tell her I said "Hey! Howdy! And Yay for Friday!"
The Write Game.


C. Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Angela. It's always great to chat with another author and you made this chat a lot of fun.

Angela Brown said...

Glad to have you here, Lee. You are a doll!

Mina Burrows said...

Go C. LEE! Thanks for sharing, Angela. :)

Angela Brown said...

Glad to and thanks for stopping by Mina :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

One sentence - kind of like a tagline.
Guess I would be a movie-a-holic.

Angela Brown said...

Ha! Right there Ninja Captain! Slap-a-pow!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Yes, you would.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks Mina! Great to see you here.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I'm printing this out and giving it to my family tonight at dinner! :-)

Anonymous said...

Lively and entertaining post, thanks Angela and C Lee! I've read "Alligators Overhead", and thoroughly enjoyed it (and no, I'm not a kid, I'm 56 years old - am I supposed to be a kid? Loved the book! LOL) ~ Julie :)

Here's the review I wrote of C Lee's "Alligators Overhead"

Donna K. Weaver said...

Fun interview. The title of that book just makes me smile. lol

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I so appreciate your stopping in Julie! And thanks ever so much for the link to your review. I love that kids come in all ages. :-)

C. Lee McKenzie said...

It is kind of nuts, isn't it? But it made me giggle, so I had to use it.

Gwen Gardner said...

Loved the interview Lee and Angela! Very fun :)

E.J. Wesley said...

Awesome interview ladies! Peanuts and pizza--my kind of woman. :-D

Anonymous said...

Three MS's is a lot. I'm having enough troublenjus completing one. Good luck Lee with everything!

Jess said...

Fun interview! And yes, her smile is infectious. I'm a fan of YA, but I LOVE the title of your middle grade project :) I love the comment about knowing the rules so that you can break them effectively!

Carrie Butler said...

Great interview, ladies! :)

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Gwen. Glad you came by.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I left out fudge!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Stephen. Appreciate the thoughts . . . a lot.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Hi, Jess. Great to meet you here! And so glad you are a YA fan! I love writing that.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Carrie!

jonyangorg said...

Love this spotlight!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Hi Jon.

How sweet you are to stop in and say hello. Hope New York is treating you well.

Damyanti said...

Hi Lee :) -- you look good under the spotlight!

Angela, could I have the info on the book tour soonish, cos I'm leaving town on the 15th, and would like to schedule the post in advance?

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks for the visit during my spot on Angela's blog!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Love seeing this side of Lee! :D I especially liked that once a character is there they don't want to be cut. I get that!

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Angela and LEe,
It good knowing a bit more about Lee. Interesting concept with your sentence that captures the essence of your novel. Sounds like just the thing to keep a writer on track.

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