Saturday, May 14, 2011

Interview With Rie McGaha

1.      Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.
Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.
Two For Hire
Deadly Dreams
Blood Line
Ancient Blood
Written In Stone
Deep Within My Heart
Cross The Line
One Good Man
A Winter's Night
Comes An Outlaw
Cocked & Fully Loaded
Ghosts of Valentines Past
Tattoo (free read on my site)
My Soul To Keep Trilogy – coming in May 14, 2011 from Silver Publishing – Book #1 Calen
I was raised in northern California, along the shore of Humboldt County, and over the mountain in the Trinity Alps, so it's no wonder I love the mountains and the ocean. I live in the beautiful Kiamichi Mountains of Oklahoma where I rescue abandoned and abused animals. I have 12 kids and 34 grandkids, with #35 & 36 coming later this year.

I've been a storyteller all my life. Even before I could write, I made up stories to tell my parents and cousins. I used to get into trouble in first and second grades for telling wild stories to the teacher. I guess they just didn't understand it was a creative outlet that would someday lead me to be a published author. My first full length "novel" was written in the eighth grade about a young woman from Boston who came to the wild, Wild West to teach school in a small frontier town and falls in love with the town sheriff. The teacher called the story "flowery," I guess he couldn't see a romance author in the making either!

I wrote all through school, was on the school newspaper, and entered every poetry contest I read about in Tiger Beat magazine. When my children came along, I wrote bedtime stories for them, and now for my grandchildren. My next project will be a collection of children's stories beginning with My Nana Drives A Big Truck! This story is based on one of my jobs as a cross-country truck driver and my artist daughter, Rocky is illustrating for me.

Reading and writing is a life long love that I have only been able to sit down and seriously write since 2005 when all my children were grown, or at least old enough to want their own space, which gave me space to write. Writing is something I enjoy and hopefully will be able to continue to do well into my twilight years.

* * * * *

Rie McGaha is an author, editor, and reviewer. She has more than a dozen books to her credit, with the other two books of the My Soul To Keep Trilogy being released later this year. You can join Rie, GA Hauser, & Stormy Glenn at Blog Talk Radio, for Blog Blast 2011 http://blogblast2011.blogspot.com/ on May 14th  at noon CST, with an all day group chat at Erotic Promo. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eroticpromo/

WRITTEN IN STONE – historical, vampire
Rie McGaha is the mother of 12, Nana of 34—and counting—she lives in SE Oklahoma where she rescues animals. She is a member of The Patriot Guard, rides motorcycles, spends summers on her boat on the lakes, and enjoys baking, sewing and gardening. When she isn't wrestling grandkids or doggies and kitties, she tries to find time to write a book or two.
  1. How do you usually come up with a story idea?  Dreams?  Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations?  Newpaper?
There's really no telling where an idea will come from. My book Blood Line came from a dream my husband had, and my most recent release, Cross The Line came from a flash of inspiration I received while researching another book, Deep Within My Heart. I love American history and I'm constantly reading on line articles on various subjects and sometimes a phrase or a word can set off my imagination and viola! a story line forms in my head.

  1. What is your process from idea to first draft?
Yeah, I don’t really have a process! lol I sit down and start typing and go as far as that takes me, or until another idea pops into my head and I change gears. I sometimes work on two or three or more manuscripts at the same time.
  1. Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?
This has been a recent problem with me. Our house burned down in June 2010 and although no one was injured, my muse was a fatality. Since then, I haven't really written much more than my usual articles, (What Women Want/What Men Need on relationships & The Eggshell Effect on domestic violence), and a few blog posts. I'm still working out what gets the creative juices flowing again and began collaborating with author Gracen Miller on a paranormal/time travel story called Time & Again. That seems to be helping.
  1. Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?
Jill Noble from Noble Romance Publishing took me under her wing when I was a green author trying figure all of this stuff out, but now I'm the one playing Yoda to a few different new authors. I think it's important for those of us who have climbed the publishing ropes to lend a hand to those just starting out. It's a tough business and there's a lot of little ins and outs that I learned only by screwing up a time or ten, but I like passing that knowledge on whenever I can.
  1. What importance do you place on writing workshops?  What workshops would you recommend to us?
I look at it the same way I look at AA meetings—they work for some people but they're not for everyone. You have to look around and see what works for you and then stick with it. As for me, I have not taken writing workshops but I do take promotions workshops because being able to promote yourself is almost more important than getting a book published. If you've got a hundred published books but no one knows who you are, you're not going to sell a single copy (mother's not counted). As far as writing goes, I belong to a group made up of about seven or eight authors where we can exchange ideas, pass on a chapter or two and get feedback, or just chit chat for a while about what's bothering us, what's working and what's not.

  1. What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations?  How did this person help you?
There's a list of authors I read as I was growing up. I was born a writer. It's who I am, not what I do. But there are authors out there like Ann Rice, James Patterson, Karen Marie Moning, Lynsay Sands, Sherrilyn Kenyon, etc. who, IMO, are top notch writers and reading their work kind of pushes me forward to be better.
But in real life I have to say it was my husband who always told me I could do anything I wanted and the only one who could stop me, was me. It's the best pep talk I've ever had.

8.      Have you ever used songs for inspiration?
Not really, but I do have a WIP based on the song, Fire On The Mountain by The Marshall Tucker Band.
9.      Do you play music when you write?  If so, what kind?  Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?
Sometimes I play a CD or turn on the playlist, but usually I have the TV on ID watching/listening to the true crime shows.
10.  Do you read in a different genre than you write?  If yes, why?  If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?
I read a lot of different genres. I have eclectic taste when it comes to reading, although with my granddaughter in the house, Dr. Seuss is very popular here.
  1. Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer?  Has another writer ever come to your aide?  How?
Yes and yes. I help new authors any time I can with whatever they need from the basics of getting a website up and running, to how to answer interview questions. And I belong to a group made up of about 8 or 9 other authors where any of us can go for help. Whether it's a sounding board for an idea, or being stuck for a first paragraph hook, or even a little editing when necessary.
  1. What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?
Cross The Line is my own personal favorite and gives me a feeling of accomplishment. It took about 5 years to research and write. It's like my baby and I was afraid to even submit it because I didn't want anyone to reject it. I thought of it as someone telling me one of my kids was ugly! Since the debut on Dec. 1, 2010, Cross The Line has gotten great reviews, including a 5 cup review from Coffee Time Romance and the CTRR Award. That makes me very happy because this book has a lot to say and I hope people get it.
  1. If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money?  Would give any of it to charity?  If so, which one?
I would give 10% to my church, I would finance a no kill animal shelter for every homeless dog in Oklahoma, as well as finance a spay/neuter clinic to stop the over population of unwanted animals. I'd put money away for all of my grandchildren to go to college, buy each of my children a house and car, and I'd take my girls on a vacation.
  1. What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?
Persevere. Learn as much as you can about all aspects of this business and if you ever stop being thrilled by getting a new contract, no matter how many books you have published, it's time to quit.
  1. If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be?  What do you admire about this animal?  Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal?  If so, what are they?
Bear. They have no natural enemies except man, they don't get in a hurry, they're not real excitable, and once upon a time there was a Bear in my life who loved me, protected me, and taught me to be strong.

16.  If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?
I've done everything I've wanted to do. I drove an 18-wheeler cross country, I've worked in an all male prison being the only female on a unit with 120 male inmates, and I've worked in drug court, and with community corrections. I've worked as a waitress, bartender, hostess, cook, kennel master, cashier, and just about everything else. So I'm good where I am.
17.  If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?
I want to jump out of a perfectly good plane. I want to go shark tagging. I want to take a boat up the Amazon. I want to go to Israel and walk the path of Jesus. I want to explore the pyramids. I want to trek up to Victoria Falls. I want to sail through the Bermuda Triangle.
18.  What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?
I like my heroes to be strong, big, tall, he-men, who are vulnerable, sweet, and tough. I like heroines to be strong, determined, sure of herself, ready to use whatever she has to in order to move forward, in addition to being feminine.
19.  If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?
I would rewind to September 30, 1999 and have that one big do-over, and I would end hunger, especially for dogs and children.
20.  If could have a super power for a day, what would it be?  Why?
Invisibility. How cool would it be to go anywhere and listen in on things no one else is supposed to know? Of course, flight would be very cool too.
                                     Calen by Rie McGaha


When Calen MacLeod begins having dreams of an ethereal beauty who beckons to him, he passes it off as just having an itch he hasn't scratched in a long time. But when he leaves on a journey to find her, following the directions she's given him in his dreams, he begins to doubt his sanity. And when he finds himself high in the Mackinaw Mountains in a secret fortress with unicorns and a pink and white castle, surrounded by women, each one more beautiful than the next, it's a fantasy no man would want to wake up from. But Arianna is the only woman for Calen.

The women of the Fortress have lived in peace, hidden away from the humans who tried to annihilate them all. But now a 500-year-old demon is out to destroy the women's matriarch, Ariella, and he'll stop at nothing to complete his mission. When Calen MacLeod shows up, he throws a wrench into Damon's plans. Never let it be said Damon isn't ready for anything, but when he kidnaps Arianna and takes her to modern day San Francisco, is he ready to meet Calen, who will stop at nothing to save his ladylove?

At a stream, he stopped and kicked off his boots, stripped and carried his clothing with him as he waded into the cold water. As he made his way upstream to a pool damned by fallen logs, the water inched up his body, causing gooseflesh to rise on his skin. When it reached his stomach, he dove under and came up gasping for breath. He used the lye soap he'd pilfered from the laundress and washed his clothing, tossing each article onto the bank with a wet plop. Then he began washing himself.

She sat on a log at the edge of the trees, watching him, fascinated by his body. His muscles rippled when he walked. With well-defined thighs and calves, his high, tight behind appeared much whiter than the rest of him, and she licked her lips. Watching as he washed himself, she imaged those big hands roaming over her body in much the same way, even though she didn't understand the feelings going on inside her where this man was concerned.
She knew what a man was, of course, though he was the first mortal male she'd ever seen with her own eyes. The males of her kind had been annihilated so many years ago, she had nearly forgotten them altogether. Since that time only two women had dared leave the safety of the Fortress to be with mortal men, and now, both were dead. Arianna guided this man now because his life had been entrusted to her, even though wasn't supposed to be watching him this way, or be developing feelings for him, either. She wasn't sure exactly what those feelings were, but the need to touch him was nearly overwhelming.
Beautiful, she thought, and now knew why those who had chosen to leave the Fortress for a mortal had done so. She would leave for this one, even though she couldn't say why. But the task ahead of them both was much more important than what she wanted for herself. Nevertheless, she would take what she could get.


Sarah J. McNeal said...

I liked your exciting adventures, Rie. I personally would not be tagging sharks--I think they might be tagging me though. Yikes!
Bear is always with you.
I wnt to wish you great success with your new release, Calen, and much happiness.

Tina Donahue said...

What an impressive backlist, Rie. And Calen looks like a wonderful read! May you have many many happy sales. :)

Renee Vincent said...

Great interview, Rie! And you have such a beautiful smile, dear. You are an amazing woman who never seems to stop! I adore your enthusiasm and dedication to the publishing industry. Wishing you all the best.

Adele Dubois said...

Rie--I enjoyed reading your interview. Like you, I've been writing since childhood. It must be in our genes. Best of luck with your writing career and your foray into children's books!


JoAnna said...

Thanks for the interview. The excerpt was great!

SiNn said...

great interview and ur adventures wow is all i can say id never be that adventerous i dont think . I too wish you many sales

Rie McGaha said...

Thank you all very much for your comments. And thank you Sarah and Tina for having me today. I appreciate your support.


Fiona McGier said...

My uncle was a truck driver, and I always enjoyed getting rides in his semi. I love to drive so much my husband has gotten used to being a passenger, since I'm crabby when I have to give up the driver's seat! So I'm impressed that you drove the big ones! Good luck with sales for this new book and the others as well.