May 01 2012
Greetings, Cool Peeps! Please join me in welcoming debut author Racheal McGillivary as my very special guest.
When I was fourteen. I had always been an avid reader, but poetry caught my attention, and I decided to take a poetry class. From there I wrote my first short story when I was fifteen. I have tons of composition books littered with poems. I stopped writing after high school. I never thought it was anything I could make a future with, until I met Lisette Brodey. I had already seen so many people self publishing books, and making a living doing what they love. And when I met Lisette, I became more inspired. I felt like I could do it too. (She even told me so). So, I wrote.
This is a very exciting time for you. Your first novel, Essence, has just been published. What is the book about?
Yes it is! Essence is about Chryanthe, Chrys, who is a sixteen-year-old nymph living in a forested grove in Macedonia. After her father was murdered when she was twelve, things haven’t been the same. Her mother is distant, her peers are indifferent, and with the exception of her best friend, Galene, Chrys feels utterly alone. When strangers enter the grove who turn out to be gypsies, things start getting even weirder in their sleepy little grove. Chrys falls fast for the handsome Talon, but nymph-human relations are strictly forbidden, and Chrys’ mother reminds her of this when she gives her an ultimatum: stay with Talon and be exiled, or fulfill her duty to the grove and become the next Chief Supreme (leader). But, when the Chief Supreme becomes deathly ill, Chrys must race against time to catch a killer before it’s too late.
What inspired you to write Essence? Where do your characters come from?
I had originally started off writing a completely different book about a girl who seduces men unwillingly. She has a magical hold over them, like a siren. But, a hundred pages in I scrapped my first book when I read Cassandra Clare’s City of Lost Souls. My original villain idea for Lillith, fell through. So, I took what I have always loved (Greek mythology) and my new love (fantasy) and put them together. And I wrote Essence.
My characters came out of thin air. Except for two people. Talon is my son. I gave him the same name, and same features but made him older. And Adelpha who plays a small part came from a girl who used to work the main gate on the military base I use to live in.
I don’t know any author who isn’t thinking ahead to her/his future books. Do you know what’s next? Do you plan to write in multiple genres? How do you envision your future as an author?
I actually have six books on my bucket list. For most of them, I have written the first chapter. And yes, they do vary in genre. The next book I plan to release is Just for Kicks, a middle-grade superhero book with plenty of snarky comments and funny lines. Then, I plan to follow up Essence with Elude. Then, Untold Cravings. A young adult adventure/ romance book with a very unusual twist. Then, I plan to finish up my Nymphs trilogy with Entrap, the last book. After that, I have When the Daisies Grew Wild, a cute, country, romance novel that has that feel good vibe to it. And last, but certainly not least, I plan to write my husband’s grandmother’s biography.
Some authors are meticulous outliners, others plot as they go along, and many are in the middle somewhere. How about you?
I like to just write. I start from the beginning and go. I tried to outline, plan, plot, nothing worked. But, I do like a good pen and some legal pads in bright colors!
You’re a voracious reader. Please, tell the cool peeps about the books we might find on your shelf on your Nook.
Oh goodness! So many! I have the House of Night series, the Mortal instruments, Infernal Devices, Wings, Tithe by Holly Black, Amanda Hockings books, All Lisette Brodey books, The Taker and the Reckoning by Alma Katsu… those are just a few.
You learned responsibility early in your life when you became a teen mom. Can you tell us what that was like?
Very hard! I had options, but I chose to be a mom. And I would say it was the best choice. I had to work two part-time jobs, and finish my senior year of high school, but I did it. When you truly want something, you go to the ends of the earth to make it happen. I didn’t want to give up Damion and I didn’t want to give up my future, so I chose both.
Please, tell us more about your family. What is it like to be a military wife?
I met Justin during my Sophomore year of high school, and we may have only dated for two weeks then, but he left a lasting impression on me. We reconnected later in life and fell in love. Being a military wife was difficult as well. I had become pregnant with my second son, Talon, and found out two days before Justin left for Afghanistan. It was scary, but he came home safe and in time to see Talon born.
Social media is terrific, but it can be a great big time vampire, too. Everyone has different thoughts about the use and misuse of it. What are yours?
Social media is a very temperamental thing. It is misused quite often and can lead to many horrible things. But, it can be a very useful tool for anyone to promote themselves or their work. I personally just try to use social media as a way to promote, and try to keep my personal life offline.
The world of publishing is changing so rapidly. It’s hard to keep up. Any thoughts about the ever-evolving landscape? Predictions?
It’s crazy! I still am a hardcore paperback lover, but I do use my Nook often. There are always new ways to improve and upgrade the technology world. I have no idea what they will come up with next, but you can never go wrong with a pen and some paper.
Aside from reading, writing, and spending time with your wonderful family, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time. Yeah, I know, you’re probably saying, “Spare time. What’s that?”
Ha ha, very true. Spare time is hard to come by. But when I do have a chance, I like to crochet (and no it’s not just for old ladies), and I like to learn new things. I am always on YouTube searching up How to’s.
I’ve been forever called picky, but I maintain that we’re all picky creatures. What are you picky about?
I am very picky about things when they are important. I was recently scorned for being too picky about my book cover! By the cover artist I had originally hired! Can you imagine?
Where can people find you in cyberspace?
Any parting words for the masses? Any shameless plugs?
Never change yourself, your writing, anything to fit the mold of society. I have never been considered normal, but when I got older, people appreciated me for that. And I never have had an enemy. Thank you for having me, Molly!