Saturday, September 22, 2012

Welcoming author CC Mackenzie!

Hey beautiful people!

Delighted today to bring you a wonderful author and even more fantastic lady, CC Mackenzie. The two of us met on that indie loop I told you about, and since we also have a mutual friend (my bestie, Natalie G Owens), we were soon setting cyberspace on fire with our ongoing conversation convos.

CC is a busy lady - being egged on by her readers to write the next book. And the next after that... But she's found time to drop by today, so why don't we all welcome her and get to know her a little better?

So, CC, tell us a bit about you, and something we don't know/wouldn't expect about you.

Years ago I danced with pompoms on top of a moving float through our town. There were four of us dancing to ‘Love Shack’. No way would that happen today with all the health and safety laws!

Lol, I hope you have pics!

What’s your favorite moment of the day, and why?

In the early hours when the house is quiet. I get most of my writing done then.

Funny - most of us with households and families seem to value the 'quiet' times more than anything! I thought it was just me J

You're a color – which one are you and why?

The colour of the sky in the Mediterranean in summer because it makes me very happy, relaxed and glad to be alive.

Why become a writer?

Writing romance has always been a secret dream. I told no one about it until I was asked for revisions on a story from a big publisher of the genre. Writing romance feeds my creative soul and I wish I’d started years ago.

As writers, we are bombarded with ideas every minute of every day. How do you sort through these ideas, to stick to the 'viable' ones?

I let ideas simmer for months, even years. My ideas are always character driven. It takes time to understand and know a character really well. I always start a story with the big issue that tortures a character or has defined his/her behaviour and beliefs.

How do you develop an idea into a book?

It always starts with a single scene or a sentence or an event. It takes six weeks for me to hammer out a first draft and I try to do it all in one go without editing (not easy). Then I leave it for about a month and then I go through a character development edit making sure the structure is tight. Then I’ll go through an edit for emotional intensity and check scene structure. The love scenes are worked on too and I go through those six or seven times to make sure the pace and rhythm work.

Wow, that a tough schedule! But if it works, it works (and I think it does for you, coz look at you putting out the books! J)

If there's one book you wish you had written, which one is it and why that book in particular?

I’d love to have written The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend. I laughed out loud at times and really ‘got’ it. And the reason for that is because I did go to bed for almost a year after surgery. The temptation to stay there was huge, but I overcame it!

Which is easier for you – narrative, or dialogue?

I don’t have an issue with either.

POV of predilection? Which POV mixes with you like oil and water?

I use third person because I can change the POV in a scene for my hero/heroine. I loathe and detest writing and reading in 1st person present POV. I’ve been known not to buy a book because of it or toss one aside after one page. Too many new authors are doing it at the moment, especially YA and I seriously wish they would desist because a writer needs to have excellent skills to accomplish it well.  One writer who does do it well is the wonderful Tamara Ward – awesome character development.

Oh, I know! 1st person is the bane of my writing existence, too. Love reading it when done well, but cannot for the life of me write it!

Preferred genre to write?

Romance! No surprises there. But my big love is Paranormal because as an author I don’t need to worry about political correctness as far as my hero/heroine is concerned and I can let them off the leash.

How do you get into your characters' heads and shoes?

By digging down into what, who and why certain events have defined him/her as a person, especially the character flaws which she/he will be an expert at hiding.

Drafts, edits, polishing – love or loathe? Can you please explain?

First draft is exciting and a roller coaster ride if it’s going well. A nightmare if it’s not and that’s when I go back and dig down into my character issues. Edits can be tricky –  Because I’m a perfectionist, for me the key is not to overedit and overthink. Polishing I love and adore because that’s the part when it all comes together. (I hope.)

What unique factor do you think you bring to the book/story market?

Humour. Authentic emotional conflicts and a fast pace.

Best advice you've received, and that you'd want others to know?

‘Enter a scene late and leave it early.’

Oooh, good one! J

Tell us about your latest release

A Stormy Spring

She didn’t want company. She didn’t want love. She wanted to forget.

…Music was her life, choreography her only passion…Becca had buried her heart with the love of her life…but when she spends a single night of scorching lust with a gorgeous Spaniard, the lonely dancer finds there’s a price to pay… To a man who refuses to take no for an answer…
Lucas Del Gards is a real hero in the very best sense of the word.  He takes risks. He’s madly in love and puts Becca’s needs up front and personal before his own, even if it means his heart might be broken. I love and adore his quietly domineering but loving ways and so do my readers.

In 5 words or less:

      Your book - A Stormy Spring
      Your heroine - Choreographer who loathes fame
      Your hero - PR guru working the press
      You as an author - Bad, mad, and good friend

Let's say your book is a movie – which one does it most closely resemble?

Flashdance meets PS I Love You

What real-life actors are playing the roles?

Lucas would be Joe Manganiello and Becca would be Jessica Alba

Oh, goodness - you had me at Joe Manganiello! Absolute yum! *grin*

Now this movie needs a soundtrack – what songs/tracks best fit your book?

Enigma mix for the lurve scenes

Your characters end up in a world where everyone's a fashionista – how do they dress and what are they wearing?

Lucas would be in Ozwald Boetang and Becca would be in Chanel

Where can we find you and your books?

And here's what people have been saying about the book:

"The characters jumped off the page. I couldn't put it down.
 This is a fast paced emotional read and I swung between having a lump in my throat and laughing at Becca's stubborn resistance towards technology. The love scenes are hot and well written."
Amazon reviewer.

Thanks for coming over today, Christine! Been a joy to have you here!

From Mauritius with love,



Natalie G. Owens said...

OOOOh Christine! After reading this, I just can't forget the word "pompoms". Also, since you love the Mediterranean... when are you visiting Malta? :) x

Zee Monodee said...

Lol, Nat! I knew you'd join in asap :) <3

Greg Carrico said...

Pictures? You'll never convince there isn't a pom-pom video out there. Come across, girl!

"Enter a scene late and leave early" = Brilliant. Well said.

I have several enigma mixes. Shh... don't tell! Love me some Snow on the Sahara.

Cheers Y'all, I only have about 40K more words to write today. See when I'm done!

Alicia Street said...

Fun interview, Christine and Zee!

CC, I can just picture you dancing on that float! Thanks for sharing the inside goods on your writing process. Got the latest in my kindle queue.

Christine said...

I am going to post pictures on my blog, Greg!!!! They need to be scanned by my DH - those were the days:)

Thank you so much for having me here, Zee, I'm enjoying the sun, sea and sand of Mauritius, it brings it all back.

Natalie, I will get to Malta, promise.

Thanks, Alicia, Hope you enjoy it!

shannon esposito said...

Great interview! I for one am glad you are doing what you love. The world needs more romance! xoxo

Rhonda Hopkins said...

Loved it! Such a fun interview and I definitely want to see those pics. You're such a hoot, CC! I always find it fascinating to discover how other authors work. And this - ""Enter a scene late and leave early" - was some of the best writing advice I've ever seen.

Karen McFarland said...

Somehow, pom poms and a float together doesn't sound like a good mix. Just sayin'.

I can so identify with "arrive late and leave early", as that has always been my life motto. LOL!

Great interview girls!

Johanna Denton said...

Hello, there. Lovely interview, ladies. Thanks for letting me discover this blog, CC!
Funny, funny, on a float and pompoms. Tell DH to hurry up with those pics. Lol
I've already told you I'm addicted to your books. You have a storytelling gift, girl, and I'm very glad you share it with us.
Thanks for the good advice. Hugs.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Great interview Zee and Christine, and yeah, I want to see the pom poms! :)

Christine said...

What lovely comments!

The pompom photos are on facebook. I'll post them on my blog. Sigh. Those were the days!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Thanks, Zee and CC, for a fun interview. CC, I admire your work ethic. Have you retired the pompoms, or do you pull them out to celebrate every time you finish a new story?

Tamara Ward said...

Wow! What a great interview! You're fun, C.C.!

Zee Monodee said...

Wow, thanks everyone for dropping by! It's been awesome to have you all over!

CC, been lovely to have you visit. Gotta go check out these pics on FB :)


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