Monday, December 2, 2013

Interview: C. Michelle McCarty

Author Interview

Meet C. Michelle McCarty, author of The Jewel Box.

All Rights Reserved to C. Michelle McCarty

What made you want to be an author? 

I grew up poor and wanted to maintain that lifestyle.  Actually, I believe my skills are innate since my grandmother and mother were proficient note takers, and I often picked up their notepads and enhanced whatever they had written. Now I write much longer notes, accentuated with duplicity. In other words, I'm a natural born liar.
Who has inspired you the most? 

Professionally, I cut my eye teeth on Elmore Leonard and have remained his fan for decades.  Personally, my daily inspiration comes from my deaf and visually impaired granddaughter who rises to every challenge and refuses to quit.
Can you tell us about some of your earlier days of writing?
 My first rejection letter came from Jack And Jill Magazine, but I didn't pout too long. By my mid-forties, I was completely over that humiliation and almost ready to share my closet writings with the world. Then along came my position as an admin assistant to an "unusual" boss who refused any association with computers, therefore gave me carte blanche to write correspondence emails to his staff and other company VPs. After years of suppressing my creative side, it reared its crazy head and bit professional decorum in the arse.  Soon directors, managers and assorted employees who had received my forwarded emails from others, began complimenting my writing style.  And my bravery.  Some asked if I was drinking on the job.  A year or so after my ramblings became commonplace, a manager mentioned he had kept all my emails in a folder and shared his favorites with friends outside our company. It's possible he was under the care of a psychiatrist at the time. A few months later, said manager came to me and suggested I write a book. Silly me, I accepted the challenge. Ray Cloninger, you're still on my *hit list!
In my previous official business life, I wrote everything from instructional manuals, to ad copy and food articles, before spending three years as an editor for a New Age, metaphysical online newspaper. 
How has your life considerably changed since you've been published?

 My free time evaporated, but in exchange I get to wear comfy nighties during the day (reserve those Victoria's Secret thong things for date nights). Honestly the most wonderful thing is meeting lovely people who read my work and contact me via Facebook. This is humbling.  
What inspired you to write The Jewel Box?  

Albeit fiction, my novel began as a tribute to a man who died before I thanked him for being so instrumental in helping mold me into a better human being.
 A part of the proceeds from The Jewel Box goes to help children with hearing loss. Does this specific organization have a significance for you?  

Yes. I have a granddaughter who is deaf and this is just a tiny way I can try and "Pay it forward." This foundation is being set up to help those who cannot afford hearing related appliances. Cochlear devices are extremely expensive (over $9,000.00) and many insurances do not fully cover this expense, many people do not have insurance or funds set aside, and when equipment pieces malfunction or get lost, minimum replacement cost is $200.    
What has been the best experience so far on your journey as an author? 

1) I have met several amazing authors, some Indie and some published via smaller publishing houses, whose brilliant work I might not have ever discovered.  2) My novel received a nice review from Kirkus, but last month they recommended The Jewel Box alongside best-selling author Sandra Brown, and also highlighted it for "Best Jacket Cover by an Indie Author."  I took the photograph with an old camera at Leon's Lounge (Houston's oldest bar) so it felt incredibly special to be recognized by Kirkus. 3) I was recently nominated as Favorite Houston Author. 
Can you give us some insight on any upcoming projects? 

 I am currently working on my second novel, Beyond The Pale, a story about a wealthy girl who gets disowned and goes from mansion to mobile home. I wrote the twist ending to this novel before I wrote the beginning, and now a creature I'd intended for minor infusion and merely described as a hedonistic windbag, has sprung to life and is demanding a bigger role. I never could resist an alcohol fueled, air dancing, Casanova wannabe with gold chains tangled in his chest hair. Don't judge me.
What advice can you give to any upcoming authors?  

Listen to your heart. Stay true to yourself but also stay open to criticism because constructive feedback will help you hone your craft. Not everyone will like your work, so don't fret when someone writes a negative review. Dance. Laugh. Bake. Drink, Eat. Read. Write. Write. Write. Do whatever makes your heart happy!. 

Thanks so much, C. Michelle McCarty for interviewing with us! Don't forget to follow her outlets below!

A mouthy small town girl takes on big city life assisted by her "Spiritual guide through sin
city" who pulls a Professor Higgins on Cherie while offering advice on single parenting and

multiple affairs the heart

Filled with moments from the mystical, laid-back Age of Aquarius through the materialistic

 high-speed Internet era, The Jewel Box references to the times / political climate and music

flect the rocky terrain of the country (and subsequent growth) parallel with that of its main

character The Jewel Box is a romantic family sage that reminds us true love rarely runs

smooth, true friendship never wavers, occasionally everyone screws up, and sometimes

slipping off track makes the final destination even more satisfying.

Want to get your hands on a copy of The Jewel Box? Click below!

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