Today I'm thrilled to introduce Mae Clair, a writer I've "met" through the Six Sentence Sunday snippets, and she's an absolute delight.
She has a beautiful way with words, which you can see in her intriguing posts about mythical creatures and her Six Sentence Sunday contributions. She also writes spectacular book reviews and the best interview questions. Now you can also experience Mae's writing in her debut novel, Weathering Rock, which just released October 8th.
Donna: Welcome, Mae, and thanks for being here today. Tell us more about Weathering Rock, and your scrumptious hero, Caleb.
Mae: Thanks, Donna. I’m delighted to be here and excited to be able to talk about Weathering Rock. My hero is Caleb DeCardian, a former colonel for the Union Army during the Civil War. He’s a man who’s used to being in charge and having others respond to his orders without question.
Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to the 21st Century by a shower of ball lightning. When the novel opens, he’s already been living in the present for three years, hunting for the man who doomed him to life as a werewolf. Seth Reilly is his former friend, now a bitter rival, and the man responsible for cursing him with lycanthropy.
For someone who thrives on being in control, Caleb finds himself at the whim of a curse he’s powerless to resist, while facing the challenges of a new and confusing century. He has a highly defined sense of right and wrong; is noble at heart, but conflicted by what he’s become.
Then he meets Arianna Hart, my heroine, and suddenly he’s battling a different set of feelings. Romantic feelings. The path to true love and an HEA is never smooth, but these two have enormous odds stacked against them!
Donna: This has so many great things in it! I'm always intrigued to hear how a story comes into being, since it's wildly different for each writer. How did this story start in your creative brain?
Mae: I think I was probably reading a lot of non-fiction on the Civil War at the time but, I don’t have it in me to be an historical novelist. As much as I love history and reading about it, as a writer I’d rather toss around what-ifs, than research what-was.
Given I’ve always been attracted to “shivery” things and folktales, I decided to marry my love for werewolves with my passion for the Civil War and move everything to modern times. It seemed like a good way to create a tortured, romantic hero.
Donna: I think you came up with an excellent combination. So what has been your favorite part of the publishing process so far?
Mae: Getting the acceptance contract from my publisher, LOL! No, actually it’s been venturing into the blogging world, a necessity for promotion. I’ve made so many great friends that way *grins at Donna* and it’s something I love to do. It’s becoming an addiction. Those little snippets and posts I share are like sparkly gems I pull from a jewelry box each morning.
You mentioned my Mythical Monday posts, and they’ve become a favorite. So many creatures, superstitions and nuggets of folklore to choose from. I’m like a kid in a candy store!
Donna: I know exactly what you mean about all the great friends, just from sharing our writing online. I can't imagine it any other way now. Okay, tell me, do you have a favorite writing spot?
Mae: I love to write outside on my back porch, but I’m most productive in my den. It’s much easier for me to tune out distractions and concentrate. It’s the one room in the house that is utterly, totally mine so I’m surrounded by all the things that inspire me.
Donna: Well, I'll just sneak on in and use the porch so it doesn't go to waste. *grins* When the writing gets tough, what keeps you going?
Mae: Ambition, I guess. I don’t like to do things halfway. By nature, I’m pretty driven. My biggest hurdle is finding time to write. Like many authors, I work a full-time job, have a family, and home life. Toss in social media and promotion, and it’s a challenge to squeeze those extra hours out of the day. Fortunately, I’m married to a wonderful man who understands the importance of writing in my life. At this point in my writing career, there’s a lot of sacrifice and exhaustion involved.
Donna: I understand the exhaustion part! If only we could upgrade to the 36-hour days. LOL You have some fascinating posts on otherworldly mystical creatures. What was the first one to spark your interest?
Mae: Wow, that’s a tough one. I’ve been in love with myth and superstition since I was a kid. I know I was intrigued by werewolves (I blame Quentin Collins of Dark Shadows) but I think the first mystical creature to snag my attention might have been Pegasus. When you’re a little girl, what else could be more enchanting than a noble flying horse? Well…except for a dark, brooding werewolf named Quentin. ;-)
Donna: And I was a fan of Barnabas Collins, the vampire. So if you could play hooky today, what would you do? Where would you go?
Mae: That’s an easy one - - I’d write! It would be heaven to spend an entire day working on my latest WIP! Currently, that’s the sequel to Weathering Rock.
Donna: A sequel? Squee! If you could sit and have a drink with any writer, living or dead, who would it be? (Obviously we'd have you time travel so the writer wouldn't be dead. . .you have options!)
Mae: I like options. There are a lot of authors I’ve admired through the years. Tolkien and Bradbury rank high on that list. I’d probably also consider Charles Dickens, and Dan Simmons, who wrote THE TERROR, my all-time favorite book. But, to sit and chat, I’d pick the author team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child who write the Aloysius Pendergast series of novels. I am head-over-heels pathetically in love with that character!
Donna: *adds another series to the TBR mountain range* What are you working on next?
Mae: Thank you for asking. I just signed a contract with Lyrical Press for a contemporary romantic suspense novel called Twelfth Sun.
It revolves around a treasure hunt for a valuable marine artifact. My heroine, Reagan Cassidy, has been asked by her uncle to work with a friend who’s a renowned authority in the field of marine archeology. She agrees, thinking he’s going to be a stodgy old man, close to her uncle’s age. Instead, she gets Dr. Elijah Cross, a quirky twenty-five year old who looks like a grunge musician and who has held a Ph.D. for several years. Reagan is an ‘older’ woman at thirty-five, but once they start working together, the sparks and attraction fly.
Donna: Well, hurry up and finish it, because I know I need to read that one! Mae, thanks so much for being here. I wish you all kinds of success with this as well as your future books. I can't wait to see what else you have in store!
Mae: Thanks, Donna. I really enjoyed my visit here. Doing the interview with you was a blast! And given how much I loved your novel, Lord Midnight, may I just say - - *performs sweeping bow* - - thank you, Milady!
WEATHERING ROCK BLURB:
Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to
defeat an ancient curse?
Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.
Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets--some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.
Finding a decent guy who'll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?
Mae Clair knew from the time she entered grade school that she wanted to be a writer. She credits her parents with instilling in her an insatiable love of reading through weekly trips to the library when she was a child. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create characters and make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.
Inspired by folktales, legends and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, she loves to blend the fantastical with the ordinary. Her heroes are known to be flawed and complex, her heroines capable, independent and sexy.
Throughout the years she has been actively involved in various writing and critique groups and is a past President of the Central Pennsylvania Writers’ Organization. She lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her high school sweetheart (a.k.a. the Love of Her Life). In her downtime she enjoys reading, digital scrapbooking and unwinding with her husband by the pool when the fickle PA weather permits. A self-admitted idealist, Mae is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.
LOOK FOR MAE CLAIR AT THE FOLLOWING HAUNTS:
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