Today we have a special treat by getting to interview J.C. McKenzie, and learning something about her and her release, Shift Happens.
Welcome, JC, glad you could join us today.
Glad to be here.
Would you please tell our readers about the book you are showcasing today.
Set in the Lower Mainland of BC, Shift Happens is an Urban Fantasy story of Andrea McNeilly, a shifter with unique abilities and a brutal past. When an assignment for the Supernatural Regulatory Division goes horribly wrong, Andy must rely on the aid of the local Werewolf alpha to avoid eternal enslavement to the local Master Vampire. When they start to investigate, they discover Andy’s orders didn’t come from the government as originally thought and Andy soon realizes some prices aren’t worth paying for her freedom.
That sounds exciting. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
As corny as it sounds, I had a dream about it. Once I started writing the first scene, the story flowed out from there and I had to quickly write an outline before I forgot it all.
Ooh, a dream book. We’ve gotten some ideas that way as well. What are you working on now and what was the release date for Shift Happens?
Shift Happens released world-wide on July 16th, and the second book of the series, Beast Coast, will be released sometime this year as well. I’m currently working on getting the third book submission ready and am writing the fourth book of the Carus Series. I also have a paranormal romance short story, completely unrelated to the Carus Series, coming out sometime this year as well, so I’ve been working with my editor to make it publish-ready.
We know how those series go. Do you write in more than the paranormal genre? If so, why?
I write both Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Although they’re two distinct genres, the line between them is blurry and dependent on the emphasis of the romance. I like romance. I think relationships are a key motivator for people’s actions. The genre I write in depends how much the romance plays a part in the book. Is it the main plot arch, or secondary?
So with the number of books you are working on are you a fast writer or a slow writer? What’s the most number of pages or words you’ve ever written in a day? The average number per writing session?
I’ve been quite active on Facebook recently, trying to promote my book and interact with readers. I’ve also become “friends” with a lot of indie authors. I would’ve said I wrote fast before, but now, I’m not so sure. When I’m in the writing zone, I tend to average about 1,000 words a day, every day, and finish the first (extremely rough) book within a few months. I thought that was pretty good! But some of these authors bang out 5000 words a day, multiple days in a row! WOW. The most I’ve ever done was 4700 words in a day and I was on a roll. It was an epic scene in Beast Coast and I can’t wait to hear what readers think of it.
We always wonder about those who claim that many words and how much they have to rework and how they actually write. Speaking of that, what medium do you use? Are you a pen and paper writer, strictly computer, or some combo of the two?
I’m a combo of the two. Recently, I’ve gone back to pen and paper. My toddler son is defying nap time, so I’m not able to sequester myself in the office for a couple hours a day anymore. It’s easier to have a notepad out and scribble down the ideas as fast as possible. And when I say scribble, I mean it! My normally tidy printing becomes chicken scratch doctors would be proud of.
Both. Mainly on the computer, but when I’m getting rounds of editing back from the editor, I print off the newly revised manuscript and reread it as a reader to make sure I catch as much as possible and am happy with how the book reads as a whole.
So that brings up some other questions. As we all know, writers are readers. What’s the first book you ever remember reading as a child?
On my own? As in, not assigned by a teacher?
Yes, on your own.
The first book I remember reading for the sake of reading was one of the many Nancy Drew books. It was around #90, because I remember going back to get more in the high 90s and early 100s.
Catherine loved Nancy Drew, too and Donald loved to read the Hardy Boys, which were kind of the companion series to Nancy Drew or visa versa depending on your view point. So, what’s the book you are reading now?
Sadly, I have no time to read at the moment, and my TBR list keeps growing! I recently read Kathryn Knight’s Gull Harbor and Silver Lake. I really enjoyed both of them.
Do you ever read non-fiction?
I’m a biology teacher by day, so if you count textbooks and reference books, all the time!
Biology was not one of our favorite subjects in school. Are there any other subjects you teach?
Yes, I do! I teach high school Science, Biology and Math.
Math is a good one, Donald enjoyed that one. With biology you have all those names of things to remember and they always seem to have another meaning. Thinking of that, do you know the meaning of your name? If so, does it fit you?
I’m named after a flower. My parents thought I looked delicate, like a flower, and chose this name for that reason. It was only later, they lamented, how my name might suit my appearance, but contrasted with my personality! I’ve always been a tomboy and into sports.
Oh, how funny. Parents seem to forget those points when naming their children. The reality of the conflict is not recognized until later. Speaking of reality, do you like reality shows and, in a whisper, asking what’s your favorite one?
America’s Next Top Model is my not-so-secret guilty pleasure.
Thinking of pleasure we have a few quickies, (no not that kind everybody, get your minds out of the gutter) rather questions, that we would like a quick answer to without much thought.
Okay… what are they.
What is your favorite:
singer or band? Lady Gaga
Mug or teacup? Mug
This has been fun and it’s been a pleasure having you here today. As you say goodbye, can you leave the readers with an encapsulation of your life’s philosophy?
Thank you very much for having me! It’s been a pleasure to be here and answer your questions. I hope your readers enjoy getting to know me better.
My life philosophy? If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito – African Proverb
Now for a look at Shift Happens cover and a little teaser.
SHE NEEDS TO CLEAR HER NAME. HE NEEDS TO CHAPERONE. CAN THEY KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL?
Andrea McNeilly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.
Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.
Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.
A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.
My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.
Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.
When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.
Available in print and all other electronic formats.
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.
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