Tell us about your journey…
It’s hard to recall a journey after a few years, but I do remember finding an article in a newspaper that upset me. I wanted to write about it, and I intended to write an article. That article somehow morphed into a story, and then into a book that I titled Bad Ass Attitude, but became Sliding on the Edge. So you see journeys are complicated because they don’t go along a well-lighted and well-paved freeway. However, I sold that story. I sold a second one, and it was published. All was well, and then the publisher shut down its YA division. A year later I put both books out on their own. My last two young adult novels, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets, came out through Evernight Teen.
I have two others with an agent, so I’m kind of waiting right now to see what happens. The journey hasn’t ended; it has only slowed a bit.
What do you love about being an author?
I love to make the stories the way I want them. That’s huge for me.
I also love meeting writers and readers and talking about writing as if I knew what I was doing. I think those two things are what I love about this endeavor—notice I don’t say work. That implies something I don’t feel. Writing isn’t work. It’s agony, but not work.
If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you eat?
Hemingway. Fish. Lots of fish with tequila. Not because he was a great writer, but because he created a fantastic mystic. Of course, he was not a very nice man. . .most of the time. And so the mystic!
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Well, I have seven books out, so I’d have to think about which one and why before answering this question. So I’ll come back to this, or wait. . .maybe the best thing to say is I’d like Brant Daugherty (Pretty Little Liars) to play Hutchinson McQueen in Double Negative.
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
I steer clear of vampires unless they’re classical or super sexy.
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?
The WWI era always fascinates me. That could be because it was such a huge shift in the way the world connected. And it could also be because I love the the clothes. Very glam.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
Learn how to market. Pure an Simple.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
A Dragon, of course. Not a European one with nasty habits, but a Chinese one that has been man’s second best friend in the Eastern world for centuries. I’m a huge Chinese Dragon fan. My next middle grade book’s titled Sign of the Green Dragon. How could I not hug a dragon?
Where do you write best?
I have no idea. I write where I am. Editing’s a whole different matter. That happens in my office at my desk with concentration.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
Laurence Yep’s Dragon Gate. You see, I said I was a huge Dragon fan, so you should not be surprised. But Yep is a brilliant storyteller and I read all his books.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I only write in two categories: YA and MG. I haven’t thought about other fiction categories. That’s a lie, BTW. I have thought about it, and actually, since I’m narcing on myself, I have written in other categories. I just haven’t put any of that out there. Not yet.
Where can fans find you online?
My website is http://cleemckenziebooks.com
I’m on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2809083.C_Lee_McKenzie