What was your initial inspiration for this story?
I’ve been a fan of David Soul from the time I was a teen. A number of years ago I was searching through online movie databases when I happened upon a photo of him in a Union officer’s uniform (from the movie Manions of America). That was the first spark of inspiration in creating WEATHERING ROCK.
I like American history, particulary the Civil War period, so I decided to create a story revolving around a flawed but noble character. His name came almost immediately--Colonel Caleb DeCardian. Naturally, I had to complicate matters by making him a werewolf who time travels to the present. Arianna Hart, my heroine, is the woman he falls for and who challenges his 19th century mindset!
Tell us about your favorite scene in the book, without giving too much away of course.
My heroine‘s BFF holds a costume party where all of the major characters in the book converge. I loved describing the setting and the costumes. To liven things up, there’s a romantic encounter, a fistfight, a shocking discovery and a supernatural shower of ball lightning. Definitely a lot going on at that party, LOL.
What was the hardest part of the book to write, again without giving too much away?
The time travel loop. It has multiple facets to it, and took a lot of headache-inducing logic to figure out how everything factored together. I went through a lot of Tylenol while working out the intricacies. :D
How long have you been writing and how did you get your start in publishing?
I wrote my first story when I was six, my first novel when I was fifteen. It wasn’t until 2012 that I decided to get serious and finally submit something. I hadn’t planned on jumping in so early in the year, but fate intervened and made the decision for me. I heard Piper Denna, editor for Lyrical Press was taking pitches on the Word Wranglers blog, so I took a chance. I was fortunate to have WEATHERING ROCK accepted the first time out, though I had to trim the size by 15,000 words.
Tell us a little about your writing process. Are you a pantser or a plotter, and if you’re a plotter what method works best for you?
Definitely a panster, though I always make a few notes before I start a new project. It gives me a framework on which to build. I always develop characters first, and then decide on plot. The story generally develops as I write
What draws you to your genre?
That’s a tough one because I like multiple genres and write in multiple genres although I’ve only published romance to date. The most important aspect in any genre for me is the characters. It doesn’t matter if I’m writing/reading romance, mysteries, YA, thrillers, or something else entirely. As long as I care for the characters, I’ll happily camp out in the genre.
Do you need silence while you write or do you listen to music? If you listen to music, what were you listening to while writing this book?
I generally prefer silence, but I do listen to music occasionally. When I do, it’s always instrumental, usually something in the new age genre. Lyrics distract me. When I’m done with a project, I sometimes make a mix of music I feel relates to the characters and story.
Do you put much of yourself into your characters? When you do, does that make it easier or harder to write them?
There is a small portion of me that funnels through in certain characters—personality quirks, likes and dislikes--but, for the most part, I try to distant myself from my characters. By the same token, I never write a character that resembles anyone I know. I’m strangely freaky about that.
What’s the most interesting thing you ever learned while doing research for a book, or the most fun you ever had with research?
I think that has yet to come. I’m currently in beginning stages of planning a mystery/romance revolving around the legend of the Mothman, a creature that was seen by numerous witnesses in the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the mid-1960s. Because I want a good grasp of the history and setting when I start writing, I’m hoping to visit the town in the near future. It’s the first time I’ve planned a trip around a research project for a book and I’m looking forward to it.
Tell us a little about your non-writing life. Do you have a day job, hobbies, pets that demand your slavish attention?
I’m married to my high school sweetheart and work full-time. I’ve spent 20+ years in the real estate industry, hold a PA real estate license, and specialize in marketing and administration. I lost my cat, Onyx, last year so am presently without a pet, but am a lifelong friend of felines. My husband and I hope to do some travelling over the next several years, then settle down with a cat again in the future.
Please share with us a favorite guilty pleasure that helps you unwind after a long day of writing/revising/editing, whether it’s a decadent food or a strong drink or a cheesy TV show.
The thing I love to do best is read each night before falling asleep. It really helps me unwind. I’m not much of a TV watcher, though I love Sherlock, Merlin and, most especially, Once Upon a Time. I rarely watch any of the shows when they’re on, but make sure I DVR what I can.
Any projects on the horizon for readers to look for?
I have a new Lyrical Press release coming in August called TWELFTH SUN. It’s an older woman/younger man romance/mystery that revolves around a treasure hunt for a marine artifact. I love the characters, especially my hero, Dr. Elijah Cross, a twenty-five year old marine archeologist who falls for Reagan Cassidy, my thirty-five year old heroine. She, however, is not immediately smitten, LOL.
I’m also putting the finishing touches on a romance/mystery called ECLIPSE LAKE which should be ready for submission before the end of the month. It involves two bitterly estranged brothers, a free-spirited photojournalist, and a fifteen-year-old unsolved murder that embroils them all.
I truly appreciate the opportunity to visit your blog, Sonya. Thanks so much for having me today and for letting me ramble about writing and WEATHERING ROCK. I loved being here!
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?
About the author:
Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back. Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars. She snagged the tail of a comet, hitched a ride, and discovered her writer’s Muse on the journey.
Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with conflict, romance and elements of mystery. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.