Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Interview with Rachel McClellan plus a Contest

I’d like to welcome Rachel McClellan to the blog, she’s the author of upcoming YA book, Fractured Light which is due for release on the 7th February 2012, and she’s agreed to come by for an interview.

Julie-Anne: What made you decide to write a YA book?

Rachel: A teenager’s life is a magical thing. Every event is heightened by emotions making for great tension and a lot of fun. I’ve worked with teenagers for years so it felt natural to write a story geared towards them.

JA: You had a big Gaelic background in your book, do you have any Celt in your own heritage?

R: Actually, I do. My grandmother hails from Norway, while the other side of my family came from Ireland. A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland and was blown away by the beauty and ambiance of the landscape. I can honestly say that there was something about Ireland that focused me as a writer.

JA: Where did you get the idea of using Light as a power?

R: I’ve always heard of people who are able to see others auras, a light/energy surrounding a person. I thought it would be cool to take this light and energy and turn it into a real power someone could use.

JA: I’m hoping there will be a 2nd book, will we get more of May in there?

R: There will be a book two, FRACTURED TRUTH, tentatively set for release in February 2013. I’m super excited about it because it’s set at an all girls school where everyone has to be fair, nice, non-competitive, etc. On top of dealing with what happened to her at the end of FRACTURED LIGHT, Llona’s going to have some serious issues with Lucent Academy’s rules.
As for May, she’s right there with Llona. BFF’s forever! And in book two May will be developing her own power as a Fury. Fire. Is. Cool. Together, with a few more interesting friends, they’ll uncover a huge plot, that, unless they stop it, will destroy the Aura’s.
(*Happy Dance*) ~ JA

JA: What is your writing style? Do you plan and outline or do you just go for it?

R: Before I begin any story, I always know the ending. I won’t even start typing unless I know how it’s all going to end. But once I know this, I just go for it. I do check my word length every so often to make sure I’m where I need to be and sometimes I’ll loosely outline a few chapters ahead.

JA: I know some authors will make up a playlist before writing a book, are you one of them?

R: Freak, yes, I love music. I have a playlist I listened to all the time when writing Fractured Light. One of these days, I’ll put it up on my blog because it fits the book perfectly.
(I always like seeing an author's playlist) ~ JA

JA: For any aspiring authors out there, what’s your advice on getting published?

R: When people find out I’m published, our conversation goes like this:
“I love to write, too,” they say.
“Really? What do you write?” I say.
“Pretty much everything. I’ve got a couple of short stories and a novel I’ve been working on for awhile. I’d love to get them published.”
“Do you belong to any writing groups?”
“Have you taken any writing classes?”
“Have you read any books on writing?”
“No.” Pause. “Do I have to do any of those things to be published?”
An aspiring author must learn all there is to writing and publishing a book. It’s a long, and sometimes lonely, road. It can be discouraging, but once writing gets into your soul, it becomes just as important as breathing.

JA: Who are some of your favourite authors?

R: There are so many, but I really enjoy Dean Koontz, Suzanne Collins, Joshua Gaylord, Ayn Rand, C.S. Lewis, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Shelley, James Dashner, and on and on.

JA: Did any particular book or author inspire you to start writing?

R: There’s not a particular book that made me want to start writing, but there are books I’ve studied to help me become a better author. I studied Odd Thomas and The Reapers are the Angels for character development, I studied The Maze Runner and Hunger Games for pacing and tension, and I studied Jekyll and Hyde and The Book Thief for the way they used words to describe feelings, events, objects, etc.
If you have time to read while you’re writing, what are some of your favourite series out just now? The Maze Runner series is a really good one. Of course Hunger Games. I enjoyed the first few books of the Uglies series. And if you’re in it for the long haul, The Outlander Series is also good.
(I've only recently discovered The Hunger Games myself, they're great!) ~ JA

Thanks so much for stopping by and any readers out there, I highly recommend Fractured Light when it comes out.

And now ........... the contest!

The prize is a copy of Fractured Light, when it's released, and a special gift from Rachel herself which I am not going to reveal, but I will tell you it's Fractured Light connected. To win this great prize, just answer the question below, which Rachel has kindly provided for me:

I love Tim Burton movies. Without looking it up (honor code people), how many Tim Burton films can you name?

As Rachel says, please follow the honour code and don't use Google. The winner will NOT be chosen by numbers alone. Just comment below with your answers and remember to leave your e-mail address so I can contact the winner.

Last date to enter is: 7th December


  1. I am thinking around 17 films. I may be way off, but that is my guess...
    Can't wait for Rachel's book in February.

  2. Oh I can do almost all of his not R ones...I think...

    The Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Batman Returns, Alice in Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and I know more but I can't remember them off the top of my head. (the one about the director that was his first collaboration with Johnny Depp, and the short film about the little boy. It's title is the boy's name that I can't remember.) And I know he just signed to a new movie, but I can't remember that one either.

  3. I love Tim Burton's style! This makes me excited to read Rachel's book! Sounds interesting!! I am guessing Burton has about 18 or 19 movies. All of the ones listed above (Thanks Tracy) (actually knew them already):) plus, Sweeney Todd, Big Fish, Charlie and the Choc Factory, Sleepy Hollow, Pee Wee Herman (crazy that I know that), Coraline, and an upcoming movie based on a 70's soap opera (starring Johnny Depp involving vampires). My favorites are the Batmans and Nightmare before Xmas... Great interview and contest!!! If I don't win, I would LOVE to know what this secret gift from the book is all about! And will there be more chances to win this secret surprise gift? I am fascinated! Love it! :)

  4. Tim Burton makes great, fun, original movies. I can name a few, Sweeney Todd, Edward scissor hands, my favorite the nightmare before Christmas, Charlie and the chocolate factory (the new version) and I do believe Beetlejuice. That is about all I know:)

  5. I've not got many, these are the ones I'm fairly sure are his:
    The Corpse Bride
    Nightmare Before Christmas
    Sweeney Todd
    Mars Attacks
    Edward Scissorhands
    Batman Forever
    Ed Wood

  6. Aw, Tim Burton♥ such an inspiring soul...

    Can't remember the name, but he did something for Shelley Duvall's creepy TV series for kids
    PeeWee's big Adventure
    Batman Returns
    Edward Scissorhands ♥♥♥
    Big Fish
    Mars Attacks!
    Nightmare Before Xmas♥♥♥♥♥
    Sweeney Todd
    Ed Wood
    Corpse Bride
    Charlie & Chocolate Factory
    Alice (is it in wonderland?? not sure)

    And the best part - did you guys know he's directing Miss Peregrine Home for Peculiar Children? *dies*

    I love him!!

    Oh, and congrats on the (many) releases Rachel:)

    pretty pretty productions (a) yahoo dot ca

  7. I think everyone above has them covered, but I will say my favorites are the ones w/Johnny Depp. I recently introduced my 120year old daughter to Edward Scissorhands. What an awesome thing to share.

    JA - thanks for the great interview and introducting us to a new author. I can't wait for FL to release.

  8. Uh....that was supposed to say 12-year old, not 120 year old. LOL

  9. Good post, nice interview! Thanks for sharing, it seems every author could learn a thing or 2 reading it! Well, it seems there are a lot of people who could do better than me in the contest, I've seen all those movies they mentioned but didn't know that all of them was Tim Burton's... ;)
    Yet, I guess a suggestion of mine would be welcome too by many authors? Do you Using sites like, cafepress. com, fiverr? They could be a good way to promote your works and to help "remove" stupidity in the streets like headlines on t-shirts, fridge-magnets, cups, etc: My Boyfriend kisses Better Than Yours, FBI - female body inspector, etc. Not everything we see and think of should be about sex, right? It would be much better if there were more nice pictures of mythical creatures, good thoughts, poems from fantasy genre, etc? I'm allanbard there, I use some of my illustrations, thoughts, poems from my books (like: One can fight money only with money, Even in the hottest fire there's a bit of water, All the problems in the world lead to one - narrow-minded people, or
    Let's watch the moon, let's meet the sun!
    Let's hear soon the way the Deed was done!
    Let's listen to the music the shiny crystals played,
    let's welcome crowds of creatures good and great...
    etc). Hope this could help many authors for promotion too? Best wishes! Keep the good work going! Let the wonderful noise of the sea always sounds in your ears! (a greeting of the water dragons' hunters - my Tale Of The Rock Pieces).

  10. I don't watch a lot of movies so don't hold it against me. BUT Edward Scissorhands is one everyone must see...and love. Great interview. Good luck with Fractured Light, Rachel! It's sounds great.

  11. I just realised I forgot to put the deadline on here. It's up now, 7th December.

  12. A well done interview. It' always interesting to get into another writer's head...

  13. Lol, I can probably only name 4 Tim Burton shows cause I tend to forget movies. But I can always remember the books I read.:D

    1.Sweeney Todd 2.Alice in Wonderland 3.Nightmare before Christmas 4.Edward Scissorhand

    Haha, that was a great interview, and thanks for the giveaway!

    cypsays_hi at hotmail dot com

  14. I really your interview. I am looking forward to her book.
    I'm sure I'm missing a lot of Tim Burton movies, but the ones I have seen I have really enjoyed. Here are the ones I can think of:
    1. Beetle Juice
    2. Edward scissor hands
    3. Nightmare Before Christmas
    4. Corpse Bride
    5. Charlie & Chocolate Factory
    6. Alice in Wonderland

    jalanegardner at gmail dot com


    Thanks for all the entries, I will announce the winner once they've been informed.