Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday's Author Spotlight: Virginia McClain



Today I’m excited to have author Virginia McClain on the Sunday’s Author Spotlight. Virginia writes Fantasy and Science Fiction novels and already has two books published. Read more about Virginia’s books and how a day in her life looks like.

About 'Blade's Edge':


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24547634-blade-s-edge
The Kisōshi, elite warriors with elemental powers, have served as the rulers and protectors of the people of Gensokai for more than a thousand years. Though it is believed throughout Gensokai that there is no such thing as a female Kisōshi, the Rōjū ruling council goes to great lengths to ensure that no one dares ask why.

Even as young girls, Mishi and Taka know that they risk severe punishment - or worse - if anyone were to discover their powers. This shared secret forms a deep bond between them until, taken from their orphanage home and separated, the two girls must learn to survive in a world where their very existence is a crime. Yet when the girls learn the dark secret of the Rōjū council, they discover that much more than their own survival is at stake.


About 'Rain on a Summer's Afternoon':


https://www.createspace.com/4884586‘Rain on a Summer’s Afternoon’ is a collection of short stories that are sometimes dark, sometimes humorous, and always imaginative. This collection includes 'Off Belay', previously published in The First Line magazine, as well as five new stories.

The stories in this collection include: 

Pretty Chains Bound from birth to a life of servitude in the sultan's palace, Asha's only moment of freedom was a brief one bought and paid for by her mother's life. Yet once the sultan pushes her past the breaking point, Asha will find there is more to her past than anyone suspects. 

The Flaming Oak Alys loves the Flaming Oak, even though the other villagers refuse to go near it. But Gran, who Alys trusts more than anyone, says that it's safe to play with the ancient tree most days. Most days... 

The Wolf Mage Argen is a rare animal mage who uses her skills to mediate between the worlds of nature and man. But her skills are challenged when she meets a wolf unlike any she has ever seen before. 

A Rose by Any Other Name ... Except, Perhaps, Agnes Agnes hates her name. She just doesn't own enough cats or afghans to suit it. Ahnye, on the other hand, has a perfect name and enough assault rifles and C4 to go with it. Yet to get this next job Agnes and Ahnye will have to learn to work as one. 

Irony Lisa knows all about irony; she explains the concept to college students every day as an English professor. But her new relationship with a sexy writer beau is about to show Lisa that reality can be more ironic than fiction. 

Off Belay A woman abandoned by her partner during a climbing trip must find a way to survive and make it back to civilization after a deadly avalanche buries her.

This book is available through Amazon Kindle, Amazon.com and Createspace

A Day In The Life of a Writer:


A day in the life of a writer

Well, alright, a day in the life of this writer, because I honestly cannot speak for how anyone else’s days go. That said, it has come to my attention that how people tend to assume my days go and how they actually go, are two very distinct things. So, let’s compare them, shall we?

On the left: how people expect my days to go, and on the right: reality.*
*Note: some items on either side may have been exaggerated or fictionalized for humor’s sake.

What the world thinks my day looks like:

7:00am The writer awakes bright eyed and refreshed after a revivifying eight hours of sleep, ready to dive into her latest creative masterpiece.

7:30am The writer enjoys a small but healthy repast of her favorite breakfast items in order to fuel the brain for her upcoming creative endeavors.

8:30am The writer goes for a pleasant stroll in a nearby park in order to get the blood flowing and the brain ready to write perfect prose at a sun speckled and spotless writing desk.

9:30am The writer seats herself in her idyllic den of creative genius where nary a piece of clutter remains to distract her, and, after some thoughtful note scribbling and consultation of her copious color coded index cards, begins to compose her masterwork.

10:30am The writer breaks for a brief respite of tea or coffee and a good book before returning to her own creative endeavors.

12:30pm 12:30pm The writer breaks for a nutritious midday meal, consisting of all the choicest health foods as prepared for her by her loyal and well groomed man-servant Cedrick.

1:30pm The writer adjourns to her favorite scenic café and, once settled in with her high end cappuccino and convenient power outlet, continues an uninterrupted flow of words, imagery, and glorious plot twists for the next four hours.

3:30pm The writer pauses briefly in her work to answer the polite questions of an interested café goer who marvels at how luxurious her life must be. The writer feigns modesty and pretends that her latest jaunt to Europe in order to research her latest murder mystery was mostly business and very little romantic strolling with her partner by the Seine.

5:30pm The writer wraps up her beautiful creative output and heads home in order to prepare a healthy and well planned meal for herself and her partner as it is her turn on the clearly marked, color coded, meal calendar.

6:30pm The writer and her partner enjoy their delicious meal and spend most of their time at the table staring deeply into each other’s eyes and sharing their inner most thoughts and feelings. After all, that’s what creative types do with each other.

7:30pm The writer lounges with an aromatic cup of tea and a good book, cuddled gently into her partner’s side as her partner practices music quietly with an instrument small enough to allow this idyllic pose.

8:30pm The writer and her partner pause in their entertainment activities in order to share cocktails and discourse about the latest current events.

10:30pm The writer and her partner retire to their bed and spend the next hour chatting amiably about their plans for the following day, week and even farther afield. Whether or not they share more intimacy is entirely none of your business, but of course you imagine they do. The writer then proceeds to sleep peacefully through ’til morning.

Rinse and repeat





What my day actually looks like:

9:00am I roll groggily from bed and slump downstairs to take the dog out to pee whilst still bleary eyed and in my pajamas. I wear a hoodie in the desperate hope that the neighbors won't see me while my hair still looks like it's frantically hailing a cab in five different directions at once.

10:30am After dutifully replying to e-mails and social media for over an hour, I finally remember to make my first cup of coffee, and then try to get some graphic design and marketing work done. Perhaps a blog post.

11:00am Realizing that I’m getting bogged down in the internet I decide to drop everything and go for a run. In order to cool down afterwards, I take my dog for a walk.

1:30pm After showering and brushing burrs off the dog I finally remember to eat something for the first time all day, and manage to fish some leftovers out of the fridge, often neglecting to even heat them up before shoveling them into my mouth. And now, after my daily dose of exercise and some food, I feel like I can settle in for some writing.

3:00pm But, inevitably, I’m distracted by the internet. Did you know that there are walking molds? Or that dark matter is everywhere? Or that someone bothered to line up dance segments from 100 movies that more or less synch with the song Uptown Funk? Thank you, internet. (*Note: A lot of this starts as well intentioned research for my books, but it is a slippery slope. No, scratch that; it’s a vaseline covered slip-n-slide on a freaking ski-run.)

3:30pm Fed up with the eternal distraction of the internet, I pack up my laptop and a blanket, put the dog on her leash and head to my favorite park in order to disconnect and finally get some writing done.

4:00pm I arrive at my favorite work spot, lay out my blanket, settle in with my laptop and am promptly eaten by a hundred half-crazed mosquitoes clamoring for every available inch of skin and humming a disturbing tune with the catchy refrain of “Blood, blood, human blood!”

4:30pm I return to my apartment, more than slightly itchy, having written nothing, but at least with the bonus of having successfully walked the dog a second time. (And when I say ‘successfully’ here, I mean she pooped.)

5:00pm I turn off wifi on my laptop, play pandora through my phone, and finally get down to writing. Yay!

7:00pm My husband returns from work and we spend a few minutes catching up on each other’s days, flip a coin to see who is making dinner, and then proceed to either waste time on Facebook or make dinner depending on how the coin toss went.

9:00pm I return to putting words on paper. (Of course this is figurative paper as I write almost entirely on my laptop, but hey, sometimes I bust out the old fashioned pen and notebook, so you know… It’s not entirely inaccurate.)

2:00am After going back and forth between highly productive bouts of writing and watching stupid cat videos on the internet I have finally managed to meet or exceed my daily word count goals. I celebrate by collapsing into bed next to my hubby who has been asleep for the past four hours.

Rinse and repeat.


About The Author:


Virginia thinks dangling from the tops of hundred foot cliffs is a good time. She also enjoys hauling a fifty pound backpack all over the Grand Canyon and sleeping under the stars. Sometimes she likes running for miles through the desert, mountains, or wooded flatlands, and she always loves getting lost in new places where she may or may not speak the language. 

From surviving earthquakes in Japan, to putting out a small forest fire in Montana, Virginia has been collecting stories from a very young age. She works hard to make her fiction as adventurous as her life and her life as adventurous as her fiction. Both take a lot of imagination. 
She recently moved to Winnipeg with her husband and their dog.

For more information about Virginia McClain please visit her website, Facebook, Twitter (@gwendamned) or (@BladesEdgeBook), Pinterest and Goodreads.

2 comments:

  1. I don't think I've heard of this author before. Blade's Edge sounds interesting with the elemental power warriors. I like the short story collections with multiple different authors, those are great to encounter new authors, but I haven't read a lot of short story colelctions by the same author and likely only will pick those up if I am a fan of the author their work, like with led Astray by Kelley Armstrong.

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    Replies
    1. I get what you're saying. I don't even think there are a lot of short story collections from one author out there.. but I do like the sounds of this one. You can get a feel for the author's writing style without having to commit to an entire book.
      Thanks for stopping by ;)

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