I recently got to interview a great author and thought I'd be nice and share it with you all. :P I would like everyone to give a warm welcome to C. Lee McKenzie, author of the YA book Sliding on the Edge.
The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
C. Lee McKenzie: I'm a California girl who likes to travel and come back to my home state. I've lived for short periods of time in other parts of the world like New York, Hong Kong, San Diego, Laos, L.A. and Gilroy. Yep! Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world. Hang your steak out the window and it's seasoned for the barbecue. So you can see I've bounced around a bit. I finally settled into a mountain setting near the town of Los Gatos and I think it is my permanent place. I love yoga. I love hiking. I love to grow my own vegetables because they taste like vegetables and I know exactly how far they traveled to reach my kitchen. (Amen! Ain't that the truth.) I've always written something: lots of nonfiction, short stories for kids and adults, but Sliding on the Edge is my first ever novel.
TBP: Can you give us a brief summary of your book.
CLM: Abandoned by her mother, sixteen-year-old Shawna Stone cuts herself to control at least one thing in her life--emotional pain. She's thrown together with Kay, a grandmother she didn't even know existed. Each have secrets that stir mutual distrust until saving a doomed horse unites them and gives each a reason to live.
TBP: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
CLM: Learning new stuff. Every time I start to write something I find out how much I don't know about the world I'm trying to create and I have to go exploring. For Sliding on the Edge, I had to talk to a lot of horse people. Most people love to share what they know, so then I also make new friends and that's a wonderful part of being a writer.
TBP: What or who inspired you to write Sliding on the Edge?
CLM: I read an article in my local paper about self-abuse. The article told about a Cornell-Princeton study that determined from a survey of almost 3,000 Ivy League students that 1 of 5 were self-abusers. That really got my attention and it continued to bother me enough that I finally wrote about it.
TBP: Would you ever consider having Sliding on the Edge made into a movie? Hallmark of Lifetime, perhaps?
CLM: Interesting question. Some people who have read the book remarked on how they'd love to see a movie version. I guess that would be okay. It would certainly be something I never thought of while writing the book.
TBP: Do you have a favorite line or scene from Sliding on the Edge?
CLM: That's hard to answer. I love the scenes between Shawna and Magic, the horse, but maybe the beginning is what I like the most. It starts with what I first thought when I read that article about self-abuse. "Something's wrong." That's the way I feel when I read about kids who cut themselves so they can have control over something in their lives or so they can 'feel' something other than 'nothing'.
TBP: Can you tell us if there is something else you are currently working on?
CLM: I've finished a second novel titled Princess of Las Pulgas. It's out to my readers now, so I'll probably have some tweeking to do, but I hope to have it ready by the end of the year. (Oh goodie!)
TBP: Considering Sliding on the Edge's crossover appeal, would you ever consider writing novels for adults?
CLM: While the language in my book is simple, a lot of adult readers seem to respond to the story. In fact, mostly adult males like it and I was surprised. I mean the story is centered around two women, so I'm wondering if I've already written an adult book and just didn't know it. [Insert laugh here.] But to directly answer your question, yes. I'd consider writing for adults. It would certainly allow me more flexibility with language and I love to play with words.
TBP: It today was your last day, how would you spend it and why?
CLM: I'd go on a long hike. There's nothing more beautiful to me than a trail with a creek and lots of trees. Guess I'd pack a lunch and take a blanket and just keep on going until I saw "The End." (Gotta admit, I love that answer.)
TBP: Anything you'd like to add before you go?
CLM: I've enjoyed this journey from idea to book and I've enjoyed the people I've met along the way, people I would have never met if I hadn't glued my butt in the chair and written the story. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything, but of course, I would have done a lot of things differently. I've learned so much and like I said, that's what I love most in this business. Thanks for the interview. Your questions woke up my brain this morning. They were excellent.
And thank you C. Lee McKenzie. This interview wouldn't be as great as it is without your very well though out answers, which I greatly appreciate and loved reading. I'm sure my readers do as well. Plus I was able to get a great question idea from one of your answers. :D
Everyone stay tuned to my blog because on Sunday, there will be a guest post from C. Lee McKenzie that you won't want to miss.