Friday, June 22, 2012

AUTHOR M K McCLINTOCK SHARES THE WEST


Please help me welcome MK McClintock to the blog. MK is an entrepreneur, baker, photographer (you can see evidence of that in the post below), tour host, reviewer, and writer. She was born on the West Coast, but like me, after less than eight years left with her family. I came back to Texas, but MK went to the Rocky Mountains. After more adventures around the country, business college and culinary school, MK found a place to call home in Montana. And what a place she found! She proves it with gorgeous photos of her home state. Over the years MK McClintock traveled the country and visited magnificent Scotland, another thing we have in common. She dreams of a time when life was simpler, the land rougher and the journey more rewarding. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, MK will always call Montana home.


Here's some great new! MK has generously offered to give away a copy of GALLAGHER'S PRIDE to two lucky commenters today. So, when you comment, please remember to leave your email address. Now, here's MK's interview:


MK McClintock, Author


Caroline: Please tell us about your life growing up.

MK: I grew up near the beach in southern California, but we spent a lot of time vacationing in the mountains, and I wasn’t that old when we left for the Rocky Mountains where my true appreciation for this life began. I’m the middle of five children (which meant referee growing up). I was (and still am) definitely a bookworm, but I do spend a considerably amount of time outside hiking, walking, swimming, snowshoeing – I love the outdoors.

Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

MK: Kathleen Woodiwiss and Edward Rutherford are my favorite authors. I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to genres, but I tend to reach for the historical romances, westerns, or a good thriller.

Caroline: I also love those, but also like cozy mysteries and contemporary romantic suspense. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

MK: I love to spend time in the kitchen. If I’m too wound up and need to let it all go, I usually go for a walk, but then I spend a couple of hours just baking and listening to Celtic music. I also like to knit or just read a no-thinking-required book.

Caroline: Love those no-thinking-required books. To me, they are a chance to unwind and recharge. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

Eagle in Montana tree

MK: "Happy the man, and happy he alone, he who can call today his own; he who, secure within, can say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today." - John Dryden

Caroline: What a great quote. How long have you been writing?

MK: I’ve been writing in one form or another since I was very young. I still have all the stories I made up or wrote with friends during out little story club. It’s always been there.

Caroline: Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

MK: It depends on my mood and the type of scene I’m writing. Generally I prefer writing in my office at the PC, but once in a while I need to sit by a cozy fire or look out over the lake for extra inspiration, and in those cases I use my laptop. I want complete quiet when I’m writing—I’m easily distracted. Again though, if the mood strikes or I’m writing a certain scene, I turn on classical or Celtic music—something that works with the story.

Montana's Jewel Basin - Is it any
wonder MK loves it here?

Caroline: I love writing to classical music. Are you a plotter or a panzer?

MK: Both! I plot out the initial story with an outline, but then I follow it where it wants me to go.

Caroline: That makes you a Plotzer. I am also, but I have to have that outline for starters. Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

MK: Certainly there’s a bit of history involved and some of the events may have taken place, but mostly it’s just imagination. I write how I believe it would have been and also how I like to think it would have been.

Caroline: Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?

MK: I’ve learned not to set a daily goal—I just have far too much going on each day. Basically I give myself a certain block of time and whatever I get done, I get done. If I happen to miss a day, I don’t beat myself up over it. Writing has to be fun or I wouldn’t do it.

Caroline: That’s a mentally healthy outlook. We need goals, but if we’re too rigid we stifle creativity IMO. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

MK: An escape from the modern world, even if only for a short time.
Montana view near MK

Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?

MK: Just to keep writing. I have a lot of books planned—enough to keep me busy for the next 10-15 years. Whatever good happens with it, I’ll be thrilled.

Caroline: Me, too. Although I think I’ll have to live to 200 to produce all the books in my head. ☺ Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

MK: The second book of the Montana Gallagher series, GALLAGHER’S HOPE, will be released on August 1st. I’m giving myself a two-week break and then I’ll be back to writing the third book in the series.

I’m also doing research for two other books that I hope to release soon after the Gallagher series is complete.

Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

MK: Get published! If you’re patient, then it doesn’t hurt to wait, but don’t wait forever to see your dreams become reality. And don’t give up—ever.

Caroline: A fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.

MK: I really like corn on the cob, but won’t touch it off the cob.

Caroline: Is your book a series? If so, how long? Family saga, other?

MK: It is! The Montana Gallagher Series and I have four books total planned. The series does all involve one family, but you get some fun characters added into the mix.

Caroline: I love a series! Can you give readers a blurb about your book?

MK: Here’s the blurb for GALLAGHER'S PRIDE:

She was on a quest for discovery.
He was on a quest for revenge.
Together they would discover a second chance.

Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn't know existed. Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man who destroyed her family.

As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than enough to occupy his thoughts and time-he didn't need the complication of Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn't need the trouble that came with her. Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life than revenge.




Caroline: What a beautiful and enticing cover. How about an excerpt:

MK: Here's Excerpt #1

Montana Territory-1879
He wasn’t about to let the grievance go unanswered. His parents had found thirty years of peaceful living in this beautiful and rugged land. They had traveled to the northern territories to escape the sweltering madness of Texas and had indeed found peace. Even when the land became the Territory of Montana more than ten years ago, they had still lived in peace with the other settlers that had come to mine and graze cattle. In all that time they had only one encounter with the Indians and that without loss of life. Since the army was defeated by some of the tribes about ten years back, the Indians were content to keep peace. So long as the settlers stayed to their land and left the natives to theirs.

Peace for the Gallagher’s had ended with Nathan Hunter.

The bastard had purchased land only a few miles from their extensive borders. The small stretch of grass between the two spreads belonged to a belligerent old swindler, Dwight Dickens, who refused to work the valuable land. When the fool realized that there was more than one interested party, he let the bidding war begin. It was little more than fifteen acres, but the prize of that land was the water. Water and grass were the greatest currencies out west, without which a rancher may as well pack up and leave. Control of that stretch meant control of the stream coming down from the mountains. The snowfall each year assured that the water would flow continuously through till the next winter and keep their ponds full.

The Gallagher family won the bidding war, but only once they agreed that old man Dickens could keep his small homestead on the land. A small sacrifice for the water rights.

One week later, Nathan Hunter had his men stretch barbed wire along the new boundary line. The Gallagher’s hated wire. When they had first come to Montana Territory, there was little more than a few small ranches in the area they chose to settle, a day’s ride north of Bozeman. Not many settlers lasted past their first winter in the harsh climate, but the Gallaghers had found home and soon became some of the most respected ranching families in the territory. Known for their fairness in business and hard work, they had made a solid name for themselves. Jacob Gallagher built a legacy on that wild land and his children were damned if they’d let one man destroy it.

MK And here's Excerpt #2
Are you out of your mind?” The words tumbled from her mouth before she could stop them, but he had gone and truly shocked her.

“No actually I’m not. It’s your safety I’m thinking of,” replied Ethan, more to himself than her. He loosened the hold on her arm.

Brenna let out an exasperated sigh, something her mother had always tried to discourage, and said, “I do appreciate your kindness, Mr. Gallagher . . .”

Ethan.”

“. . . Ethan, but I’m certainly not the type of woman to just go home with two men whether I know them or not. It would be highly inappropriate, not to mention stupid.”

“And you’re not stupid.”

“Not as far as I can tell,” Brenna said with fire in her eyes.

Caroline: Well, you’ve certainly hooked me and I’m eager to purchase the book! Where can other readers and I find your books?

MK: The buy links are:
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Gallaghers-Pride-First-Gallagher-Novels/dp/1456346814/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327247860&sr=8-1

Amazon Kindle Link: http://www.amazon.com/Gallaghers-Pride-Gallagher-Series-ebook/dp/B006ZOSVFG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1327248043&sr=8-2

Caroline: Another thing we have in common, MK, is that your heroine's surname is Cameron, and my heroine for my cozy mystery, DIGGING FOR DEATH, is Heather Cameron. My hero for THE TEXAN'S IRISH BRIDE is Dallas McClintock. Obviously, we both come from Scots ancestry and love Scotland. How can readers learn more about you?

MK: Here are some links:

MK McClintock Website: http://www.mkmcclintock.com

Official Blog: http://mkmcclintock.blogspot.com 

Goodreads Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5438837.M_K_McClintock 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/mkmcclintock

Another shot of the Jewel Basin - I'm ready to pack
my bags and head there, how about you?


Caroline: Your blog and website are just beautiful. Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

MK: I fell in love with the Gallagher family from their first words. The characters are flawed, likeable and yes, sometimes infuriating, but they’re real and true to themselves. This is more than just a series, it’s a western saga and so some questions won’t be answered in every book – you may have to wait until the end. The series follows the Gallagher’s romance, hope and revenge over the course of several books—each one offering something new.

It should also be understood that I write fiction, not history. I do my best to stay true to the time in which the books are set, but I do take some leeway as a fiction author. I accept full responsibility for any major historical discrepancies. I hope you enjoy the story and the Gallagher family as much I do.

Caroline: A good point, MK. I also try to stay true to the time period, but we write fiction. If we have to make a hill taller or invent a town, we’re allowed to do so. Thanks for sharing with us today. I’m off to purchase your book now....

Readers, remember MK's giveaway and leave your email with your comment!

Thanks for stopping by!


7 comments:

MK said...

I had so much fun with this interview--thank you for having me with you and your readers today Caroline!

Yes, I have Scots ancestry and absolutely love it there!

P.L. Parker said...

Great interview, loved the excerpts and beautiful book cover! Congratulations on the release and many sales.

Caroline Clemmons said...

MK, welcome to the blog. I love those photos. My husband and I have just rekindled our interest in photography. He lost most of his hearing from a virus, so taking photos is something he can do without hearing. Thanks for sharin with us today.

Krista Kedrick said...

Great interview MK! You capture beauty wherever you go, what a place to live :)

Marianne said...

Caroline...i always think that when you loose your sight, you loose so much, more than if you loose your hearing. The pictures and interview are great. Thanks for sharing, and for the chance to win!

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

MK said...

P.L.- Thank you! I have a lot of fun creating the covers.

Caroline - Taking photographs is so relaxing. I'm glad you and your husband enjoy it.

Krista - Thank you! You're such a sweetheart.

Marianne - Thank you for coming by and I hope you enjoy the book!

MK said...

Ladies - your giveaway copies of Gallagher's Pride will be delivered today! Thank you for commenting and Happy Reading!