Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Promotional Interview with Beverly Stowe McClure

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

I’m a native Texan, now living in the country about twenty miles from where I was born. My writing career is a surprise to me as well as it would be to most of my former teachers, if they knew. When I was a child, I hated to read. School book reports were a nightmare. Even though my eighth-grade teacher sent my poem “Stars” to a high school anthology, and it was published, I hated to write. Nevertheless, I attended Midwestern University, read a lot, and graduated with a teaching degree. I didn’t write until many years later when I decided children’s magazines were so neat and why couldn’t I write for them? So I did, mostly articles. And they were published. I was on my way.

When I’m not writing, I teach a women’s Sunday school class, play the piano, and read. I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and also of our local retired teacher’s association, where I’m chairman of the community volunteer services. My husband and I used to travel, mostly to see our sons and their families, one on the east coast, the other on the west. Lately, my husband’s health has been bad, so we’re staying close to home. For now.

What inspired you to write your first book?

On a visit to our son and his wife in Charleston, South Carolina, we took a ghost walk tour of the historic district. Listening to the guide’s tales of the ghosts that supposedly resided in many of the old houses was the beginning. My first book, LISTEN TO THE GHOST, came alive for me. (This does not count several attempts on earlier books that shall forever remain buried in the closet.)

How many books have you written?

I have two published books: LISTEN TO THE GHOST and SECRETS I HAVE KEPT, both young adult. Three more books are under contract: REBEL IN BLUE JEANS (now an e-book, soon to be in trade paperback), CAVES, CANNONS, AND CRINOLINES, and I LIVE IN A DOGHOUSE, my first middle grade book. I also have several manuscripts making the rounds.

How do you decide on their topic?

Different ways. LISTEN, I’ve already mentioned. I wrote SECRETS, which has to do with genetics and miracle drugs, because I read an interesting article in the newspaper about 1000-plus-year-old seeds that sprouted when planted and also magazine articles about plants being tested for use as vaccines for diseases. REBEL is about the effect of divorce on teens, and the animals in it are based on my animals. On a visit to Vicksburg, Mississippi, we toured the Civil War battleground, and when I learned the citizens had lived in caves during the siege of Vicksburg, CAVES, based on journals and diaries of women who were there, tells their story. My middle grade character introduced himself to me one night by telling me he lived in a doghouse. So I went on to ask him “Why?”

What works best to keep you focused and on track?

I get in my “sanctuary,” as I call my writing room, and just tune out everything else and write for a couple of hours every morning. I’m pretty much a routine person and write everyday, except Sundays. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing? I’d love to make money, but I write because I have to, money or not.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

I’ve done library signings, book store signings, and rented booths at local affairs, such as our annual Whoop-t-do homecoming and Parkfest. I’ve had one school visit and hope to do more. My books are available on my Web site, and I have Live Journal and MySpace blogs. What are some unique methods? I’m searching for something different.

Do you sell through a website?


My books in print are also available at and Barnes and Noble (soon).

Do you plan on writing additional books?

I’m working on two at the moment.

Interview Presented by -
Nikki Leigh - Author of Book Promo 101

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