Stevie Turner, Author
Interview with Indie Author Carole McKee
Carole McKee has been writing since 1996, beginning with a short story written as a tribute to her beloved dog after he passed away. She published her first novel “Perfect” in 2007, followed by the “Choices” series. She recently published four eBooks. Her genres include Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Contemporary Romance. Originally from Pittsburgh, Carole now resides in Clearwater, Florida. Many of her stories take place in Western Pennsylvania, a place she still loves. Prior to becoming a writer, she acquired a widely diversified work history and education. She now writes full time, and enjoys retirement life.
Carole’s books can be found by clicking the links below:
Blog page: http://www.author-carole-mckee.blogspot.com/
1. Tell us a bit about the book you are writing now.
Angel Face. It’s the fun, feel-good contemporary love story of two people from entirely different backgrounds. Deanna (dubbed Angel Face by Darren) grew up on a working farm about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh. She went to school to become a dog groomer and aspires to become a veterinarian one day. Darren grew up being honed to work for his father’s company I3RS--International Rescue, Recovery, and Return Systems--a company that takes contracts to go after missing or stolen items (or people) for profit. In other words, Mercenaries. Darren falls hard for her carefree attitude and her delightful fun-loving, and entertaining personality.
2. Is any of your work autobiographical?
Never. However, when I wrote “Maddie’s Garden” I based Maddie’s personality and behaviour on my own at age 26. What is ironic about that is that an agent ripped my character to shreds when she read it. I guessed she wouldn’t like me either, then.
3. Who is your favourite author?
I have eclectic reading tastes, so I have many favourites. Of those who are famous, I like Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, Anne Rice, just to name a few.
But lately, I read and review only Indie authors. There are some really wonderful writers who are virtually unknown, and they shouldn’t be. Of those who really stand out for me are Karl Wiggins, Linda Lee Williams, Marie Lavender, Lee Gimenez, and a newcomer, Jim Anders.
4. Do you think an Indie author should constantly tweet about their book? Do people actually read the tweets anyway?
No, I do not. That gets monotonous, boring, and it puts people off. Announcing a new book, announcing a book on sale, mentioning a good review--fine. I guess it would be okay to reference your books or book page once in awhile, but not all the time. Too much makes a writer come off sounding like a used car salesman.
5. Have you ever submitted any of your work to a literary agency, or are you happy self-publishing?
I have. Some actually responded back with positive comments, thanks, but no thanks. Others just ignored me. I actually enjoy the freedom of self-publishing though.
6. Do you ever regret uprooting and moving from Pennsylvania to Florida?
At times, yes. I don’t miss the cold weather and the snow, but there are other things I miss. Pittsburgh is a rare city. People are friendly and helpful there. I don’t find that in Florida. I miss the Burgh during football season mostly. I’m a major Steelers football fan. I don’t get to see many games here unless I go to a Steelers bar, which is near my home, and I’m not a fan of bars. They get expensive, and I don’t like cigarette smoke.
7. Where in the world will you be spending your holidays this year?
I will probably be spending my holidays in Florida. I have helped out serving dinners to the homeless in the past, and that still and always will appeal to me. I have very little family and since I’ve been away from home for such a long time, I sometimes feel disconnected to the family I have.
8. Before you retired, what did you do for a living?
I had several careers. For 20 years I was a keypunch operator, then I became a Nuclear Medicine Technologist after earning a degree in the field. I’ve worked in business administration in a supervisor capacity, and I was an administrative assistant in a Methadone Clinic. This was before I earned a BA in business Administration. I also worked as a school counsellor once I earned a Master’s in Behavioral Health Science--school counselling. That was my last position along with working as a customer service representative in the evenings for a financial services company.
9. Do you miss the workplace, or do you prefer retirement?
No. Hell no. No. I’m not fond of the small social security check I receive, but I love not working. I spend my days doing whatever I want. I love not having a schedule or a time frame to get things done. I worked for more than 50 years. That’s enough, don’t you think?
10. Apart from writing, what else do you like to do now that you have more time on your hands?
I read and review books. Then there is the beach. I try to stay away during the peak sun hours but in the evening it’s a nice place to go and just walk along the shore. Occasionally I do some yard work, but I really don’t have that much yard. When I retired, I brought out and dusted off the sewing machine. I love to sew. I’ve also picked up my drawing pad again. One thing about retirement is I can use my creativity gene to its fullest.
11. If you could live your life all over again, what one thing would you change?
Oh, gees! Honestly? Who and when I married. Especially the who, but the when as well. I would have gone to college first, before marriage, instead of after the divorce.
12. Do you prefer the quiet of the countryside or the buzz of a big city?
Oh, I’m a country girl at heart. I love the country--hate the city. My favourite place I ever lived was a small apartment in a very small town called Mill Village. I awoke to the mooing of cows every morning. Loved it.
13. Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?
Yes, and no. Yes, to Heaven and no to Hell. I believe in reincarnation and that once we have achieved perfection we can live the afterlife in a pleasing place called Heaven. Hell is here on earth.
14. Jon Bon Jovi, or Johann Sebastian Bach?
I like both. I enjoy classical music, but I also love to sing. Can’t sing to Bach.
15. What is number one on your bucket list?
I recently crossed off #1 and #2. I bought a place to live and I paid off my car. So now, #3 moved up to #1.--Visit Alaska.
16. Have you ever seen a ghost?
Oh boy. When I was eleven years old, my mother’s aunt was murdered. For a couple of years we saw, heard, and felt things in our house that scared the hell out of us. Did we actually see a ghost? No. Felt the presence of one? Oh yeah. See weird things happen? Uh huh. It went on until her husband died. We always suspected that he had something to do with her death. She couldn’t rest in peace as long as he was alive. We believe she haunted our house because she and my mother were very close, and she always loved visiting our house.
17. Do you believe that you can never really know another person inside out?
Yes. I believe that is true. You can know a person well, but never completely. Even the most honest person never tells all. People hold back because they don’t know how another person would accept what they really think or feel--or what they have done.
18. Do you prefer being the age you are with all the wisdom and experience it brings, or would you like to be young again but with none of the accumulated wisdom!
I was a confused, messed up, misguided kid, so I wouldn’t want to go back there. If I could be young and know what I know now, especially about myself, then yes, I would love that. It’s terrible growing up thinking that you’re ugly and not good enough for people. But that’s a whole other story. It would make a real tear-jerking book.
19. Do you prefer being inside writing, or would you rather be outside in the garden?
Depends on what month it is. October through February I prefer to be outside. March through September I stay inside. It’s 94-degrees outside right now. Too hot for humans.
20. You are on a desert island:
Your one book -The Bible
Your one piece of music -Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata
Your one item of luxury -This is tough to answer. A piano would be nice, but if I could have a boyfriend, that would indeed be a luxury.
Great answers Carole! I agree with you that you can never really know another person completely; you may think you do, but you don't. Thanks very much for agreeing to be interviewed.