Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beverly Stowe McClure

Today on my blog I have Beverly Stowe McClure author of A Pirate, A Blockade Runner, and A Cat.
1.   Tell us about A Pirate, A Blockade Runner, and A Cat, and how the story came to be. Interesting title by the way.
 Thanks, Kay. I'm glad you like the title. I became interested in ghost stories several years ago on a visit with our son and daughter-in-law in Charleston, SC. They took us on a twilight ghost tour of the old district where the houses dated back to the 1700 and 1800 hundreds. According to our tour guide many of the houses had a resident ghost, and she told us some of their stories. I was intrigued. So I did what every writer does: I read books about ghost legends, attended a conference in my home town where "real" ghost hunters talked to us and showed pictures they'd taken that had suspicious looking images  they believed to be ghosts. They played tapes where muffled voices sounded spooky and could very well have been from another dimension. My head filled with ghosts, I started telling some of their stories. Listen to the Ghost, for young adults, was published in 2005. A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat, my tween paranormal story came out January, 2013. There may be more spirits in my future. Only they know.
2.   What three words best describe your main character?
Angry, disappointed, skeptical
3.   What are three things your main character would never have in his pocket?
 a lace bra, a cat, a magic comb
4.   Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
I don’t have a particular method for creating characters. They appear to me in various ways. Sometimes a little voice whispers in my ear, telling me something about him or her. Other times, I might read an article in a magazine or newspaper about a teen or child that appeals to me and I start wondering what their story is. For names, I sometimes consult my book of names. They’re separated into countries and give a meaning for each name, which is nice. Other times I just try out different names until I find one that fits the vision of the character that’s in my mind. To make them believable I give my characters bad points, as well as good, like real teens and children have. I let them make mistakes, have tantrums, do things they shouldn’t. I hope this makes them more “real” to young readers, when they see the characters perhaps doing the same things they’re doing, right or wrong.
5.   Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you over come it?
Not really writer’s block. Sometimes I get stumped on a scene, so I take a walk and try to forget the story by looking at clouds and nature. Often, the solution to a problem just pops up when I’m not thinking about it. I believe freeing the mind allows the characters to solve their problems themselves. I also like to play the piano, maybe play a song the character likes or one that fits the mood of the story: happy or sad.
6.   What types of books do you like to read?
Anything young adult and middle grade. Sweet romances of the Nicholas Sparks kind. Historical fiction and nonfiction.
7.   What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
When I'm not writing I enjoy playing the piano and taking pictures of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife as well as clouds and flowers. People too. Genealogy is another of my hobbies, and I've made photo albums for my sons and grandkids. Of course, I read, also around 50 books a year.
8.   What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
Currently I'm in the final revisions of a YA contemporary novel, Survivors' Club, about     four teens that form a club to survive their parents and school. A couple other ideas are patiently waiting in my brain for their turn.
9.   What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
 I know it’s a cliche, but "never give up." It's true. Many times I’m tempted to find something to do with my life that’s less stressful than writing, but then I hate being a quitter. If I start a project, I want to finish it. Besides, I enjoy creating characters and families.
10. Where can readers find you and your books?
            Good Reads:
            Library Thing:
Thirteen-year-old Erik Burks’ life is falling apart. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom leaves his father and drags Erik from being king of the hill in Texas to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, no friends, just Starry Knight (a girl who reads minds) and her equally weird brother, Stormy, the twins that live down the block.
Just when Erik thinks life can’t get any worse, while hanging out at the beach one evening, he and the twins notice lights radiating from the lighthouse. The only problem is the lighthouse was deactivated years ago. Stranger still, a ship materializes in the moonlit harbor. Curious, the twins and a reluctant Erik investigate and discover the ghost of a blockade runner, a phantom cat, and a pirate who prowls Charleston Harbor, all searching for rest.
A former nonbeliever in the existence of ghosts, Erik cannot deny the proof before him. And he has a revelation: The ghosts may be the answer to his desire to return home. Erik soon makes a deal with the ghosts. He’ll help them find what they’re looking for so their spirits can rest in peace. In return, the ghosts will scare Erik’s mother so she’ll be on the next flight back to Texas. Star thinks his plan stinks, but Erik wants his life back, even at the cost of his mother’s sanity

Now for my review of the book. Erik doesn't believe in ghosts until he sees an illusion in the mist at the lighthouse. The illusion touches him and says "I mean you no harm, Erik." That would be scary. How did this ghost know his name? Star had told the ghost Erik's name.Star can read mind dreams and she doesn't have a fear of talking to ghost. From there Erik and the twins, Star and Storm, go on a wild adventure to help these ghosts James Farhill (the blockade runner) Dixie (the ghost cat) and Bonnet (the pirate). I love ghost stories so this book was a great read. I enjoyed experiencing these ghosts through Erik's eyes. It was a wild ghostly adventure I would read again.


  1. Thank you for hosting me today, Kay, and for your lovely review. I'm happy to answer questions or comments. Have a nice day.

    1. Thank you, Beverly for being my guest. I really enjoyed reading your book.

  2. Hi Beverly, sounds like a fun read. I love the title and the cover. Good luck with the sales.

  3. Thank you for stopping by, Lorrie, and for your kind words. :) Have a lovely day.

  4. Your comment having other story ideas swirling in your brain, but they will have to take their turn made me giggle. For some reason I have a ghost story in my head now. But my kind of ghost would be as sweet as Casper the Friendly Ghost, my favorite cartoon when I was a kid. I loved the questions and the clever answers. Best wishes, Beverly,

    1. Thanks, J. Q. Friendly ghosts are the best kind. I remember Casper too.

  5. Great interview! I love ghost stories.

  6. My family and I went on a ghost town tour this past summer. Not even one measly hair raised on the entire trip. Saw some beautiful and remote countryside though.

    Can't wait to read the book, Beverly. It is patiently waiting on my Kindle.

    1. A twilight ghost tour we took one time was so fascinating I decided to write a ghost story. This is my second one.

      I hope you enjoy the ghostly characters in my book, Kai, as well as the human ones.