Episode 7 Show Notes
In this episode I share the first half of my interview with Allie McCormack. She is author of "Truck stop" and a number of yet to be published paranormal and contemporary romances. I met Allie online and have enjoyed getting to know her through email and messenger. I had already read Truck Stop when I started to Beta read her wishes and dreams series and am currently beta reading swansong which is her first book in the sons of the desert series.
Her Bio: I'm a disabled vet of the U.S. Army. As a career, I was a medical transcriptionist. I've traveled quite a bit and lived many places, including a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there. I was in Desert Storm and the Northridge Quake, and I've tromped through chest-deep snow before dawn to guard the buffalo from slaughter in Montana. I've been in the Army (including a short stint with NATO), a postal worker, a security guard, a legal secretary, and a wrangler/trail guide at a dude ranch. I've been the manager of a Greek delicatessen, owned a motorcycle and driven an 18-wheeler. I studied Arabic, which I still speak somewhat fluently, karate, tap dancing and belly dancing. I was a folk dancer for many years, mostly Greek line dances. I'm an alumni of the University of California Santa Barbara and the American University in Cairo, and I belong to Romance Writers of America and Mensa.
Part 2 of the Interview with Allie McCormack
Allies First Book Truck Stop
Teri Campbell is on the run, on a bus ride to nowhere. An unscheduled stop on the wind-blown plains of Wyoming leaves her at M&J's Truck Stop... and in the arms of Mike Gallagher, the young trucker who appoints himself her protector, who understands her as no one else could. But will her new life and her new-found love be enough when events take an unexpected turn? ... and can even Mike keep her safe from the past that threatens to reclaim her?
If you would lIke a cope of truck stop it is available on amazon on the link below or select the picture.
Competition winner announced for the Justice book.
Dianna teamed up with Georgia Tingly to run a Competition on Facebook. Thank you to all of the people that entered the competition it is good to see the support for the shoe and for Georgia's work. Garry Watts was the lucky winner. He will receive a free book and a little something special from Georgia soon.
I f you would like more information on Georgian and her future works you can check out her
Her book page: https://www.amazon.com.au/Justice-Georgia-Tingley/dp/0648267520
or Purchase: https://books2read.com/GeorgiaTingley-Author
I am currently on task with Nanowrimo. The challenge is to make sure that I have a regular writing habit and unfortunately I write better in the mornings so I have to find a better time to go for a walk. I am still sussing that out at the moment but I have been swimming. There is a challenge at my local pool to complete 1000 laps within the season so I have signed up for that. My Christmas story is getting there. I have spoken to a cover designer about the cover for the short tale but I need to think of an appropriate Name. I am going to ask the people that are subscribed on my list to see if they have any ideas. I can feel the Christmas spirit building in the air and it is an inspiration to write more and stay on task.
The show was released a little late this week because I have been feeling a little under the pump. I still got it out on wednesday, just not luchtime here as I would prefer. I am trying to get the Podcast completed on tuesday so wednesday morning all I have to do is final touches and load it up. It would be even better if I was a week ahead... a girl can dream.
I am really excited about my Nanowrimo story and if you are participating in Nano then don't forget to check out my profile which is https://nanowrimo.org/participants/dl-nix I am going to tell you more about my Nano and the Christmas tale Next week.
Interview with Allie
I decided not to transcribe the interviews as this stage so you will have to listen to the show. I found it so interesting the way Allie crafts her tales and describes her characters as coming to her. She is so passionate and excited about her writing that it is hard not to feel inspired by the energy that she has put in to all her work. The craft of writing is solitary and it is so good to other people who are in a similar head space.
If you have any questions for Allie, all of her contact information is below....
I am particularly interested in the paranormal aspects of her writing and what she plans to do with her vampire series. There is so much information on her site and she has a regular blog where she is currently documenting her journey through the audiobook series which we will talk more about next week.
Welcome to the Finding Elara podcast building world with words and sharing those words with the world. A podcast for writers worldbuilders and creatives that would like to take a mindful look inside their creations. My name is Dianna and Elara is the world I created for a novel series. Together we will dive into the depths of mindfulness and explore worldbuilding in all its diversity with this information we will find Elara.
Hello and welcome back to the Finding Elara Podcast this is episode 7 and I interviewed the amazing Allie McCormack for the show today. I was trying to think back as to how I actually met Allie and I realised it was through a facebook group we are both a part of she told me about a book that she published called truck stop and she thought I might be interested in reading it so i bought it for mt kindle, read it, reviewed it, contacted her to tell her about the review and we've been in contact ever since. I have read a further three books from her wishes and dreams series and I'm currently reading the first book in her sons of the desert series called swan song. I have really enjoyed all of her books and I am a huge supporter of her work and I completely fangirled out when she said that she was going to come onto the show with me. so without further ado I think we can get straight into the interview she was so much fun to talk to and i hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed talking to her.
I have decided to split this show into two the interview went a lot longer because we got a bit off topic off there for a while but it went a lot longer than I originally anticipated. So I am going to split the interview into two so I will talk to you after that.
D: Hello Allie how are you today?
A: I am doing just fine. 7.30 in the evening here. and the full moon is up.
D: Oh nice, full moon. that works well with some of the lore that you have written in your books.
A:It works well all of the time. Just because I love seeing it and I have my computer centered in a bay window and the full moon rises right in the center of that once a month.
A:and I just sit here and watch it and it's inspiring kind of in its own way.
D: You said earlier that you're a bit nocternal so you like to write in the evenings.
A: Yes. I mean I can sit here all day and kind of plod along but around 8 or 10 o'clock that's when like all of a sudden it's like the floodgates open and that's when all the ideas flood through. That's when the writing becomes easy.
D: I'm more of a morning writer myself, so you don't, do you sleep in?
A: Sometimes, sometimes not. I try to do my tasks in the morning. Like catching up with email, catching up with social media, feeding the cats, any dishes that I didn't do last night before I went to bed because I hate doing to dishes. That sort of thing, before I settle down. And I'll work, edit stuff and I'll write, but it's just not, It doesn't come as smoothly or flow as much the same as it is at night when things just happen. Night is when the magic happens. No Idea why, it just does.
D: You must be part vampire.
A: I must be, you know, seriously.
D: Anyway, so I did send you a list of questions. So we'll go to number one. Can you please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to be an author?
A: Reading, I was always reading. I just don't remember a time before I was reading and I would read stories and then I would replay them in my head and then I would put my own takes on them I would rewrite them and come up with new stories on my own and just, I was living in my head. and I remember third grade hiding under the covers at night. My mum thought I was asleep and I had my flashlight and I was writing down these things that I was making up for myself.
D: Did you ever write fan fiction?
A: No. That was never, somehow it wasn't, those people. I wanted to write my people.
D: That's awesome. so you have Cats I understand.
A: I have two cats they're rescue cats one is a big white cat with some black splotches named Levi and Toby is a main coon mixed kitten. That I just got like a month ago and he was bottle fed so, he is just a, he is really used to people. and he just loves to be held like all the time. which is really hard to write with one hand when you have a kitten sleeping on your lap.
D:I'm sure that you don't complain too much they look gorgeous on your blog posts.
A: Oh yeah, I love your babies.
D:And you have a grown daughter
A: I do she just got married last year, last January. They just got raises. They work in the same place it's an online marketing place called entreport and my son in law also he is a philosophy professor. He teaches a couple of evening classes at the community college where they live. and they're going to try and have a baby soon so hopefully I'll be a grandma before too long. Maybe next year.
D: So now that you have all this free time on your hands what do you do with your spare time when you are not writing?
A: I have spare time when I am not writing? Okay, If I'm not writing, If I'm not writing, I am thinking about writing I'm blogging about writing I'm tweeting about writing I'm tweeting to other writers who write and are tweeting about their writing and I'm tweeting about their writing and I'm thinking about writing and I'm plotting writing and I'm thinking about marketing strategies and thinking about the next book which book should I do next and it's like there's not a minute that's just something that's writing on. I'm learning about that though. I'm intentionally trying to take out time for I'm not even thinking about writing. It's really hard to do.
D: I can completely understand that.
A: Cause I don't want to burn out.
D: Yeah. In that sense you're trying to find mindful moments in your day, how are you going with that?
A: Actually, not bad. What I've done is I've gone to television which is usually I turn on twice a year at Christmas and watch Christmas movies. But, I've been watching some of my very old favourite show like NCIS. There's a new one NCIS new orleans and then there's blue which is with michael weatherly who was Tony in the original NCIS and I was like oh my god Tony so I do that before I sleep.
D: You just watch one episode?
A: Yeah, or three or four or five. What ever it takes to bring me down because when I'm writing it's like not even writing, it's hard to stop, it's hard to walk away even though, I've come to the end and ok it's the end of the scene or what ever, my mind is fried okay there's no more new ideas coming through I'm done. For writing for the night right but my brain doesn't want to stop. I mean my body doesn't want to stop, so I just wanna sit here and stare at it forever. It's not really productive okay I force myself to go sit down and then watching the TV programs bring me down kind of and get my mind out of that so I can go to bed and actually close my eyes and sleep
D: Do you have netflix?
A: Yeah, I use Amazon prime.
D: Amazon primes good it's just that unfortunately I can't get a lot of the show that you get over there. They won't allow me access.
D: It's the whole flatworld thing all over again.
A: I could not believe that, Oh my God, The first time that I saw that I was like, you are kidding me. I didn't believe that anyone could believe that. So I went and I joined the flat earth group. Oh one of them. On Facebook. and it was like.
A:I asked is this really a thing and it is really a thing. You will not believe these people.
D: So did you stand up for Australia?
D: Or did you join in?
A: No. You know what, it's like the song. You've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. and nobody. Nobody's going to reach these people. They're so far down the rabbit hole and their aint no way out.
A: Just no it;s something really different.
D: alright. I just find it really hilarious.
A: You know that you're actually somewhere in Brazil or something right.
D: Oh yeah sure.
A: They fabricated parts of Brazil to look like Australia. and make you think like you're in Australia but that's where you really are.
D: Well Brazil's a big country.
A: Well, see, there's plenty of room to hide you.
D: Alright well, what sparked you interest in writing in the paranormal Genre?
A: It, it didn't happen like that. What happened was, I'm what they call a pantser. I'm sure you're familiar with the term.
D: I think they like to call it organic writing these days because pantser is a bit offensive.
A: It comes from writing by the seat of your pants. Like flying by the seat of your pants but writing it. so ummm.
D: Yeah. Yeah I know.
A: One day this character just showed up in my head. There's a lot. This is how my stories start.The character shows up in my head, it was some sort of a scene. Okay. It's not like related to anything. Okay and then I go and I live in that scene for a while. You know my mind starts kind of building a story around it and that's how it happened with my first paranormal romance. I'd never intended to necessarily write a paranormal romance. He just came and there he was and we was just oh so Oh my God. He was anguished and tortured and tormented and he needed a happy ending. I gave him one.
D: So you had to give it to him?
A: Yeah a 104 000 words later. Then Jamies mentor showed up in the middle of the book. I had not intention of writing a series. I was just going to write this book and she showed up ans she was so cute and bubbly and effervescent and it was just like she took over me brain space. So then we had a sequal, then the cat was so funny. oh my god this cat shapeshfter and she was just she had this attitude. Okay, it was kind of snarky and stuff. and it was just killing me it was so funny. and all of a sudden she wound up with and then we had a trilogy or three part series. But it was all none of it was intentional.
D: And you're going to follow through with maybe another one?
A: She showed up in my head about three weeks ago. All of a sudden I'm laying there in bed and I. Not a secondary character in one of the three books but she was a shapeshfter and she didn't know she was a shapeshifter and she thought she was insane. So she hadn't actually shifted.
D: So this is a new book that you're thinking of?
A: So this is the new book that I'm and I'm kind of holding on to her in my head. I haven't written anything down. Because that's what I want to work on for Nano.
D:So with your world building process you tend to have that one character and then buils you whole world and story around them.
A: Yes. Yes.
D: So you don't necessarily, so with your genie story did you go back and think about the lore behind it and do a bit of research into that field.
A: Oh sure, yes. Oh yeah, well I already knew a bit about genies but once I had decided I was going to write this book then I went and I dove into the internet. and did some real in depth search on Djinn on genies all different kinds. I wend back through the old quaran text I've read all the qaran text about genies. The old folklore, 'cause there's genies are a pre arabic folk lore.
A: any way they pre date Islam and umm and so I did all the lore I read, I watched local you tube videos of paranormal chasers and stuff. Just because I wanted to kind of a broad aspect of what's being said every where okay about djinn and I borrowed a little bit from here and a little bit from there I used the qaranic and arabic folklore as my basis okay. and build drawing little bits from here and little bits from there. and that became once I started from that it was quite intentional.
D: You're sort of an inside out world builder. Did you actually ave an idea of the secondary world that the genies live in before you started or?
D: No, it just all grew organically.
A: And one of the really great things about paranormal writers and you're probably heard it a millions times. Is that it's wonderful because you can make your own rules.
D: I do love that about fantasy and paranormal.
A: You can just really go for it you know as long as t he rules make sense.
D: Do you think that they have to make sense to you first? Or do you think that they have to make sense to the reader all the time.
A: Well I think that, well they have to make sense to me because if they don't make sense to me I can't make them make sense to the reader. Okay. It's my job as a writer to make it work for the reader. I would have to prove I have to show the reader. I have to pull the reader into this world and make it reasonable. for them. That's my job.
D: I completely understand.
A: That's how I see it anyway.
D: For sure. So you're going to be doing Nano this year do you have any idea what you plan on writing?
A: Well yes, t his fourth book in this genie series.
D: Wishes and dreams isn't it.
A: Wishes and dreams yes. I don't have a hero, I don't have a name for my character I don't have a name for the book I don't have a plot. I just have this scene with the heroins thinking she's insane that she feels like there's something inside her trying to claw to get out. That's literally all that I have. So this really could be challenging but as a back up I have a third of my sons of the desert My arab american multicultural series. Four sons, their father is an um an ambassador from a small but very wealthy country in the middle east. There mother's an independent american artist and they've grown up in both worlds. They're in America, they have dual citizenship okay and they fall in love so, this is the third brother out of four I've got the first two done. Well this is the end.
D: Did you know that this was going to be a series before you started if you had the brothers from the start?
A: No it had, I was going to writing a short story and try and sell it to a magazine the sheikh and the belly dancer right well, well it turned into a 400 page manuscript in three weeks.
D: Oh My God, that's a monster.
A: It took me three weeks. no well that's about a hundred thousand words which is ... and i wrote it in three weeks. I was on fire. I didn't even think about writing the second brothers story til like a couple of months later. Suddenly that just sort of, I could do something with this. Something with his brother I could and I could. ... and then the second book was born and then
D: That's really interesting.
A: But I don't know how they're going to get there. Sometimes the actual ending will come to me something like half way through more or less and I'll write the ending but the ending and I still haven't written the first half of the book right. But the ending will just come to me out of no where.
D: So you're not only and organic you're also one of those writers that jumps from different scenes.and writes what you feel like at the time.
A: Yes, and then um, so you start out, I just write whatever scene comes to me at the time. Okay and I start to sort of put them in a chronological order and then as time goes on the more scenes I get the more structure starts to form around them the more of an Idea of what the plot actually is then I start creating the plot while I've got this timeline. and start collecting the dots.
D: That's a really interesting way of doing it.
A: I'm never Bored.
D: That's a good thing. So what plans do you have for the future?
A: My first and only published book, truck stop which I published back in 2001 with a small press whose subsequently gone under and so I'm self publishing it myself is in production now as an audiobook and it will be available through Audible.
D: I'm a huge fan of audible.
A: I can't wait this is so exciting and I've been blogging about the journey too. There's a whole new world out there that I never new existed and gonig throught the process and choosing a narrator and doing the script and having auditions and it's just like OMGI never knew this was out there and what they have to do. they're not just sitting there with a microphone. they've got sound booths and theie stuff like editing and mastering floor noise and rmits.
D: All these technical terms.
A: And I'm like aww. I had no clue. I just thought they sat down at their computer and you know recorded it and that's not what happens.
Well I know that I could keep on going with that conversation with Allie and I actually do keep keep going for about another half an hour. I thought that's about the middle, I'll cut it off there. I know what you've all been looking forward to is to see who the winner of the competition that I have been running throughout the last fortnight for a book from Georgia Tingly. all you have to do was like comment and share on the post and I have a few names in a hat here and I am going to draw one out. and the winner is Garry James Watts, the owner of the garosh hell kitty. has won. Garry I will message you on facebook and i will pass your details on to Georgia and you will get that book shortly. So you are going to have to let us know what you thought about it after you have given it a good read.
I think that now is a good time to thank Georgia again I am so thankful that she agreed to join in the competition with us it was really nice to give it a go. I think I'm going to try and use an aggregate to do the next competition. I know there's a few on line that actually registers all the likes comments and shares. and you can use it over multiple places like twitter and facebook so I'm going to give that a go next time but I'm so thankful to Georgia for giving this a go and I know that she is going to send something special along with the book which is really exciting. If you would like any more information about Georgia all of her details are again on the show notes and the book is justice and it is available through all good book stores so have a look around for it and Allies book the one she has available is truckstop so that's 2 really good reads you can look into if you are looking for a good romance. I have plenty more of the interview with Allie to come so I hope that you tune in next episode to hear the rest of it. We were talking about her plans to change her written book into an audio book which is really interesting. If you have enjoyed the talk so far and you would like to get in touch with Allie then all of her contact information will be on my show notes on my web oage. DIanna@dlnix.com I am on facebook as DL nix and on twitter at finding Elara. and if you want to get a hold of Allie all of her contact imformation will be on the show notes but her website is alliemccormack.com and she she'd on facebook as Allie McCormack twitter and intstagram. as Alli McCormack. So I'll put all of her contact information on the show notes. she's a lot of fun to talk to and I look forward to finishing the interview with hwer next week. I am in the middle of doing my Nano story. I am really quite excited about how my story is forming and I'll tell you all about it next week. My christmas story is sort of on track. I am still going through edits. I hope to send it through to the beta readers next week and I have already talked to a cover designer about the christmas cover. So I'll definitely let you know more about that next week.
That's pretty much it for me so I hope that you enjoyed the first half of the interview with Allie McCormack and next week we will finish it off.
Until then, keep up the search.