Thursday, March 14, 2013

MADELEINE McLAUGHLIN and The Mountain City Bronzes

Or grab your copy... it is a real bargain at only 99c

Kevin is so curious about that locked door. But how will he handle it's secrets once the door is open?

I tap my head and wonder how could jail have been so much fun when I was a child? 

Back then, I remember noticing only good things behind the solid stone walls where my dad worked.

Those idyllic times in our small North BC community shine with magic in my mind. Not like the vast, evil prisons I visit in the metropolises I now live in. 

Following Dad's path into prison guarding, I still learn from experience how criminals take advantage of each other's inadequacies and how much violence resounds through the walls.

Yet I'll never forget those years I spent with my dad in his jail, having a ball. If I close my eyes, I can still feel the cool stone walls against my hands...

The jail was a great refuge in June, but even in the winter, I found it pleasant to play in.

There was so much fun imagining the structure when it was full, back in the gold rush. 

I could almost hear the walls and floors resounding to the voices of the thousands of lawless men that lived back then. In the large, empty vastness of our jail, I loved pretending I needed to find escape routes.

One day after tromping through the halls for an hour, I found a locked door.

Why is it shut tight? What is behind that door? 

I pounded and twiddled the lock until my hands turned red, but it was large and solid. I even once tried a bit of lock picking, but ran away when I considered how criminal my actions were.

I just couldn't bring myself to break the law and lose Dad's respect. It wasn't even possible for me to miss a day hanging about, as I just wished to be with him. Every day after school, I rushed to see my dad, the jailer for our community. 

My feet would bang along the path I had beaten down between the school and the jail. I needed to be able to hear his laughter when my breath puffed after landing on those granite legs, as he always let his good boy do.

Even in my struggles over homework, Dad laughed. Especially when he caught me rushing through my loathsome sums. His gentle heart allowed a boy the freedom to be imperfect. 

When all was done, I played as I pleased.

Locked doors... a great hook!
Now let's meet Madeleine..
Welcome to my blog today Madeleine. 

Your novel has recently been released through Museitup Publishing. Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write “Mountain City Bronzes.” The blurb is intriguing… a small town, missing children and locked doors… I must know what happens next.

As a child and teen, I loved to watch horror movies, especially Vincent Price, the king of horror for us older folks. So when I began to write, I wanted to try my hand at a scary story. 

I've always been interested in small communities and one that I've always wanted to visit is Stewart, BC. 
It's off by itself in the mountains of BC and that's what I based the town's location on. It's hard to live up north. 

There are no major hospitals and only one mountie, (Canadian police) so I wanted to make that cloistered atmosphere where if something happens, the people have to manage on what they have and themselves.

I don't know if this will intrigue you further, but there is a sculptor in the story, too. Well, I used to be a sculptor, so I wanted to write one. I'll leave you hanging there, so if you want to find out more, you'll have to read it. Apologies.

Sounds great. Very intriguing!

Having children as characters could be difficult. Do they follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? How do you keep them in check?

You have to remember with children that everything is black and white. Kevin worships his father, so I had to get across that Kevin's father is a god to him. 

There's no bad side like an adult would see. This father towers in Kevin's mind and that's what I tried to show.

Writing the story is only half the exercise though, isn’t it? Becoming published is not always easy. Even with self publishing as an option. What do you think is the most important thing a writer needs to face, along the road to publication?

Rejection. You can think you've done something really good and it may be really good but just not the editors cup of tea. 

Get used to, 'this is not our vision.' I've had stories short-listed for one publication but just didn't get in and then the next ezine accepts it. 

So you also have to know that there are ups and downs and not get hung up on one bad feeling. 

You don't go, “Hey, this is crap, I'm quitting.” You just wait until you're feeling better and get going. Never give up.

What was the hardest hurdle for you in getting your story published?

Self doubt and sometimes word count. To be honest, I wanted to send in another story to MuseItUp but The Mountain City Bronzes was the only one with the appropriate word count. It's the simple things that hang you up.

Have you always been a writer?

Yes and no. I wasn't one of those kids who knew at four what they wanted to be. I just didn't want to be a housewife. 

My high school English teachers were all complimentary towards any stories I wrote in class, so I thought I might do that after school. 

I sent out science fiction stories to book publishers but got rejection and as I didn't understand how to work at writing, I stopped. 

I came back to it later when in my thirties and love it better than anything I've ever done.

I know that feeling Madeleine, writing is the best thing!

Thanks for sharing a little about The Mountain City Bronzes.

Madeleine's BLOG LINK: 

 I spent my childhood by the sunny beach of White Rock, BC but moved east in 1979. 

Ottawa is where I met David, my room mate. 

We have been together for 34 years now. I began to study writing through correspondence schools in 1980s. I wrote all through the 90's and have many stories (mostly short ones) in my files.

I just celebrated (with dread) my 55th birthday. That's a long time on earth but not long enough and I live in an apartment with David. I like window shopping and walking.

For a FREE copy of The Mountain City Bronzes, to review, answer the question. 

Where did Kevin's father work?


Rosalie Skinner said...

So this is not a kid's book? With elements of horror and a touch of darkness, right?

Suzanne de Montigny said...

No, I read it and I say it is, but a dark story. Not to mention her writing is absolutely impeccable. I loved it.

Penny's Tales said...

Wonderful interview/post! Book looks fabulous!

I know what the father did, but when it's windy here my computer likes to be difficult so when I went to email you, I kept getting kicked out!


Rosalie Skinner said...

Wasn't your computer Penny, it's blogger. I will contact Madeleine on your behalf. :)

Wendy said...

I enjoyed this post on the 15th but was called away when I was about to comment. Sorry I'm late.
I was struck boy the child hero worshippng his father. That's a lovely sentiment. From what you say Madeleine, and from that locked door, I get a sense of foreboding that all might not be well between the boy and his Dad. Guess I'll just have to answer the question at the end. :)