KC McDonald, Author of the Echoes Trilogy, shares a bit about his writing, his books, and his life. Please make sure to visit his links, support him by picking up a cool new book, and life him on his facebook page. (Oh...and authors just LOVE reviews, so don't forget that too!)
I set out to write a novel at the end of 2011, after writing a couple of short stories. For me, idea generation comes from asking myself what if questions. For example: What if the Hindenburg had been made of marshmallows? Or: What if cats had thumbs? Echoes of Immortality was borne from the question: What if a culinary arts student accidentally cooked an immortality potion? I thought this idea had more merit than the previous two examples, so more questions were asked. How would this character be able to do such a thing? What would be the consequences of this discovery? Once those questions were answered, many more were asked and soon a plot began to develop.
Once the plot became a bit less murky, I began outlining the story (yes, I am a reformed plotter). I outlined the entire story and began writing in December of 2011. About 25K words into the story, I realized it was predictable and would likely not be very satisfying for the reader. So, into the round file with the outline and the transformation from plotter to pantser. Once I made that change, the characters really came to life and began doing things on their own, surprising even me at times.
Echoes of Immortality, Book One in the Echoes Trilogy synopsis:
Jenna Sims is a culinary student with a secret. While perfecting a homework recipe, she consults an old worn book that belonged to her great-great grandmother and unwittingly cooks up a spell for immortality. Jenna's secret, unbeknownst to her, is that her ancestry comes from a coven of witches. A down-on-his-luck cosmetics company marketing representative finds out about the spell and sets out to steal the book for the recipe, which he thinks would be a hit for the company and allow a reversal of fortune for himself. A period of self-discovery and a short learning curve is unleashed as Jenna strives to protect the family secrets and keep evil from stealing the spell book containing enough power to change the world.
Jenna Sims on Immortality:
“I don’t think being immortal sounds all that great. Don’t you think that not having to worry about death would steal the joy from living? I mean, life is stretching to achieve goals, and exploring new things, and struggling to overcome obstacles. Life is not just breathing in and out every day. I think immortality would make all these things that add up to our lives hollow and meaningless.”
Echoes of Enchantment, Book Two in the Echoes Trilogy synopsis:
Jenna Sims-Yarborough has assumed the duties of Guardian, who is a witch designated to protect powerful magic spells. Amy Stark is a descendant of dark witches who wanted to use dark magic for their own personal gain. As such, her family has been searching for the Guardian’s spell book for over a century. In Echoes of Immortality, Amy found the book and almost took it from Jenna. Now she knows where the book is and she has her sights set on making it her own. Jenna knows she has to protect the magic, but doesn’t know how far Amy
will go to get the prize for which she has searched her entire life. In her quest, Amy teams up with an unlikely ally, and dabbles in the world of voodoo, to help her steal Jenna’s power and get the spell book for her evil coven. Jenna’s great-great grandmother, Jennabel, helps Jenna to find the solution by showing her where the fracture in the coven occurred and who the evil forces are that she must battle. Jennabel believes that to find the end, Jenna must know the beginning.
“Hello, grandmother,” Jenna said to Jennabel. They both sat down on the overstuffed couch. Jenna looked worried. “What is happening to me? Is this my death?”
Jennabel shook her head. “I do hope it is not. You still have much to do.” Jennabel took Jenna’s hand, causing a powerful tremor. “Your body, it is not well. There seem to be people surrounding you who will help nurse you back to health.”
“I hope so.” Jenna took a sip of her perfect latte. “Why are we meeting like this then?”
“My spell book needs to be whole. It has its own powers. The missing pages are very important, so you need to get them back and make the book whole again”
“I have been trying to figure it all out, but there have been things in my life that take my attention away from the task.”
“I know, Jenna. I am not angry or disappointed with you. I am just afraid that you are not aware of the lengths people will go to get the book.”
Jenna shrugged. “What should I do then?”
“You need to know who you are up against,” Jennabel replied. Then she waved her hands in front of her and said, “Like the link between ancestors and those yet to come, all forgotten things return. To find the end, you must first know the beginning.”
KC McDonald Bio:
I retired from the U.S. Army in 2008, after a 23-year career. I worked at two other jobs after retirement, but was laid off at the end of 2011. It was then that I inventoried my skill set to figure out what I was good at and really enjoyed doing. Writing had always come easy to me and I enjoyed it, but serious writing was always on the ‘someday’ list.
Someday came at the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 when I figured out that writing is what I wanted to do. I started Echoes of Immortality in December 2011, and published it on September 25th, 2014. I also wrote a 100-page screenplay during Script Frenzy in April 2012, titled Echoes of Enchantment, which is the back-story for Echoes of Immortality. I finished that story on April 4, 2015 and will begin editing by the end of the month. My anticipated release for the second book is mid-summer, 2015. Another day did eventually find me in the spring of 2012, but I am plugging along with my writing and eventually plan to shed the daily grind in favor of the glamorous life of a full-time author.