Episode 71A – JE Mcdonald – Wickwood Chronicles

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Overview

JE hails from Canada and was a great interview – twice! Sorry, forgot to hit record the first time. It was just practice.

She is a mother and spends time reading and making up stories with her girls.

She talks about using a new app to distribute her book along with the standard distributors. Sometimes taking chances on something new pays off.

Website

https://www.jemcdonald.net/books

https://www.jemcdonald.net/

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http://stardust-h5.stardustgod.com/kiss/shareBookPage.html?bookId=614362080ae3211d0b4f9797&randomId=113005250_1632504155&type=1001&pushType=1

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Transcript

[00:00:32] Stephen: So welcome to discovered wordsmiths episode 71. This is a great episode because I forgot to start recording at the beginning. So we had to repeat some of it. I apologize. She was a great sport about it, and we got through it and pretty much said the same things, but luckily I haven’t done that too much as I’m recording this right now, I just got back from a weekend [00:01:00] in new Orleans with a bunch of other great writers.

From J thorns author success mastermind group. We had a good time learning some vampire stuff. We got to talk to Dacre Stoker, who is the great grand nephew of Brahms Stoker. And he told us a lot of things about his research into his great grand uncles book. We got to explore the French quarter delve into a vampire speakeasy that we got to go to secret.

It was a good time, a lot of good people. So look for a book next year, a vampire anthology that I will have a story in and so will several other great authors. And as usual, Jay puts Jay and Zach, not just J I apologize, put the book up for a charity and that’s super great because you get some authors that get published.

You get. Book of stories on vampires. If you like that, you’ve got something new to [00:02:00] read. Plus a charity is getting benefited. So I encourage everybody to go grab that book when it’s available. So before I ramble on too long, let’s go here. JE McDonald. Welcome to discovered wordsmiths our second take. So let everybody know yet we started talking and totally forgot that record.

Luckily with me, I have someone is taking it all in stride. I’ve got Jay McDonald. Good morning. How are you again?

[00:02:29] JE McDonald: I am great. Thank you for having

[00:02:31] Stephen: me getting less. Great. If this thing ever ends,

[00:02:35] JE McDonald: it’s all good. It’s all good. I’m fine.

[00:02:38] Stephen: Yeah. Okay. So now that I know where you’re from and a little bit about you, but nobody else does, because they didn’t hear you tell everybody a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and things you like.

[00:02:52] JE McDonald: I am from Canada, a little city called Saskatoon in a province called Saskatchewan. Yeah. As we said before, [00:03:00] it’s right. Smack dab in Canada in the middle of the rectangular shaped one. If you look at a map of Canada very flat, very farm land and. No mountains, but I love it. It’s great.

Cold in the winter. Very hot in the summer. And yeah, I’m a mother of three daughters who keep me very busy. I’m a writer. Who’s obsessed with writing. I read all the time. I love all things writing related.

[00:03:26] Stephen: Got it. That was basically it. In a nutshell, we summed it up. I mentioned Ohio, it’s got Hills, you’ve got mostly flat.

So just catching everybody up on the wonderful conversation that nobody will ever hear again. Why did you want to start.

[00:03:43] JE McDonald: I have always loved writing, right? From elementary school onward. I was always drawn to it. I love to create a writing as a subject. I’d rather take an essay test than do the multiple choice.

Yeah. It just, I just always have loved.[00:04:00] Right through all of my schooling and then getting university, I dropped off with that. I was doing a fine arts degree. And so my focus changed a little bit into more tactile sorts of creativity. And it wasn’t until my late twenties, mid to late twenties that I really got back into it and embraced it again.

Just really fighting my love for.

[00:04:23] Stephen: So you’ve always enjoyed writing. And we said earlier, jokingly you’d liked the essay questions. So if I assumed you went over and had to cut that out, that’s actually a good practice for a writer.

[00:04:35] JE McDonald: Yeah, no, definitely. If they said you had a 500 words, I was going over that.

And yeah, but even in, in tests themselves, if I didn’t know an answer, I’d try to argue my point before I knew it, even if I had gotten it wrong before which never got me bonus points, but maybe a happy face in the margins there that my my explanations, but yeah, no, it’s yeah, it’s always been a thing.[00:05:00]

[00:05:00] Stephen: I have several. Even though you had gotten away from writing. Did you still make up stories and tell them stories? Because I know a lot of writers do that.

[00:05:09] JE McDonald: Yeah. Yeah. I did. I did, I do make up stories more, more like more on the fly of just I wasn’t one of those people just lay down in bed and make a story.

We were always reading books, for sure. We still do read books every night, but when it comes to the storytelling process, it was more an active thing. If you’re playing dolls and that sort of thing, where you make up the story and my kids are so creative that way too. I love listening to the things they come up.

Three girls and dolls and my house is a mess. I’m just looking around it right now. But yeah, it’s it’s so entertaining. The things they come up with, I’ve actually been inspired by them and the, and their stories that they come up with. Yeah. They’re a source. They’re a source of delight.

Yeah.

[00:05:50] Stephen: I remember I had a son and daughter. I remember playing at star wars with all the princesses. Princess Leia, amygdala, three [00:06:00] princess layers, different figures. And they were all writing my little ponies. And so we kinda mixed that is our early mashups that we did.

[00:06:09] JE McDonald: Yeah, for sure. It definitely mashups nowadays.

It’s LOL dolls and shoppy dolls and crybabies there that the toys are so different.

[00:06:22] Stephen: You got away from writing. What made you finally want to get back into writing and start writing the books?

[00:06:29] JE McDonald: Yeah, actually, it was it was a friend of mine who had heard of this crazy thing called NaNoWriMo. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.

Probably everybody’s heard of it by now. As she, she wanted to do it, she wanted some friends to do it with her. So there’s three of us who decided, yeah, let’s do it. And getting into that, writing every day thing, it was like, settling into a warm bath. It was it was so amazing the feeling and then getting a project done in that first time.

I was just like, I want to do this. I want to keep writing. I don’t want to just be [00:07:00] this month long challenge. I just want to keep writing. I want to keep writing the story because it wasn’t quite done by the 50,000 words. But yeah, it just, it lit a fire under me. There, there have been chunks where I have stopped writing since then, but honestly it’s been very steady.

Since I first now NaNoWriMo to now.

[00:07:20] Stephen: Okay. Tell us about your books. You’ve got a couple out there in a series. Tell us about the series and tell us about the latest one.

[00:07:28] JE McDonald: So it’s called the liquid Chronicles. It’s a paranormal romance series. It’s ongoing, there’s three books out. The first one is a ghost story.

It’s with a romance. I don’t know why everyone assumes that. Like the ghost. The ghost is part of the couple then focusing on it is it’s it’s a story about a haunted bed and breath breakfast, and they’re trying to figure out why this house is haunted because it’s a paranormal investigation company that goes through the series called the Lear investigation.

The first of the brother of the owner and a skeptic they’re [00:08:00] paired off she thinks it’s all scam and wants to expose them as. Scammers, spoiler alert. It’s not a scam. And then the second one focuses on one of their consultants, a witch who her best friend accidentally opened a portal to another dimension because of the noise a cops are called.

And her story is about the switch is trying to figure out what her friend did and the cop who’s wondering. What the heck is happening in their neighborhood. And then the last one is what a demon hunter, the one that just released last week, actually it’s about a demon hunter who has a prophecy to stop has been told this prophecy and involves a woman.

But when he encounters her, he finds out her soul is pure. It’s not, she can’t meet the cause of the end of the the destruction of liquid because she’s a pure soul. So he has to figure out why she’s involved in the process. And it’s their story. You

[00:08:55] Stephen: said these are tied together loosely, but they’re [00:09:00] basically standalone individual books.

[00:09:03] JE McDonald: Yeah. There, they focus on a love story of a different couple each time, but there’s the under line connections of them through Lillard investigation. Yeah, it ties them together but they can be read as standalones and I’ve had people read the third book being like, oh, I’ve started at the beginning again.

So there is some cross crossover. If you start at book three, you probably will want to read book one and see how I got there. But yeah they can be read as standalone stories for

[00:09:31] Stephen: sure. Are these available, I assume, digitally on Amazon or anywhere else? Do you offer them for print? Anything?

[00:09:41] JE McDonald: Yeah, you can you can get them through print through Amazon as well as probably the easiest, but you can order them like any bookstore that works with Ingram sparks can order them for you as well. And they’re all across all digital platforms. Your Kobo and Barnes Knuck and all those as well. I think they’re up on hooplah [00:10:00] as well.

If you want to read that way. Yeah. They’re basically all the big digital formats. I’m actually the first two books are even on this new app called the kiss app. They are just released on there. So that’s a mobile reading app that you would just get on your phone. And just like a Coinbase thing, a new thing, it just happens.

So not like. Super familiar about it, but yeah, they just, the first two are up there as well,

kiss I think the company has a kiss and a scream. So the kiss is the romance side, but your scream is like the thriller horror side. Yeah. It comes up as kiss readers and writers read for readers and writers, I think is when it comes up as on the app. I’ll have that posted up on my website soon. I just haven’t done that yet.

[00:10:46] Stephen: Okay. Got it. No problem. So what type of feedback are you getting from readers?

[00:10:53] JE McDonald: I’m getting great feedback. A retired teacher who had read the second book, [00:11:00] email me out of the blue that she gave me an a plus. And I, that tickled me to know it. She was really positive as she just, she was really happy that I’d done my research on within culture.

She loved that the tie, the stories tied together, and she told me to keep writing. It was really lovely. This newest book I’ve just been getting. A lot of great feedback and one saying that their favorite or that they have to go back to the beginning and read them all over again.

If they hadn’t read the first two and yeah, it’s just been really positive and I’m always grateful when readers reviewers reach out and say how much they enjoyed my work. It’s that’s so nice. It’s so lovely to hear that for sure.

[00:11:43] Stephen: You said you’ve got a book coming out next year. Can you give us a little preview of what that one’s going to be?

[00:11:50] JE McDonald: Yeah, actually, I have a couple books lined up. So the fourth book of the liquid Chronicles will be in the fall of 2022. It will be a continuation of a story. There’s a [00:12:00] kind of a teaser epilogue in book three. It gives a kind of a little bit of idea, but it follows the story of agent Andrew Martinez, who is an FBI special agent who’s been assigned to the.

Ongoing paranormal instances that keep coming up. But I guess you could think a little bit of X-Files, but he doesn’t have a, he doesn’t have the brooding nature, quite that Fox Mulder did. Back in the day, he’s investigating the collapse of this building out, pops a out pub and like an Amazonian warrior princess from another realm.

Yeah. That’s where the story starts. And. It’ll take us to new and exciting places and the Wycliffe Chronicles on the other project. The other project that I am working on is actually a totally separate unrelated to the liquid Chronicles. It’s a shifter trilogy about animal shifters. And I had mentioned a little bit earlier that it was going to take.

A big chunk of it is going to take [00:13:00] place in Canada in the Northern part of my province where the boreal forest is, and which is exciting because I haven’t set anything in my province before to be published anyway. So yeah, it’s cool to add my expertise in that area, as well as my husband’s expertise.

Cause he’s actually from up north. So that was nice to be able to question him about a lot of different things.

[00:13:22] Stephen: So do you find that. W you got back into writing and sounds like you wrote a book and moved on to the next one over some time. Now you’ve got multiple books out and you’re working on multiple things.

Do you find that things are ramping up as an author that you’re needing more time to write? You’re writing more, you’ve got more things you’re working on. What’s that feel like. It’s a

[00:13:44] JE McDonald: lot. It can be a lot on any given day for sure. If I could just live in my writing cave right. All day, I would be blissfully happy, but unfortunately there’s a lot of other things that go along with being an author marketing [00:14:00] yourself and just, putting yourself out there and.

It’s, I’m with an indie, Pell, indie publisher, a small press. So I do a lot of the marketing stuff on my own, which is very time-consuming. Yeah. I wish I could just throw under my my blanket Fort and just hide. But yeah it’s hard. It’s hard to get time. I’m I have. Support system that helps me with my children when I need to really meet a deadline.

Which is fantastic. It’s a

[00:14:24] Stephen: lot for your books though, the wicked Chronicles books would you rather see them as movies or TV show?

[00:14:34] JE McDonald: I think the only way to see them would be a TV show. It’s not even, I haven’t even gotten to my end yet, this of the series. So I would love. For some TV writers to sink their teeth into it and actually get those stories to overlap, have those like multiple storylines, because things that happen in the past for one character in book three would be the, the present day of a [00:15:00] character in print in book one.

They’re all set very close together over. First one’s in spring summer, and then early fall fifth, third one. So I would love those. I would love to see TV writers, just play with those overlapping storylines and maybe tell the stories even more in depth than I was able to in a book that would be fantastic.

And I don’t think a movie would be able to handle that sort of dense content

[00:15:28] Stephen: you mentioned. You, I love to read. So what are some of your favorite books and authors?

[00:15:34] JE McDonald: There’s so many. I love, funny enough, I do read like a ton of romance. I love historical romance. I don’t write historical.

I know I have no want to write historical by love historical romance. So I read Lisa Kleypas is one of my very favorites, Julie Garwood. She was where I started as a reader because my mom loved her so much. So I started with her of course in our [00:16:00] Roberts, but it’s and then paranormal, I love.

I love Testa Bailey’s paranormal and Kristen Callahan’s paranormals yeah, there’s so many, like I have a fantasy as well. So it’s a wide range of, Patrick Rothfuss I love all of it. And

[00:16:18] Stephen: is there a favorite book you like, is there a favorite book you like to read with your daughter?

[00:16:23] JE McDonald: My littlest love she’s four. She loves Berenstein bears. That’s quite what you’re asking.

She loves the Berenstein bears and the old Pinkalicious. She likes the Pinkalicious too. My middle kid, she likes the oh my, that unicorn diaries, I was like blanking on it. She loves anything Pokemon as well. She’ll do. And then my my oldest is into graphic novels, Phoebe and the unicorn ones, or even like even getting a little spookier she’s 10.

So she’s starting to get into the spookier gear low, keep your staff, but oh, and we’ve been reading the oh, what’s [00:17:00] his name there? The British author, the Williamson. Once I we’ve been reading those together, like a rat burger and those with the dentist. Oh, I’m blanking. But yeah they’re a little bit creepier.

The demon dentist, I think is double blind. I’m thinking of demon does their little keeper, but they like those ones read to them cause they can’t get all excited together.

[00:17:24] Stephen: All right. And you said you live in a little small town. Do you have a favorite bookstore anywhere close that you’d like to go.

[00:17:31] JE McDonald: Yeah it’s a small city. It’s I guess not like I don’t really concern, I guess it is town, but the city it’s just very small. When I say city to my people from Los Angeles, friends are like what? That’s 300,000 people. That’s a town. So yeah the, my favorite independent bookstore is the valley Robinson.

It’s like a little independent for new books. And then. For used stuff to go, digging through things though. They keep it quite neat. So you don’t dig quite as much as he used to is Westgate books. There, they have pretty good [00:18:00] selection. They keep on top of things. I do love the digging when I do the SIM, there’s a biannual fundraiser.

The Saskatoon symphony puts on and I love book digging in that. You can get a bag of books for 10 bucks, 15 bucks. Do that twice a year. You’re done. I need more bookshelves really?

[00:18:22] Stephen: Don’t we all, I appreciate you talking to us about your book. It’s been great listening to it before we move on to some author stuff.

Can you tell everybody out there, why they should read your book?

[00:18:36] JE McDonald: If you like steamy paranormal romance filled with humor and mystery, and that story that kind of creeps slowly into your psyche and gets more complicated and layered as it goes on then my books are for them because that’s exactly what I write.

I like to have my characters overcome obstacles and I always have a happy ending. [00:19:00]

[00:19:00] Stephen: All right. Great. Jay, thank you for talking to me about your books. It’s been really fun. I appreciate it.

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