Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Day 2 with Vickie McDonough




Welcome back for our second day with spotlight author Vickie McDonough! Award-winning author Vickie McDonough has penned 27 books and novellas. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband of 37 years and is still dreaming of having an empty nest.

Vickie is also donating a copy of her newest title, Whispers on the Prairie, to one of our visitors this week! Just answer this question in the comments section before 8 a.m. EST on Friday:

What are your top three favorite names for a hero in a historical novel with a western setting?

Be sure to include your name and email address (spelling out ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to help cut down on spam). If the winner lives in the U.S. or Canada, you’ll receive a paperback copy. If the winner lives in another country, Vickie will send you an electronic version.  

And now back to our interview …


You’ve been part of quite a few novellas. Can you tell us how authors and ideas come together for those projects?

It varies a lot, but generally, one author will come up with an idea she feels would make an interesting novella collection then recruit other authors to work on it with her. Many of the ones I’ve been in were my initial idea, but several times, I was asked to join a group. Most novella collections have a central theme, such as four sisters who work their ranch with their father (Wild West Christmas) or stories that all have something to do with sewing (Stitched With Love Romance Collection). Whether I join a group or not depends on how the novellas’ connecting thread interests me. Once a set of authors, usually four, has come up with the basic idea, we plot our stories individually and then submit the whole proposal to the editor. There has also been an occasion, like with my novella Buckskin Bride, which appears in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, which releases this September, that the editor chose the topic and authors submitted proposals based on it. The basic premise for that collection was a character in a western setting who lived in an unusual type of house. I’m not telling what type of house my characters lived in. :-)


Guess that means we’ll have to read it to find out!
We never know where research might lead us. What are one or two of the most interesting things you’ve learned while researching a novel?

Marquis de Mores
I wrote a 3-book series for Barbour set in historical North Dakota. Being a gal from Oklahoma, I knew almost nothing about ND, so my husband and I took a vacation up there to the Medora area. In my research, I discovered a French marquis who had a vision to ship butchered beef east in refrigerated rail cars. Up to this point, only live beef had been transported. I didn’t realize there were refrigerated rail cars in 1883, and that intrigued me, so I kept digging and found more information on the man. The Marquis de Mores built a meat packing plant near the Little Missouri River in southwestern North Dakota. Then he started a small town, which he named after his wife, Medora. Their 26-room chateau still stands with much of the family’s furniture and belongings, and we enjoyed a tour of it. The Badlands of North Dakota are a beautiful part of the National Grasslands and the perfect place for the setting for my series called Wildflower Hearts.


Wow, you just never know what you’ll find out when you start digging around!
When starting a new project, do you tend to begin with a time period or event and create the characters to live it, or do you start with characters and then find their story?

I almost always start with the characters. That said, for one book: The Bounty Hunter and the Bride, I got the title idea and wrote the book to go with it. There have been times I’ve set a story around a time period, such as The Prodigal Groom from The Brides of the Blue and Gray. For that collection, I knew I needed a story set right after the Civil War and created one. But for the most part, it is a character who intrigues me, and then I have to write his/her story.


Annie Oakley
If you could be any character from another historical novel, who would it be and why?

I’d like to be Annie Oakley. She was a sharpshooter who was the star performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Annie got to travel the world and do what she loved, and that sounds like a great thing to do.


If you couldn’t spend your days as a novelist, what would you choose for your profession?

I’ve always been interested in computers and desktop publishing and would probably be a graphic artist. My second choice would be a professional photographer who gets to travel the word, taking beautiful pictures.


Both of those sound good, but we hope you’ll keep writing books! What would you like readers to gain from reading your books?

I hope they realize that no matter what situation they’re facing or how dark their world seems, God is always waiting to help them.


What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Make sure you write on a regular basis. You can’t become a writer if you don’t write. Getting published takes many years, so be prepared to work very hard and for a long time without seeing much fruit. Some writers are lucky and get published quickly, but for most, it’s a long haul.


Author Vickie McDonough
Very true! Any final words?

Thanks so much for allowing me to be a guest again on Novel PASTimes! I appreciate each person who took time to read my interview and leave a comment.

I’ve recently started a newsletter mailing list, and if you’d like to receive my book news, please follow the link on my Home page and sign up. www.vickiemcdonough.com


Thanks so much for joining, Vickie! Visitors, remember to leave a comment with your answer to Vickie’s question to have your chance to win her brand-new release, Whispers on the Prairie. Here’s the question again:

What are your top three favorite names for a hero in a historical novel with a western setting?

Be sure to include your name and email address (spelling out ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to help cut down on spam). If the winner lives in the U.S. or Canada, you’ll receive a paperback copy. If the winner lives in another country, Vickie will send you an electronic version.  

4 comments:

Angela Holland said...

My top three names are Wyatt, Jared and Jake. Thank you for the chance to win.

griperang at embarqmail dot com

Wanda B. said...

If we commented yesterday do we comment again? If so, my choices are Luke, Holt and Made. Thank you so much. Vickie I love your books!

Wanda Barefoot
flghtlss1(at)yahoo(dot)com

karenk said...

another 3 names...

luke, matt, john

bn100 said...

Gideon, Gage, Jake

bn100candg at hotmail dot com