To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.
With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.
But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.
Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.
So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.
C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.
You can find, follow or chat with C.H. MacLean at the following on-line locations:
Where did you grow up?
While I grew up in several places, including Hawaii and Colorado, I spent most of the time in coldest Minnesota.
When did you begin writing?
I wrote all through school and afterward. But I didn’t think I was a writer, if that makes any sense. I only really believed in who I was after meeting the love of my life.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I sit down to write in the early morning and late afternoon, sometimes at night. But I get ideas and scribble things down at any random time. I think that is some of the best writing.
Haylwen thinks she can relax, but she hears the silence before the storm. The evil king of the magic users will break every rule to gain control of the One of prophecy. Even the dragons dare not interfere. Haylwen, trapped in the middle, is confronted by all of her fears and the choice of who she will be. Continuing the story from One is Come, Two Empty Thrones increases the intensity of the series and shows Haylwen’s growth as the stakes are raised.
What inspired you to write it?
Haylwen’s story exploded in my head, and sucked me in like a black hole. As a reader, this is the book I would love to read. Knowing readers will love it, I just had to share. The tale of this curly-haired girl who thinks she is less than normal when she is really powerful beyond her dreams inspires me still.
Who is your favorite character from the book?
I don’t really have a favorite, as they are all interesting in different ways. While just a minor player, Tommy’s character resonates with me. His abilities and personality connect him to Haylwen on a karmic level, and his history makes Haylwen a life-saving inspiration for him.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
Only mildly choppy, but it seemed like I had to tackle more than I expected.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have started earlier, of course. As this is my second book, I know now what I didn’t know with the first, and am learning more to apply to the third.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Write what you love, pour your heart out for the reader. Never forget that the readers are the reason you write.
What is up next for you?
Fire Above, my third book, about a young man who dares to dream and starts the first dragon-human war, should be published in March of 2015. The third book in the Five in Circle series, We the Three, where the dragons explode and begin the world-remake, will be released shortly after that.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Ignore impossible realities. Hold to your dreams and you will find magic everywhere you look.
I’d also like to thank you for your interest in me and my book Two Empty Thrones!