Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Author Take Over post #1: Welcome Sinead MacDughlas!!

Today it's Wednesday, and as you know it means Author Take Over here at my home away from home :-) Please welcome the absolutely lovely and awesome Sinead MacDughlas!!
So today we have a Guest Post from Sin, and a character interview as well (post #2) and make sure to check out the absolutely AMAZING giveaway sets that Sin has put together, exclusively for you guys!!! I'm getting all kinds of envious!
I am going to shut up now, and let Sin take the word. Enjoy, and remember to enter the giveaway!!


This is the hard part, talking about myself. I'm not the most interesting person in the world, by a long shot. I'm a stay-at-home mom, a bit of a hermit, really. I don't travel much, or go out often. Living on a single income means I don't go on wild shopping sprees, or have hobbies that require spending. I've always kind of lived hand-to-mouth, working at whatever jobs were available, for whatever pay I could get. About the only thing interesting about me is being an author. I get to spend a few hours, each day, in worlds of my own creation.

I've done a few interviews since I became an author. In almost every one I'm asked to talk about myself. Isn't it funny how hard that can be, for an author? I mean, I believe that my writing is really about my characters. Of course, each of them is a piece of me, but they're also pieces of so many other people, real and fictional, who've had an impact on my life. Some of those people I've known intimately and others I've never even met, but none of them is really one hundred percent me, and I'd much rather talk about them. For the purpose of the takeover, though, I will try.

Another question interviewers often ask is, "Why do you write?" Not always in those words, but that's really what they're asking. Most interviews require several, short answers but I think, today, I'll take the opportunity to answer that one, single question in more detail.

Ready for it?

Almost as far back as I can remember, I've been a reader. I mean that, and I can remember back a long way. There are two sets of memories I have from when I was very young. One set involves a lot of yelling, fighting and crying. Domestic violence wasn't something my family saw in the news, it was what we lived. My mom lived in a constant state of dread, and because she did, I did too. My second set of memories were much happier. Those were the times when my mom or my grandma would open up one of those magic books and read to me. For a few minutes, nearly every night, there was a quiet sanctuary to escape to, with a happy ending nearly guaranteed. Thus began my love of reading.

More than anything in the world, I wanted the key to unlocking the magic inside of books, and I was determined to have it. By the time I'd learned to read, Mom had taken us away from that life. We stayed with family for a while, and then it was just the two of us in an apartment; more, if you counted my imaginary friends and book-friends. We did a bit of moving around, in those days. I was always the new kid in school, and even though I could "talk the hind legs off a mule", or perhaps because of it, I didn't make friends easily. My best friends were still my fictional friends, and I never had to leave them behind when we moved, because they were only as far away as the nearest library.

It was around that time, having unlocked the secrets of reading, that I first tackled the mystery of writing. Being a bookish sort, I didn't participate in a lot of extracurricular activities. When one of my teachers gave us a daily journal to write in, I quickly became bored with my entries. Granted permission to write short stories instead, I began my first serial fiction project.

Now I wasn't only escaping to the magical, fictional worlds others had made, but I was creating my own! The fictional friends I'd had for so long could now race freely across the paper, and into the world for all to see. I lived for the praise and criticism my teacher offered, in equal measure. I was hooked. Ever since then, no matter how crazy things got, I always had my characters to talk to and my fictional sanctuaries to escape to.

Except for one time. There was a time when I gave up my writing. It wasn't a conscious choice. My life entered a strange period where I was emotionally complacent and physically over-taxed. I honestly had no time or energy to indulge in writing fiction or poetry. Instead I was writing manuals and legal documents — and I was languishing. It was as if all of my emotions slowly faded until there was no vibrancy left in me. The world was painted in shades of grey, (pardon my Canadian spelling, please), and I existed merely to exist. Going back to writing was like emerging from some kind of emotional stasis, and it was glorious.

So the answer to "Why do you write?" is rather complex. I write because fiction has always been a sanctuary for me, and I want to pay that forward. I write because words have always held me in thrall and poured out of me, in voice and ink. I write because there is always another character whose story needs telling. Perhaps, I also write because, in the years where it always felt that so much was beyond my control, I was the one in charge of my stories; a sort of God complex, if you will. Of course, now I realize I've always had more control of my life than I believed, and less control of my stories than I thought.

One thing I know for certain: I write because I can't not write.

Vital Stats:

Age: 43
Height: 5'2"
Weight: Soooo not telling
Status: Married with Children
Author: Since 2011
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Most Recent Publication: " Carmaterdea" in Rise of the Goddess anthology, (All Proceeds to Elliot Public Library).
Sinead Bio:

Sinead MacDughlas is a Canadian writer with an addiction to the written word. Though she's been honing her craft for over thirty years, Learn to Love Me is her debut full-length novel, and the result of over two years intensive work.

Her favorite writing fuel is coffee, with the music she loves playing in the background, and the inspiration of a lifetime of people watching. Sinead plans to continue writing as long as there are readers who enjoy her work.


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