MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DON MCLEAN
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Don McLean. My book is a murder mystery genre.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I am a Critical Care Nurse, I would come home and tell my wife the interesting cases we had that day. She kept pestering me to write them down. I always laughed because I never considered writing anything. But over time, as a way to relax I started to write them down. This made me think of games we made up during the weekend night shifts. The one game we played is how would you kill someone without anyone detecting. We used pharmacology, pathophysiology to set up scenarios for the others to figure out. So I eventually combined the two ideas into one and what is now my book.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
After working in critical care I took a job as a clinical research associate. This afforded me to travel, so while on the plane I would read Michael Connelly murder mystery books. These were by far my favorite. Mysteries and fiction are my favorite genre. I loved watching tv shows, movies about mysteries.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
This book required less research than my next. I am an RN and worked in critical care for more than 27 yrs. I taught critical care course, worked with heart transplant, patients with heart attacks, bypass surgery etc. This all has helped me with my research. I have numerous medical text books to help with the big words….lol
Can you tell me about your Series?
I wrote this book as a one and done. But many have asked when the sequel is coming. So I am working on a second book in this series.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
This is a good book and I am proud of it. Having said that, I have learned much about writing and building characters.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
I think it is the combination of working as a nurse, and my warped sense of humour. When writing these stories, I thought what if someone took the game serious and started to kill patients in the hospital. That intrigues me.
Was it always meant to become a series?
No, this was a one and done book.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I work all day, I read documents, and work on my computer doing the same. So by the time I think of writing, I am tired or stressed. During the evening I like to go out to my garage (AKA) man cave have a cigar and scotch and work on my writing. This relaxes me and I can get lost in writing for hours.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
The new book is still in the works. I have a few ideas. The next book will be “Two for the Game” It takes place in the same hospital, but now we have a more devious psychopathic murderer.
Another concept I am working on is about a pharmaceutical company that discovers a cure for a rare disease, only to find out it starts to kill people. Lastly is a children’s book. “Mommy and Daddy are Aliens” Mon and dad are nice and kind, but by end of the day, aliens take over and are mean.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
No special meaning. I look for common names on the internet.
Where do your ideas come from?
I think mostly from past experiences
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Nothing yet. I feel I want to continue in this genre.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding time. But also creating the scene. Expanding on characters is difficult. Sometimes I can look at pictures of people and imagine who they are.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I have two trailers. One was made for my book is coming, the other is my book that is out. I like them and will continue to use them. I may try producing my own.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Actually publishing a book.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Not sure yet, I am only starting to do book signings and readings.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Retired and more time to write.
Have you always liked to write?
No, I never liked writing. But now I am enjoying it more and more
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Stay with it. It may take years but it is worth it. It does not matter in the end if anyone likes it, or reads your work as long as you are satisfied with the work you did. For me, I just wanted to write and publish the book.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Writing is a hobby for now. I work about 50-60 hrs a week.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I have not had many reviews. But at the end of the day, I like what I did and created. So I probably will not respond to reviews.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
Editing, I hate editing. I will always hire someone to do this.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Two for the Game is about an ambitious LPN that is dating an intern. The intern is struggling, he can’t seem to figure out what is wrong with patients while his colleagues are surpassing him in every way. His girls friend, soon to be wife comes up with a plan to make patients sick by giving wrong doses or stopping a medication. The intern is now able to assess patients and get back into the good books of his professors. This leads to worse and worse cases until the intern can’t help the patients and they start to die. So he struggles to save lives and stop his girlfriend.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I enjoy mysteries. IE: Dial M for murder, CSI type shows. I love to figure out the killer as fast as possible. My wife hates when I do that.
Where did your love of books come from?
I never read much until after high school and into collage. But my mother always read, she would tell me to read, “Reading is knowledge.”
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Michael Connelly is by far my favorite. He writes about a detective who uncovers the killer.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
I created a strong, independent female lead character. She never takes crap from anyone. Very strong, smart and attractive.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Relaxes me. I can get into a writing mode and work for hours.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I guess having some doubt while writing. I get working and think, who or why would anyone want to read this. But turns out many have read it and enjoyed the book.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what I want. I hate books that are designed from a cookie cutter approach. Some have 7, 8 books but have the same plot. I like creating twists and turns. That is why it takes me longer to plot this out.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am just getting into the author word. I hope to meet many more. I had attended a couple work shops where the authors have been very helpful. But I do not know many personally.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Out of the hood. I lived in an area that was considered low income. Thinking back, we were very poor. But I kept advancing my self, school, work etc. I am by no means rich, but I feel I have a better life for where I have come from and where I am now.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Every time I am in an interview for a job they ask all the basic questions.
I want someone to ask what color am I?
This comes from the personaFality charts. Red is aggressive, blue is more laid back. I would answer, CLEAR, because I see when I can or need to be aggressive and when I need to sit back and analyze the situations.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I am on FB- https://www.facebook.com/don.mclean.56614
My web site is don-mclean1960.com
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter is https://twitter.com/DonMcLe27047255
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️