When Beverly Stowe McClure was in eighth grade, her teacher sent her poem “Stars” to the National High School Poetry Association, and she was soon a published writer in Young America Sings, an anthology of Texas high school poetry. Today, Beverly is a cum laude graduate of Midwestern State University with a BSEd degree. For twenty-two years, she taught children to read and write. They taught her patience. She is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.
Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices in her head tell her. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps photos of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. She also enjoys visiting with her family and teaching a women’s Sunday school class at her church. Her articles have been published in leading children’s magazines. Two of her stories are in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ANTHOLOGIES, and she has nine novels published, two of them award winning novels at Children’s Literary Classics and other competitions.
Q: What’s inside the mind of a children and teen’s author?
A: Haha. I’m not sure you’d want to look inside my mind. I think, though, I’m still a child at heart. I taught in elementary school for twenty-two years. My thoughts are often like a child’s/teen’s thoughts: the insecurities of life and wanting to be popular.
I don’t know about other writers but like many children/teens I’m insecure at times. Instead of worrying about homework and dates like kids do, I worry if I’ll ever be able to write another story. If I manage to do so, will it be published?
I also want my writing to be popular, or at least to be liked. Instead of worrying about my best friend now having another best friend or all the cute guys ignoring me, I worry over whether readers will buy my story. If they read it, will they enjoy it?
Q: Tell us why readers should buy A PIRATE, A BLOCKADE RUNNER, AND A CAT.
A: The novel is a paranormal novel for MG/Tween readers that enjoy reading about pirates and ghosts, mixed with a bit of history and adventure. The novel also is about family and what happens when parents split up. Many of the readers will relate to Erik as he tries to make sense of why his father left home and his mother moved Erik halfway across the country. Star, one of Erik’s new friends, is a great character because she can read mind dreams (she calls them.)This makes for some interesting clashes with Erik.
Q: What makes a good MG paranormal novel?
A: Good question. It’s hard for me to say why one story attracts the reader’s attention and another one doesn’t. One thing I discovered with my latest novel is to make sure you have the historical facts and ghostly facts straight. Kids are smart and will catch a mistake, even a small one. Then they may not believe anything else you say in the story. Do the research to make sure your facts are accurate. Also, the characters must be realistic, with good points and bad. To me, the characters make the story. The main character should have a realistic goal or problem that he/she struggles to solve. I think young readers want characters they like and can even relate to.
Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?
A: After breakfast, I check email, visit my blogs, Face Book and other sites, and then I write, usually from 9:00 AM until noon. I might work on a new story or do a second, third, or more revision on another story. In the afternoon, I edit work if I have a new book coming out. If not, I play around with ideas for new stories and do more Online stuff. At night, I enjoy reading and writing reviews.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?
A: When a child says they loved my story, or it helped them with a similar problem to the girl/boy in the story, I am happy. I don’t write to teach a lesson, but if a reader can relate to the character(s)and find hope in his/her life, what more could I ask for?