Welcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with Chad McClendon from Ohio.
Thanks for joining me, Chad. Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.
How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
Well, I have been published since October of 2015. My very first publication was a short story entitled “Borris.” It is a Gothic Satire about a Vampire Raccoon who continues to live by targeting stock boys in Grocery stores late at night. I say it is Gothic because it contains classical elements of gothic stories, such as fire, a brooding hero, and castles, to name a few.
One of my most recent publications is called “Die.xlsx” and is published by Fun Dead Publications, and it is a dark comedy.
I have several other online publications for my short stories & flash fiction tales. To name a few, “Just One More” appears in Bewildering Stories, and is the story of a Campfire Legend come to life (careful, it’s a chiller!) I’m pleased to say that my first poem will be published in The Voices Project in early 2018.
And of course, my first title to appear in a book all my own was Lipstick Trace, published by Solstice Publishing. It is a story of two boys becoming unlikely friends, and falling in love with the same music, women, and in some ways each other.
Congratulations on all those publications.
Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
I have a tendency to write horror when it comes to my shorter works, whereas most of my novels tend to be Fantasy or Young Adult. Lipstick Trace is Young Adult, but my next project is called “Natalsa of the Brim”, and it is set to be a series.
Natalsa is about a witch struggling to reveal evil in the world, all the while trying to restore her own robbed powers. It is a tale of romance, adventure, deception, and most importantly, Magic.
Sounds very interesting.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My goal for the longest time was to simply be published. This was accomplished in 2015. My next goal was to appear in print. This happened with “The Accident” in the “Tales From The Grave” anthology. My next goal was to be published in a book all my own and collect a profit, and this happened in Lipstick Trace in May of 2016!
So, my next writing goal is to appear in the New York Times Bestseller list. This is more a long term project. The goal to get there is to get at least 10,000 people to read my books.
To get to that goal, I am attending Literary Conventions, speaking at Schools, soliciting local Book Stores to see if my work can be sold there.
Excellent. I am also hoping to attract a wider readership. I’ve been querying agents and also speaking where I can, mostly at libraries because I’m a librarian. I’ve also spoken at my local Barnes and Noble and am attending a writer’s conference in May and Book Expo in June.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
With Lipstick Trace, the 20-30 year old crowd. It was originally written 10 years ago, so it would deeply appeal to this demographic, as it contains pop culture references that they would most probably like. However, it is still a book centered around Teenagers going into Young Adulthood, I think they can still get a lot out of it.
Good luck with that.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Collect 100 Rejection letters over the course of 365 days. Let me know if you aren’t published by that time.
I like that suggestion. Persistence is of utmost importance to authors.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
My biggest hurdle, and my most frustrating complaint, was getting rejection after rejection with no exact reason for why it was being rejected other than ‘it’s just not right for us at this time.’ It was a cop-out answer then, and it still is. However, I will say that I learned to seek out opinions on my writing from local author groups, people that weren’t my close friends or family. They gave me unique critiques that was able to get my works to a more publishable state.
Beta readers and objective readers are always a big help to authors.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I went to college at Northern Kentucky University for Creative Writing. I took a lot of writing classes. I took the standards Grammar Class, Basic/Advanced College Writing, & Shakespeare. But once those dreadful things were out of the way, I got to take Creative Writing, Novel Writing, Fiction Writing, Gothic Literature & The Arts, so many others.
Writing is like learning to shoot a gun. Anyone can shoot a gun, but that guns gonna work a lot longer if you know how to clean it and keep it functioning right. The classes that provided me the most valuable lessons were Creative Writing & Novel Writing. These were groups that promoted constructive criticism, novel development, how to publish, and things to look out for when finding a publisher. If you’re local to NKU, I advise taking them.
They sound great. I was an English major but haven’t taken too many creative writing courses. However, I did take some online publishing courses from the Gale Courses database through my library. I thought they were very helpful.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I like playing with my kids, playing League of Legends with my wife, camping, and recently grilling out. It’s been 60 degrees this week, and we’ve grilled out twice so far. I love the smell of smoke and extinguished matches, so naturally this is a good hobby for me.
Family time is important, and it’s also good to enjoy the outdoors in good weather .
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I like that beautiful flash of creation that comes with the idea of a new novel. It is unlike any other experience in the creative process. You are filled with hope, plotlines, character arcs, and most of all potential. What I dislike least, rather what is most challenging, is finding the dang publisher for the thing. Publishing has gotten easier now that I have a few titles under my belt, but it’s still hard to break through!
I agree that writing is a wonderful creative process. I find marketing the hardest part of it because even when you find a publisher, you still need to find buyers for your book.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.
Website – www.cmcfiction.net
Facebook – www.facebook.com/cmcfiction
Twitter – www.twitter.com/cmc_fiction
Free Download for Lipstick Trace (Valid until March 1st 2017) – http://goo.gl/Z05Ckg
Thanks for the interview, Chad, and best wishes to you on your future books.