Shirley McCann’s fiction has appeared in Woman’s World, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and many other fiction publications. She has two short story collections on Amazon. Anonymously Yours is her first contracted novel. The Scarry Inn, YA suspense, will be released by Black Opal Books in early 2015.
You are one busy lady these days so thank you for stopping by to chat.
How did you come up with this unique setting in your novel?
Honestly, I have no idea. It just came to me. I used the setting from a neighborhood I lived in at the time, but the diner was a complete fabrication. I guess it just seemed like a good idea.
When you started this project did you intend for the main characters to be so young?
Actually, it started out as a YA, so they were even younger in the original version. It just kind of evolved from there. It’s gone through a lot of changes over the years. Most people probably would have given up on it by the time it was actually published, but I couldn’t let it go.
You are currently working on something for Black Opal Books. Can you give us a taste of what we can look forward to?
The Scarry Inn is YA suspense. The idea evolved from a time when my husband and I were making a trip from California to Missouri. Our car broke down and we ended up staying in a ratty motel for a few days until we got a rental. The story just started with a lot of “what ifs”. In the novel, four teenagers end up in the same position as us, only the owners are not happy to see them. With a name like the Scarry Inn, they decided the owners are just trying to make the inn live up to its name. At least until one of them is murdered. Then they are in a fight for their lives.
How do you start a new project?
I've got so many projects started; I’ll never get them all done. I enjoy mystery and romance, so sometimes it’s a toss-up which one I want to work on. Currently I’m working on a sequel to The Scarry Inn, so that takes up most of my time now. I’m finding I’m not good with deadlines, so I’ll have to force myself to finish it. But I usually do not know who the killer is when I start. I learn as I go.
Is there a genre besides mysteries you’d like to try?
As I mentioned above, I also enjoy easy-read romances. They’re just a fun, relaxing read.
I love hearing about how a writer makes the magic happen when they create. Do you have a routine, good luck charm or special place that helps you plow through a project?
HA! I babysit three kids, two under two years of age during the week. I also work part time. And I also take care of my paraplegic husband. So I can’t wait for the magic to happen. I write whenever I can. What this means is I have to make myself be in the mood to write because when I’m in the mood, I have no time.
Give us a taste of Anonymously Yours:
Uneventful is the word Denise would have expected to describe her job at Winslow’s Diner. But after the discovery of a dead body during an attempt to return a lost wallet, Denise is suddenly thrust into a danger she hadn't bargained for. And to top it off, not only does her boyfriend, Justin, inform her that the police never found a body at the house she’d sent them to, she also realizes that she is being stalked by someone driving a red Toyota – the same car she’d seen at the house where she’d discovered the body.
In a fight for their lives, Denise and Justin are forced to seek the help of her Private Investigator, Uncle Bob. Unfortunately, she soon learns that her uncle is not the successful person she’d always believed him to be. Now, not only does she need to solve the mystery of the missing corpse in order to save her life, she also realizes that doing so would help to boost the confidence of her favorite uncle.
Denise realizes their newly devised plan must go as clockwork, or someone else could end up dead.
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