Monday, March 30, 2015

To Kill or Not to Kill--On paper of course!

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Guess who I bumped into last week? The vivacious Shirley McCann. No matter where you see her she has a smile on her face and a bounce in her step. After catching up she graciously gave me an interview. Shirley, share with readers who you are in real life.
 I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother who likes to kill people on paper. I've had numerous short stories published over the years in various publications. I currently work part time in a brainless job, which sometimes allows me time to write.

What most inspires you?
The need to live in a fictional world for awhile. Life is stressful. In fiction, you know things will turn out okay in the end.

You write mysteries and suspense. Where does that come from?
I've always loved mysteries. I grew up on Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I love the adrenalin souring through my body when the hero/heroine is trying to survive. Of course, that doesn’t mean I want to experience that in real life. Fiction is just fine.

If you won the lottery and had to give half of it away, what or who would you give it to and why?
I’d give it to my family – mom, two brothers, sister and two kids. I’d want them all to be as financially comfortable as me. I could only be happy if they were financially set too. Then, with my share, I’d donate some to a homeless shelter. I saw on Twitter once where a lady made scarves and donated them to shelters in the winter. I thought that was so nice. We all can do some little thing now. It doesn't have to be a lot.

When you write how do you envision your characters? In other words, how do they form in your writing head?
Since I’m a pantser, at first they’re more like stick people to me. I don’t have a clear picture when I start. But as the story evolves and their lives evolve they become more real. I picture my characters in a movie of sorts, so I’m watching them as they go along.

What are your favorite kinds of things to read?
I love suspense, but I also love a good romance. Sometimes after reading a lot of suspense, it’s nice to sit down with a short romance novel and come back to earth for awhile with a happily ever after. I also like to read biographies. I’m not that picky. If it’s a good book, I’ll usually give it a shot.

Fill out this favorite list for me:
1.  Music – 60’s ROCK. You might see me bopping in my car sometimes.
2.  Movie – Dirty Dancing. In my dreams, I can dance like that. But not in real life.
3.  Place – HOME. Usually in Pajamas with a huge bowl of popcorn, a cup of green tea, and a good book.
4.  Famous person –Mick Jagger. He’s been my idol since I was young.
5.  Food – Enchiladas. My mom’s is the best.
6.  Actor – I don’t keep up, but if I have to pick one, I guess it would be Mark Harmon, cause I love NCIS.
7.  Musician – Mick Jagger. See # 4
8.  Restaurant – Olive Garden and Mexican Villa
9.  Animal – Dog.
10.  Flower - Carnation
11.  Author(s) – Mary Higgins Clark, David Baldacci, Harlen Coben. I also love to read indie authors. There’s some really good ones out there.

When you write do you outline or just jump in with both feet?
Definitely both feet. I sometimes try to go back and outline after the first draft, but it doesn’t always work for me. I like to start with a dead body, though.

Tell us how to reach you on social media.

List your books & buy links

The Scarry Inn

Anonymously Yours

Got Time? 13 Solve It Yourself Mysteries

A Collection - 13 Short Mysteries

The Necklace - A Middle Grade Mystery


  1. Nice interview, ladies. I'm a pantser, too, Shirley, and also envision a movie of sorts as my writing and characters evolve. I didn't know we had that in common!

  2. Great interview. I bought The Scarry Inn Haven't had time to read it yet. Looking forward to it.

  3. You just never know, do you Beth?

  4. Thanks Jan. I hope you enjoy it.

  5. There's a lot of good stuff here. I especially like reading about how your characters develop over time. That's the way it works for mine, too.