Now that I’ve got your pulse racing, how about I keep your excitement level elevated? Take a breath, grab a swig from your water bottle, and let’s keep going.
A few months back I ran across a title in the Amazon lending library that caught my eye. Not only was the cover an attention grabber, but the blurb…military heroes, psychic abilities, murder, romance…who am I turn away from that lovely temptation? I picked up FORGED IN FIRE and devoured it in one sitting. Upon completion of the novel, I went through withdrawal and desperately wanted another fix. Instead I found I’d have to try my patience for the next title, FORGED IN ASH.
Fine then. Pouty but not deterred, I decided to track down the creative mind behind the books and drag her into the Swamp, where she would be forced…err, emm, encouraged, to answer a few questions. Mission accomplished.
Born in Eugene, Oregon, and growing up in Washington State, Trish McCallan is not so out of place in our land of water and trees! She began crafting stories at an early age. Her first books were illustrated in crayon, bound with red yarn, and sold for a nickel at her lemonade stand. Trish earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a concentration in Creative Writing from Western Washington University, taking jobs as a bookkeeper and human- resource specialist before finally quitting her day job to write full time.
Forged in Fire, the first book in her Red Hot SEALs series, came about after a marathon reading session, and a bottle of Nyquil that sparked a vivid dream. She lives today in eastern Washington. An avid animal lover, she currently shares her home with four golden retrievers, a black lab mix and two cats.
Without further ado, I give you TRISH MCCALLAN!
If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each? Your guests don’t have to be alive and if you really want to make it fun, you can use favorite fictional characters.
The first person I’d invite would be God. And I’d ask him just how much truth there is to the Bible and ask him to do an update/revision.
The next person I’d invite would be Jesus Christ, and I’d ask him what he thought of Jesus Christ Superstar—and what his lyrics would have been if he’d written the rock opera.
I’d invite the writers of Lost and I’d ask them: They were DEAD!!?!?!?!? What the HELL were you thinking?!?!?!?!?!
I’d invite my mom, and ask her if she found her family in heaven like she was so certain she would.
I’d invite Marc Chastain from Linda Howard’s Kill and Tell and ask him to leave his heroine (can’t remember her name) for me, because I am so much better suited for him. =0)
I’d invite the lead singer from Nickelback and ask for a personal performance. O-o
–I may have to crash your dinner party, Trish, not just for the guest list, but hey, it’s Nickleback…
As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I could hold a crayon. However, I also wanted to study whales, so I tried to major in marine biology in college. I made it through two years of biology before I hit the chemistry stuff which totally derailed me and I switched my major to English Lit and writing.
–I’m all for science so long as it’s something I can twist to my own uses =0)
Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?
Linda Howard and JR Ward. I was really hoping to meet at least one of them at the RWA nationals this past July. I knew Linda Howard was there so I looked and looked and looked for her, but she must have been hiding from me. LOL I would like to imagine I’d be coherent and collected if I did happen to meet either of them, but mostly likely they wouldn’t be able to understand a word I was stammering, or blurting, or blubbering.
–They’re on my “to meet” list, too, but I think I’d have to send up a proxy, otherwise I may just drool and blubber…
Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?
I’d written dozens of children’s books before I turned ten. From ten until twenty I wrote animal stories: rip offs of The Incredible Journey, and The Black Stallion and Lassie. I wrote my first romance novel my second year of college. I finished it by hand writing two hours a day in spiral notebooks. I never revised it; instead it ended up forgotten in a drawer. The first book I actually wrote and revised and submitted was after I graduated from college. I sent it out ONCE, and gave up when it was rejected for one dimensional characterization. That one’s in a drawer somewhere too. Both those early books need to remain hidden. I had no idea what I was doing.
–yeah, I’ve talked to a lot, I mean A LOT, of writers who’ve hidden those first books. Think what would happen if we did a blooper reel–or book. Mine would be entitled, THE EYES HAVE IT, since there’s eyes EVERYWHERE! I should’ve just named them….
Share one uniquely strange experience you’ve had that remains crystal clear to this day.
I’ve had two dreams that came true the next day. The dreams weren’t anything awful, they were little things- like a family member visiting out of the blue that we hadn’t seen in years. And one of our exchange students getting attacked by bees and stung multiple times on a nature hike.
–wow! I think our minds are a bit more powerful that we can even imagine!
What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?
The sweetest thing was someone who drove 3 hours to get a book signed and have a picture taken with me. She also brought me a plate of cookies and tried to bribe storyline and character love interest for the subsequent books. And yeah, it worked. =0) She has the skinny on everything. Those cookies went to my brain.
–*taking notes* get someone else to make cookies to bribe Trish…she wouldn’t survive mine….
What is the best advice you can share with others?
To listen to advice, but go with your instincts. Often what worked for one person, won’t work for another. We all have our own path and our own processes. So listen to what people say, but go with what your gut is telling you. Most the time our gut is right.
–I like that, there is so much information out there for any writer, it can be intimidating and disheartening…
Time for our bullet questions…ready, aim, fire!
Blades, guns, fists or feet?
It depends, if we’re talking about my heroes—it’s guns, blades AND fists. If we’re talking about my heroines, it’s common sense and feet. If you’re asking about me- It’s out smart and hide, because I can’t run very fast. =0)
–I’ve learned you just have to be faster than the one behind you ;0)
Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?
I’ve never been into fairy tales, so don’t have a favorite.
Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?
JR Ward’s Lover Reborn and Lover at Last, Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones, And The Last Policeman by Ben Winters.
–Love Ward’s books, and Howard is a must read for any romantic suspense lover….
Greatest one liner of all time?
From Linda Howard’s The perfect man. “Anything over seven inches is just showing off.” And yes, they are talking about what you think they are talking about. =0)
–*giggle* I like that!
Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?
Neither actually, what about geeky humor. LOL That fits me better.
–We can accept geeky humor, I should probably add that as a choice!
Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
Nothing, sadly—my writing cave is the epitome of boring office crap.
Favorite supernatural creature?
Shapeshifters—only one that can shift into any animal, not one that’s only capable of shifting into one species.
–I get it, let’s be honest, if you start shifting into any animal, how do you remember who you are?
Thank you, Trish for visiting. Now, my lovely Swamp followers, do you want more?
You may have it…FORGED IN FIRE is out and ready for tasting!
Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions. But her recent dream feels too real to ignore: a commercial airliner is hijacked, and a handsome passenger is shot dead. Beth hasn’t met the mystery man in her dream; she would never forget a gorgeous face like his. But she can’t deny the bizarre connection she feels. Now awake, and unable to allow for the violence she’s convinced is impending, she races to the airport…and comes face to face with the man of her dreams.
Zane Winters lives for his job, using his uncanny psychic powers to carry out missions for elite SEAL Team 7. Yet the constant adrenaline highs can’t drown out the numbness seeping into his life as he yearns to find a woman he can trust. All that changes when he meets a beautiful stranger who sets his soul on fire—and somehow knows he’s about to die.
To thwart the global crisis the hijacking will unleash, Beth and Zane join forces. But even amid the danger, they can’t deny the powerful force drawing them together. Is it merely attraction…or destiny?
Keep an eye out, FORGED IN ASH will be out in January 2014!
Go get ready to burn!