Wednesday 2 October 2019

A Slice of Cake With... Kristin McTiernan

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with Kristin McTiernan.

Kristin McTiernan was born the daughter of a career military man and spent her childhood bouncing from one country to another. Her love of writing surfaced early, and upon discovering the double threat of comic books and Star Trek in middle school, Kristin spent the majority of her spare time creating new worlds and interesting people to populate them. Following in her parents’ footsteps, Kristin enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and, upon her discharge three years later, settled into a life pursuing her love of words. She achieved her bachelor’s degree in English from Emporia State University in her home state of Kansas and her master's in curriculum design.

Kristin has been a professional editor since 2008, perfecting doctoral dissertations, novels, and creative nonfiction.She published her first book, Sunder, in 2015 and continues to publish both time travel and supernatural fiction, loving every minute of it.

What kind of books do you write?

I write about women who find themselves in weird situation. My current series is about a woman combatting male Central American witches with shadowy motives. I also have a time travel/alternate history series taking place in a North America settled by the Spanish and ruled by the Vatican.

Can you describe your writing why?

They say if the story you want to read doesn’t exist, then write it. I love the spec fic and supernatural genres but so often I find myself rewriting someone else’s work in my head… even if I liked it 😊 After I finish a book, I always wonder if it’s my last one. But before long, I’m back at the keyboard.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

I nodded back, waiting for her to continue with her concerns. When none came, I said, “Can I ask what changes you’ve noticed? How he’s ‘shifted’ toward the other boys?”
Debby pressed her lips into a razor-thin white line and stared at me without blinking, clearly doing some complicated verbal calculation in her head.
“He’s been… a little clingy. More insistent that a particular boy should play with him or sit next to him instead of near someone else.”
I nodded but didn’t say anything. And I kept on nodding, letting the silence get uncomfortable. Because I knew Debby had more to say. Something she really didn’t want to.
“He… uh… sometimes says things. About the other children. Things he has no way of knowing.”
“Such as?” I prompted her, determined to make her say it out loud.
“Well, Sean was sitting by him and Nino casually mentioned that you had wanted to name him Sean before he was born. But his daddy decided Antonio was better. Then Sean said something unkind about the name Antonio. I talked to him about saying unkind things,” she added. “But then Nino said Sean’s parents had actually wanted a girl and his mother cried for days when she found out she was having a boy.” Debby’s eyes widened. “Apparently, that was true,” she whispered. “And I can’t imagine how Nino would know that.”
I craned my neck to look into the next room where my beautiful boy sat at a table, alone, coloring like he had no cares in the world. When he concentrated, he looked so much like his father it sometimes took my breath away. Luis and I both had brown eyes, but different shades. And Luis could deny it all he wanted, but Nino’s eyes were mine. Even if everything else belonged to his father.
“I’ve been working with him on being kind also,” I said, not even trying to give her a straight answer. “He sometimes says things he shouldn’t.”
Stone faced, Debby whispered, “Enrique had that problem too. When he was young.” 
I blinked, never quite ready to hear that name being said aloud. Unlike me, she’d known Enrique from a very young age. For some reason, it was only now dawning on me that plump, simple Debby might know more than I did about my son’s homicidal brother.  
“He’s not like Enrique,” I said, maybe sharper than I should have.
“I know he isn’t. As you can see, all the class hamsters are still in one piece.” She smiled when she said it, but she was not joking.

Tell us about your latest project

Books 1 and 2 of the Black Magic series are out now, following Tess Cooper, a woman living like a witness to a mob hit. She has a stalker, one who happens to be a brujo (male witch). Since she is not a witch herself, and literally no one believes her plight, she has to make a deal with another, more powerful brujo… her stalker’s father.

What's your favourite cake?

Italian cream cake! I had it once at a friend’s bachelorette party and I’ve never been the same since.

Looks delicious, Kristin! You can find out more about Kristin and her writing at her website.

Join me next week when I'll be having a slice of cake with Jennifer Anderson.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find all her books on Amazon. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. 

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