Tuesday, January 15, 2013

FIRST LOVE BLOG HOP and Literary Fiction Author Michaelene McElroy

Michaelene McElroy, Author
Please welcome FIRST LOVE BLOG HOP and literary fiction author Michaelene McElroy. Her debut book, THE LAST SUPPER CATERING COMPANY--which McElory types as "elastic reality"-- is an Amazon Best Seller for literary fiction. One reviewer describes this unique book as: "...beautifully crafted, a throwback to a style half-forgotten yet sorely missed.” Other reviewers praise her characters, “As I giggled, smiled, cried and hissed through this book I found so many new friends that I am holding close.”

In her real-world life, McElroy maintains four acres of land in the woods in the state of Washington where she lives and where, if you visit, you might find a pot of soup simmering on the stove.

 Click the link at the end of this article to check out the FIRST LOVE BLOG HOP and learn about 29 authors and how to win a Kindle and many more prizes.

Q:  Your book title THE LAST SUPPER CATERING COMPANY and your lead character’s name B. Thankful Childe-Lucknow are unique. How relevant are your names and title to set the tone for a different kind of book?

Michaelene McElroy:  I write in a sub genre of literary fiction that I refer to as elastic reality.  When you’re asking a potential reader to stretch their mindset beyond the norm, I think it’s important to show them through the title of the book that there’s something unique held within the pages.  As for the names of characters, well, they introduce themselves to me as I go along, their names intact upon arrival. 

Q: One of your reviewers refers to your book: “Its words and its heart will fill you like a warm strawberry rhubarb crumble on a late summer day.” First, what a great statement. Of course, I really like strawberry rhubarb pie. However, to the point – how do you do that?!  How do you make us care about your characters so much?

Michaelene McElroy:  After reading that particular review, I had a craving for strawberry rhubarb crumble for days.  But to answer your question: In the case of B. Thankful I think the reason people care so much about her is because she’s so tender and enthusiastic about life.  Even after being cast aside by an entire town, and losing everything she has ever known, she never gives up that sense of wonderment.

Q:  And what about your villain? Boo hiss! What makes a good villain?

Michaelene McElroy:  Well, in the genre I write in, which runs a humorous vein, the villain or villainess is obvious from the get-go by their physical appearance, mannerisms and bad attitude.  I think the best villain(ess) works overtime at trying to keep a protagonist from succeeding, which, in turn, makes the main character more loveable, and the villain someone you want to give a good smack.  Now, in other genres, I think the best villain is the one that tricks you into thinking they’re something else; the one you didn’t see coming until it was too late. 

Q: How important is setting to telling your story?

Michaelene McElroy:  In some instances, the setting is a character in itself.  In the case of B. Thankful, the woods where she lives is all she’s ever known, so the setting is part and parcel to that of a friend.

Q: Do you write purely for entertainment? Or are you trying to tell your readers something?

Michaelene McElroy:  I write to entertain, and since finishing THE LAST SUPPER CATERING COMPANY  I’m always taken aback when people tell me what message I was trying to impart through the story.  And, of course, each person has their own version of what that message is.  That’s the beauty of storytelling.

Q: Why are you a writer?  When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

Michaelene McElroy:  I’m a writer because wonderful characters keep showing up with stories they want to tell and they need me to do the typing. 

I started writing in my sophomore year of high school – heavily burdened poetry and prose motivated by the turbulence of the ‘60s – you know, snowflakes covered in blood, injustice, lost innocence – all written, I might add, from the comfort of my middle class bedroom.  In some innocent recess within me, I believed it was the only way to express my feelings and to avoid being consumed by the madness of the times.  Like I said…heavily burdened.

Q:  Tell us something about yourself, e.g., do you do stand up comedy? What are some of your favorites – books, movies, plays etc.?  What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have a muse? What's your favorite charity?

Michaelene McElroy:  I don’t do standup comedy.  As I recently told a friend (who was trying to get me to do standup), “I’m too old to do standup.  Get me a chaise lounge and I’ll think about it.” Badump bumbp.   In my youth I was involved in community theatre, and collaborated on the writing for a revue called The Menstrual Show.  Favorite book: Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird; Movie: Jean Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie. Play: Margaret Edson’s Wit. (Disclaimer: On any given day, these answers will have changed.)

I live in the woods on an island in the Puget Sound, where I maintain four park-like acres of land, so when I’m not writing in the spring and summer months, you’ll find me out tending to the property, mowing, trimming fields, painting railings, power washing decks, building birdhouses, or tucked in a hammock doing absolutely nothing.  If  you dropped in unannounced during the winter months, you might find me reading a great book, and no doubt, there would be a pot of soup simmering on the stove.

About Michaelene McElroy

Michaelene McElroy makes her debut as an author with THE LAST SUPPER CATERING COMPANY.  She lives on four acres in the woods on an island in the Puget Sound of Washington State where magic is ever present

THE LAST SUPPER CATERING COMPANY is the heartwarming story of B. Thankful Childe-Lucknow. Turned out with red corkscrew hair, one eye brown, the other green, and gifted with the power to hear the voices of the departed, B. Thankful is cast aside by the town, and lives an isolated upbringing in the woods with Big G, Little G, and Tyler Lucknow.

Tragedy, followed by the discovery of a long-forgotten paint-by-number picture of the Last Supper, thrusts B. Thankful from the safety of everything she has ever known.

Beyond the boundary of her sheltered life, B. Thankful discovers the world's hard edges as well as its beauty.  More importantly, with the help of a cast of quirky and tenderhearted souls (both earthly and heavenly), she discovers why God made her special.


Genre: Literary Fiction/Elastic Reality
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1 comment:

  1. Joyce,

    Heartfelt thanks for hosting me on Strand's Simply Tips!