Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Are You a Pretender?

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M.D. Cliatt Bio
I'm a wife and a mother who loves to tell stories. I was born and raised in Georgia, but now I live in Central Pennsylvania.  I'm a staff attorney in a law school clinical program, and I'm an adjunct law professor who teaches juvenile justice and legal writing. I used to be a public defender specializing in representing children, and for the most part, loved the work. I thrived on the heat of courtroom battle, but the highs are very high and the lows are very low and I burned out. Now, I spend time grading papers, supervising law students as they represent indigent clients in court and reading with my sister in our long distance book club.

What inspires you as a writer? Number one, I love getting lost on the highways of my imagination and writing about what I discover.  I find writing to be almost magical in the way it transports you to other places and introduces you to characters without the aid of pictures, videos or soundtracks.  Number two, I’ve been an avid reader since I was a small child, and I noticed that bookstores lacked variety when it came to stories about members of my community--if they had any stories at all.  
When did you have that ah ha moment when you knew you were a writer? I’m still not sure, but as a kid, I would write stories in journals in an attempt to capture the magic authors seemed to possess, but I never finished--barely started really.   When I finished The Public Pretender, and a couple of people told me they liked it, I thought--Maybe, just maybe.  So, I’m trying my dream out for size to see if it fits.
What is your writing process? I wake up around 4:00 in the morning, turn on some instrumental music because lyrics can be distracting, make some tea and then park myself on the couch in front of my bow window.  Hopefully, I find my writing vibe and voice and get lost in my imagination with a particularly intriguing character and/or plot.
 Tell us about your favorite character and why you chose to write about them? Besides the main character, I enjoyed writing about three other characters:  Crow, Nathan and Jason.  Since you asked for one, I’ll pick Nathan, the main character’s husband.  His love, protection, patience and genuine concern for his family and others are at the core of his character.  When his love for and trust in his wife is pushed to its limits, his reaction to the challenge is pivotal to the plot.  I just love the way he loves.  I’m sorry, but I just have to add that I enjoyed her youngest son’s snarky humor and laughed out loud, cried over her oldest son’s scenes and found myself fascinated by Crow, her shady, but loveable former client. 
 What are you currently working on?  I have three projects swirling around in my brain right now.  With the help of my sons, I’m putting pen to paper--or fingers to keyboard--on a fantasy novel about a pregnant queen.  I’m developing the plot for a sequel to The Public Pretender and flirting with a romance novel about a teenage runaway.
Any upcoming events?  I’m looking forward to more touring, interviews and guest blogging.
 If you could be anyone you like, who would you be? Maya Angelou or Oprah Winfrey.  I admire the way they live their lives and pursue their dreams without apology.
 Do you have any advice for new writers and something that a seasoned vet can learn?  I really don’t know enough yet to give advice, and I’m afraid anything I might offer might seem obvious or trite.  The best advice I haven’t mastered is to write every day.
Where can your followers find you?  https://sites.google.com/site/mdcliattbooks/   http://mdcliattbooks.blogspot.com/
Any last words?  I’m looking forward to hearing what others thought of the characters in my book.  Drop a comment on my blog.  Thanks for hosting me!

Thank you so much for stopping by.

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