Name Carole McKee
Age 69 (Getting older than an Egyptian mummy!!)
Where are you from
Originally, I am from Pittsburgh. That will always be home to me, even though I live in beautiful Clearwater, Florida.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Currently, I am retired from the work force, but I had several careers during my years of employment. I started out as a keypunch operator, which was what data entry was called way back then. I worked in retail for awhile, then worked as a route driver, a document coder, and an area manager in the photo developing industry, among other jobs.
I didn’t go to college until my kids were out of high school. Then, once I started, I didn’t want to stop. My first degree was an Associate’s degree in Nuclear Medicine. After that, I earned a Bachelor’s in Human Health Science. But I had the bug, so I didn’t want to quit going to school. I obtained a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and then a Master’s in Behavioral Health Science, focusing on School Counselling. You might say I just didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I became a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, then an office manager, a supervisor, a customer service rep, and a school counsellor.
My two beautiful children, Terra and Eric, were the light of my life and my heart. Eric passed away from a rare bone marrow illness, but left me a beautiful grandson. Eric Edmund, named after his father And his great-grandfather (my dad), resides with his mother in Philadelphia. I don’t get to see him very often, but would love to. My daughter lives in Salt Lake City.
I live alone with my cat, Myttenz, and manage to stay very active. Besides being the Treasurer of my Homeowner’s Association, I am a Deacon in my church. I also belong to a screen writer’s group, where I am slowly learning to write screen plays. I have participated as an extra in films produced by the group. It’s fun.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My last published work was a trilogy, “Testosterone poisoning.” I am currently working on a novel that will probably end up being a series of three. It’s title is “Angelface.” I’m hoping to have this one completed and published by late April. Hopefully.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
For as long as I can remember, I have always written stories. I’ve always loved writing. In high school and college, any time there was a paper required, I just excelled at it. A few of my professors remarked on my writing ability, a more than one suggested I pursue it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
How I really got started was when my beloved black Lab died. Because he was so loved, I had him cremated so he would always be with me. The woman who handled the cremation called me just to tell me how beautiful he was, and we talked about him for quite a while. I told her stories about him, and how special he was. She suggested that I write his story. So I did. I submitted it to a couple magazines and a veterinary magazine bought it. That was my first published work. I always had a head full of stories, and one day I just said, “Why not try writing a book from one of those stories inside my head?” And “Perfect” was born. I submitted “Perfect” into a contest and the book won an Honorable Mention. I didn’t think that was a big deal at the time, until I learned that the contest had over 250,000 entries. So it kinda was a big deal. That fact, plus the praise I received from people who read it, made me think of myself as a writer. So I wrote another one. “Choices” ended up being a series of four books, ending with “Consequences.” Since that series, there have been four eBooks. Oh, and I also republished “Perfect” at a more affordable price. I will do that with the “Choices” series as well.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
After selling the short story about Jackson, my Lab, I decided to put on paper the story rolling around in my head.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure what that means. A lot of passion comes through in my writing, so I’m told. Many people told me they could feel the feelings of the characters. I don’t think I really have a specific style. I just write from the heart. But I do write realistic true to life stories. I don’t put a lot of sex in my stories, because I want the personalities and the relationships to be the story. I mean, there is some sex, but it’s not the main focus.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Well, the girl in the story was a perfect child who grew into a beautiful adult. She had a wonderful life growing up, and when she met the man of her dreams, he was perfect. They were perfect for each other. Could any other title have been more Perfect?
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A message? Well, I guess I would want to remind readers that no matter how you look, or what you have, or how perfect or imperfect your life is, tragedy can still strike without warning. That’s why I think it’s important to be thankful and grateful for each day, and to live each day loving, respecting, and celebrating life.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Actually, the story is based on a real true story. Where I had to improvise, I did use some real life incidents from my life.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The book that influenced my life the most was “The Sleeping Prophet,” the Edgar Cayce story. Then, later on, “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsh became a huge influence. As far as having a mentor, I really never did. But I had an English teacher in high school who encouraged me to love the English language and to be the best that I can be in everything I attempt. I dedicated one of my books, “Maddie’s Garden,” to her. Unfortunately, Mrs. Simpson passed away just days before the book came out.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Well, I love Linda Lee Williams books. She writes paranormal romance. She has a series of vampire romances that I thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t like blood and gore, so these are great. Just love and romance with fangs. Marie Lavender is another author I like. And one more — Get ready to hear a lot from this new author: Terri Gregg. I just finished reading her murder mystery, “Bones Unearthed,” and it was terrific. It’s her first book, and hopefully there will be more.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Libby. Libby Pavlakovich. We have been friends for more than 50 years, and no matter what, she has always been in my corner. I love her like the sister I never had.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Oh, absolutely. After all the careers I have endured, I finally found the one I never want to leave.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think I would change the way I published my first four books. I didn’t know any better when I wrote them, and I stupidly went with a self-publishing house. It was a huge, expensive mistake. Another thing I would have done differently is that I would have started seriously writing a lot sooner than I did. I spent years going from career to career, and never being totally happy or satisfied. Writing fulfills me.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It originated all the way back to when I was a child. I would hide away in my bedroom away from my brothers and my parents and write short stories. Then, when I got older and in high school, I loved it when we had to write a paper. Other students thought I was nuts, but I knew I was in my element.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Okay.”Angelface” is Deanna Davies. She’s in her twenties, grew up on a farm, grooms dogs for a living, and wants to eventually become a veterinarian. She meets Mr. wonderful, a highly skilled combat trained employee of an international rescue, retrieval, and return agency, his family’s business. The fun romance is great until she finds out that he has killed people. By now, he is head over heels in love with her, and she with him. But can they work past this? Deanna, lover of life, and Darren, who has taken life away?
Here are a couple small excerpts:
“Will you dance with me? Please?” He held out his hand to her.
“Yes,” she responded as she accepted his hand. He noted the look of disbelief on the other women’s faces as he gently helped the girl from her chair. The music was just starting as he wrapped his arm around her waist and tucked her hand into his chest. He smiled down at her.
“I think I’m a little drunk,” she told him.
“Yeah, I think you are, too. What’s your name?”
“Deanna. That’s a pretty name.”
“My friends call me DeeDee.”
“Yeah? Well, I think I’ll call you Angelface.”
“This shouldn’t take too long,” Darren said, as he exited the plane at the San Diego Airport. “It’s always a breeze when we get the information early on.”
“Let’s just hope it’s correct information.” Ken replied. “There’s Keith.”
Darren and Ken joined Keith as he stood next to the black Lincoln Navigator. “Hey, Bro…what do we know so far?” Darren hugged his brother.
“Well…should be a slam-dunk. Couple came down here, wandered over the border into Tijuana, guy gets jumped, beaten up, girl disappears. Luckily for the guy, another American found him, got him to the hospital. Mexican police aren’t interested in finding the girl; don’t care that he was assaulted either. So he called his dad. His dad knows about our agency, so he called us.”
“When did this happen?” Ken asked.
“Two days ago. So we are on top of it.”
“Ken and I will load up our gear. Bro, how about you waltz on over to that Wendy’s and get us some food while we pack up? Save time.” Keith nodded and snagged the twenty out of Darren’s hand. With very little effort, the Navigator was loaded.
“You’re doing it again,” Ken said to Darren.
“Huh? Doing what?”
“Smiling into space.” Ken smirked, and Darren chuckled.
“You know…I’m a badass. A real badass. You know that. Yet…,” Darren smiled. “Yet, when I’m with Deanna…I’m a marshmallow. You know?”
“Yeah. I know. It’s called love. You’re in love, dude. And you know what? So am I. We’re screwed.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Well, a little known secret about me is that I’m dyslexic. Although I have trained myself to deal with it, sometimes I slip and transpose words. I usually catch it when I go back and read what I’ve written, but if not, my editor does. The words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters come easily to me. But the marketing? Not so much. Marketing is my downfall. I mean, when I was a kid, I couldn’t even sell Girl Scout Cookies. I’m just not a sales person, and I think you need to have that mindset in order to market well.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’ve done a lot of traveling, and I’ve lived in several places over the years. So no, I don’t have to do much traveling now. Of course, the Internet helps a lot if I need to learn something specific about a city or town; but for the most part, I rely on my memory of places I’ve been.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed most of them, even those that were published through the self-publishing house. A have a friend who sometimes helps me with the paperback covers. She’s awesome at it! She won’t let me say her name, though.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Ending it. Seriously. I never want to let go of my characters. So it’s not unusual for my characters to appear in other stories, not related to them. For example, Deanna in “Angelface” grooms Storm Galloway’s dog (from “Testosterone Poisoning”).
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have always lacked self-confidence. I just never believed that I could actually write a book that others would read. Through my first book, I learned that I could.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Well, let’s see…first of all, I think the “Choices” series would make an excellent TV drama series, but for a film? If “Maddie’s Garden” became a film, I could see Lisa Kudrow playing Maddie. But, actually, I can see all new actors and actresses with roles in my stories. Since I’m an unknown, I would want a lot of unknowns to get a break. That’s just me.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just write. Persevere. But first, know the language. Keep a dictionary nearby. Nothing upsets me more than reading a good story and finding misused words. *There, they’re, and their–know which goes where.*
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love to hear from readers, and I’m always open to suggestions. If a reader likes a book, I’d love to hear that. I the reader didn’t like the book. I’d love to know why, so I can keep that in mind for future books.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just started “The Cowgirl Takes her Man” by Barbara Caitlin. I enjoy small town romances.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes, I do. I was about eight years old. The book was called “No Children, No Pets.” It was about a single mom inheriting an apartment building in South Florida. My mother was enrolled in a book club for books for her, and she enrolled me in it, too. Every month I received hard cover books geared for young readers. I loved it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love good comedy. Subtle sarcasm in particular. What makes me cry? Everything. I cry when I see someone hurting, but I also tear up when something great happens to someone. Tears of joy, I guess. I’m pretty sentimental.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
There are so many I would have loved to have known, for right now, the Obama family comes to mind. I just loved watching their interaction with each other. They are so cute together.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…but I ran out of time.”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Reading, of course. But I also do some sewing and crafts. I love to embroider. Some artwork, as well. I do a few sketches in pencil occasionally. Some I have framed.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
“This is Us” is one of favorites, but I like the Chicago shows–“Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD’, and ‘Chicago Med.” “Grey’s Anatomy” “Scandal” And “Law & Order, SVU” For sitcoms I love “Mom” and “The Big Bang Theory” and “Speechless.” I am also a major NFL fan. I love watching football. Of course, the Pittsburgh Steelers is my team.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Foods…I love chicken and Italian, but not together. Filet mignon, too. Very rare. Colors…Turquoise is my favorite color, but I like shades of purple, lilac and pink together. Music…light rock, and the oldies. 50’s, and 60’s.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Probably everything I’ve already done. As I said, I was never really happy or satisfied with my other careers, but…well…I endured them. I might have pursued a career in some form of art, but it was not encouraged. I come from a hard-working family, and so trying to make a living through any form of the arts was considered a frivolous dream. And it certainly wasn’t a guaranteed pay check. I guess you could say that I’m my family’s odd one, because I am a dreamer. I was never happy in a corporate world.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes, I do have a blog. I can be found here: http://author-carole-mckee.blogspot.com/
Authors Amazon page USA https://www.amazon.com/Carole-McKee/e/B0082D3810/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
Links to Books…
Smashwords: Will be added soon.
Testosterone Poisoning (Book 1 only):
Testosterone Poisoning (Book 2 only):
Testosterone Poisoning (Book 3 only):
Testosterone Poisoning Complete trilogy (Books 1, 2, 3)
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/j3qbk8w (Also available in paperback)
Barnes&Noble: http://tinyurl.com/j895rns (paperback)
Kisses from the Heart:
Choices: (Available in paperback and eBook)
The Bushes are Red: (available in paperback and eBook)
The Full Nelson: (Paperback and eBook)