Welcome to author Jocie McKade who we pulled away from her chores: canning vegetables from her garden, making homemade bread (that sometimes turns out – sometimes it will require a trip to the grocery), or mowing, splitting firewood, and porch sittin’!
Describe your favorite writing spot or space.
Where ever I can sit with pen/paper or laptop! LOL My very favorite spot however, is on my deck. I have a screened in deck and I can write there for hours! It has a metal roof, so unless we get one of those Midwest hurricane-storms, I can still write in the rain under that melody.
Describe your current writing spot or space.
It’s been horribly hot this summer, so I’m writing in my office. I have it stocked with the essentials: desk, laptop, shelves of books, crystals hanging in the window-so I always have a rainbow in my office, colored markers for writing things in my planner – a girl’s gotta have color, twinkle lights strewn across the bookshelves, a candle burning, and a large pot of tea or two. Yup, I’m a tea drinker.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
LOL – well…….every time I make a schedule, life decides to change my world! This year I was doing really, really well. I used my planner, scheduled my days in January – oh, yeah I on organized life overload. Starting with my morning walk, then to the computer for a couple of hours, on to doing the business end of writing, and then I broke my hand. Followed by a flooded basement (from one of those Midwest hurricanes), then my sister had horrific storm damage to her home, trees down, then my kids both had their ACs died an early death, and then……..you get the idea. Hubby is an ASE Master Mechanic – which means I’ve never broken anything he can’t fix, which also means we are on call for all things broken in the family. Which he loves, don’t let him kid you!!!
2021 has been throwing hurdles in my path like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve tripped, stumbled, and fallen over most of them. But, I have managed to write, albeit one handed, and do a mean ‘Crazy Hand Jive’ in therapy! (You’ll have to look the song up on Youtube.)
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I have deadlines I set, but I also work full-time, and we live on a farm, so during summer months, I’m much slower. But roughly 4 – 6 months.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
LOL! You made me go check my file on ‘book ideas and outlines’……um, 72 files. While I might lean toward procrastination…..writers block isn’t something I have to deal with.
Do you write under a pseudonym? If not, have you ever considered it?
I do. I work as a writer for many magazines, newspapers and professional publications, so I keep my fiction and non-fiction worlds very separate.
Jocie is the name of a grandmother….
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
Honestly, it depends. I have a series of romantic comedies, The Three Baers, that came to me on a road trip in our RV – what if a city-slicker, alt-rock woman were dumped in the wilds of Wyoming, with country music, cowboys, and the country life? So, this was plot driven.
But my cozy mystery series Mayson-Dickson is based on my childhood…..yes, it was a weird one! I was born in the North, but all of my family is from the South USA. I can go from y’all to you guys in the same sentence!
So, I thought, oh, what if there were twins, and one was from the North and one from the South, and they meet for the first time over a murder?? All character driven. Then there are the strange and weird characters and plots that show up randomly at 3AM……or during quiet time at church or while checking out the deli counter.
How do you select the names of your characters?
They tell me! And they are usually very adamant. Once I start writing, their name just pops into my head. Occasionally, it will change later in the manuscript, but that’s usually a secondary character, they don’t tend to give me their names easily. Maybe it’s because they didn’t get to be the MC? Hmmm…..
Can you hear your characters talking?
Oh, yes. Sometimes as the most inappropriate moments.
How much time do you spend on research before starting a book? While writing?
It depends on the book. For most, a simple search of an area that the book is taking place, for others, more in-depth research is required. I’m sure I will have to explain to the FBI about my searches some day.
What kind of research do you do for a book?
If the world (Covid) and money allow, I love, love, love to travel. So, when I can, I will travel to a location where my book is set and explore, and take pics, and just absorb the locale.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A bandaged unicorn. (A Happy Klutz).
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Hands down, a computer. I learned to type on a typewriter, so the computer was better than any sliced bread!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I write non-fiction as well, so I’m pretty much always writing. But, I do live on a small farm, and we have about a 1/4 acre garden. So, I garden, kill plants, plant more, occasionally bring them back to life, only to have them freeze in the Midwest cold, or get incinerated by the Midwest heat. Those that survive are worthy of being canned. And, I make a mean Zucchini Jelly. LOL.
Do you ever Google yourself?
Unfortunately, yes. It was so disappointing. I discovered I am really boring.
What is your favorite childhood book(s)?
Oh, so many! I was the kid who trekked to the library every week…..which actually lead to me being a librarian for 16 years! No, no, I can’t, I simply can’t…….(said with fake British accent.) Apologies to the UK.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t worry if it sucks, just write the book!
Why are most of your books filled with snarky humor?
Life is tough, and as a writer, I want to make life a bit brighter for readers. If my characters moment of snark, or being able to say aloud what you’re thinking, or seeing the humorous or odd side of bad situations makes a reader smile……then my words matter, they’ve made a difference. How humbling is that?
Jocie worked at several jobs before landing her ideal one as a librarian, a perfect segue to becoming an author.
Writing humorous cozy fiction, and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn’t. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family. When not writing, she grows ArnoldSwartzaWeeds in her garden and RVs whenever the opportunity presents itself.