By Scott Nixon, Times-Advocate Staff
GRAND BEND — With her first novel recently published, Grand Bend's Debbie McClure is already hard at work on a follow-up.
McClure's "In the Spirit of Love," what she describes as "an inspirational paranormal romance murder mystery," was published in November, something McClure describes as "pretty incredible, to be very honest with you. You work at it for so long, that when it actually comes out . . . it's kind of like you can't believe it's actually there and people are going to be able to read what you've been labouring over for months."
McClure started working on her novel a little over a year ago. With a background in real estate, mortgages and marketing, McClure was working full time and writing in the mornings and evenings. The actual writing portion of the project only took McClure about three months, but she says trying to get a book published is a lengthy process.
When "In the Spirit of Love" was finished, and McClure had completed proofreading and editing, she started sending out query letters to publishers and agents. There were rejection letters, but McClure received expressions of interest from three publishers and she eventually decided on Echelon Press of Orlando, Florida.
McClure says she always wanted to be a writer and wrote as a teenager, but then she said life got in the way and writing took a back seat. Three years ago, she decided to go ahead and pursue her dream.
An avid reader, McClure says romance novels and women's literature have always been an interest of hers, and she points to Nora Roberts and J.R. Ward as favourites.
When she decided to pursue her writing, McClure says it came easily to her, but she was surprised at how much work and research it takes to get a book published.
Marketing a book is also time-consuming, McClure discovered.
Since publication, McClure says she is "absolutely thrilled” with the reaction from readers.
“I've been getting nothing but five-star reviews on (sites) like Kobo and Amazon." She says the positive feedback has been a validation of the work she has put into her writing.
McClure said the reaction has encouraged her to keep writing and she's already two thirds through the first draft of a sequel to "In the Spirit of Love."
"In the Spirit of Love," a paranormal romance with a murder mystery twist, takes place in Kent County, England, and tells the tale of the ghost of Sir Richard Abbotsford, who was wrongly accused of murder and returns as a ghost. The story involves intrigue, love and deception.
McClure describes writing as a solitary pastime. She says she starts with a sketchy outline and then lets the story and characters evolve, a process she finds exciting.
McClure says her follow-up is going "very well." She says writing a sequel is an interesting process because she has to bring in characters from the first book and also introduce new characters.
McClure is now working full time on her writing — her mornings are usually consumed by the marketing work involved with publishing, and she spends her afternoons writing. Weekends she dedicates her time to her family and takes a break from the writing.
Originally from London, McClure lives in Grand Bend with her husband, Wayne, along with her parents, Brian and Beckey Jackson, who have been in the area for more than 25 years.
"In the Spirit of Love" is primarily an e-book, although printed copies are also available. Ordering details can be found at McClure's website at www.damcclure.com
She also blogs at www.the-write-stuff.me/