Friday, June 6, 2014

Interview: McCollonough Ceili

Greetings humans, half-breeds, and everything in between. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview a wonderful author named, McCollonough Ceili. A good time was truly had by all and here’s how it went down.
Image provided by author.

Hi there McCollonough! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ECS Blog. Don’t worry about the darkness, your eyes will adjust.

So tell me, who is McCollonough Ceili?

I am an Irish/American who discovered a love for writing when asked by my American mother to pen my autobiography Noria, Since then I have not been able to stop writing, which has resulted in the publication of several books for all ages.

Wow, you’ve written an autobiography as well write fiction books for all ages; I’m very impressed. I can’t imagine trying to write about myself, I’m just not that interesting.

So whacha got for me today?

I have a book that started out as a dream, from there it went to a selfguided tour of the history of Ocean lifeguarding, nnd finally ended with the book, “What Happened in Hallandale”.  Some of the things you read in said book really happened, others did not. The main reason I wrote this book was so that I would stop dreaming about these character. 

Below is what my editor had to say about the book. Which can also be found on the back of the book. 

“Dive into a dreamlike world of love, courage, magic, and death. Twelve-year-old Piper can travel to the world of angels and, she learns, through time. Rushing back to the past to correct a terrible tragedy, she learns that there are things you can change – and things you cannot. This tale of love that transcends death, courage that transcends time, and the power of compassion will break your heart and heal it, and then leave you still longing for more.” - Summer Foovay, Editor

Small world, I think. I wrote my book for the same reason. I needed to stop dreaming about those characters. Dreams are powerful things…I love the description your editor offers. It pulls you right in.

So who’s starring is this 2 dimensional script read of “What Happened in Hallandale”?

Piper, a magical child from the modern world is telling the story of what happened when she ventured to 1940s Hallandale Beach Florida. Ms. Piper went to Hallandale to try and stop a terrible mistake, though in order to do this she must break into an ancient Irish tomb and steal a  spell.   

Oh, so this is a time travel book. I really like time travel stories. I like seeing how people from different times react to the changes.

Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?

I write whenever and wherever I feel inspired, which basically means that I carry a pad and pen with me always. I also have recording program on my cell phone so I can speak aloud thoughts that come to me during a time when I should not be writing; example: when driving the car. I get most of my ideas from dreams that I have had and the world around me. I spend a lot of the week jotting down ideas, then come the weekend I put them together into a chapter or two.

I am currently working on the sequel to “What Happened in Hallandale”, titled “Awakening the Truth”

That phone app sounds clever; I need to look into that. Glad to hear you’re extending your story into a series; series are fun.

What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?

I am inspired by a lot of different writers, though when it came to writing “What Happened in Hallandale” I was inspired by the “Real Laurie” Real Laurie is the women for whom the character Lorraine was based on. She was a woman who had to change her name from Lori to Laurie jus so she could get into medical school. She lived in a time when women were not supposed to become doctors.  I was also inspired by actress Nancy Valen whom I feel looks a lot like Laurie. 

Valen played on the American show Baywatch.   Every Time I would see Ms. Valen as Captain Thomas a memory of stories told to me about the real Laurie would come to the surface of my soul. It got so intense that I would find myself watching the show with the sound off and writing  most of what became “What Happened in Hallandale”  In fact she even inspired the title of the  book, the “real” part of my story happened in another place in Hallandale. I discovered that name when I was reading about Ms. Valen.
I hope you won’t take this as an insult since she’s not Irish, but I get a Joan of Arc feeling from this Real Laurie character. I’m liking this story more and more; you just keep adding layers to it.

Whose brain are you just itching to scratch?

Okay this is a tough question. I guess I would have to say Mr.Dick Van Patten, I believe that we younger ones can learn so much from those of his generation, plus I love the light in his eyes, there be a wise soul beneath them.

Good man and a good show, Eight is Enough.

Who is so you and why?

No one that I know of, oh wait my American mom thinks I look like the woman who plays on Bones. Temperance Brennan. I but I honestly don’t see it.

You may not look like the actress who plays Temperance, but maybe you just have Bones vibe about you…but I can kinda see a resemblance.

What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?

I am at my wee desk in the kitchen of my home, I can hear the washing machine, I just finished eating an orange. The book that is currently on my nightstand is “Dear America Hear mySorrow” the diary of Angela Denoto, New York City, 1909. It is hardback and I am excited to read it, because it is one of the few books from the Dear America series that I have yet to read. My ideal spot is my bed!

That sounds lovely. It has everything that reading should be: comfort, excitement, anticipation, and your referred reading medium.

What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?

The Dear America series was my favorite book series back then along with all of the books written by BettyRen Wright.  I love those type of stories so much but have yet to write one like them me self.

Wow, you read Dear America as a kid and are still reading it now. That’s dedication and it very pure, honest, and nice....Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?

:-) Yes.

Alright then, here we go.

If you could only watch ne movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

TheSecret of Ron InishIt is one of my favorite movies, and not just because it is Irish.  Well okay maybe that has something to do with it. Besides being set in Ireland it is just a great movie about the power of a child’s determination to find her brother. 

I haven’t heard of this film. This poster looks interesting and like discovering new movies to watch.

What makes you geek out?

I am a total fan of the show NCIS!! I love it and watched it back when I lived where there was American cable. I watch so much of the reruns that NCIS characters would visit me in my dreams.  The only thing of theirs I won’t watch are the interviews of the staff, for me seeing the real people kills the magic that comes from the characters they portray.

I’ve caught that show a few times; it’s not a bad show at all, but I think was jaded by Law & Order type shows a long time ago, even though I sometimes find myself half way through a Law & Order: Criminal Intent wondering how I got there. :/

So what’s testing your patience right now?

I am desperately awaiting the arrival of the newest CD from Celtic Woman!! They started performing together the same year I came to America so I feel a very strong connection to them and the music they create.

I’ve heard of this group and have seen some of their clips on youtube. They are very talented and entertaining.

When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

There are lots of songs that I hear and think, oh that fits what I am writing about or going through. The most current one would be Clarity <=watch & listen, by Zedd; another is Celine Dion. I almost always find that one or more of her songs make me think of stories I am writing.

I look toward my tried and true playlists for inspiration also, but it’s pretty cool when something new comes along that inspires you too.

What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?

Another hard one, I would have to say learning how to bodyboard in the Atlantic Ocean.

Yeah, that is fun. I spend more under the water than riding the waves, but it’s always a good time.

Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?

In five years I will be living in a condo in Nashville, TN but traveling to many many different places all over the United States.  I will also be spending one month a year at the beach. Which beach that will be depends on which one I feel like going to.

Sounds good to me. I hope it happens just as you’ve described it.

Ok humans, half-breeds, and everything in between, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more from McCollonough Ceili, check out these great links:

Blog: NorianGirl
Amazon Author Central: Mccollonough Ceili
Facebooks: Mccollonough Ceili
Twitter: @noriangirl
Purchase links for “What Happened in Hallandale”: Amazon

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Click below to share your Reactions and more. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #cursescanbebroken