Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview with Beverly Stowe McClure, author of children and teen books

I was intrigued in reading your bio that the time between your first published piece and your second was forty years as you never went after it as a career. You then got into a writing career when others are starting to plan for retirement. What motivated you to take on that new challenge?  
The poem that was published in 8th grade was strictly for an assignment. At that time I had no desire to write. I read only what was necessary for school work. As a teacher, I enjoyed reading to my students especially the great Newberry award winning books. Seeing these books I came to realize that reading could be fun!  

A few years before I retired I decided to try writing. I started with magazine articles, many based on activities we did in class. Then I tried my hand at writing novels. Just because you retire doesn't mean you stop living. I'm now in my second career-writing-and loving it.

Did anyone ever tell you that you were too old to start writing? Have you ever felt that maybe you were out of your league and should just forget about the idea of being a writer?
No one ever told me I was "too old" but I didn't receive a lot of encouragement. I took a writing course that helped guide me in the right direction. I've never considered not writing since I started, even when I sometime want to throw the computer out the window. The next day will usually be better.

You write for beginning readers, tweens and YA. Which is more challenging? Which genre do you feel more comfortable writing?
 I think writing for young children is harder. Every word has to count. I'm more comfortable writing YA.

How often do you write?
I try to write a minimum of two pages a day. More is better, but not always possible.

I love everything Christmas and I see you have a new book out called Tumbleweed Christmas. How did this story evolve? I understand it is nominated for the Cybils Award. Can you explain to my readers what that means?
Tumbleweed Christmas was born when I saw a tumbleweed roll across our pasture. I knew there was a story there. It took me a while to find it, but now it's out for all to read. 

The Cybils Award is to "Reward the children’s and young adult authors (and illustrators) whose books combine the highest literary merit and "kid appeal." It's also to "Foster a sense of community among bloggers who write about children’s and YA literature, and to highlight our best reviewers."

How long did it take for you to get your first book published? How many publishers did you contact? What do you know now about publishing that you wished you had learned earlier?
My first book took about two years to be published. I'd say most of the "big" publishers had a chance. I thought the only way to go was with N Y houses. I went with an ePublisher finally. Now, I love Indie publishers.

I've also learned that entering contests helps get your name out there. And if you're a winner in one or two, it makes all your work more exciting. Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, my YA Historical, is a Finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Awards, Novella Division, and also a Finalist in the eBook Global Awards, Teen Division. These contests have encouraged me.

Can you think of any special event that happened when you were doing either a book signing, reading or other promotion that touched you and made you think – that’s the reason I write?  At my recent signing for Tumbleweed, a 1st grade girl told me she wanted to be an artist. She loved looking at the illustrations in the book. When I showed her the picture of the artist she was so excited. Children (or teens) are the reason I write. If I can help them love books, I've done my job.

What words of advice do you have for starting out writers regardless of their age for encouragement?
Write for yourself, no matter your age. I seldom think about being a grandma when I'm writing. I'm me, a writer. Also, write what you enjoy reading. Never give up, no matter how many times your manuscript is returned with a "no thanks." Keep looking for the right publisher. Study how to write good query letters. Join a critique group to help you make your story the best it can be. And read, read, read. 

What other books do you have in the works?
Currently I'm working on a Tween book, Princess Breeze, the sequel to Just Breeze. Also, a YA Contemporary Novel, Survivors' Club is going through revisions
Thank you for the great interview, Beverly. If you would like to learn more about her and her writing go to, or
Her books are also available at Amazon, B&N, BAM,and Powell's (one of my favorite bookstores to visit when I'm in the area)


  1. Hi Chris,
    Sorry I'm late for the party. This morning was the home health nurse's visit for hubby. That took awhile. Then we had to go to his treatments. Now I'm trying to catch up. Thank you for the super interview. If anyone has questions I'll be back later to answer them. Have a lovely day, Chris and everyone. :)

  2. Tumbleweed Christmas and Just Breeze can be found at, too, and the books are on sale for Christmas.

  3. Yes, good direct from the publisher.

  4. Hi Vivian. Thanks for stopping by. I should have mentioned about the book sale. It's really a good deal, everyone. Just browse through 4 RV's catalog. There's a book there for all ages, children and adults.

  5. New follower via book blogs, thought I'd say hi! Trev @

  6. Great interview, Bev and Chris. Bev, you sure have an impressive line up of published books now! So exciting and well deserved.

  7. Wonderful interview. I agree with you Beverly, there is no age limit on starting a writing career. If someone has the inclination, just go for it.

    Your books sound like great reads and I love the covers.

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

  8. Thanks, Kai. It's been a long journey, but I'm happy to have such great publishers that believe in my work.

    That's what I think too, Karen. Thanks for stopping by. I'm fortunate to have such talented illustrators for my stories.

  9. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to stop by and comment. Keep coming back!