Have you heard of C.M. McCoy and her award-winning novel, Eerie? If you haven’t, then you haven’t been reading People magazine or watching Inside Edition. C.M. McCoy and Eerie has been featured in both. (Click HERE for her interview with People and HERE for her interview with Inside Edition.) But I’m excited for you to get to know a different side of her than was featured in these interviews.
Q: To begin with, can you tell me a little bit about your background before you became a published author?
Thank you so much for hosting me, Heather! Oh jeez, I feel like I’ve worn so many hats… Let’s see, before EERIE published, I’d earned my degrees in Chemical Engineering and also a degree in German of all things. I coached gymnastics for years and only hung up my grips when I took up Irish dancing after college. I was a Captain in the Air Force, working space launch as an engineer at Cape Canaveral, where I met my future husband, who was a month away from launching into space. After we retired from the military, I worked for Alaska State Troopers as a 911 call-taker and dispatcher, and oh boy! What a great life experience! There, I met a great group of law enforcement officers and fellow dispatchers whose brains I incessantly picked for book research. I’ve danced in a Vegas show (Irish Dance), worked as a translator (I read/write/and if there’s enough liquor involved, speak German), climbed mountains, and was once “detained” by machine-gun wielding border agents in Hungary.
Q: Have you always known you wanted to be an author? If not, when did you begin writing, and why?
YES! I’ve been writing short stories and in journals ever since I could hold a pencil. It wasn’t until I wrote my memoir that I realized I was capable of writing an entire book, and that’s when I started daydreaming a plot around an old childhood fear of the creatures that live in the shadows (they’re there–you just can’t always see them. They’re called Envoys 😉 )
Q: You have a very loyal fan base. A lot of that is because you are a very gifted writer, but I also think it’s because you are so loyal to your readers. How did you go about making that connection with them, and how do you maintain that relationship?
Thank you Heather! I make a lot of connections online, and I think the key to that is to remain genuine in posts to followers, respect everyone online highly, and to never spam them or constantly bombard them with buy links. Instead, I try to think of fun things to share: giveaways, fun photos, little anecdotes, book reviews etc. That way, when there is news to share about my own book, it hopefully feels like news and “not another book promo.”
Q: Your debut novel, Eerie, was released a little more than a year ago. Can you tell us more about the novel, and what readers can look forward to in the near future?
To me, EERIE feels like all of the emotions I wanted to put into my memoir, but originally didn’t. I’m reworking that memoir now, focusing more on the things that matter to me rather than the things that matter to tabloids, and I’m very excited about it! That will hopefully be the next project that leaves the nest. My debut picture book is out on submission now, and I’ve got all the fingers crossed! I’m also putting some finishing touches on a YA thriller, and THEN I’ll continue working the EERIE sequel, which contains some awesome surprises!
Q: You aren’t just an author, you are also a mom and a wife. How do you balance everything?
To get in some writing time, I get up early, before the rest of the house, which means at 0300, I’ve already got my coffee in hand and some wild morning thoughts scribbled on paper. Once the house wakes up, it’s almost impossible to sit down for more than 3 minutes at a time, so I cram as much as I can into my quiet mornings.
Q: When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do to relax or have fun?
I dance 😀 I love Irish dance, and I’ll dance anywhere–everywhere: the kitchen, the garage, in line at the grocery store. My feet are always tapping ❤
Q: Do you have any advice for those who are wanting to break into the publishing world themselves?
Don’t quit. Make friends online, talk to other authors, and simply don’t quit.
Q: Where can we learn more about you, your work and any upcoming releases?
You can come find me at the RT Booklover’s Convention this May in Atlanta for a chat, or you can visit my blog, which contains all the info and news about my projects plus a ton of giveaways and reviews of the newest books: http://www.cmmccoy.com/blog
Thank you so much for spending a few minutes with us, Colleen!