Interview with Rie McGaha, Author of Blood Line

Rie McGaha was born and raised in northern California along the shores of Humboldt County where her grandmother often took her to search for seashells and watch the humpback whales migration. Though her father was a bit of a gypsy and moved his family all over, Rie always enjoyed the trips back to Eureka, California where many of her 12 children and 23 grandchildren still live.

As a dreamer of dreams and being born with a a gypsy soul, Rie has lived all over the United States. Settling in SE Oklahoma with husband, Nathan, she enjoys a quiet life in the Kiamichi Wilderness where she takes in abused and neglected animals, nurses them back to health and tries to find them new homes. The ones that don't find new homes remain with Rie and she currently has 18 dogs and 1 cat.

Between her husband, children, grandchildren and all of the animals, Rie tries to find a few moments to write. She is currently working on Ancient Blood, the sequel to Blood Line, and Caleb and Arion the second and third installments of the My Soul To Keep Trilogy. She also writes reviews for Romance Writers United.

For more information, visit Rie at www.riemcgaha.com or read her blog at http://riesreviews.blogspot.com/
www.youtube.com/NovelsByRie

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Welcome to The Writer's Life, Rie. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I’ve been writing all of my life, or at least since I could hold a pencil and make the letter A! I used to write stories for my cousins and friends when I was young and I always enjoyed the writing assignments in school. As I got older and was married and had children, I wrote stories for my kids, but with 12 kids, the idea of writing for publication took a backseat. Five or six years ago, my daughter, Lisa, kept hounding me to write a romance novel and try to get published. She knew it was my secret dream, so with her behind me, I wrote my first book. It’s still not published! But it put the bug in me again and about a year ago, I met Jill Noble of Noble Romance Publishing and sent her another manuscript and for some reason, she liked it and published it! She has been in my corner ever since and I have learned so much from her, like all of the stuff you ever wanted to know about publishing but didn’t know who to ask!

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Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Blood Line is a werewolf story, but these werewolves are different than any I’ve ever read about or seen in the movies. Joshua Caine is a truck driver who shares the job with his wife, Jessie. When they encounter a wild animal one night on a lonely country road, it attacks Josh and he is forced to kill it. Weeks later when the full moon rises, Josh experiences some changes. He’s faster, stronger, and his appetites are ravenous, as Jessie soon finds out. While she’s always enjoyed the physical aspect of their relationship, the changes in Josh are wearing her out! When Josh finds himself drawn to a gathering of werewolves high in the Rocky Mountains, he learns that he has killed an Alpha of a clan and now the rest of the pack is after him!

This book is actually taken from a dream my husband Nathan had one night. He is a truck driver and a huge sci-fi fan and strangely enough, this isn’t really one of his weirdest dreams! I laughed when he told me about the dream, but later on I thought it might be a good story if I worked on the plot a little bit. Then the voices in my head took over and I didn’t stop writing for more than a week!

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What kind of research was involved in writing Blood Line?

Most of the story didn’t require much research, but I did do some reading on legends of werewolves. I just love that kind of stuff anyway, so it wasn’t really like research at all.

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How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

The cover art is the work of Fiona Jayde and she is awesome. I can’t say enough about her work. NRP has a cover art request forms that the authors fill out and gives details, ideas, etc. about what the author would like to see as a book cover. That goes to Fiona and from there, she works her magic and comes up with the greatest covers, but the cover art is never finished until the author is satisfied. For the cover of Blood Line, she just seemed to know what it should look like and I was thrilled!

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Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

Becoming a published author is hard work. Writing the manuscript is just the first part. Until you’ve been edited, you don’t know what pain is! And that’s true with rejections as well. I have received so many rejections from agents and publishers for books that I love, and it’s disheartening. In fact, in the beginning, I took it personally and felt that I was being rejected as a person. That is not really the case and if an author is serious about becoming published, my advice is get a thick skin now! Publishing is like any other business, they are in the business of making money. There are also thousands of other authors out there trying to get published so not only is it a publishers market, it’s competitive and there are going to be more rejection letters sent out than there are acceptance letters. I got a rejection letter just last week for a work I have been trying to sell for years. It also happens to be one of my personal favorites, but I have learned how to take a rejection and chalk it up to a learning experience and start looking at my work again and seeing how it can be improved, one more time, for the next publisher I submit to.

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For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

Jill is pretty quick. I think the normal turn around time is only 3-6 months, or less, but it can take up to a year to see a work published depending on the publisher.

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Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I do not have an agent, and at this point, I don’t feel one is necessary for me. Now, if at sometime in the future I get into print publishing with Doubleday or one of the big New York houses, then I would probably want an agent on my side.

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Do you plan subsequent books?

Blood Line does have a sequel that I am still working on, although I didn’t write it with that in mind. One of the characters, Ganda, who is half witch and half wolf, seemed to take on a life of her own and everyone loves her. She really has an awesome story to tell!

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Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

Hmmm…I am a whenever the voices in my head start talking kind of writer! *laughing* That sounds strange, I know, but it’s true. If the voices in my head aren’t talking, I can’t write a word.

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If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

A really good promotions agent to do it for me!

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How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Self-promotion is key to book sales. People have to know who you are and what you write if you want your books to sell. For some that’s an easy task. I know other authors who are all over the place, you can’t go to a website without seeing their names and book covers, and I wish I was one of them! For me, self-promotion is the hardest part of writing.

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Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

If you really want to become a published author, work on your craft. Learn as much as you can about writing and polishing a manuscript, but also learn about promotion and what’s available to you. This is a very competitive business and the only way to compete is to be as involved in every step as you can be. Also, don’t take yourself or your writing too seriously. Have fun with it, because if it’s not fun, you’re in the wrong business.

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Thank you for coming, Rie. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Thank you for having me, I appreciate the opportunity! My website is www.riemcgaha.com and my publisher’s site is www.nobleromance.com, I’m also on Twitter and Face Book so look me up!
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