Interview with Cilla McCain - Author of Murder in Baker Company

Cilla McCain works within all genres of the literary field on a full time basis. Whether fiction or non-fiction, McCain strives to focus on stories and issues dealing with social justice and cultural bias in an attempt bring enlightenment and understanding to readers. “I want to write about people and events that have been unjustly ignored or stereotyped.” says McCain.

www.cillamccain.com



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

A: I’ve been writing all of my life but I did not begin to do so professionally until 2003 when my first short story was published. It was a story about my Grandfather’s induction into the Army during WWII. He grew up on a small cotton farm in Georgia and at the age of 16, lied about his age to join the Army. He passed away in a Veteran’s Hospital in Alabama and as he lay dying and semi-conscious he was seemingly talking out of his mind. But anyone who knew him could recognize the memories that were flowing from his lips. He kept saying “Pickin cotton sure is hard work.” That ended up being the title of the short story.

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

A: Although a true crime narrative about the murder of Army Specialist Richard Davis, Murder In Baker Company is ultimately about the difficulties, injustice and tragedy our soldier’s and their families face. These are issues that have not been talked about in the media or by our leaders as it should be. I wrote it out of respect for our soldier’s in the hope that it would somehow help improve their lives. Problems cannot be fixed if they are hidden or ignored and there is a lot more to patriotic responsibility than waving the flag. The Ft. Hood massacre is a good example of the type of disasters that can and will occur by doing so.



Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: Exercising patience with the people who would rather this story not be told because they see it as a possible indictment of the military. I cannot stress strongly enough that that is not the case whatsoever. I know that we have the best military force in the world and I respect, no, I revere our troops. At the same time, I fully realize that the military is much like a machine; for the most part everything runs smoothly but with something this large there will be problems. A friend of mine, Hunter Glass, likes to compare ignoring the problems to putting bad gasoline in a car. “You may get away with it for a while, but if you keep doing it, eventually it’s going to destroy your engine.”

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: The press kit can be found at www.cillamccain.com. Currently I am working on adding resource information to the kit directing people to veteran’s organizations that are in the best position to help with the issues discussed in Murder In Baker Company.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I have been speaking about the book and issues the entire time I’ve been writing it. I’ve created petitions calling for congressional investigations into the particular problems the book deals with and I publicly worked very hard to help Richard Davis’s family get his remains returned for a proper burial in April 2007. Typical literary events are difficult because this book’s subject matter is so real and raw. However, I just returned from an event in Savannah, GA and I have a book signing scheduled in Columbus, GA, near Ft. Benning later this month. I’m also scheduled to provide an interview for Sirius XM radio on February 22, 2010 on Mark Thompson’s “Make It Plain” show.

Q: 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?

A: My agent is Frank Weimann of The Literary Group, New York. I do feel it is in a writer’s best interest to have an experienced agent if at all possible. But not being able to secure an agent should never stop a writer from exploring all publishing avenues available these days. A person who possesses a writer’s soul could not stop writing even if they tried. It’s like breathing, so never give up.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: The publisher does employ a publicist to help with advertising and press releases and it’s a been an invaluable support system. But nobody cares more about a book than its writer. Ultimately it’s up to the writer to convey the importance to other people. One of the latest tools for authors are “virtual tours.” I have one starting on March 1, 2010. Virtual tours are the fastest, most cost effective manner for author touring. What’s great about it is that you can reach your target audience directly.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes, I have two books in the planning stages right now. One is about Marine Colonel Michael Stahlman and the other is a historical novel set in the North Georgia mountains.

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

A: Sure, the book can be found at all book outlets such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble and my web address is www.cillamccain.com.

Thank you so much for helping me to give our military families a voice.
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