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Doreen McNicol

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Member Since: Sep, 2011

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Doreen McNicol says when you think the hard part's done... there's more!
by Doreen McNicol   
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Last edited: Sunday, September 11, 2011
Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2011

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I caught up with Seattle published debut novelist, Doreen McNicol, to tell us about her new novel, Rachel Wicks. But, writers are a strange lot. We usually don't like to toot our own horn . If you aren't use to being in the limelight, how can you get out there and convince others to buy your book?

"When I finished my novel, ‘Rachel Wicks’, I honestly thought the toughest part was done.  Then I thought the toughest thing to do for my book was getting it published.  Now, I know the toughest part of getting my novel into the hands of readers is getting the word out to them.  For this to happen I have to be able to believe my story is well worth the time to read it.  I must believe it will take the reader to another time and place.  I must believe it will invoke an emotional response within the reader.  I do believe my novel will provide the reader all these things so I am thrilled to send it out into the world.

t never ceases to amaze me however, that anyone would even wonder who I am.  I don’t say this because I don’t feel I have value.  It just strikes me as strange in the sense that the novels I produce should be the sole focus of attention, not me.  I mean if I wanted to be the main focus I would have become an actor or a singer.  My singing is pretty horrendous.  So, I’d have to talk-sing.  You know like they did in some movies, I would talk my way through a song, instead of actually singing.  It fools no one but it’s the only way.

Seriously if I wanted to be the focus of attention, I would have taken better care to look my best when there was still time to do something about it.  I would have tried harder to hold onto the figure I had when I was a teenager.  Now all I have is a figure of an eighty-year-old grandmother.  My skin is pale and pasty.  I do like my hair, which is a warm chestnut, with lovely red high lights in the sun but there may not be much left of it by the end of the year after worrying about my lack of charm and beauty.

When my figure disappeared years ago, it never wrote to let me know where it was.  It never even cared to write and ask if I was okay.  I imagine it’s on a sunny beach with a cold drink in it’s hand…you know the kind I mean, the kind with a pineapple wedge and little umbrella in a hollowed out coconut shell.  It’s probably enjoying the sunset with a gorgeous guy sitting next to it.  So, what was I left with when my waist disappeared….my butt and trust me, no one’s looking at that.

Oh, sure I could struggle to reclaim something of my past figure, eating nothing but salads and rice cakes but this will not help me gain the confidence I need to stand up and say, “I have incredible wisdom to share.”  I never thought to get some wisdom, since I thought the only thing the world could use from me were my novels.

At the end of the day, I am just the same as I was before I wrote any books.  I am a little more educated on the process of writing a book so if you want to know about that, then great, but I can only tell you what I know.  If you want to know what motivates me to do anything, I’ll tell you.  If you want to know 

what sort of shampoo I use or if I like Chinese or Italian food, I can tell you.  Do I love my novel?  Yes, I do.  Do I believe in it?  Yes, I do.  I can talk about my writing all day?  Yes, I can.  Can I stand up and say here I am!… I could but I may need a minute…."

London, 1847. Honest and hardworking, Rachel Wicks had spent virtually all her life in Pot’s Landing Workhouse. But now her life was about to radically change. She made a deal with a gentleman, Mr. Emerson Blackburn, that she would marry him in order that he might come into his inheritance; in exchange, she would have a chance to liberate herself and those she loved from the miseries of the workhouse. Her life above stairs was grim, however, for Blackburn’s staff would not let her forget her origins. She must face the ordeal of being presented in public. She must face the expected wrath of Mr. Francis Blackburn, Emerson’s father. And then there was the exposure of Emerson’s true nature. Determined to stick to her bargain, Rachel seemed confounded at every turn by betrayal, spite and jealousy. Until she met Emerson’s best friend, the handsome Thomas Archer… To buy 'Rachel Wicks'


Web Site: Jennifer Conner, Seattle Writing Careers Examiner

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