What would scare me most?

Madeleine McLaughlin talks about her writing, and what she finds truly horrific.
M McLaughlin head shot 2014 (1)Madeleine is not just a fellow author at Museitup Publishing, she is also a fellow member of the Critique Circle, an online writer’s community that nurtures and encourages writers.  It has garnered a wonderful reputation over the years, and when you read work by members of the calibre of Madeleine, you can understand why.
I caught up with Madeleine recently, and asked her some questions about her writing.
1. How long have you been writing?

Actually, I wrote poems and some stories when I was a child in White Rock. But it was when I was in my thirties in Ottawa that I began to consider what I wanted for myself and I decided to write for money. I took correspondence courses about writing and that’s how I learned. I did not get any real success though, until after I began to use Critique Circle to improve my writing.                                                                                                                                                                         
MM Cover 300x450
2. The Mountain City Bronzes deals with the disappearance of children, one of the deepest, darkest fears of our society. Where did the idea for this story come from?

Well, when I first decide to write a horror, I think of what would scare me most. I’ve seen movies about giant worms taking over the world and such but they don’t scare me because they’re not real. What does scare me is the stuff that really happens, what some people are willing, or driven, to do to others. Seeing a child disappear is the scariest and I think any parent would agree that it’s a very present fear.

3. Tell us a bit about the book.

It’s a short story so to tell much would be to give away. I’ll just say it starts in the present age then goes back to Kevin’s childhood, about 1970, then when it gets to the father’s story, it goes back to his childhood, about 1950 or so. It does not read that complicated, at least I hope not and I’ve gotten good responses about it from readers and critics. I’m very happy with this story.
4. I recently read “Beggar Charlie” and was gripped by it. Where did that story come from, and what made you set in China?

Beggar CharlieI read a lot of history, especially Victorian history and Chinese history. I find a lot shocking in the past, like press-ganging, which was when men came along to drunks and young boys and kidnapped them in order to make them serve on naval ships. In my story, Beggar Charlie is then sold to a merchant ship.

The reason I chose China was because there’s no way an English boy would be able to speak Chinese and that would make their predicament worse, that they couldn’t explain themselves. Plus it would make it challenging for them to find a way home from there. So it was mainly the difficulty of China in those colonial days that I thought it would be good. We could then have the boys considered enemies when the Chinese rebel against the English.

About Caitlyn Callery

I have been a writer all my life. As well as Regency Romances, which I write as Caitlyn Callery, I also write stage plays, sketches and screenplays under the name Hilary Mackelden. I also have a weekly column in the Kent and Sussex Courier, and do publicity and PR for the charity, World In Need. I live in Sussex and love, (in alphabetical order) Ashdown Forest, my family, Jesus, reading and the sea.
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