Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gallagher's Pride by MK McClintock: Interview, Excerpt


Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn't know existed. Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man who destroyed her family.

As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than enough to occupy his thoughts and time-he didn't need the complication of Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn't need the trouble that came with her. Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life than revenge.


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Montana Territory-1879

He wasn’t about to let the grievance go unanswered. His parents had found thirty years of peaceful living in this beautiful and rugged land. They had traveled to the northern territories to escape the sweltering madness of Texas and had indeed found peace. Even when the land became the Territory of Montana more than ten years ago, they had still lived in peace with the other settlers that had come to mine and graze cattle. In all that time they had only one encounter with the Indians and that without loss of life. Since the army was defeated by some of the tribes about ten years back, the Indians were content to keep peace. So long as the settlers stayed to their land and left the natives to theirs.
Peace for the Gallagher’s had ended with Nathan Hunter.
The bastard had purchased land only a few miles from their extensive borders. The small stretch of grass between the two spreads belonged to a belligerent old swindler, Dwight Dickens, who refused to work the valuable land. When the fool realized that there was more than one interested party, he let the bidding war begin. It was little more than fifteen acres, but the prize of that land was the water. Water and grass were the greatest currencies out west, without which a rancher may as well pack up and leave. Control of that stretch meant control of the stream coming down from the mountains. The snowfall each year assured that the water would flow continuously through till the next winter and keep their ponds full.
The Gallagher family won the bidding war, but only once they agreed that old man Dickens could keep his small homestead on the land. A small sacrifice for the water rights.
One week later, Nathan Hunter had his men stretch barbed wire along the new boundary line. The Gallagher’s hated wire. When they had first come to Montana Territory, there was little more than a few small ranches in the area they chose to settle, a day’s ride north of Bozeman. Not many settlers lasted past their first winter in the harsh climate, but the Gallagher’s had found home and soon became some of the most respected ranching families in the territory. Known for their fairness in business and hard work, they had made a solid name for themselves. Jacob Gallagher built a legacy on that wild land and his children were damned if they’d let one man destroy it.



Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?


I do, though it’s not exactly made up. I use my first two initials, M.K. (and you thought I was going to tell you what those stand for), and the McClintock is a family surname on my paternal grandmother’s side. I knew I wanted to ‘keep it in the family’ and not make up a name that meant nothing to me, so I pulled out the many pages of ancestors and picked out one I liked, but also one that I felt fit with the type of stories I wanted to write. Thus was born MK McClintock.
 
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?


Important to whom? I suppose a reader may not realize how a character’s name is chosen and perhaps for some authors, it’s simply a matter of choosing a name they like. For me, the name just has to fit – a bit like when a parent is holding their newborn baby and they just feel or know what fits that little person. Sometimes I just pick out a name that I feel fits with the personality of a character, but there have been a couple of instances when the name just didn’t fit. Ethan and Brenna both had different names when I started out, but as their characters began to unfold, I just didn’t feel it. I stepped away from the book for a bit and wouldn’t continue until they had the right names. A few days later, we had Ethan and Brenn


As for how the names are important for the book – for this author, it was important to have names that reflected heritage or geographic location (in the case of women in the first two books). For the Gallagher’s, it was more about the names just fitting with the personalities. Eliza’s name came off my family tree (she was the original McClintock, so it was fitting). I’m sure the names mean more to me than they would to readers.


What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?


I often wonder if I’m an abnormal writer! I find nothing difficult about remaining sane as a writer. In fact, it’s one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done. I don’t let anyone other than myself, push me to make deadlines and I don’t write something I don’t want to just because it’s popular or the next big fad in books. I’m a deliriously happy writer…unless someone interrupts my writing!


If I were to the most important attribute, I would say that it’s absolutely crucial that a writer enjoy what they do. Writing and publishing is not without ups and downs, so in the end, it should be worth it.


How do you react to a bad review of your book?


I haven’t had anyone come out and actually give my books a bad review (perhaps they’re just being kind and not posting those). I have had a few critiques where the author critiquing thought I would be upset by what they wrote, but I’ve yet to be upset by anyone’s opinion of my books. Truth be told, most of us, writers and readers, have widely different tastes and so it’s okay if someone likes it more than others. I dislike plenty of books that others have raved about – there are enough writers and readers to go around and fill all the niches.  I do recall recently a review on one of my books where the reviewer (also a writer) wasn’t especially fond of the ending – most likely because it leaves the reader without a final conclusion to something that is picked up in the rest of the series. That’s okay too – not everyone has to understand why we write the way we do. I write fiction and I write for entertainment – I want it to be fun.

 
Tell us about your favorite restaurant.


Tigh Na Sgiath (don’t ask me to pronounce it). Oh to be there again and not just in my dreams! Tigh Na Sgiath is actually a country hotel in the Scottish highlands, and there just happens to be a fabulous little restaurant there with (not kidding) the most amazing chef. Ian and Elaine MacDonald-Coulter own and run the property – Elaine is the amazing chef. I’ve had the pleasure of sampling food by some amazing chefs over the years and to this day, Elaine’s food is still the best I’ve ever had. Each night was a new culinary adventure-I tried foods I don’t normally eat and there not one single thing on the menu that wasn’t fabulous.


Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it?  If so, can you share it?
 
I wrote the first paragraph of the book with the hope that it would encourage people to keep reading. It sort of embodies what the book is about – readers can let me know if I accomplished that or not!


The weariness settled in not long after her ship arrived in Boston. The anger, the pain, and the betrayal still consumed her heart. The grandness of the wild territory looming ahead did nothing to assuage these feelings. It seemed so long ago that she held her father’s hand as he lay dying, though it had been barely more than eight months. She still remembered his final words like it was a moment ago. Little did he know at the time, that those words would send her to another world and into another life.


Entice us, what future projects are you considering?


Not so much considering as actually doing. The next book in the Montana Gallagher series has been another adventure. I have three more books in the series planned after that. I’ll be finishing the British Agent novels and then I have three single-title books planned and finally a trilogy that is a step outside of what I normally write. I look forward to each new project.


Do you have a Website or Blog?

 
Both and more to come!

                   Website: http://www.mkmcclintock.com

                   Blog: http://mkmcclintock.blogspot.com




 
McClintock was born on the west coast, but after less than eight years she left with her family to the Rocky Mountains. After more adventures around the country, business college and culinary school, McClintock found a place to call home in Montana.


"I've always loved books and spent more hours reading through school than any other activity. I wrote stories when I was younger and even tried my hand at a novel. It wasn't very good and I shelved the idea for years." She pulled the ideas off the shelf and began working on her first novel, Gallagher's Pride, the first in an historical series about a ranching family in Montana.

Over the years McClintock traveled the country and visited magnificent Scotland. She dreams of a time when life was simpler, the land rougher and the journey more rewarding. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, McClintock still calls Montana home.






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15 comments:

Joanne said...

This book sounds intriguing. Brenna travels all the way from Scotland by herself to find family. Can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

MK said...

Joanne - I hope you enjoy the book. She does travel by herself from Scotland. Some thought that odd, but Brenna has a true sense of adventure. :)

Sophia Rose said...

These pioneer type adventure stories are great and the blurb and excerpt have me eager to read this one.

Thanks for sharing in the interview and for the giveaway opportunity.

sophiarose1816@gmail.com

MK said...

Sophia Rose - thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the book!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

This book sounds great. I love books where people discover things about themselves and their families that they didn't know before :)

MK said...

Sarah Elizabeth - discovery is one of my favorite things about books. I especially enjoy when one of my characters surprise me!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Do you always know where the story is going or do you just let it run it's own course?

MK said...

Sarah - I have a general idea of where I want the story to go and I know how it will end, but how I get there often holds surprises. That's my favorite part about writing.

Kylie said...

Looks like a fun book and looking forward to all the upcoming novels as well. I'm glad that my to do list isn't that overwhelming.

MK said...

Kylie - glad you could stop by! I wish my to do list would shrink just a little bit. :) Happy Reading!

Gale Nelson said...

Ethan sounds wonderful. Great book. I really want to read this one. Thanks Gale

MK said...

Thank you for stopping by Gale! I hope you have the chance to read it and enjoy it (Ethan is one of my favorites). :)

❤ Stephanie said...

Interesting interview, ladies! The book sounds fabulous — can't wait to read it myself :) Thanks for the giveaway!

Stephanie
thestephanieloves AT gmail DOT com

MK said...

Stephanie - thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy when you get a chance to read it!

Anubha said...

Wow this book sounds much more interesting that what I thought I already have an eCopy now I'll definatly start reading it ASAP... :)