Jocie Mckade worked at several jobs before landing her ideal one as a librarian, a perfect segue to becoming an author.
With a soft spot for U.S. Veterans, she chaired her local Veteran’s Oral History Project, and her work with the program lead to her speaking before the project committee at the U.S. Library of Congress. She has won several awards for her non-fiction writing on a multitude of subjects.
Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller – Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories, and her novel Baer Truth received 4.5 stars from RT Book Reviews.
Writing humorous cozy fiction, and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn’t. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family. When not writing, she grows ArnoldSwartzaWeeds in her garden and RVs whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Jocie Mckade Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello everyone. Gosh I really hate these. It feels rather like standing in front of your eighth grade class reading the “What I Did on Summer Vacation” paper, when you didn’t go anywhere! LOL
I’m Jocie McKade, writer, wife, mom, librarian, avid gardener, RVer, lazy homesteader, cornfield diva. I can rock mud boots and a thick hoodie!! I live in the midwest USA surrounded by corn and soybean fields.
I am the author of over eighteen books: The Mayson-Dickson Mystery Series, The Tassomancy Tea Leaf Reader Series, The Between the Lines Thrillers, The Three Baers romantic comedy series and a half dozen stand alone titles. The common thread in all my books is, well, snark, snarky humor. I’m the person who will embarrass you in the store and can find humor in the darkest of situations. Yup, I’m that friend.
How many hours a day do you write?
It depends on the day. Besides novels, I also freelance for several major magazines, a few blog sites, am the Senior News Editor for Reader’s Entertainment news, write book trailer scripts…….I write a lot! Probably at least six hours a day.
Jocie Mckade How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
In my head, on paper, or in a digital file? 🙂 I currently have roughly 47 books in various stages of completion. Several that will NEVER see the light of a Kindle, and a few others that are almost completed.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Without the distractions of earning a living at a day job…….about three months. With the entire paycheck requirement, and family moments, oh, and tomatoes that need to be picked in the summer, more like six months.
Where did you get the idea for your recent book?
My mom. She was a proud Southern lady, but we lived above the Mason-Dixon Line, so I was raised in both worlds.
She laughed one day at easily I switched from my Northern kid persona to my Southern kid persona.
I can go from ‘Y’all, to You Guys’ in the same sentence!
How did you develop your plots?
I’ve tried so many methods — panster, outline, making Kanban boards, you name it. The only thing the works for me is an old-fashioned, wide-ruled spiral notebook with those little folder pages in them. I section it into categories and work for a few weeks just jotting plot points I want to make. Then I do a really ugly and quick chapter breakdown, then I write the draft. I cut and paste much like a kindergartner….with pictures of places, or people that give me a visual for the plot. Why yes, I do have a drawer of glue sticks!! Some in colors!
How do you select the names of your characters?
Oddly, they just drop in my head! Although, I sometimes have to go back and change them because I have a tendency to use names that begin with the same letter and it is not only darn confusing for my readers, I often get them wrong. I have learned through the years, to name my two or three main characters first, then find VERY different names for my secondary characters.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
I’m actually a librarian. You might say I have an obsession for books! But my fantasy….shhh……I want to travel (and write) for National Geographic Magazine.
How did you get inspired to write your recent book?
My Northern and Southern roots. Bouncing back and forth between those two regions of the U.S.A., there were some really glaring differences. There are different foods, dialects, likes, dislikes, and even calling the same items different names — what is a soft drink called? Coke, soda, pop?
I took those differences and exaggerated them just a bit to create the sisters in my Mayson-Dickson series. Emme Mayson was raised in Alabama, and Jackie Dickson is from Boston, Massachusetts. Although they are twins, their world views are quite different, even though their hearts see many things the same way. I think this is true of most humans regardless of where they are from. We have our regional, cultural differences but our life goals are pretty similar. We want to be happy, have a healthy life and family, find the perfect life partner, and do a job that makes us happy and supports us.
Jocie Mckade What is your favorite childhood book?
Just one??? I was the library-rat remember? LOL
If you sat a cereal box in front of me I would read it. Honestly, I loved non-fiction books as a kid, hence my love of National Geographic, and comic books. At that time, I could collect pop bottles for a return and with enough of them, I could buy a comic book. My favorite was Johnny Quest. I believe the books came after the TV series. I also loved Superman, Richie Rich, Scooby….who doesn’t love Scooby?
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Fiction books, even though they are fiction, can change your views on many things. I believe fiction novels often take you out of your small corner of the world, and allow you to view a completely new perspective you probably never would have experienced otherwise.
To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, The Education of Little Tree, I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Diary of Anne Frank. One Minute After.,These is My Words, A Thread of Blue Denim —another endless list.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on the fifth book in the Mayson-Dickson series, and a new book in my Tassomancy/Tea Leaf Reader Mystery Series.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I don’t mind corrective or constructive criticism, those can make me a better writer. However, there are some that are just mean. Seriously, “if you can’t say something nice (or helpful), don’t say anything at all.” Thumper got it right! LOL I once received a one-star rating because the cover artist of my book because they had not been paid by my publisher. The bad ones will always be there. Unless they are helpful to your writing, ignore them. Yes, it is easier said than done, and yes, I’ve knocked by a shot of Kentucky bourbon while fuming. But let it go as quickly as you can. Hey, kill them off in a book….it’s very therapeutic!
The good reviews however…..they are like manna from heaven, especially on the day when you think no one is reading your books, and you suck as a writer. I so appreciate any reader who takes the time to leave a review.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have many author friends…..they all make me a better writer. They offer praise, promotion, encouragement and make me strive to be better.
Again, this would be a long list.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Write. That’s it, write. I have written in the car on my lunch hour, at kids sporting events, while cooking dinner, while weeding tomatoes, under the hair-dryer at the salon. You name it. It is like any profession….you have to do it to get better.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I have two.
My laptop computer. I’m vintage, and I began writing in high school with a typewriter…..holy crap trying to use White-Out and then get things lined up again. This is a pain I hope to never endure again.
Having Mickey at Creative Edge Publicity to help readers find me. He does so much more than I could ever do on my own.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Making people do what I want them to. No, that’s no true. My character veer off the writing outline every single day. I guess it would have to be living many lives. I can live vicariously through my characters, experiencing adventures I will never have the opportunity to do in real life.
Read Also :
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Mayson-Dickson Five should be out by mid-summer.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
What you want to say about our website?
Here are all of my links:
Jocie’s Website: www.jociemckade.com
Jocie’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.
Jocie’s Instagram: https://www.
Jocie’s BookBub: https://www.bookbub.
MCKADE’S MAVERICKS Jocie’s reader group: https://www.facebook.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/
Jocie’s GoodReads Page: https://www.goodreads.