Urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers by JP (Jo-Anne) McLean are bestsellers. She has won the Global Book Award, placed in the finals of the CIBA, and been recognized with awards from the Victoria Writers Society, the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, the National Indie Excellence Awards, and Whistler Independent Book Awards. Reviews describe her books as intellectual, entertaining, and addictive.
JP was raised in Toronto, Ontario, and has lived all throughout North America, including Mexico, Arizona, Alberta, and Ontario. JP has a Bachelor of Commerce from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, is a qualified scuba diver, an enthusiastic gardener, and a voracious reader. Before focusing on writing, she had a prosperous career in human resources.
Here is an interview with author JP McLean
JP McLean Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’d JP McLean be happy to. I’m a multi-award winning and best-selling author with eight published books and one published novella. I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, which is in central Canada. But when I moved to Canada’s west coast to attend university, I discovered a love of the mountains and the sea. I met my husband on the coast, and after ten years in Vancouver, we moved to our current home on Denman Island. Denman is a rural Gulf island situated off the east coast of Vancouver Island in the Salish Sea. We’re ferry dependent, which isn’t for everyone, but it’s an ideal place from which to write.
JP McLean How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I JP McLean have several short stories that are works-in-progress or unpublished, and I’m still writing the sequel to my latest release. But I’m always scribbling down notes for stories that may evolve beyond the idea stage in the future.
JP McLean Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
Blood Mark was inspired by the opening scene of a TV show called Blind Spot.
It shows a bomb squad tech approaching an abandoned duffle bag in Times Square. Emerging from the bag is a woman covered in tattoos from the neck down. The woman doesn’t remember who she is or how she got the tattoos. I wondered what it might be like to have to live with those markings. That was the seed for Blood Mark, and I developed the story from there.
JP McLean, How did you develop your plots and characters?
The plot for this novel didn’t take shape until my research unearthed a plausible ancient artifact that could explain the blood marks, which are central to the story. After that, it was just a matter of plotting the turning points in a manner that built as much tension as possible.
The characters developed and were refined as the plot took shape. I told the story from three characters’ points of view, which was something new to me. But the multi-person point of view allowed me to build a better story; hiding and revealing information from different characters’ perspectives became a game that I quite enjoyed.
JP McLean How do you get inspired to write?
I find inspiration in music, movies, photographs, and even the news. Inspiration is all around us. Sometimes, asking “what if” will open up a world of possibility. For example, what if a new colour was discovered tomorrow? What if only children could see it? The answers to those questions sparks my imagination.
I’ve heard it said that you can’t wait for inspiration to hit—you have to show up every day and inspiration will find you. That seems to be true for me. I’ve learned that the more I use my imagination, the better it works, and the more ideas I get. So, on my writing days, I show up, and I write.
JP McLean What are you currently working on?
I’m JP McLean writing the second book in the Blood Mark series. The working title is Ghost Mark. It’s about a woman who dreams of injustices that happened in the past, and the people who committed them. And she’s learning how dangerous that knowledge can be.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t wait until you have the “big” idea to start writing. Write the small idea and build on it. You’d be surprised where that small idea will take you.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Reader reaction. When someone loves what you’ve written, it’s very encouraging. When they’ve stayed up late to read just one more chapter or missed their bus stop because they were so engrossed, it makes my day.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
I JP McLean expect Blood Mark’s sequel to be out in the fall of 2022.
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)?
Readers can reach me through my website https://jpmcleanauthor.com. All of my social media connections are on there. If they would like free short stories and insider scoop, they can sign up for my newsletter. They can also download the first chapters of all of my books on my website, and they’ll find purchase links to their favourite retailers there as well.
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