Sheila McClure

Author Sheila McClure joins us in the hot seat today to talk about her latest book, Scotlander. Read on to find out what authors influenced her writing, and what scenes she found hardest to write…

Author Sheila McClure Answers all our Questions

  1. Latest Book: Scotlander
  2. Can you give us the ‘elevator pitch’ version of your latest book.
    In the wake of her best friend’s death, entertainment reporter Willa is gifted a two week immersive Jacobean experience in Scotland. Pretty much her worst nightmare…but maybe her dream come true?
  3.  Tell us something about yourself that we likely don’t know! The more obscure the better!
    I’ve broken my left foot three times and once held hands (for about ten seconds) with Mark Hamill.
  4. Do you write in silence, or with music? If you write to music, give us the top three songs on your writers’ playlist this week.
    Silence. Except for one book where I listened to this twinkly, magical fairytale like music on a loop.
  5. Are you a plotter or pantser?
    Pantser with plotter aspirations.
  6. Have your characters ever ‘gone off-script’ – hijacked your story and taken it in a direction you didn’t expect?
    All the freaking time.
  7. If you could spend time with any character from any of your books, who would it be and what would you do?
    Oooo – I think I’d probably want to go on holiday with Vee – the boss from The Break-Up Agency because I’m sure it would be something akin to a surfing/yoga/holistic/woo-woo/wonderful immersion experience that would remind you that time doesn’t race race race away all the time.
  8. Which of your characters can you say you would least get along with in real life?
    In Scotlander? Probably the ‘talent’ from Tinseltown (the entertainment show). This isn’t to say all talent are awful…just this particular fictional one.
  9. Do you read your reviews?
    Yes and lots of times I regret it and then there are other golden moments where I’m really pleased I did.
  10. What has been the toughest criticism you have been given since becoming a published author?
    Ooo – well…I think the meanest was one accusing me of being ableist. Even thinking about that one makes me horrified. I think my romcoms involve a lot of action – which can mean they don’t follow a more familiar path of a romance being solely about the protagonists meeting and falling in love. I find real life complicated and tangly and I try to reflect that in my books. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
  11. What is the best compliment you have received?
    One lovely reader said the job in The Break-Up Agency was her dream job. If it was real, I’d hire her in a New York second.
  12. Do you have a day job when you are not writing? If so, what do you do?
    Yes. Farming.
  13. Can you name three authors who have inspired your writing?
    Ooo – that’s tricky – because there are loads of authors I adore (Liane Moriarty, Katherine Heiny, Marian Keyes), but if I read any of them too close to when I’m writing my own book, I fall into mimicry which is not a good thing. I love the honesty of Anne Tyler’s books. The gut-wrenching exploration of what it means to be human in Maggie O’Farrell’s books. But I also like being funny. And cracking jokes. And finding the ridiculous nestled amongst the tragedy. Good question!
  14. What was your favourite book as a child?
    All of the Little House on the Prarie Books. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder sooooo bad!
  15. What scene in your latest book was the hardest scene to write (without giving away too many spoilers!)
    It’s a scene where a lot of the characters fall out. I always want everyone to be happy and it’s so difficult putting your characters through the wringer!
  16. Do you have any other author friends? If so, can you name a few and have any of them given you a piece of advice you would consider invaluable on your publishing journey?
    I am lucky enough to have a lot of author friends, many of whom I met through the Romantic Novelists’ Association and some of whom I met through my publishers. My very first author friend was/is Debbie Macomber who answered an email from me before I’d even been published and she agreed to have a coffee with me. She advised me to always, always meet my deadlines!

For Bonus Points – Answer our fabulous frivolous questions!

  • What is your biggest fear?
    Oh my days! That’s not frivolous! I’d say being trapped somewhere small with water pouring in. I would go wild with fear.
  • If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?
    Magic up the ingredients and the skillbase to make any recipe in the world at a moment’s notice.
  • If you could write one line to be etched into your tombstone, what would it read?
    She should’ve been a Roller Derby Queen.
  • If you could give your younger self ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
    Stop worrying about what other people think. Just be.
  • Finally – Who are your latest Cover Crushes?
    I would say Richard Osman’s Murder book covers are FABULOUS and I also LOVE Liane Moriarty’s current book covers. They are LOVELY.

You can purchase Sheila McClure latest book: Scotlander

If you would like to hear more about Sheila and her books, you can find here on Twitter:@McBookieMonster and Facebook: Sheila McClure/McBookieMonster 


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