Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Introducing... C. Lee McKenzie!

I'm delighted to have as my FIRST EVER guest poster, C. Lee McKenzie from TheWriteGame. She is the author of Sliding on the Edge and The Princess of  Las Pulgas, Lee is one of my earliest followers.

Lee20_250.jpgToday she is here to promote her up-coming book,
A native Californian, C. Lee McKenzie lives on the edge of a redwood forest with her husband and assorted cats. When she's not writing or blogging she's hiking or practicing yoga. She usually writes young adult fiction that deals with contemporary, realistic issues. In Sliding on the Edge (2009) she dealt with cutting, and in The Princess of Las Pulgas (2010) she wrote about a family that loses almost everything and has to rebuild their lives together. Alligators Overhead is her first Middle Grade novel. Lee blogs at [] and her website is []

Take it away, Lee.


Thanks for letting me talk about my book on your blog, Bish. I appreciate this opportunity a lot.

Here’s what the book is about.

Alligators, witches and a spooky mansion aren't your average neighbors unless you live at the edge of the Ornofree swamp in the backwater town of Hadleyville. The town's bad boy, Pete Riley, may only be twelve, but he's up to his eyeballs in big trouble, and this time he isn't the cause. This time the trouble arrives when a legendary hundred-year-old mansion materializes next door and the Ornofree alligators declare war to save their swamp from bulldozers. Things only get worse when Pete's guardian aunt and several of her close friends vanish while trying to restore order using outdated witchcraft. Now Pete must find the witches and stop the war. He might stand a chance if his one friend, Weasel, sticks with him, but even then, they may not have what it takes.

Whenever I visit your blog I feel like I’ve taken a mini-vacation, especially when you write about your younger years growing up in the Virgin Islands. After reading your stories I’m always tempted to pack a bag and fly away. When that urge passes I go back to work on my WIP, but I think your posts have a lingering effect on me because I tend to write more description after my visit.

Here’s an example of something I wrote the afternoon I’d hung out at Random Thoughts for a while.

            They jumped on their bikes and rode down the streets that they rode every day, but these streets seemed different. The air was always heavy, but that morning it dripped moisture even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Along the ground something dark and smokey wound through the spokes of their tires and fell away only to rise up again like gray waves washing over their pedals.
            When they reached Aunt Lizzy’s, Pete swore tiny eyes glinted at him from under the hedge, and the leaves whispered as they biked past. Pete wanted to swallow but his mouth was so dry he didn't have any spit. Something had been unleashed in Hadleyville, something Pete hadn't wished for, something very bad.

Now I realize that none of that description is anything like the beautiful setting around your islands. However, the day I wrote that I wanted to create a picture for readers that pulled them into my story just as the picture you had created had pulled me into yours. Does that make sense?

Let’s ask your readers and see what they say. How have bloggers inspired or influenced your writing? Do you find that after you visit some blogs your scenes or your characters might change a bit? Are there any blogs you visit in search of inspiration?

Thanks for letting ramble on here, Bish. I’ll be back to find more inspiration.
Wow, Lee, I'm honored and humbled to know my blog has been a source of inspiration.

I had to ask Lee where the idea for this story came from. Her answer:

I've had the title in my head for years, Bish, and I guess I desperately wanted a story so I could use it. A knotty pine ceiling I used to have scared me because the brown streaks looked like alligators. Strange how ideas work their way to the surface, isn't it?

Here's the trailer!

You can find Lee at any of these locations. Go visit, you won't be disappointed.

B & N



  1. Lots of inspiration in the blogging world! Reading about what other writers are doing helps with my own writing.

  2. You're right, Alex. It's pretty amazing how many people can put thoughts down so beautifully to inspire others!

  3. Oh, goodness ... C. Lee's alligators in those knotty pines reminded me of the penguins in the shadows. Who knew penguins were scary, but my kids had to have the door just so ...

    Imagination is great. Thanks for the peek into C. Lee's book, and giving inspiration to all of us.

  4. Several bloggers inspire me just by their wisdom and togetherness, like Elizabeth S. Craig.

  5. It is strange how ideas work their way to the surface. Strange and wonderful too. I can say that I've learned a lot about writing from reading blogs.

  6. @Vijava Penguins, heh? I never considered them scary, either. I'll rethink my position on Penguins.

    @Diane. Thanks for your comment!

    @Angela It is strange. I'd hate to watch my mind at work.

  7. I gain so much inspiraqtion from Blogdom. Hopefully I give some back and inspire people in some way too. Good luck to Lee and Alligators Overhead!

  8. Inspiration is everywhere for most writers, and blogs are chock full of it. Good luck with your book!

    Bish, nice to meet you on Joy's blog.

  9. I loved hearing where Lee got the idea for the title and the story. Wow! I adore this trailer and think kids everywhere will go crazy for it.

    I also enjoyed seeing what your blog inspired Lee to write. I think after I visit blogs I take in what they have to say and I probably do write a little differently. Ever since you mentioned the word "amazing" I have been a little more careful about trying not to overuse it. :)

    What a fun visit.

  10. I've gained a lot from the blogging community, and one thing I've gained is inspiration.

    It was great seeing Lee here. :)

  11. I always love hearing where authors get their ideas from. Yay for C Lee and alligators!

  12. @Stephen You've inspired me!

    @Thanks, for stopping in Carol.

    @DMS *Waving here! I'm such a fan of your blog. Thanks for the comment.

    @Medeia Hi and thanks so much. I'm looking forward to visiting your super blog!

    @Talli Hugs and thanks for the well wishes!

  13. Congrats to C.Lee!! Lovely to hear about your new book!

    And, inspiration - well, life inspires me, people around me and their stories. Blogs, twitter and facebook too but I think real life stories from my friends and family, is what really gets my creative blood pumping. xo

  14. @Talei, thank you for your congrats. I agree that the people around us are great sources of inspiration.

  15. Hi, Bish & Lee,
    Cool way you came up with the idea for your novel.

    I do agree that coming to Bish's blog is always an interesting experience that puts me in another locale and sometimes a different era. Good stuff.

  16. another blog with Lee on it. So happy to see her everywhere :) I love how lee was inspired to write something thanks to your blog, Bish :)


  17. Lee, I love the story behind how you came up with this. Very creative.

    Bish, thanks for stopping by my blog and getting to know Weasel today. I'm a new follower.

  18. Lee did a great job on her trailer, didn't she? :) I'm looking forward to reading this one!

    Hope all is well with you, Bish! :)



Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!