Sunday, June 15, 2014

Interview with C.H. MacLean, author of 'One is Come'

To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.
But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is One is Come.

Visit his website at

About the Book:

Haylwen doesn't care who actually blew up the wall of the school library. With a chance to finally have real friends, all she cares about is if her suspension will make her parents move again. Her parents, forced to keep their own magical past silent, are shocked to learn that she is indeed a magic user. She tested negative. Twice! Desperate to hide Haylwen from the King of magic users, they flee, but their efforts thrust them all into mortal danger.

Haylwen’s parents don’t know about the prophesy of “The One,” or that the only one who doesn't know Haylwen is a powerful magic user is Haylwen herself. The King and the dragon clans’ plans to remake the world are already in motion. As Haylwen struggles with her feelings of loneliness and unworthiness due to her inability to make a friend, she is completely unaware that the fate of the entire world rests on her choices.


Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Of course, I love to read. Trekking through the woods, the fewer people the better, ranks highly. Pretty much anything outdoors, like biking, cleaning up the forest, anything that keeps me active.

When did you start writing?

While I wrote all through college, I only dabbled after that until about 5 years ago. Then I challenged the little voice in my head that said I wasn’t creative. One day, I sat down and just tried it out. Time stopped, and stories started pouring out.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

The day I believed I could be a published author. About a year into writing just for fun, I realized I had a real story, a great story. For a moment, I believed. Of course, the feeling went away, but always came back, and stronger, every time I write. Turns out, I have a lot of great stories.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I’m not sure there is a place. I’m inspired by the story, by the chance to give something great to readers. But I like to relax and re-energize anywhere grand trees and greenery spring riotous. Might be New Zealand or Chile. Might be right where I am.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

After a 30-minute nap, I would write like I was possessed.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Oh, the places I want to go. The far future, the dragon’s home planet, inside a prison, it never ends.

Back to your present book, One is Come, how did you publish it?

I self-published. After the standard lackluster mainstream response, I peeked into self-publishing. My research crushed by previous biases and self-publishing really allowed me to put out a work of great quality on my own time-line with a lot more control. To give credit where it’s due, by self-publish I mean I worked with a great team to go through all the details with me.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

In my travels for other reasons, I snatched bits and bobs that went into the book. The rest was virtual traveling on the internet.

Why was writing One is Come so important to you?

Personally, it was the joy of what I am, a writer. But that’s not nearly enough to get you through the tough parts. The real importance is what One is Come is to the readers. It’s the reader’s experience of Haylwen’s story, her gift to everyone else out there like her. She doesn’t have a message or anything. But like talking with a good friend, she doesn’t have to have all the answers to your problems to help you feel better after reading about her.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

My best ideas come from the space between thinking. Sometimes it’s through dreams, sometimes just exploding out of the crack of my mind when I’m distracted. I’ll wager a psychologist would argue for subconscious creative thought or something like that, but the fantasy lover in me likes to think of it as a connection to another plane of existence.

Any final words?

Reality is overrated. Overcome it and invigorate your dreams. I love hearing from readers, so feel free to stop by and chat with me on the internet. You can find me on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

No comments:

Post a Comment