Dramaquill's All Things Writing

June 21, 2013

Who is Jacqueline McMahon Anyway?

I believe that who I am as a person has a lot to do with shaping how and what I write – from what I read as a child to games I played to people I admire…and the list goes on and on.

So this post gives you all just a little insight into Jacqueline McMahon.

Full name:
Jacqueline Margaret McMahon

Co-owner of Slightly off Broadway Performing Arts Studio

Favourite Book Genre:

Favourite Day of the Week:

Molly, my eight pound Yorkie

Best Writing Weather:
Stormy (prefer rain and thunderstorms to blizzards but both really
drive me to create)

Ideal Writing Environment:
Big desk under a window overlooking a beautiful piece of nature.  Room for my iPad, my desktop, several notebooks, a mug filled with pens/pencils/highlighters and a place for my coffee mug.

Music while Writing:
This is tough because if I play songs that I know, I end up singing the words in my head instead of writing.  Exception – Vivaldi.  Love writing exciting scenes to his Four Seasons or the Gloria in D.

Pet peeves:
People who can’t spell, in particular, definately…aaaaah…it’s definitely, people!
Never enough time to devote to writing (but I do work great under deadline pressures)
People who don’t get that writing requires solitude (stop dropping in, stop phoning me, stop talking)

Dream Job:
No such thing – I make whatever I do something I enjoy.  (Luckily, I run a business where I get to mentor students in the performing arts and write original plays)

Favourite Food(s):
Homemade spaghetti & meatballs and Christmas dinner (turkey/stuffing/gravy)

Favourite Movie Snack:
Old Dutch Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips (no, not everyone loves popcorn)

Closest Relative:
My Nana (she was my biggest supporter)

My business partner and adopted sister, Connie.

Dream Vacation:
NYC (in the winter, near Christmas)

Best Writing Advice I’ve been Given:
Join a critique group (am proud to belong to the Blue Quills (8 years and counting)

Best Writing Advice I’ve Given to Someone:

My take on ebooks:
They’re great for travel (can take an entire library on one device) and extremely convenient to purchase with all the online vendors.

Ebooks or Print books:
I’m still going to be old school here and say print books.  Nothing’s more comforting than holding a book in my hands and smelling the pages, feeling the texture, and snuggling down in my bed to read.

Great way to authors to interact with folks but not sure how much it helps gain book sales.

Short and Sweet – short term

I love reading blogs and writing blog posts.  If only there was more time…sigh.

Present writing goals:
Finish sequel novel/write a hill-billy themed play

Present general goals:
Be more positive/help others/laugh more

Why read my book?
I promise to take you on an emotional roller coaster ride that will keep you turning the page.

Can you read my sequel if you haven’t read the first book?
Absolutely.  But what fun would that be?

Buy a copy of “When Love Won’t Die” on Amazon (or at a variety of other online retailers)



June 14, 2013

Characters should learn and grow – just like people

While working out the last few chapters of my sequel, “Amorous Obsession”, I felt a sense of completion, not only in knowing that I’m almost finished my second book but also in the growth of my heroine.

What once would have caused her to turn inward and hide, now makes her determined.  No longer is she the woman whose emotions usually dictated her actions.  She strong, active and doesn’t let her emotions dictate her situation.

Eleanor Bennet, my heroine, is older now.  And like me (at least I think this has happened to me over the years), she’s much wiser and much stronger than she was in the first book, “When Love Won’t Die”.  

I hadn’t planned on writing this growth into her character consciously.  Instead, I tried to write her as if she were a real person – maybe even a friend.  I watched her react to what I threw at her in the first book, often feeling sorry for her but also being angry with her for being so weak at times.  

Eleanor Bennett and I have been through a lot in these last couple of years.  I have felt her struggles.  Sometimes, I’ve wanted to intervene.  Other times, I’ve just wanted to be her friend.  

But as I near the end of Eleanor’s story (no, there won’t be a third book about her or the other characters in this story), I feel privileged to have been able to have written such a character and thankful that she didn’t always do what I thought she should.

I didn’t have this same feeling after writing “When Love Won’t Die”, but I think that was because I still felt that there was unfinished business for Eleanor.  I hope my readers feel some of the same satisfaction after reading “Amorous Obsession” that I’m feeling now. 

June 11, 2013

Sequel nearing completion

Just plotted out the last five chapters of my sequel
The finish line is in sight
Never give up

June 10, 2013

Thanks for the Inspiration, Tony Awards

Last night I watched the 2013 Tony Awards and was more inspired than ever before by the talent displayed in the three hour broadcast. I’ve always been a sucker for the musicals and live theatre. It doesn’t surprise me that celebrity performers feel something completely different after their first role in a live production.

As I watched all the fabulous musical numbers, appreciating everything that goes into making them so spectacular, I immediately began thinking about all the drama classes I will be offering at my studio in the fall and the infinite number of possibilities for scripts.

As any book author will tell you, read a lot of books if you want to write books. Well I think the same applies to playwrights. Watch live theatre and you’ll be inspired to create live theatre.

So today I’ve drafted out a plan for characters and plot for a full length play script and I’ve explored some ideas for a couple of one acts as well.

Writers have to spend time alone to get the words down on paper but nothing stimulates creativity more than being around the creativity of others.

Thanks for the inspiration, Tony Awards.

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