Time for an Update #amwriting #writingcommunity #WIPs

Typewriter, old book and a quill pen with a inkwell on an author desk table background.

Hello! It’s been a while (January?) since I shared how my writing is progressing, so I thought it was time for an update. After all, this is a writing blog. 🙂

Several short stories aside, I’m mostly focused on two novels.

The Keeping Place

This was my NaNoWriMo project, which I didn’t finish until December. A mystery that combines the recent past—a disappearance/murder from the year 2012—with the present, it also addresses relationships. Family drama plays a large part, examining the forced reunion between an estranged mother and her twenty-seven-year-old daughter.

For the most part, this is a straight mystery, although it does have threads of an old legend woven in. Apparently, it’s impossible for me NOT to play with a little folklore. In the case of The Keeping Place, the legend is one I invented for the novel, involving a derelict shack and the daughter of a railroad tycoon.

abandoned building overgrowin with trees and vines along railroad tracks

My critiques partners have been through the manuscript chapter by chapter and have provided feedback. I’ve tweaked what needed to be tweaked. Right now, the story is waiting for a final read through. This is a manuscript I hope to market to literary agents. I’ve yet to begin that search—which I know is going to be time consuming—but I’m in no rush.

In the meantime, I’ve been concentrating on my WIP.

The Ghosts of Wingate Hall

I guess there’s no question this one has a supernatural theme. 🙂

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve probably seen mention of a story that has haunted me for decades. Wingate started as a novella (different title) when I was in my 20s, then evolved into a novel (different title again) in my 30s. Both were complete, but I wasn’t happy with either. I’ve dug the novel manuscript out again and again. During those times, the story went through several plot and character changes, but nothing worth keeping. Even so, this tale refuses to leave me alone.

I’m now in the process of yet another major plot overhaul. Several existing characters have been dumped (or seen their roles drastically altered) in favor of new characters. For the first time, I feel I might actually finish. I’d love to have the book ready to release in October for Halloween. Right now, I’m planning to indie publish.

A Follow Up to In Search of McDoogal

It’s always been my intention to turn my McDoogal characters into a series of short reads and novellas. If you’ve read this short story, you know it’s completely different than anything else I’ve written­—a comedy of errors. It was such a diversion, and so much fun to write, I would love to visit with Declan, Brady, and Clark Barr again. 

The second story (no title yet) is partially formed in my head, I just have to find the time to write it. I promise a fun and “out there” adventure when I do finally get around to it. In the meantime, if you haven’t checked out McDoogal, and you’re looking for a short, off-the-wall read, the link is below.

… and that’s my update. I’ve been sticking to my regular weekend writing schedule, even squeezing in hours on Saturday (in addition to Sunday), which has really helped moving my WIP along. I’ve only got one quarter of Wingate written, but I’ve worked out the worst of the hurdles in my head. I’m feeling pretty good about 2021 as a writing year.

Now, I just have to find that literary agent!

Writing a Different Type of Story #InSearchofMcDoogal

eReader displaying the book cover for In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair lays atop keyboard, mouse and glass of water nearby

In Search of McDoogal is a short book—a 90 minute read. As a result, I’ve only done a small blog tour for the story. Today’s stop is the last. I am visiting my SE colleague and friend, Harmony Kent, with a post about writing a different type of story. I’m out of my genre realm with this one, but it was fun to experiment.

Hop over to see what the post is about. And while you’re there, poke around Harmony’s blog. She is a talented author and lover of books, and I know you’ll enjoy following her.

Harmony, McDoogal, and I hope to see you THERE!

Taking McDoogal for a Visit #InSearchofMcDoogal #BuddyFic #Comedy

Book cover for In Search of McDoogal by author Mae Clair shows a quaint street scene in a small townHi, friends! McDoogal and I are traveling again today. Not sure what a “McDoogal” is? Then be sure to check out my new Amazon 90-minute short read, In Search of McDoogal.

Today, I’m at Staci Troilo’s blog discussing, well…McDoogal. 🙂

Hop over to Staci’s place to learn more—and while you’re there, be sure to mosey around her blog. I highly recommend clicking the follow button and becoming a regular reader. Staci is a good friend, a Story Empire colleague, and wonderful supporter of others.

McDoogal and I look forward to seeing you THERE!

In Search of McDoogal…Settings and Place Names

Coffee drink cup beside large blue purse with Kindle showing book cover for In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair in centerHappy Monday, friends! Once again, I am on the road, visiting with my good friend, Marcia Meara. She is graciously allowing me to take over her blog to discuss the setting for my new release, In Search of McDoogal, along with some silliness I tossed into the book. It’s amazing how much you can fit into a 90-minute short read!

I hope you’ll drop by to see what today’s discussion is about. And while you’re there, poke around Marcia’s blog to discover her selection of great books and great fun. I guarantee becoming a regular follower of her blog will leave you with plenty of smiles.

I hope to see you THERE!

 

The Inspiration Behind In Search of McDoogal #buddyfiction #comedy #amazonshortread

Book cover for In Search of McDoogal by author Mae Clair shows a quaint street scene in a small townI’m out and about today! If you happen to be roaming the blogosphere, take a moment to hop over to Joan Hall’s blog.

Joan is a good friend and a Story Empire colleague. Today, she’s allowing me to take over her blog as I share some of the inspiration behind my recent Amazon 90-Minute Short Read, In Search of McDoogal.

If you’re not already following Joan, check out her blog while you’re there. She offers great content and is highly supportive of others. I especially love her Mystery Monday posts.

I’m closing comments here, but hope to see you at Joan’s place!

New Release: In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair #buddyfic #humor #comedyoferrors

Hi, friends. I’m super excited! Instead of sharing a book review today, I’m sharing news of my own release! I had originally intended to do a cover reveal before publishing In Search of McDoogal, but then decided to go all in.

If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you already know McDoogal is a different type of story for me. Not only can you read it in ninety minutes or less, but it’s light-hearted in tone. No creatures or beasties, no dark or brooding mystery to solve. Just two guys on a day trip, trying to recover a…well…I’ll let the excerpt explain.

Banner ad for In Search of McDoogal by author, Mae Clair shows cover on e-reader and smart phone, artist's paint brushes in cup to the right side

In the excerpt below, Brady Conrad has just arrived at the house of his friend, Declan Fitzgerald. These two have known each other since high school and are colleagues at an institute dedicated to marine and environmental research. After dragging Declan from bed with a rude doorbell symphony, Brady unloads his tale of woe. He speaks first, followed by Declan.


“I’m in trouble.” Overly dramatic, but he was in deep shit, and if he didn’t do something in the next fifteen hours, he ran the risk of becoming dead meat.

“Huh?”

Hard to believe the guy held two doctorate degrees. Brady headed for the family room.

“What kind of trouble?” Declan trailed after him.

“I sold Vanessa’s McDoogal.”

Declan stared. Blinked a few times as if trying to displace the fog of sleep. “What’s a McDoogal?”

“A cat.”

“You sold a cat?”

“No, the cat’s dead. I sold a painting.”

“Of what?”

“Of McDoogal.”

“You sold a painting of a dead cat?”

“Yes. No!” Damn, had he lost the ability to speak English? “The cat wasn’t dead in the painting!”

“Oh.” That at least appeared to have penetrated. “Where’d you get a painting of a cat?”

“I told you. It was Vanessa’s.”

“The painting?”

“Yes. And the cat.”

“I didn’t know Vanessa had a cat.”

“She doesn’t.”

“So, she had a painting of someone else’s cat?”

“No. Damn it, Declan, stop making this so freaking complicated! Vanessa had a cat. A long time ago. She did a painting of it back when she was in college, then the cat died. The painting had sentimental value. I didn’t know and sold it by mistake.”

“Why didn’t you say that in the first place?”


Sound like fun? If you enjoy a story with a quirky tone, an assortment of oddball characters, and plenty of shenanigans, I think you’ll like In Search of McDoogal. I don’t do comedy often, but I did have fun with this! 🙂

Book cover for In Search of McDoogal by author Mae Clair shows a quaint street scene in a small town

Genre: 90 Minute Amazon Short Read > Buddy Fiction > Humor > Day Trip
Publication Date: March 7, 2020

BLURB:
In search of something ugly…

All Brady Conrad wants to do is earn a few merit points with his artist girlfriend, so he volunteers to cover her gallery when she leaves town. What should be an easy day of sales goes belly up when he mistakenly sells a cherished painting.

With the clock ticking toward Vanessa’s return, Brady has less than a day to track McDoogal down. He coerces his friend Declan to tag along for moral support. How difficult can it be for an investigator and the director of a renowned institute to find a single painting in a town the size of a postage stamp?

Neither Brady nor Declan counted on a suspicious sheriff, rival baseball teams with a longstanding grudge, or a clueless kid trying to win his girlfriend with all the wrong gifts.

McDoogal is smack in the middle. But Brady’s biggest dilemma isn’t the disastrous hunt. It’s confessing to Vanessa her painting is the ugliest thing he’s ever seen.


If you’re looking for a light-hearted read themed around a comedy of errors, be sure to grab your copy of In Search of McDoogal.

Available from AMAZON for $1.99

PURCHASE HERE