Guest Author Delinda McCann and President Jake

Multi-talented author Delinda McCann writes from the heart from her own experiences caring for a severely disabled loved one, which adds up to some very compelling fiction.
Great to have you here, Delinda. Which book would you like to feature today?
For the purpose of this interview we will be talking about my books in the M’TK Sewer Rat series.  M’TK Sewer Rat: End of an Empire and M’TK Sewer Rat: Birth of a Nation.  Note:  Partway through this interview my hero Jake joined us as he likes to do.  He feels that it is important to tell his own story. 
Tell us about the genre. I know it’s a love story.
I write love stories that don’t follow the usual path for a romance.  In the M’TK books the love story focuses more on Jake’s parents than on his relationship with his future wife.  Jake’s love for his childhood friend is one of the driving factors in his story.  Jake even comes to love the drunks and prostitutes that he processes as a prosecuting attorney.  It is love that drives social change until all people attain full citizenship in his country.
Do you plot your fiction works or are you a pantser?
How I write depends partially on what I write.  My current work-in-progress has a fairly detailed outline.  With M’TK Sewer Rat I knew the road I needed to take to get from beginning to end.  However, I let my characters surprise me and behave in ways I wouldn’t expect.  Jake has a strong personality and tends to do what he wants.
Some authors make a detailed list of their characters’ habits, likes and dislikes, do you? (Jake answers)
Dear Reader, this is President Jake Jaconovich aka the M’TK Sewer Rat.  You are assuming that Delinda is more than our consultant in publishing.  Yes she knows us well, but we are real people despite the fact that we reside in her head.  Would she need to make a list of her brother’s or her mother’s habits, likes and dislikes?  No.  There is no need for such a list.  If she needs to know about a particular like or dislike we will tell her. 
I see Jake has taken over the interview. Jake, what do you think today’s readers want and how does it differ from readers of the past?  (Jake answers)
As president of my country I try to be sensitive to the mood of my people.  Of course there are always those who turn to books simply for escape, which is fine.  I’ve done that frequently myself.  When I was a young man, the people of my generation needed to know that equality before the law and equal rights should be the rule for each person.  I am certain my former classmates agree with me that To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was the book that changed many lives for our generation.
Today the world is facing constant war and violence.  It is my opinion that people need to know that peaceful change is not only possible, but is greatly preferred to violence.  That is why I wanted to tell the story of how my country has dealt with violence through the legal system, and how we used that system to change our whole form of government.  I think all citizens need to be reminded that through team efforts and the commitment to love your neighbor, we can defeat violence and poverty.
Can you give the readers an idea of what your story is about?  (Jake answers)
MTK Sewer Rat is my autobiography starting from when I was about three and my sister died.  The story ends when I make my decision to run for the presidency of my country.  Now before you get to thinking that this will be dull reading, let me tell you that my country is not only poor but…well…rule of law has not always prevailed.  I come from a portion of the population that was oppressed for centuries.  We’ve been a bit creative over the years.  In my story, I confess to having been a smuggler and tell how my dear cousin Margaret got the trade laws straightened out—much to everybody’s relief. 
Because it is mentioned in the book, I will confess that I am a master in martial arts.  That is where my title The M’TK Sewer Rat came from.  I do tell of the times my skills came in handy on the streets of M’TK and as I worked as a fisherman for Uncle John.  I also discuss the role that my training played in making me the man I’ve become.  I’ve learned self-control and self- discipline.  I learned about wisdom and honor in my training.
While I had more adventures as a young man than I would ever want my own son to experience, most of the important changes in my country came when I was behaving very properly as a prosecutor in the courtroom.  I admit that my martial arts training prepared me well for facing my most challenging cases with courage.
Jake, here’s your chance. What would you like to say to the author?  (Jake answers)
I say many things to dear Delinda.  She tends to be over-anxious.  I try to be constantly reassuring.  Because I count her as a friend, I feel free to advise her on topics where I have some experience.  I do appreciate her efforts in helping me bring my story to the public and express my gratitude.  I try to distract her from her anxieties by pointing out the humor under most human interaction.  Others tell me that my gift of seeing humor, even at the darkest moments, is one of the strengths that allows me to see the truth.
And does the book have a message?  (Jake answers)
I hope so.  I want my reader to feel hopeful and encouraged.  This is a message of hope, love, and peace.  My country is poor.  It has a history of violence.  I personally lived through two purges where government troops entered my city to kill whole boroughs of citizens.  All four of my grandparents were killed in purges.  Mama was watching when the emperor’s soldiers shot both of her parents in the street outside their home.  Despite our violent history we’ve made great strides in establishing justice.  I am telling a story about how people working together can make the social changes necessary for all to prosper.  My country is not the only place to make such changes peacefully—most countries do.  Yet so often, attention is focused on those who resort to civil war rather than the courtroom to resolve inequalities.  I wish to honor all those dedicated to peaceful change by telling our story.
Delinda, is there a third-party publisher involved? (Delinda answers)
I am best considered to be President Jake’s agent rather than his author.  I learned about Writer’s Cramp Publishing through word of mouth and referral.  So far I have been very happy with this fee-for-service publisher.
What are either, both or all of you doing to promote this book?  (Jake answers)
I am most grateful for the efforts Delinda has put into making a web site and promoting this book on twitter.  I do have my own Facebook page, although my duties as president prohibit me from spending much time on the project.  I plan to visit Ireland and Scotland in the summer where I will most certainly be recommending my books.  Delinda has promised me that she will send out more announcements.  I just uncovered a plot to have a big birthday party for me in order to promote the book.  I’ve put my foot down.  There will be no big party.  Yes, yes, I know the book must be promoted, but I hate to lay this chore on just anybody and those closest to me are busy with their own projects. 
You may also find a few pictures from my country on our pinterest board.  Sadly, I lost most of my photos when my house was bombed.
This question is for Delinda.  Tell us about your next project. 
I have two works-in-progress.  Something About Maudy is a romance featuring Maude as a pastor in her first year at Blackfish United Methodist Church.  She meets Ralph shortly after starting with this new congregation.  While she struggles to keep her church afloat and meet the ordinary demands of a congregation, she hardly has time to recognize that she is falling in love with Ralph.  This should be out in April of 2013
(Jake butts in.)  My family is not entirely absent from Something About Maudy.  Maudy is the pastor at a wedding we all attend for my wife’s nephew.  I was thankful that my daughter Mary Anne was able to meet respectable, loving people to help her adjust to living in Seattle while her husband Edward completes his residency in oncolology at the University of Washington.
(Delinda takes over)  My second work-in-progress is Taking Grammy Home about two sisters, ages eleven and seventeen, who travel to Ireland with their grandmother.  This is a delightfully mismatched group.   Grammy left the country at the end of WWII, and this is her first trip back to Ireland.  The girls are supposed to be looking for their Celtic spiritual roots.  Grammy is looking for her first love.
We’ve heard all about you, Jake, now let’s learn a little more about Delinda:
Delinda McCann is a social psychologist who has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over twenty years. She has served on committees for the state of Washington and been an educational advisor to other governments. Her work has earned her the praise of doctors, government officials and families all over the world. She has published numerous articles on disability issues, education, and adoption. Her unique perspective and sense of humor have delighted her readers even when she has been writing about the reality of caring for a loved one who has a severe disability. When the world turns crazy, as it frequently does for the disability community, her friends say there is nobody they would rather laugh and cry with.
Delinda lives a on a small farm near Seattle, WA where she raised her daughters and now runs a small organic flower business with the help of her husband and two giant poodles. She enjoys singing with her church choir and playing the piano-poorly. A brush with cancer made her realize that she needed to slow down, so she turned to writing fiction inspired by her behind-the-scenes experiences of advocating for and loving the people who are just a little bit different.  
Where can we find out more about your books?

Writer’s Cramp Publishing:


Both volumes are available in paper and e-format.

7 thoughts on “Guest Author Delinda McCann and President Jake

  1. Thank you, Delinda, for expressing what every fiction writer can identify with. Isn't it so true that, even after we finish a book, the characters still live on in our heads! I truly enjoyed having Jake speak to us directly in this interview.

  2. Delinda, Thank you for such an enjoyable interview. You bring to life what most authors feel. It's so very true that the characters that a writer creates continue to live on past the last word of the novel—both to the author as well as the reader.

  3. What a truly enjoyable and delightful interview! Awesome, Delinda, how you allowed Jake to be part of the interview process. This readily provided additional insight into the story(s). Your love for writing is easily recognizable through your creative words.

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