This is the third in a three-part interview with the Author, Loretta Boyer McClellan:
Why write in the first-person perspective?
Loretta Boyer McClellan: For me to first build the main character, then get inside Eliza’s head and flesh-out her likes, dreams, hopes and attitude, I needed to write it from her perspective. This is a personal preference for me as an author and specifically for this series—future novels may not be in first-person.
Much like an actor assumes a role, so too is the process for me as the author of Misthaven of Maine, only I’m presenting the characters at the same time as I’m creating the environment they live in. It’s definitely a fluid process.
First-person perspective created a deeper connection for me as an author with her as a character. I suppose a lot had to do with my liking her and relating to her as a character and as a fictional person. I suppose it would be much more difficult for me to write in first-person if the main character’s psyche was not one I would want to visit. [Laughs] I prefer to spend time inside a fictional person’s head who teaches me something positive.
Speaking of learning from your characters, what did you learn from individual characters, and from the experience as a whole in writing your debut novel?
Loretta Boyer McClellan: Eliza most definitely taught me patience, not only in her own ability to move forward with purpose for the right time in her life for different achievements and experiences, but also in being patient myself in crafting her as a person from youth to adulthood. Writing Misthaven of Maine didn’t happen overnight, as much as I would have liked it to. Clearly, I still have much to learn about the whole, “patience” thing. [Laughs]
Ashleigh, Eliza’s best friend reminded me to laugh and not take the process too seriously. She’s a very likeable, witty character, even if sometimes she’s focused on materialism. Her absolute commitment to friendship and loyalty to Eliza balance her out and make her a bit of a hero, in my opinion.
From the comprehensive experience of writing Misthaven of Maine, I discovered how fabulously fun writing fiction is, and how much more difficult the process is for me than writing news stories, and even feature stories. Like producing my paintings, the writing and designing of this book was a deeply personal effort for me.
Lastly, I was reminded, yet again, of the importance of making plans, then living them. Misthaven of Maine began as a dream; the story stemmed from a vivid dream I had years ago. Now I’m living it!
Text, images and logo ©2012, Loretta McClellan; all rights reserved.
Photo, “Letter and Key” by Simon Howden of freedigitalphotos.net; used with permission.