W. C. McClure – Author of Fantasy, Children’s and Science Fiction
W. C. McClure is an author and blogger of fantasy fiction, science fiction, short stories, children’s stories and nonfiction. Her books include The Painted Elephant, Flapping Capes, Onyx:05, The Sleep, The Ice Garden, Green Eyes, The Assigning, Tune Traveler, Girl with the Ocean Eyes, Seed of Rebellion, The Steadfast Sequoia, The Star Keeper, A Moment From Now, The Parallel Abduction, The Cinnamon Circus and The Statues of Azminan. She currently publishes short stories, poetry and essays on her blog at http://www.FarSideofDreams.com and offers behind-the-scenes insights and extras at https://www.patreon.com/wcmcclure.
Ms. McClure graduated from Cornell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in English / Literature and an Emphasis (a minor) in Art. A few years later, she self-published an illustrated children’s bedtime story, The Search for Lady Sleep, using home printers and pages bound with ribbon. The emergence of far superior self-publishing resources since then have allowed Ms. McClure to pursue writing, mostly over lunch breaks, after getting kids to bed and in other precious stolen moments.
W. C. McClure’s Books
Published February 22, 2020
ONYX:05 is the story of a young woman navigating the cracks of a breaking dystopian beneath.
Erin has had more names than most. Born Abrea, citizen number unknown, she spent her childhood in a shifting landscape of identities, hideouts and survival training camps. Nowhere was safe for long. The Red Guard, elite soldiers for the Oru, hunted her family relentlessly.
When she was twelve, her parents left her in Kelig to enter the agency with a warning to remain hidden and never to speak of her unique upbringing. Seven years later, a showdown with Uari’s celebrated demi-Orun, Zade, reveals to her the secrets behind her childhood. She lets the world believe Zade succeeded in killing her in order to escape, but now she’s armed with Zade’s citizenry name, Paolo. She begins a hunt of her own.
Erin must navigate a web of espionage games, the eyes and ears of an ever-watchful Uarian agency, the wrathful justice of the Oru and a growing divide within her own heart on her path toward vengeance. It may be enough just to survive.
The Color Series: Single short story books
The Parallel Abduction
Published January 18, 2016
THE PARALLEL ABDUCTION is a short story jigsaw puzzle involving a mysterious inter-dimensional adventurer, a university campus experiencing increasingly odd events, even stranger oddities happening in the city, time meddlers and the enigmatic figures of the game designers with their secrets and surprise appearances.
Pieced together, the stories form a picture that is best viewed from several angles. Perhaps also from several dimensions.
The Cinnamon Circus
Published August 17, 2014
It’s a good thing Cinnamon has Aunt Rissa around to explain things, like how old bulls turn into bicycles when they retire, or how tigers get their stripes each time they try to escape the zoo. Gran says it doesn’t work that way, but Gran doesn’t know things like Aunt Rissa does.
In this collection of short stories, with Aunt Rissa’s wisdom Cinnamon stirs up a healthy helping of trouble, yet she manages to land in loving arms each time.
The Statues of Azminan
Published May 4, 2009
Only children survived the fall of Azminan, the once thriving City of Spheres that was accessible only while dreaming, and the young refugees have been trapped on the far side of dreams ever since. Anna, though she has never been to Azminan before, is just as trapped as the Azminian dreamers.
Worse, dreams aren’t supposed to give you scrapes or cuts and they certainly aren’t supposed to be able to trap you or kill you. Dream or no, the dangers in this dream world are quite real.
Anna discovers that her new friends guard a secret so valuable that with it they could achieve their freedom or send the world to utter ruin. The trouble is finding out how to get home before the mystery man who toppled Azminan or his army of nightmarish myir finds them.
Set in a world where fogs feed on lies, spiders collect histories and many forgotten things remain possible, The Statues of Azminan bears Anna through adversity and true friendship, and ultimately to conquering fear itself.
|Q||How did you get started writing?|
|A||My father tells a story of a two year old version of me entertaining my parents with a complex fantasy story on a long drive. Tales being what they are and having no recollection of this myself, I’m not sure if I can count that as my first step as an author. Still, storytelling has taken hold of me for as long as I can remember. I was the kid insisting on one more chapter at bedtime while my father read each character with a different voice. |
I grew up in the jazz music scene, and if you aren’t around that industry, you may not know that jazz musicians tend to be expert story tellers. If you get enough of them together (two is generally enough), the stories begin. These are performers who focus on improvisation, pitch and rhythm, with that extra dash of something from the soul. The tales are tall, vibrant and usually hilarious, and let’s be honest, different in each telling. It’s a participation sport, so to speak. A potluck of combined creativity. A warm up in words to the magic that happens with instruments on the stage.
I never mastered the arts of either jazz music or oral story telling. My sister and father can both have you howling and wiping away tears from their delivery of a handful of words and a few gestures, but not me. I discovered long ago that my strength comes from a private, quiet, well thought through place with the option to edit.
I won some recognition for stories written in my school years and was the head editor of my high school newspaper my senior year. The positive attention and support I received because of these events likely fanned my enthusiasm for the craft. Despite all of that momentum, though, I nearly stopped writing altogether after earning my literature degree in college. For a solid year after graduation I couldn’t stomach anything more than a short story. Somehow I also couldn’t stop, either. I read every fairy tale I could get my hands on, followed by short story collections in brittle yellowed volumes from a century or so prior. I couldn’t have chosen a better way to set the groundwork for the writing to come if I had tried.
My mother deserves credit for staying on me in my adult years, pushing me to publish long before I felt that I was ready and encouraging me to continue writing, especially with my blog, in those times when I lost confidence. Eventually, I began to get feedback from people I didn’t know, and that adds sustaining fuel to a writer’s fire. Writing is my passion project, my guilty pleasure in stolen moments between work and motherhood and “life.” It feeds me like a vacation without the stress (I’m a mom, remember).
|Q||What is it about your chosen genres that appeals to you?|
|A||Fantasy fiction speaks to my spirit while science fiction invigorates my mind and children’s stories warm my heart. Urban fantasy allows me to worry less about the lines between fantasy and science fiction, and just enjoy going where the story leads. Non-fiction is less comfortable for me, probably because there is no layer of insulation between self and story and I feel vulnerable. Poetry leaves me red-cheeked and hoping no one will notice, yet the poems tend to be the most “liked” posts on my blog. Go figure. |
I tried, for the first year of writing my blog, to stay within the fantasy genre. People tend to want an author to be consistent because that way they know that if they liked one read they’ll enjoy the next, etc. I really did try.
My hope is that the diversity of what I write can feed the joys of many. The plain truth is that I can’t help myself. The stories that come to me don’t do so in an orderly fashion.
|Q||Where do you come up with your ideas?|
|A||Very rarely do I set out with a clear objective in mind. I enjoy the surprise of a story unfolding. Most often, stories come to me in idle mental meanderings during my commute or an absurd thought that’s given permission to roam free. One idea leads to another until the underlying story begins to solidify between the words and I pursue it. I savor the editing process, carving away until I’m looking at the true form of a tale. It’s sculpting, but with concepts and language. |
I also have a unique relationship with my dreams, which provide plentifully. My dreams are vivid and complicated, and often more than a little aggressive with me. Where some people have recurring dreams, I had recurring characters growing up. Much of the groundwork for The Statues of Azminan and the following series stems from these dreams.
ONYX:05 presented itself as a fully formed story in a dream. I meant to write it down but a couple of months slipped by while I continued to think about it. Then one morning I woke from a dream where I was being ordered to write it out. It happened to be a Saturday pre-children, so I sat down and wrote until midnight. I slept for eight hours (those were the days) and did the same the next day. I crawled into bed at midnight on the second day having written a novel over a weekend.
Sapphire Sun, the sequel to ONYX:05 (yet to be published), awoke me at around 3am every morning for about half a year with each new installment or edit. Looking back, it was good training for motherhood.
|A||My mother made me do it. Just kidding… except not really. |
I was starting down the path of sending out queries and submissions, following all of the discouraging advice out there and losing confidence when a friend told me about a printing company that fellow grad students were using to create books for their final projects. I looked into it and discovered that there were ways to self-publish that were completely within reach. I regained some hope but didn’t leap in right away. It helped to know that there was a resource but the world is full of advice-givers and ‘this source recommended X and that source warned Y’ and my manuscript was good but could be better and… my mom finally yelled at me. It would never be perfect. It was time to stop agonizing over queries and submissions. The resources were available and she was just about done waiting. I published The Statues of Azminan and maybe sold one copy to someone I didn’t know.
I then spent a few years writing but not publishing. In 2012 I started my blog on the “write a story each week for a year” challenge and a number of good things happened. Foremost was a boost in my confidence as a writer. Producing a short story every week meant writing at a frequency that I hadn’t kept up before. It also got me out in front of an audience larger than my immediate circle of family and friends. The Cinnamon Circus, The Parallel Abduction and the Color Series books came out of this period and more is on the way.