Friend Friday

Sometimes, I just plain don’t recall how I met people and that’s the case with Lee McKenzie but I am so very glad to host her today for Friend Friday. Take it away, Lee!

A Writers Journey
Writing is an interesting and unpredictable journey. When I started, I had no idea Id be writing young and middle grade books. My only thought was, Id like to write something I would read.
Mostly I enjoy writing realistic, contemporary young adult novels. However, a steady diet of tough issues teens face today leaves my writers well a little dry at times, so I like mixing it up when it comes to what I write.
Non-fiction articles are perfect for balance, and Ive tackled everything from Vermiculture for kids to an article about a Tuatara. If youre curious about either topic, click on its title below.
A couple of years ago, I took a leap into a middle grade fantasy adventure, Alligators Overhead. I loved writing the story about Pete Riley, the town rascal, and his sidekick, Weasel, while they saved an endangered wetlands. I loved it so much, Ive just finished a sequel. This ones The Great Time Lock Disaster. Once again the rascal and his bookish friend get into all kinds of trouble that I hope will delight young readers.
However, there is one story I want to write, but cant seem to.
Why? I can write stories for beginning readers and teens; Ive written and published fiction and non-fiction, so whats stopping me from writing one story I really want to see come to the page?
You see the story is really my dads. Its about his life as a boy who grew up in hardship. It tells about his struggle to leave behind a terrible boyhood and make a good life for himself. It tells about his years at the university on a scholarship, his marriage, his war years.
Maybe the reason I cant finish it is he should have written it; then it would be right.
When he was alive, I worried what hed say if he read how I set down the events hed told me. What if I didnt have them the way he wanted?
Since hes gone, I hesitate because I think, well, hes not here to correct me. Im writing his life through my filter, and it could be all wrong.
Ive obviously gone around on this issue. Finally, Ive decided Ill write it as a biography. I have no plans for publishing it, but I’d like it to be his “dash” fleshed out with the stories he told me during the years we shared.

Now Ill have to learn a bit about writing biographies because, while I enjoy reading them, I know nothing about how to make them interesting enough to read.

Everyday I wonder where my writing journey will take me. Everyday Im excited to wake up and see what will happen next.
Thanks for letting me stop by, Kirby. Its such a pleasure to connect with you after so many years.

Lee is a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places, then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets. She writes most of the time, gardens, hikes and does yoga a lot. She also travels whenever she can. 

In her writing, she takes on modern issues that today’s teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide, was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives, came out in 2010. Double Negative (2014) is her third young adult novel, and her fourth, Sudden Secrets, will be out soon.

In 2012, her first middle grade novel, Alligators Overhead, was published and she’s just finished the sequel which she’s calling The Great Time Lock Disaster.

No Responses to “Friend Friday”

  1. cleemckenzie

    What a pleasure to be here today! Thanks so much, and I’m not surprised you don’t remember meeting me. It was years ago. However, I remember because you kept me writing when you told me I had a great kid’s voice in my first attempt at a story. Thanks for that.

  2. Rosi

    Ah, more and more books for my TBR list. All Lee’s books look good. It was fun to learn about Worm Tea and what a tuatara is. I’m afraid I’m one of those who thought they were lizards. Thanks for an interesting post.

  3. Lexa Cain

    I’m looking forward to the Great Time Lock Disaster – what a terrific title! I like the idea of a biography as an homage to your father. I’m sure he wouldn’t “correct” anything because he’d know it was from your heart and not meant to be perfect.

  4. Marcus Damanda

    Hi, C. Lee! Good luck with the biography of your dad. I loved my own dad desperately–at some level, I can relate. Oh, and I love the title “Alligators Overhead”! Looking forward to your new release this week at Evernight Teen!

    • cleemckenzie

      Hi Marcus. Thanks for stopping in and saying hi! Glad you liked the title. I wrote the book so I could use it. That’s the truth.

  5. Empty Nest Insider

    Congrats on The Great Time Lock Disaster! I think it’s great that you want to write a biography about your dad. I’m sure he’d be very proud of you, and it would be something your family would treasure. Nice to meet you, Kirby!