Interview with Jean MacIntyre

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Our family home was a large brick house on a two hundred acre mixed farm in Eastern Ontario, Canada. Over the years, we had sheep, pigs, cows, chickens and hens, horses – oh, and lots of kids. My dad came from a family of thirteen children, my mother from a family of seven, so I wound up with five sisters and five brothers. (My parents’ autobiography – The Way It Was – gives a great description of my background.) We all had chores to do after school and on weekends. But when the chores were finished and homework was done, we were free to read. And read we all did. Anything and everything we could get our hands on. I wouldn’t attempt to write about someone with a bad childhood because I don’t know what that would feel like.
What is your writing process?
It’s difficult to decide how a book begins for me. Sometimes it’s an idea for a storyline that pops into my head. Sometimes I’m working on my photographs, look at one, and decide there’s a story to go with it. My mother, a devout Baptist, passed on last year and suddenly I had an idea for a book set partly on Earth and partly in Heaven. That’s my next project once the cottage is closed up for the winter. (And I’m counting on Mom to feed me the parts about Heaven, now that she’s there).
Once I have the basic idea, I prepare bio sheets for my two main characters. I have the blank form in the computer so that I can print one out and fill it in whenever I need it. I clip pictures of the characters from the catalogue and paste them to the side of the page. The bio includes everything I can think of – name, age, birth date, Zodiac sign and characteristics, address, residence, hair and eye color, height and weight, education, career, vehicle, marital status, parents, siblings, medical history, religious and political leanings, and anything else that comes to mind.
By the time the bios are finished, I know these people really well and the story just writes itself. I’m not obsessive about sticking to schedules and I don’t try to force the writing. If I get stuck, I just leave it until the next idea comes to me. I have yet to struggle with a storyline.
Describe your desk
My desk has a top shelf with an ASUS screen, and all the usual office paraphernalia. It also has a teddy bear, wearing glasses, sitting in a rocking chair and reading a book. (I love teddy bears!) In a file holder is a three-ring binder with copies of Mark Coker’s Style Guide and Marketing Guide – my current favorite books.
On the middle shelf is my Lenovo laptop with Windows 7, a coaster for my coffee cup, four completed children’s books, my backup drive and a dust cloth. The shelf below pulls out with my Belkin ergonomic keyboard. Sitting on top of the filing cabinet is my teddy bear collection (so the cat can’t play with them). There are currently nine bears.
How do you approach cover design?
This happened purely by good luck. My husband joined a local photography club a few years ago and persuaded me to keep him company. I had no interest in the subject, but once I had a camera, I was hooked. After I started writing, I began putting together the book covers – something I really enjoy. Photoshop is great fun and having a photo relate to a story makes my day. The camera club was also the reason I put together the children’s photo and limerick storybooks.
Who are your favorite authors?
Too many to list – I love reading courtroom dramas, murder mysteries, as well as some historical and contemporary romances. I’m not into non-fiction in a big way, but having said that, I did read many New Age books (thus – Huna: Your Power Tool For The Twenty-first Century, and - My Health, My Way – the story of my journey from stage four cancer seventeen years ago to good health without the recommended chemo and radiation.) I give some of the credit to the books by Max Freedom Long on the ancient Hawaiian Kahunas for saving my life.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Before I discovered Smashwords, I had submitted manuscripts to traditional publishers. One book had been accepted as an audio book, but the company went bankrupt before that could happen. However that one acceptance gave me the confidence to keep on writing. When I started searching the Internet for ebook publishers, I discovered publicbookshelf.com. I sent my first romance to them, had it published, and began receiving good reviews. From there, I found Smashwords and, because my books are available through so many outlets, they get great exposure, with Apple, Barnes & Nobel, and Sony (as well as Smashwords, of course) selling the most. I can never thank Mark enough for opening up the world of ebooks for writers and readers. My income is slowly increasing – enough so far to fund my annual getaway with my five sisters.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
In the summer we go to our cottage up in the hills on a stocked trout lake. It’s in a private club and the property owner built a library for everyone to use. There is every genre of book imaginable in there, so when we aren’t fishing, or hiking with our cameras, we are reading. We also grow organic vegetables on our decks at home. Over the coming winter months, we are learning how to grow vegetables with aquaponics - fish in a tank below and plants growing above – each feeding the other, and both feeding us. Our camera club has monthly meetings with assignments, so I spend time on photography as well.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When someone comments on one of my ‘sweet romances’ and says how much they love a clean romance, I know then that I have found the right readers’ market for my writing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Having breakfast, coffee and conversation with my husband. Nothing else comes close!
Published 2013-08-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Box Set Two - 3 Romance Novels
By
Pre-release—available September 30, 2014. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 80,740. Language: English. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
This box set contains two contemporary romances and one fantasy romance. In A Daddy For Robbie, Lainie is widowed and keeping to herself until she meets Brad. A Marvelous Mistake finds Jake planting a tree in Shelley’s yard – the wrong yard. Waiting… is the story of Molly and Jeremy. She dies the night he is going to propose, then helps him from the other side.
Box Set One - 3 Romance Novels
By
Pre-release—available September 30, 2014. Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 80,270. Language: English. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
These three books are sweet contemporary romances, with humor and some suspense. In Coffee To Go, Melanie and Russ first meet by spilling coffee on each other. Breakfast For One finds Michaela bemoaning her lack of a husband and children, when Jason suddenly appears at her door, and A Puzzling Affair has Kristy and Ben meeting for the first time in a campground.
Variety Box Set - 3 Non-Fiction Books
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Pre-release—available September 15, 2014. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 85,700. Language: English. Category: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
This Box Set contains my three non-fiction books: The Way It Was - my parents’ autobiography, outlining what life was like in the nineteen twenties and thirties. My Health, My Way - my journey from stage four Cancer in 1997 to good health. Huna: Your Power Tool For The Twenty-First Century - About the ancient Hawaiian Kahunas and their ‘magic’.
Waiting...
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,780. Language: American English. Published: March 30, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Jeremy is about to propose when Molly dies of an aneurysm. He then begins to learn about life after death, and eventually finds a new love.
El Error Maravilloso
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,470. Language: Spanish. Published: July 8, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Shelley no puede tener hijos y se resignó a vivir sola, por lo menos hasta que pase la edad fértil. El destino interviene cuando Jake planta un árbol en el patio equivocado.
Rainbows Taste Yummy! Book One
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 230. Language: English. Published: June 4, 2013. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Cooking & Food
Apples decide to make a rainbow with the help of many different fruits.
Breakfast For One
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,250. Language: English. Published: February 23, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Michaela finds herself talking out loud to a boiled egg, and later, to her African violet, she decides she needs a cat – or better yet, a husband.
A Daddy for Robbie
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,170. Language: American English. Published: November 13, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Robbie needs a daddy, but Lainie isn’t sure she’s ready for a husband. Somewhere, someone is pulling the strings to organize their lives for them.
My Health, My Way
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 10,960. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Cancer
A story of my journey from stage four cancer (breast and colon) to good health without the use of chemo or radiation. The surgery was fifteen years ago and I am enjoying life to the fullest, grateful every day to be here.
A Puzzling Affair
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 27,460. Language: American English. Published: September 18, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Ben first sees Kristy lying on the ground in Bon Echo Park, taking a photo of a snake. They soon discover that they have a lot in common, including the city where they both live, and where they meet up later to continue exploring their relationship.
The Way It Was
By
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 29,150. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2012. Category: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
This is a story of life in rural Eastern Ontario, Canada, in the 1920s and ‘30s when wages were fifty cents a day plus room and board, cars were rare, homes were without hydro, and neighbors helped neighbors. Alan and Betty met in 1934, fell in love, and raised a family of eleven children, some of whom have contributed memories of their parents, and life in a big family.
The Marvelous Mistake
By
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,620. Language: English. Published: May 16, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
This is a sweet romance. Shelley is unable to have children, and has resigned herself to living alone, at least until she passes childbearing age. Fate intervenes when Jake plants a tree in the wrong yard.
HUNA: Your Power Tool For The Twenty-First Century
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Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 48,460. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » New Age » Dream interpretation
This is a non-fiction account of our experience with Huna practices. It also contains four trance sessions on the subject.
Coffee To Go
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Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,610. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
After a disastrous first meeting, Melanie and Russ become friends. Because she is coming out of a broken engagement, she has problems with trust. While she teaches him about the magic of Huna, he teaches her how to fish - and to love again. A sweet romance.
Talking With Nature
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Price: Free! Words: 220. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2011. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Poetry
This is a story for children about respecting all life forms, told through the medium of original photos and limericks.
Ode To A Planet
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 240. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2011. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Poetry
This is a story for children, of our environment, told through photos and limericks.
Dream Lover
By
Price: Free! Words: 30,650. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
This is a sweet contemporary romance novella with a strong heroine in a non-traditional role.