Author of the ROAD TRIP EXPLORE! book series, Cat McMahon is a wordsmith who enjoys outdoor discovery, culinary exploration, her cats and making memories with her family. Her cat, Dodger, is the inspiration for www.CatsStories.com. When Cat's not in the kitchen cooking up mouthwatering recipes for www.GlutenFreeHomemade.com, she's on the road seeking new adventures for www.RoadTripExplore.com.
What is your writing process?
Never have I been one of those people who can run off at the fingers. Instead, I let the topic soak into my brain. I tend to mull it over while doing daily chores, jotting down keywords, phrases and ideas, and I sleep on the subject for a couple of nights, sometimes more . . .
. . . until the idea gels and takes shape.
Think of my writing process as collecting puzzle pieces, and then sorting them into some kind of order that makes sense.
I don't always know where to start. It's never at the beginning. I start at the place where the "puzzle pieces" fit together; they begin to take on form, and then I work out from there. I might work on several parts at the same time, a little here, a little there.
At some point, everything starts to fall into place, a whole picture emerges, albeit a little rough around the edges.
That's when the beginning jumps out at me and I start working there, and reworking the story, blending, smoothing, refining, until the puzzle is no longer just a bunch of funny shaped pieces put together, but a painting, of sorts, depicting the vision I have in my head, infused with heart and soul making it a living thing.
When did you first start writing?
From the moment I could hold a pencil, I wrote. I mastered cursive before I was taught print handwriting in school, and then I went on to master words and then sentences by studying the dictionary and encyclopedias.
Though I kicked out school assignments to please my teachers, I labored to learn writing by copying author's I most esteemed on whatever paper I could get my hands on, P. L. Travers, Howard Pyle, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Willa Cather, Edna Ferber, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes.
At various corporations I wrote company newsletters, press releases, promotional pamphlets, much correspondence, board minutes, contracts and documentation, such as standard procedure manuals.
As with any author, one thing leads to another until one day you become published.
Climb geologic marvels, backpack a remote wilderness or ride a horse up a trail. Enjoy camping, go birding and photograph wildflowers. Be awestruck by ancient trees, peruse historical sites and take a dip in crystalline lakes. Discover vast vistas, incredible wildlife and a wondrous landscape at one of USA’s premier National Parks.
Roam the Wilderness! Hike the backcountry, raft the rapids & try waterskiing. Go camping, catch trout & explore a ghost town. Be awestruck by jaw-dropping vistas! Explorers can use this book as a jumping off point to the remarkable Clackamas River Recreation Area. Vicarious travelers will enjoy an armchair tour of one the most pristine watersheds in the USA.
Venture the Wild! Shoot the rapids, bike the byway or ride a horse. Go camping, swimming & catch fish. Hike heavenly heights & see majestic mountains. Explorers can use this book as a jumping off point to create their own adventure to the outstanding Molalla River Corridor & Table Rock Wilderness. Vicarious travelers will enjoy an armchair tour of one of the most scenic areas in Oregon USA.
Discover the Coast! Fly a kite, build sandcastles & go fishing. Watch whales, surf crashing waves & go beachcombing. Be awestruck by breathtaking vistas!
Explorers can use the book as a jumping off point to incredible adventures on the Oregon Central Coast. Families can capture precious memories. Vicarious travelers will enjoy an armchair tour of one of the most scenic areas in Oregon USA.