Serenity McLean grew up in Ontario and moved to western Canada in 2004. She returned to Ontario in 2017. With a Masters degree in Adult Education, Serenity worked in various roles at several colleges. She also worked in the Information Technology sector predominantly in project management. She wrote her first fictional book just before getting laid off in an economic downturn. She made a career change – committing her time to writing, blogging, and helping others along the path of publication.
She took a hiatus from writing to care for her terminally ill mother and deal with a long series of losses. Born of the pain and sorrow of her grief, and combined with her education background, she wrote Honest Grief as a way to help others facing the hurt of deep losses. The additional pain inflicted by those around her who didn’t understand grief or the deep gaping wounds of one who grieves inspired her to write a companion book, Supporting Honest Grief (to be released in 2018). It is written specifically for people who have a grieving friend.
Along with art (painting) and photography, Serenity is a dog lover and enjoyed the sunny disposition of golden retrievers for over thirty years. Currently, she lives with one sweet goldie that loves to play hide and seek, ball chase, and of course, swimming. In the summer months, Serenity and her dog can be found on the water and under the sun.
When did you first start writing?
After writing and publishing a non-fiction book, the idea of writing fiction had been rolling around my head for a couple of months. I had jotted down a couple of concept ideas but nothing resonated. Then I got a bad cold and was sick in bed when it hit me, I should write about what I think about and research. That afternoon I had a draft of the first chapter. The story seemed to come easily and although I was only writing part time, I had the book ready for editing in a little over five months.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying this all comes easy. It is definitely a lot of hard work. And then there is the marketing work to get the book in the hands of readers. That takes a bit of planning, preparation and outright time committed to promotion. I had been packaged out of my job and it took just a few days to decide to take the opportunity to dedicate all my time to do the work of an independent author.
While most authors talk about picking up a pencil in their youth and writing, writing, writing. Not me. I picked up that pencil and started sketching. Art has played a significant role in my life as a way of sharing how I see the world and what I love about this world.
I am very visual and think in pictures and much of what I want to say about my world can be achieved through art and photography.
But I have spent many years thinking about a whole different world: life after life on this earth. The limitations of art and photography for sharing this world with others are best overcome with imagination. I tell the story and let the reader’s imagination create the visuals. That is far more satisfying for a topic that demands a personal connection to the world I am sharing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think there are two joys. One is writing and sharing about the Christian walk. Many people mention their reflections after reading one of my stories and I am truly honoured to be a part of that process.
The other joy for me is becoming lost in the story. I'm a pantser writer, meaning I write from the seat of my pants. The story takes life as I write and for a while I'm part of that world. In my research I study the streets and collect images of the various places. So while writing my imagination takes me to those settings and I feel like I'm on vacation.
You know how when you come back from a really great holiday and little things will instantly take you back? Well, that happens to me even after the book is written. Music I listened to while writing will take me to vivid scenes that stuck in my memory.
In this second book in the series the stakes are high as the unthinkable happens – an aggressive and deadly virus is released throughout the world. A massive viral outbreak sweeps her into the cutthroat world of power, domination and murder. NOTE: This book can be read independently of book one.
This book pulls back the curtains on grief, and shows you the hidden face of grief. It explains what it’s really like. Most importantly it helps you understand what the griever needs and wants from their friends and family. You might be surprised at the things we all do that actually hurt the griever. And you will discover lots that you can do to help your friend through their dark days.
Dealing with loss and grief?
Discover your path to living with it in peace.
There are no wrong ways to feel grief. Everybody's grief stew is their own recipe, with their own unique flavours. There are constructive ways of dealing with grief - and some not-so-constructive ways. With this guide, you will discover many practical and helpful things you can do to address the chaos of emotions.
Escalating fatalities erupting from unimaginable malevolence.
What happens when you mix an environmental collapse, a man bent on killing billions and a deadly virus? The annihilation of the world — unless someone can stop evil.
If you enjoy a good medical mystery, then this book is for you!