Lise McClendon is the author of eleven novels. Her latest is THE GIRL IN THE EMPTY DRESS, the sequel to BLACKBIRD FLY (2009.) PLAN X, a thriller, was written as Rory Tate. Her novel, "Blackbird Fly," is a suspense novel set in southwest France called "a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, sisterhood, and the ties that bind us together." She is the author of two mystery series set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and early Kansas City, Missouri, including "Blue Wolf" and "Sweet and Lowdown." She lives in Montana.
Rory Tate is a pseudonym of Lise McClendon
What is the most fascinating aspect of writing fiction, in your opinion?
People, in their endlessly diverse selves. Once in high school journalism the teacher asked everyone what they were interested in, to get an idea what sort of assignments they should get. I answered: People, because then and now, I find them intriguing and basically unknowable. The class laughed and moved on; the teacher was expecting an answer like sports or drama, I guess. But that spontaneous moment has defined my interest in fiction. I majored in both journalism and sociology -- you see where I'm going here -- because the only writing I felt competent in back then was reporting. Now that I've had a few years (!) to observe human nature my interest is still the same. Last week I heard of an unusual mental condition and made a note to myself about it. There is no end to the weird wonderfulness of humans.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have published six books with New York publishers, in two different series. (Available here.) But when I wanted to break away from mystery series fiction for awhile and write a stand-alone my publisher at first agreed, even gave me an advance and a contract. Then he renigged. This is a dirty little secret of traditional publishers. So I went indie and never looked back. Would I like the backing of a big publishing house again? Sure, but the money was never good enough to entice me. (I made five times as much money in one month on that book than the advance from the publisher.) I like having more control over my work, the story itself first and foremost, the cover, the pricing, all of it. This is a great time to be an indie author.