This weekend, instead of a Posts of the Week, I'm sharing something a little different: the wonderful C. Lee McKenzie, (author of my lov...

Guest Post: A Writer's Afternoon by C. Lee McKenzie

This weekend, instead of a Posts of the Week, I'm sharing something a little different: the wonderful C. Lee McKenzie, (author of my love, Double Negative) is here to talk about her latest project, Some Very Messy Medieval Magic.*
Well, Alexa, here I am again in your beautiful space. Thanks for helping me get the word out about my next book. I so appreciate bloggers who support writers like me.

Today I thought I’d give your readers a short scene to let them get a feel for the life of a writer. In this scene the writer—that would be me—is sitting at her desk. She’s just finished the third book in the Adventures of Pete and Weasel, so her computer is deliberately dark while she enjoys the moment. No books to write, her latte streaming freshly brewed coffee smells into the air. Thoughts of a vacation in Tahiti slip in and around her brain. She sighs. Satisfied. She’s about take another sip from her mug, when the door swings open and in runs Pete Riley, her main character in that series.

“McKenzie! I need your help!”

“Just wait right there, kiddo.” She holds out her hand like a traffic cop. “First, it’s Mrs. McKenzie. Second, you do not barge into my office without knocking, and third, what have you done now?”

Pete gulps a bit of air. “Sorry. Mrs. McKenzie. I forgot about the knock-first-rule, but I got a good excuse.”

The author blinks and sets the coffee on her desk. Pete always has a “good excuse,” only that means something’s gone wrong and the culprit stands before her. “Okay. Lay it on me, Pete.”

“Well, um.” He digs his toe into the antique Persian carpet. “How many chapters does it take to find somebody and bring them back to Hadleyville? Just a guess off the top of your head.”

“Who needs finding?” Her blood pressure’s rising. She can feel her pulse behind her eyeballs. If he’s messed up another spell and sent a Hadleyville resident off into who knows where…. “Come on. Out with it.”

“Me and Weasel were in the library—”

“Weasel and I." She waves her hand at him. "Go on.”

“He was helping me with a paper, and I thought I’d just speed things up a little, and then he wasn’t there anymore. Kind of a poof-gonething.”

She stares unseeing out the window. “Poof? Gone? Weasel?”

He doesn’t answer, but his head bobs in vigorous nodding. 

“Did you work a spell?”

“Not exactly. More like I sort of thought about working one, only it was more like a joke. You know not a ‘ha ha’ kind of joke, but a—”

“Never mind. I understand.” Only she really doesn’t. Thoughts of booking a flight to Tahiti for some beach time had gone poofthe way Weasel had. “You’d better go to Aunt Lizzie’s and stay put. I have some writing to do.”

Pete drags his tennis shoes over the carpet and stepped outside. From behind the closed door, Pete calls softly. “Sorry. Really. Mrs. McKenzie.”

With a shake of her head, the author boots up her computer.

Now let me segue into answering a question people like to ask authors. What advice would you give to people thinking about writing a book? I guess one piece of advice is to avoid creating characters that are guaranteed to give you grief. Pete is a case in point. I adore him, and he’s one huge pain in the neck, not only to me, but to Weasel, Aunt Lizzie, Fanon, and Miss Gladys. Throw the sheriff and Dr. Dread Wraith into the mix, and you’ve got a passel of characters that are either worried about him or afraid he’ll cause them more grief. 

In the end, Pete always works his way out of messes, but it’s usually with Weasel’s help. I can’t imagine what will happen if he doesn’t have Weasel at his side, so I’d best find out what he’s done and how to help him myself. The job of the author never ends. I guess that’s more advice. Don’t plan any trips to Tahiti unless you pack your laptop and your notes along with your sunscreen. 

Here's the series trailer to give you a better idea of why my vacations just don't happen as often as they should. 

The Adventures of Pete and Weasel

Thanks for letting be here today and for letting me give your readers a glimpse of Pete Riley in action. Alligators Overhead Book 1 and The Great TimeLock Disaster Book 2 are available if you want to find out more about this lovable rascal and his misadventures.  

If you want see all of my work and receive a gift, here's my BLOG.

All my books are online. 

Some Very Messy Medieval Magic Book 3 is available at these locations. 
Print ISBN 9781939844460 / EBook ISBN 9781939844477
Order through Ingram, Follett, or from the publisher
EBook available in all formats 

Aw, I love Pete already! He's definitely the kind of character who will cause problems for EVERYONE around, but he's certainly entertaining for the readers, lol. ;) Thanks for coming and sharing about him!

Have any of you ever written a character with that same unfortunate habit of causing others grief? How do your writer vacations tend to go? Can't wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

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  1. I love this character already, all of my characters give me grief. *sigh* the life of a writer.

    1. Haha, glad you like him! And *sigh* I know what you mean. :p Gotta love those crazy kids, even as much trouble as they give you.


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