Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Interview with Casi McLean, Author of Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within

What made you decide to be an author? My mother said I dictated stories to her before I could read, so in a sense, I've written all my life. I was Editor of my high school magazine, taught English, creative writing, speech and Drama for many years and wrote to relieve stress so writing evolved naturally. But it wasn't until I unraveled the secrets and lies of my past that I felt compelled to tell my story.
What do you like best about being a writer? I love the WOW factor. When people read my work and really get it. Whether it's my nonfiction work that inspires someone to live their dreams or stop bullying themselves, or my fiction that spirals them into another world where the impossible feels possible, I'm thrilled and their comments feed my muse.
What do you like the least? That's easy, promotion!
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, I write what I know and sprinkle all my work with a touch of the inspiration I gleaned from digging into my past.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? Oh my gosh, yes. Sometimes I have so much to write, hours slip away until I find myself sitting in the dark, my fingers glued to my keyboard. Many nights I awakened at two or three in the morning, my mind spinning with my work in progress. I finally set my smart phone by my bed with an open recording app waiting for my midnight inspiration.
You've written five short stories and one novel, Beneath The Lake. The sequel, Beyond The Mist is my WIP and it's almost ready for edits. Between the Shadow's, book three in the series is in the works. Wingless Butterfly is my memoir, and I have several nonfiction works in progress as well.
What is your favorite time management tip? Schedule your day to allow for all your priorities or you will be overwhelmed and slip into oblivion.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an organic writer? Definitely a panster when I write fiction. My stories whirl in my head and flow through my fingers. When the ideas slow, I just pull back for a while and the next direction finds me. My nonfiction is a bit more organized, but I'm not much on creating a road map. Outlines confine creativity for me.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Follow your dreams and never give up!
Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? For Wingless Butterfly my muse kept singing A Whole New World, from Disney's Aladdin.
Tell me more about Wingless Butterfly.



Her mother's warning haunted her through a childhood steeped in mystery, and sparked a domino effect reflecting what she perceived was true. Until she uncovered secrets and lies in her past that changed everything.
Wingless Butterfly shares a lifetime of secrets like whispers from a best friend and unveils the metamorphosis of a broken child, her struggle to escape a silken chrysalis cocooning her heart, and her desperation to find love, validation, and self-worth. When the mist of a new dawn settled, the fragmented little girl emerged confident and secure with wings to fly in a whole new world––that child was me.
Intimate stories linger within each of us; a unique saga that is ours alone with twists, turns, hopes, and dreams. Some people thrive on messages perceived through childhood; others splinter. But as different as each individual may seem, we all love, hurt, and bleed the same. The distinctiveness of our past develops who we become.
So can we change and, if so, is it possible to erase a lifetime of beliefs? Perspective is reality. When I shattered the broken reflection in the mirror of my past, I finally healed and followed my dreams. This is my story.
How about an excerpt from Wingless Butterfly?

Chapter 1
 Our self-image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become.
Maxwell Maltz
 Her warning still echoed in my mind. “He’s the kind of man who pulls wings off of butterflies.” The faceless man haunted me for as long as I could remember. I shuddered, clenched my eyes as tightly as I could, but the admonition refused to be silenced. My life was drenched in betrayal, a virtual revolving door of insincere men. I married two of them, but one autumn morning in 1989, as I sat sipping coffee in my kitchen, I decided I wanted—no, needed to know why...
A week passed since the adoring voice on our answering machine confirmed Zack’s affair. My husband called repeatedly begging me to listen to his lame excuses, but the scenario was all too familiar and I wasn’t ready to endure that drama again. The soft whir of a distant train murmured a somber song shooting a sudden chill rippling through me. As I reached for the sweater draped across the desk chair, I noticed a book peeking from beneath the crumpled letter that forewarned his illicit relationship. “I guess the wife really is the last one to know.” I grumbled, reaching for the book then flipped through the pages.
Someone had highlighted the final words of the novel and the florescent yellow caught my attention. “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Anne Frank lived through hell, but despite her suffering, she remained adamant that people were innately good. Her diary, a solace for her, ultimately inspired hope in millions of people who faced their own demons. I closed the book, laid it back on the desk and wandered toward the kitchen. My struggles paled in comparison, but I shared her passion and kindred spirit. Still, when it came to trusting people, I wasn’t so sure. Not anymore.
I'd like to offer 2 FREE chapters to your readers. If any one wants to read more, they can click this link:  http://eepurl.com/ccQ64v
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?

Website     Twitter     Facebook    Goodreads     Amazon Author Page     Blog
Buy Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bJLp7C
Wingless Butterfly: http://amzn.to/2cf6AB9
Casi, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.


  1. So great to be here today. Thanks so much for hosting me, Sharon. I love your blog and I'm thrilled to be here.

  2. Great interview. The story sounds amazing. Wishing you the best.

    1. Thank you, Amity. I'm so glad you stopped by.

  3. Your story pulls me in. Definitely have to read. I enjoyed the 5 novellas tremendously.

    1. Thanks so much, Charlotte. I hope you read Wingless Butterfly. A free digital copy is this month's prize on my FB page so check it out: https://www.facebook.com/casimclean.author/

  4. Enjoyed "getting to know you" in the interview. That line about butterfly wings is great. Makes me shiver, but great.

    1. It made me shiver too! Thank you for stopping by today. :-)

  5. Hi Casi. I commented hours ago but the post seems to have gone into cyberspace! :( Your book looks like it is straight from your soul, a vulnerable and moving read. Good luck, i hope it brings good things for you. And I love the cover, beautiful and eerie.
    On a lighter note, I find it hilarious that every time an author is asked what they dislike most about writing, the answer is always PROMOTION! My debut novel releases on 18 Nov, and I am drowning in the publicity planning!!

    1. Anni, so nice of you to stop by and leave such a nice comment. I'm glad your post found it's way! Wingless Butterfly was a difficult story to tell, but ultimately very cathartic. Displaying my life for the world to see wasn't easy, but I truly believe a lot of people could benefit from my soul baring. I appreciate your kind words.

  6. Beautiful excerpt, Casi. Good luck with it.

  7. Thank you, KK. So nice of you to visit me here today!

  8. Great interview, Casi. I don't know how you find the time to do all that you do. The new book sounds fascinating. Good luck with it.

  9. Hey C.B. So glad you stopped by. Thanks for your kind words. It's been interesting. I have four sisters and a brother I never knew about and my memoir reveals a lot more. I hope you pick it up sometime.