Q&A: Shirlee McCoy
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE UNDERCOVER BODYGUARD?
It's the sixth in my Heroes for Hire series. The hero is a secondary character in Private Eye Protector. He's tough and untouchable, and I felt compelled to write his story. I also felt compelled to pair him with a woman who is the exact opposite of him. She owns a bakery. He has a sweet tooth. A match made in Heaven, right?
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
When I first began writing, I was inspired by some of the Gothic greats. Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart, to name two. Now, I am inspired by authors like Brenda Minton and Stephanie Newton. It's not just their books that inspire me (though they are both wonderful writers). It's the way that they live their faith and express it through their books that I find inspirational.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
Faith plays a huge role in my writing. I can't separate one from the other. As a Christian, it makes sense for me to write stories about ordinary people of faith. People like you and me. People who struggle, who question, who even doubt, but who are never far from the love and grace of their Heavenly father. That is the truth of the Christian's walk, and I want to express that in my stories.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN THAT YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
I've always loved books, and I have always been a writer, but I didn't realize that I wanted to be an author until after my third son was born. I was very sick, and I really wondered if I were going to die. It occurred to me that the one thing that I had never done and that I wanted to do was write a book. I completed my first manuscript two years later. It was right around that time that I realized that an author was what I wanted to be!
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
Aside from a few hours of enjoyment? That's a good question. I once had a woman tell me that when she finally met me, after reading quite a few of my books and visiting with me on my blog, she felt as if she knew me. She said that she had seen my heart in my writing, and she saw it again when she met me face to face. I suppose that is what I want my readers to get when they read my work.... a sense that they have seen a small piece of my heart and that they know me and the faith that I stand for because of it.