October 23rd, 2007 14:41 EST
Chase Von Interviews Chrissy K. McVay, Author of Souls of The North Wind
Interview on behalf of the Student Operated Press with...
Chrissy K. McVay Author of 'Souls of The North Wind' and many other Amazing stories...
Chase von: Hi Chrissy and thanks for taking the time out to do this! I know you are extremely busy getting your screenplay written for The Souls of the North Wind! A fantastic story that when I read it, made me think of other stories that affected me the same way. The classic Old Yeller, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, and to be frank, I think your story ranks right there with them and other classics such as Black Beauty and Charlotte's Web and I could go on, but The Souls of The North Wind truly rates to be right beside them all! What inspired you to write it?
Chrissy K. McVay: I had a similar dream a couple times in one year where I was lost in a wilderness in winter at night, clinging to the back of a sled. I could hear wolves howling in the distance and my sled dogs panic. I felt I was being followed. Later, I came across a book by Farley Mowat called ‘People of the Deer’ and decided to combine the dream with the Ihalmiut, Inuit culture Farley wrote about. Chase von: This story is great for young adults but, I am a little past that phase and I still enjoyed it immensely! I'm not exaggerating when I say it is one of the best books I've ever read! What struck me was the intense amount of detail that you go into involving the life, beliefs and rituals of the Inuit, as well as your gifted form of story telling. As a writer myself, I thought to know so much about the subject, you must have spent a lifetime researching this culture. Can you explain how you came to know so much that is really true in reality of these people?
Chrissy K. McVay: I researched the Canadian Inuit and the terrain for three years, but I truly have to give credit to Farley Mowat’s vast research. The wonderful thing about Farley’s nonfiction books are the way they’re never bland or boring. He writes from his heart, incorporating facts with a hint of suspense that adds real flavor to his research.Chrissy K. McVay: I grew up in a small farming community in Michigan. My father was born in Michigan and my mother grew up in Tennessee. After living in Indiana for about ten years, I talked my husband into moving closer to my mother’s Southern relatives (he’s such a good sport).
Chase von: You truly have your own style! But it is a style that is universal in its appeal. How long have you been writing and normally I do this in the beginning, but what were your younger years like? Where did you grow up? How long has writing been a part of your life? And can you also share with our audience some of the other things you have written? I recall a short you wrote that did indeed have some adult content although like everything you do, it was fantastically written.
Having Dyslexia almost threw me a curve ball as far as learning to read and write, but we had a great school system with small classes and several tutors in the room. I remember a specific student teacher from the local college that came up with the idea of having the students write and color their own storybooks in our first grade class. We loved it! The teachers invited the parents to a ‘book party’ and they made such a big deal about our books that writing became worth the huge challenge to me. I wish I’d found out this student teacher’s name. He has no idea how much this inspired me.
I have several short stories posted on Amazon shorts (www.amazon.com/shorts) ranging from humor, horror, Y.A. and even a Western. Other short stories have appeared in Wild Violet Magazine, Aim Magazine, as well as a variety of other publications. My short story ‘Soloist’ will be in the December 2007 issue of ‘Rosebud Magazine’. I’m a multi-genre reader, so I don’t like to limit myself to a single genre with my writing. I don’t think any writer, or other Artist should have to if their passions extend to other genres.
Chase von: I know you're currently working on your screenplay for The Souls of North Wind. How soon before we see it on screen? And will you also be a consultant on the film itself to make sure the movie adaptation, stays true to the story and how you wrote it originally?
Chrissy K. McVay: Though nothing has been ‘optioned’ yet, ‘Souls of the North Wind’ is currently being considered by a producer at Cine LA.
Reaching Hollywood with a screenplay is like climbing Mt. Everest! With ‘Souls of the North Wind’ being my first screenplay, I know I won’t have much control, unlike Stephen King and other well-known writers. I will say that after chugging through the screenplay writing process, I fully understand why some of the novel has to be cut or changed to work on the screen, and not every story will work on screen. Though I’m in agony when a movie deviates from my favorite book, I now understand there are valid reasons for this. It may be a few years before ‘Souls of the North Wind’ reaches the screen. Believe me; you’ll hear a delighted scream from the Blue Ridge Mountains when it happens! Chase von: How important is family to you, and what is your take on the state of our current world?
Chrissy K. McVay: A man I worked in a factory with once told me: “Build plenty of memories with your kids. Never put work ahead of them.” Now that three of our four boys are grown and living their own lives, I know his advice was wise, and I’m so very glad I took it to heart. My husband and I passed on many hours of overtime to hike Pike’s Peak with our children, take them kayaking or horseback riding through Garden of the Gods in Colorado. It’s fine to build your retirement nest egg as long as you don’t neglect the golden years with your children. Too many parents I know today are caught up in the Capitalism whirlwind, choosing to get caught in a 6 or 7 day work week to build up that 401K while their children grow more and more distant from them in age, and emotionally. It breaks my heart. I don’t regret all our vacations and long weekend adventures for one minute, even if I end up eating road kill stew in my nineties! Chase von: What would you say, if you were standing in front of a microphone that could be heard by every child on the planet and regardless of what language it was they spoke, they would understand you? What positive advice would you give the children, if that were possible?
Chrissy K. McVay: Slow down! We’ve become a culture that runs around like rabid dogs, buying toys we can’t take with us, etc. I believe this makes us cruel to one another, and is probably hazardous to our health. If we take more time to talk to one another, maybe we can focus on the good in people around us. I truly believe that a positive attitude can bring out the smiles in even the sourest behaving folks.Chrissy K. McVay: I’m currently working on a sequel to ‘Souls of the North Wind’, and my second novel, ‘Only Eagles Know My Name’ is in the final editing stages. I hope to have it ready for press by Feb. 2008. ‘Only Eagles Know My Name’ is another Young Adult/Adult adventure loosely based on the mysterious Anasazi culture of the Southwestern desert region.
Chase von: Are there any stories that you are working on now that you want to give us a heads up about? And are there other things you enjoy other than writing? Hobbies? And what lies in the future, for Chrissy K. McVay?
When I’m not writing, I love hiking with my family. The Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina have some great trails. I also have a sister in Colorado, so we’ve taken some great hiking adventures there as well. My husband and I hope to one-day hike the entire Appalachian Trail. In the near future, I’d love to continue to concentrate on more screenplays. I have several different ones sitting on several producer’s desks (hopefully not collecting dust). However, I’ll never completely abandon the novel or short story. There’s something about books that ignites a spark in my soul, and it’s been there so long I don’t think I could put it out if I tried, despite the struggle to get several projects finished in a short amount of time. It really is a labor of love and I’ll never give it up.
Chase von: And how can our readers find you and more about you? I have a web site on Author’s Den: www.authorsden.com/chrissykmcvay, as well as a profile page on Amazon where I post questions to readers, as well as news about my upcoming books and short stories. I’ll post new news about the screenplays on both sites as soon as it’s available.
Chase von: On behalf of The Operated Student Press and certainly myself, I am thankful and again honored to have been able to interview you Chrissy! I really thank you for taking time away from the projects you're working on, to share yourself because I personally know how many things you have on your plate. So thank you so very much again!
Chrissy K. McVay: As a fellow writer, Chase, it doesn’t surprise me that you’ve posed some excellent questions! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to shamelessly gab about myself.
For More Information http://www.authorsden.com/chrissykmcvay
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