Sunday, 24 August 2014

Book Blitz: Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie - Interview + Giveaway

Double Negative

Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie
YA Contemporary
Published: 25th July 2014 by Evernight Teen

“My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn’t been laid yet. I couldn’t go into the slammer before that happened.” Hutch McQueen.

Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.

Book Links

Interview with C. Lee McKenzie

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where I live with my family and miscellaneous pets. I write most of the time, garden and hike and do yoga a lot, and then travel whenever I can.

I write for young adults, and one reason I do is that I want them to connect with my characters--the loners, the abused, the neglected, the seekers who have only a dim light and a slim chance of finding their way. I want them to see they aren't alone and that others, maybe the author, have experienced and understand what they're going through.

How do you stay inspired to face the dreaded blank page? Is it something you dread? Look forward to? Share a bit about your writing process.

I talk to myself a lot when the white page is staring at me and the cursor sits tapping its finger on the computer screen. If this goes on too long, I take a walk—a long, uphill-down-the canyon kind of walk. I've learned that by letting go, not forcing words to come, they're much more likely to cooperate. It's just a matter of time, but sometimes they're so slow!

How important is community in keeping you inspired? What authors are a part of your virtual and/or hometown community? How do they keep you inspired? How do you inspire them?

I guess the answer is very important. I have three critique partners who are wonderful. They're supportive, but none of them lets me get away with any sloppiness when it comes to a WIP. I also have built a large writer/blogger community that I rely on heavily. They often keep me going by their comments or their offers of help. I hope I return that support. I try.

What’s this latest book about?

It’s about a sixteen-year-old named Hutch McQueen. He can barely read and he’s trapped in a dysfunctional family. When he tries to escape, he chooses the wrong way and lands in juvenile hall. This is probably the best break Hutch gets in life because he meets a priest and a teacher who want to give him another chance at the freedom he craves. All he has to do is listen, but that’s really hard for him, almost impossible.

Are you working other projects now that this one is out?

Yes. I’m at the final tweaking stage of my next young adult book that I’ve titled Old and Terrible Secrets.

A final two questions—quick ones.

Pantser or Plotter?

Mostly Pantser.

Coffee or Tea?


Author Bio - C. Lee McKenzie

C. Lee McKenzieIn my other life--the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers--I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. Go ahead. Pat me on the back.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace. 

I've just set out my perfect life. Day after day after day.

Author Links


An e-copy of Double Negative (EPUB, MOBI or PDF)

-Ends 13th September 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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